Goal setting, yes, it’s that time of year where we wish each other a happy new year followed up by an interrogation of your word of the year, which planner you are using, and what your resolutions for the year will be.

Now, you’d think as a productivity coach I’d be all over this but let me tell you a secret… I hate it.


Because it sets people up to fail and I’m really not a fan of that.

PLUS I work with moms and they are just coming out of the holiday chaos, routines are still up in the air, school is just about to start up again, and seriously, who has the brain space to think about all this?

If that is you, be kind to yourself.

Take your time, you will do far better if you set it aside and plan in a couple of weeks than forcing yourself to do it now when you haven’t got the headspace.

Top Tip: Schedule a couple of hours into your scheduler in a couple of weeks’ time, when everyone is back into the swing of things so that you know you have the time to tackle this properly (and bookmark this page whilst you’re at it!)

With that said… do read on because it will set you up for success when you are ready!

Why do people fail at keeping their resolutions or setting new goals?

Did you know that 80 – 92% of the people who make resolutions fail by January 15th!*

Shocking really but not surprising!

*The exact number is hard to pin down but even if we take the lower number that’s still only 20% of people actually making it past the first two weeks of the year.

There are many factors to consider when making a goal or resolution and without considering these, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Plucking a goal from thin air

The first reason resolutions fail is because it is plucked out of the air without real serious thought behind them – often going along with friends or family. Someone will say “I think I’ll do couch to 5K this year” and in a half-drunken state you agree to join in too… and well, you know how it goes.

Instead, pick your own goal that is aligned with what you want to do rather than piggy-backing on somebody else’s goal.

Choosing an unrealistic goal

With this one, a goal is picked but it turns out to be totally unrealistic and then 3 days in the goal setter realizes and rather than adjust, just quits.

If your goal is to swim the English Channel but as you stand right now you can only manage a doggy paddle of the width of your local pool. Then swimming the channel in one go by the end of the year is a big reach. On the other hand, if you are already an experienced swimmer and regularly do long distances, with training swimming the channel in one go is totally doable.

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t set big goals, what I am saying is to set realistic goals. Even if you are a nonswimmer and your goal is the channel by the end of the year if you have the time and proper support it is definitely doable. BUT if you work full time, and only get to the pool once a week for an hour, then… probably not.

If you have business goals or just want to be better as a mom then this post on how to design your day is a good place to start.

Not succeeding because the goal is too vague

For a goal to work it needs to be specific, you need numbers attached to it or some kind of very specific outcome.

I want to lose weight, I want to make more money, I want to travel… way too vague.

  • I could lose weight by going to the loo!
  • Make more money than what? A newspaper kids’ weekly round?
  • Travel? That could mean anything, does travelling to the next town count?

Instead, get super-specific. Slap a number on it!

  • I want to lose 20kgs by my friends wedding date.
  • By the end of the year, I want to be making $5k a month.
  • I want to travel to Nepal and stay at the Everest base camp.

WHY are choosing that goal?

When there is a WHY attached to the goal you have a good reason to reach that goal you will be more motivated.

Brides are often really motivated to hit their target weight because they want to look fab in their wedding dresses.

So rather than just jumping on a bandwagon and doing something because all your friends are, think about your WHY.

  • I want to lose weight so that I can play with my kids in the park without feeling like I’m having a heart attack.
  • I want to earn $3K a month so that I have enough money to put away each month to go towards a big family holiday
  • I want to walk the distance from Lands End to John O Groats to raise money for my friends cancer charity.

What to do when your goal is too big and overwhelming…

If the BIG goal is too and overwhelming people quit.

Instead, kaizen the heck out of it.

Work backward and break your goal into baby steps. What is your end goal, how can you break that into smaller steps?

Crunch the numbers, do the math and check that your goal is actually a realistic one (see step 2). If not, re-crunch and adjust.

Say your goal is to get 100 new people on your program.

Using a generous conversion rate of 3% you will need to get in front of 3333 new people to get 100 new members. (In Wonder Moms we have a number-crunching calculator to help you work all this out)

If you want to lose 20kg, how much is that a month?

Remeber to consider the time you have to put into this new goal, don’t let a lack of time be the failing factor.

Once you have those mini goalposts it is much easier to succeed. And if you are happy and having fun whilst aiming for your goal, you will stick to it. And a happy mom is a productive mom, it all has a knock-on effect.

Have more than one goal!

And finally – my favourite goal advice is to have 3 goals! Three goals for the same outcome. Have something that you are happy with, that should be your base goal or happy goal as I like to think of it. Then have something that is a bit more of a stretch, this is your love goal and finally, something that would be absolutely amazing, this is your amazing stretch goal

  • ‘I’m happy to hit this number’ goal (earn $3k a month)
  • ‘This is what I’d love to hit’ goal (earn $5k a month)
  • ‘Woah this is amazing stretch’ goal (earn $7k a month)

There you have it, follow these nuggets of wisdom and you’ll be golden.

If you decide you need more help with all this, then as a productivity and happiness coach, I have several ways to help you, depending on your budget and what you are looking to achieve.

The best way to find out how I can best help you is to book a free call here. We will have a chat, you can tell me what you are struggling with and then I can point you in the right direction.

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