What to Do When You Don’t Meet Your Goals: 2 Steps to Get Back to Success

Goal setting, as I’m sure you’re aware of, is important. And I’m also sure you’ve heard the saying, “Shoot for the moon because at least you’ll land in the stars.” And while this advice is nice, what happens when you aim high and end up getting no where close? What happens when the goals you set end up leaving you like shit at the end of the day?

For the past five or so years I’ve been adamant about goal setting. And not in the “this idea would be nice” kind of way, but in the “I will achieve X by X or else” kind of way. The goals I’ve set for myself have been lofty and measurable, making me a little bit crazy at times. Which, I hear, is a true sign of becoming a successful entrepreneur: other people will think you are crazy.

You will think you are crazy.

And I have to say, this type of goal setting has gotten me a long way. I have found a lot of success over the years and have pushed myself well beyond my limits. But, of course, the path to success isn’t paved or even very pretty. For all of those “hell yes” moments of success, there have been five times more of the “fuck my life” and “I’m such a failure” moments. Moments where I look what my goal was and see how miserably I’ve failed.

In these moments, when your brain starts to sing the lyrics to that famous 1990’s Beck song about being a monkey during chimpanzee times, you want to quit or, at the very least, reset your goals so you can feel good about yourself.

Hey, I know I said I wanted to be making $345 a day this month, but $34 is fine. Let’s go shopping!

This logic is tempting. And, believe me, I’ve done it before. But, if you really want to feel good, this temporary lowering of your standards will wear off really fast (about as fast as the money in your bank account is spent), and you will be worse off than when you started.

So what’s a girl to do?

Ooh, pick me, pick me! (You can’t see me, but I’m raising my hand enthusiastically right now.)

Two things:

1. Set your goals even higher. I know what this seems counter intuitive, but it is one of the best things you can do when you face failure. Not only does it tell your brain that there’s no way in hell you’re stopping, it stretches the limits of your beliefs, making you see things in a totally different light. And, let me tell you, it really works. I started doing this just a few months back after reading the book The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone and in just that short amount of time I have seen myself shatter old goals. Don’t question it. Just do it. (You can steal that one from me Nike, if you’d like.)

2. Set new, different goals. What do I mean by different? Even though the majority of your goals should be measurable and definitive, it’s helpful to have a few goals that aren’t. By this I mean that not all success can be measured by numbers. For a lot of us, success is felt and lived, so setting goals around how you will experience each day can help to keep you on track and be a little boost to your confidence when you need it. For example, I have a goal of starting and ending each day on my own terms (i.e. not doing work or other people’s to-do lists right when I wake up or until I go to bed).

I want you to get out your list of goals for this month (and, if you don’t have one - make it!) Go over each of your goals and ask yourself if it feels a bit scary. Do your goals give you that same excited-nervous feeling you get before stepping onto an airplane? If they don’t, set them higher, push yourself a bit more. And, if you don’t see a lifestyle goal, one that will help you remember what success feels like, not just looks like, then add one or two of those to your list too.

I promise, these two things will change how much success you experience and, the best part, they will help you feel good as you move forward.​

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