3 Great Goal Gaffs! …and how to avoid them

3 Great Goal Gaffs! …and how to avoid them

Of course I’m omitting the most obvious, the not having any goals. If you pursue not having goals religiously then it’s pretty clear you are goal minded nonetheless. We’ll concede also that this path of gaffs are on roads paved with good intentions. There are formalized goals processes, staff meetings, authoritative sounding internal communications, maybe forms, and even the “don’t need ’em” camp can be success-minded along with other informal goal setters who have us surrounded by the idea of growth targets, expansion or sustaining at a high quality level. So how do all these arrows of goals end up pivoting and falling back down the path of the familiar? 3 common goal gaffs can be the difference between achieving and succeeding.


Intellectual arrogance is the great rationalizer of inadequate actions. By keeping ideas of growth as mind held targets and avoid mandating list of actions, requirements, commitments–things you need to do. Achieving goals isn’t about what you know can happen it is about making happen what set out for by the doing of activities and not settling for the knowing. Key here is you may not have a great Growth Mindset. If you have a fixed mindset then those prejudices and beliefs will guide your actions. Written, Growth Mindset goals help influence the success of those goals.


I’m a great believer in the “SMART” acronym, I encourage it of clients and train it to certainly facilitate success. What mistake I’ve seen as a common goal-killer is the sense that having verified ideas through a process and written them so they are success-possible, now let me go work on that. Well the real acronym that accelerates or flatulates goals is “GUOYAAGID.” You’re no doubt familiar with it’s lengthier ring tone, “Get Up Off Your Ass And Get It Done.” No need for an exclamation mark, it is a fact that a Behavior Plan structured with Accountability creates a guideline for the actions that support the results, and the ability to manipulate those towards measurement indicators…well now we’ve got something!


In our big government-small government arguments we argue about regulations and oversight, motivations and human nature. The people who succeed translate ideas into action visions and visions into tasks and get them done. You have to make sure the plans are good, people (or you) are skilled and trained and committed to excellence, then pass the tasks along either by delegation or, if you work on your own, delineation. Jobs get done when many parts come together, each tier of effort requires management, whether of personel, resources, investment or time. Each task that is consequential to success needs to be under scrutiny, measurement or observation. Otherwise you can have a beautiful set of drawings for that shiny house on the hill but actually have a long and tedious build among a lot of dull construction mess.


  1. Make your goals process evident, it belongs on paper (yes, print out your goals if they live in your digital self). Don’t rely on belief you know, show yourself you know and revisit it often. Visualize the result of your goal first but then visualize then document the work to do and you are on path to success and likely finding a Growth Mindset.
  2. Use the SMART process (see my article www.myeurekasolutions/thoughts) but realize that is a goal-setting process, not a goal-achieving process. Be sure to put your well constructed goals into an equally well constructed behavior plan. By documenting what you need to do, when, how many times you will have all the ingredients for the equations of profitability. Then…GUOYAAGID!
  3. It is a rare breed who do not forgive themselves easily out of sheer need of survival. ACCOUNTABILITY is a Bitch! When we know what we have to do and can make a plan to do it we still actually gotta do it. An accountability partner, culture or even a virtual presence of some kind that keeps you to making plans, sticking to plans, and following the measurements of success. Be the one who holds himself above excuses, embraces accountability and finds those targets you started out with might need to be even bigger.

Happy New Year, to a prosperous 2018!!!

Follow Tom at @TomFoxTrainer


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