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10 Mistakes That Make You Unable To Reach Life Goals

10 Mistakes That Make You Unable To Reach Life Goals

How excited are you for the end of the year to be over and the new year to begin? I’ve heard a wealth of mixed responses. For some, this time of year brings anxiety, for others hope, and for some, a sense of ‘here we go again, new years resolutions” (eye’s rolling). Everyone knows that New Year’s resolutions play a big part in the season’s conversation, and there is a lot of unspoken pressure to”‘change what you know isn’t working.”

Many people use the new year as an opportunity to change a habit they have been wanting to change for years or setting a new exciting goal; either way, whether you are moving away or towards something, reaching your goals is not as easy as it seems, but it doesn’t need to be hard either. In life, as with everything, making mistakes is part of the journey and goal setting is no exception. It is a wise thing to set goals and push yourself out of your comfort zone, but it is also easy to get disillusioned when you don’t see any results.

When you don’t reach your goals, do you know why? Of course, it’s not always easy to identify what we might be doing wrong.

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Here are the top 10 mistakes you’re probably making that make you unable to reach life goals.

1. Pursuing several goals at once

Always and only focus on one or two goals at a time. Pursuing several goals will certainly undermine your results. The reality is: you most likely don’t actually have the time it takes to dedicate yourself to pursuing each goal. Also, your focus is too diluted and far spread, and what often happens is that you end up with no results because you are trying to do too much. Rather focus on one goal, put all your energy and effort into achieving it, and then set a new one. This will build your confidence in goal setting as well.

2. Setting a huge and unachievable goal

Your goal must be exciting and the thought should make your heart beat faster for sure! However, there is a very thin line between setting a goal which cannot be achieved and one that makes you excited. Using the SMART guidelines when goal setting should help you to clarify your exciting goal and make it achievable. Be careful who you listen to when sharing your goals and don’t let others impose their limited thinking on you. Find a balance between what you would love to happen and what you can see happening if you put in the required work.

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3. Not taking any action towards the goal

If you are simply dreaming about the goal and not taking any action, you won’t get anywhere. You must dream about your goal and have a vision but you also need to take massive and continuous action to reach your goal. Just sitting around and putting in a little effort here and there will not get you any results. Every day you need to take action that will help you get closer to your goal‒it is as simple as that.

4. Not putting results before comfort

Everyone knows it isn’t a piece of cake to meet your goals, and it’s because most goals require you to put a lot of effort into them. You often have to go out of your comfort zone and do things you don’t feel like doing with the long term goal in mind. One of the reasons that most people give up is simply because they don’t have the motivation, dedication, persistence and patience to put results before comfort. This is what truly separates the majority of those who achieve their goals and those who don’t‒the former certainly takes disciplined action.

5. Giving up too soon

How long do you try before you give up? Trying is not about doing the same thing over and over and hoping it will work out differently each time. When it seems like things aren’t working out and you want to give in, you might just need to tweak your strategy slightly or do something different‒that is it. Perhaps you feel that you have been trying and trying, yet to see any results and you want to give up. Patience is also required when it comes to setting goals and achieving them. Sometimes we give up just before we have our breakthrough. Don’t throw in the towel when things get tricky; work through it and the results you desire will follow. Read the biographies of the famous and you will see that persistence is an essential ingredient in success.

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6. Playing the victim game

We have all felt like victims before, you know, when things just don’t go right and we feel like it just isn’t fair. Thinking this way too often can be detrimental to your success however, because this way of thinking is simply dis-empowering, and it will make you think that you have no control over the results of your efforts. Commit to staying in the driver’s seat and directing your life. Don’t stay in the passenger seat being driven around by other people and feeling like a helpless victim.

7. Not having clear direction

If you don’t know exactly where you are going, how will you know when you get there? Having a clear direction does not only lead to targeted actions, but it serves as a visual goal, which will give you added motivation. The clearer your goal, the more motivated you are to achieve it. See your goal as a crystal clear image in your mind’s eye, and you will be drawn towards it.

8. Always expecting the worst

Henry Ford famously and so truthfully said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” In other words, If you expect the worst, you will most likely get the worst and if you expect the best to happen, you will most likely experience that. Why waste your energy on thinking about things you don’t want to happen and start to think about the things that you do want to happen. What you focus on expands, so think about those things which you want to expand.

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9. Doing what you think you should and not want you want

When you set goals that you don’t really want to achieve, but feel like you should, you won’t be so inspired to take action and you will feel a resistance. Likewise if you set goals because somebody else wants you to, you will find them hard to accomplish. Do what you really want to do, not what you think your family, partner or friends want you to. Doing what you love and really want to do is the best motivator ever.

10. Not dealing with obstacles

Obstacles are bound to come up, but if you give up at the first sign of an obstacle, you will find it difficult to achieve most your goals. When you are goal setting, you should identify your anticipated obstacles and plan ways to overcome them. There will always be obstacles, but the most important part is how you deal with them.

Goal setting doesn’t need to be difficult, to be tedious or fruitless. If you set and achieve goals that really mean a lot to you, you will literally change your world around! You have all the power inside you‒you just need to tap into it.

To your success!

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Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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