I always struggle with this topic…
I struggle because I fundamentally believe opposing views on what to do with unaccomplished goals.
On one side of the fence, I believe that planning too far into the future is pointless and it’s important to be flexible in your goals. What is important today, might not be important in 5 months. You need to be willing to accept that and change accordingly.
But on the other side of the fence, I have heard experts say that if you don’t accomplish your goals it’s because they weren’t set up properly or you didn’t have enough conviction to get them done.
So what do you do with leftover goals?
I think it depends on your situation.
I know for me I started to not feel so bad when I didn’t accomplish my goals and started asking myself WHY didn’t I accomplish the goal.
Sometimes the goal turns out to be harder than I thought. Other times it ends up not being as important or interesting to me.
But I don’t think it’s right that just because you viewed something as important once means it gets priority over another goal the following year.
A bad idea, no matter how much time passes, is still a bad idea.
The number 1 reason I fail at accomplishing my goals
Without a doubt, the #1 reason why I don’t get out a sharpie and put a big X through my goal at the end of the year is that the goal wasn’t set up properly.
I have finally found a process which helps me set up goals in a much better way so I am held accountable and have a timeline for accomplishing my goal. You can read more about my goal planning process here.
Let me give you an example of a goal I had last year that wasn’t set up properly.
Goal: Read the Bible cover to cover.
This is a noble goal but I set myself up for failure without even realizing it.
- I didn’t put a due date on the goal. I should have taken the books of the Bible and divided by 12 so I knew how many I needed to read each month.
- Next, I should have set up the books as milestones so I could track if I was on pace.
- I did very little to set up a time to read the Bible aside from my normal morning reading.
- I didn’t do anything to plan for the more boring parts of the Bible.
- I didn’t really understand WHY I wanted to read it cover to cover. Certainly, there are books that would be more transformative to me. I should have researched those and set out to read them first.
Long story short, this goal would have been accomplished if I would have put a little more work up front to get it done.
But does that mean I should try again and bring it over to my 2018 goals?
I decided NO.
Because I can read a couple select books out of the Bible and get from the goal what I was seeking from the beginning.
It took me setting up the goal to learn what I actually wanted. Now I can move on and find other things to accomplish.
I view goals as challenges to learn more about yourself in life.
The goals that are hard to reach are the ones where you learn the most.
If you accomplish all of your goals every year, you are a rockstar, or more likely you don’t have very tough goals.
Wrapping It Up
Goals should be viewed fresh every year. I don’t think an unaccomplished goal deserves to be brought over to the following year unless you have laid a ton groundwork on the goal and want to get it done.
But don’t be like me and beat yourself up for failing to check an item off your goal list. It happens. Learn from it, challenge the goal and your conviction and get back at it for the next year.
I hope this was helpful. Let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments below.
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About The Author – Alex
I am on a journey of personal growth. I love learning about investing strategies and ways to actively improve my life. Follow along and connect with me if you are looking for a path to financial freedom and becoming the best version of yourself.