Some Common Pitfalls of Goal Setting

Let’s just get into it. When you do goal setting, I want you to avoid these common pitfalls. I know some of them might sound shocking, but just keep an open mind, hear me out, and see if it makes sense to you.


Do not share our goals.


(Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash)

Contrary to common beliefs, repeated psychology tests have proven that telling someone our goal makes it less likely to happen. This TEDTalk explains why. Basically, it is because our mind mistakes the talking for the doing. When we talk about our goals and get recognition from others, we will have a sense of satisfaction and maybe even pride, which makes us feel like as if we have already accomplished our goals. But we haven’t accomplished them yet, have we? So by announcing our goals, we get a sense of satisfaction without putting the actual hard work.

What are we supposed to do then, you might ask? Well, there are really only two solutions. Either we keep our goals to ourselves, or we announce our goals in a way that does not give us satisfaction. For example, tell others to “Kick my ass if I do not achieve this goal!”


Break down the big goal into small milestones or sub-tasks.

One of the reasons why sometimes we set goals but never end up achieving them is because the goals we set are too big. There’s nothing wrong with setting ambitious goals. The only problem is that we unconsciously feel like it is too far away from us, we don’t know where to even begin, so we procrastinate or never get to it.

The solution is to break the goal down into small milestones so that it is much more manageable. Incremental improvement is unstoppable because, with each small win, it also creates momentum to propel us to make further progress.

Only compare to ourselves.


(Photo by Dietmar Becker on Unsplash)

The details of our lives are so unique that there isn’t really anyone all that much like us. I’m NOT saying that do not set idols or have people we look up to in our life – definitely do that. In fact, I talked about a method called Personal Inspiration Map in one of my SELF-DISCOVERY videos which is basically to analyze the great attributes of people we admire.

What I AM saying is that, do not compare ourselves and judge ourselves harshly against people like Bill Gates, or Elon Mask and feel miserable about ourselves. That’s not the intention of our goal-setting exercise.

What we CAN do is to compare ourselves against ourselves from yesterday, a week ago, a month ago, or a year ago, and celebrate the progress we’ve made.


Get back on track. Don’t beat ourselves up.

When we are off track, which is very normal, we sometimes just feel like “well, I am already falling behind, might as well just give up.” Please don’t do that. Research showed that one of the most effective ways to get ourselves back on track is FORGIVENESS.


Can you relate to any of these pointers? What else do you think might be common pitfalls when it comes to goal setting? Let me and others know in the comments down below. I hope this blog has been helpful. It would be greatly appreciated if you can like, comment, or share it. Thank you!


This blog post is based on my video series on GOAL SETTING. You can watch them on your preferred social media platform:

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