In a previous post, we talked about a super simple 3-step goal setting strategy:

  1. Write down your goals so you have tangible evidence of the path you set.
  2. Share your goals with somebody so you can be held accountable for actualizing them.
  3. Revisit your goals to determine whether or not the goals you set are right for you.

The reason I wrote that piece is because I was feeling frustrated with people who just don’t set goals. Why you don’t set personal goals is your own business, but if you’re going to work with my company and we’re going to take care of your marketing for you — and your website, and your online advertising, and all that good stuff — you have to set goals, because how else can I know where I’m taking you? Am I right or am I right?

Not Setting Goals - Tack stuck onto a map

You can’t take a road trip without a destination.

I guess you could. But driving aimlessly with no plan is not how I road trip. So if you’re road trippin’ with me, we’re setting the destination. Regardless, whether you’re a business professional, a stay-at-home Mom, a basketball coach… whatever your role in life, you need to set your path and decide how you’re going to fulfill those roles. It’s really not much different with your business. 

When people don’t set goals, it’s generally for one reason: they’re afraid. 

People tell me, “Everything’s okay the way it is right now.” Okay, so, why are we talking? Why did you contact me? I’d guess you wanted to change something about what you’re doing. Other common excuses I get: “I don’t have enough time,“ or, “I don’t know how.” 

Well, to be fair, I don’t think business owners would actually admit they don’t know how to set goals, but that could actually be part of the problem. Once again, I think it all stems from fear of failure. 

I’ve had clients straight up tell me they don’t have a goal, or they ask me to set one for them. Newsflash: I don’t run your business. That’s not my role. My role is to help you reach your goals. I can tell you what’s wrong with your current plan by looking at your data, but I can’t tell you where you’re heading. That’s something you have to decide for yourself and for your business.

Not Setting Goals - Dark-haired woman peeking over cubicle wall

Fear of failure, eh? Let’s talk about that.

So let’s go a bit more in depth about this fear thing. People avoid setting goals because they’re afraid they’re not going to attain them, and those who are setting goals don’t review them  regularly because they’re afraid of what they might find. So they end up forgetting about the goals they set which all really just boils down to – they aren’t going to reach them.

The first tool in my toolbox for people in this predicament is a couple of cheesy sayings that I of course think are amazing:

You can’t win if you don’t play.

You can roll the dice, but if you don’t know how they fall, you’ll never know if you won or not.

Funny thing, I don’t even gamble. But those are wise words, wouldn’t you agree?

Not setting goals is a form of complacency. And while complacency belongs in certain places in your life, it doesn’t fit well with your life success plan. Don’t settle — taking a second to feel out any areas in your life that are uncomfortable.  Those are your opportunities to improve. Discomfort isn’t failure, failure to change is failure. And fear of change is normal. If you’re trying to grow your business, you should be a little uncomfortable. You should be a little nervous. Because if you aren’t, you’re probably not doing it right.  

Heck, even writing this blog post makes me a little uncomfortable, because I’m far from perfect, and there are times I do the exact things I’m ranting about.  Because I’m afraid I didn’t do it right, afraid I’ll lose money or not reach my goal. But knowing is half the battle.  

Being uncomfortable, being afraid, then taking a deep breath and doing it anyway makes you brave. It takes bravery to do many of the things you do on a daily basis, and if you’re brave enough to roll the dice, be brave enough to take charge of the outcome and make it better — to take the next step, to set the path you want to be on so other people can help you get there, because you don’t have to get there alone.

Set, share, survey.

My clients are with me because they want my help reaching their goals, and I’m there to help them, but it can be extremely difficult if they don’t at least give me a map.

So when you tell me you don’t have goals, just know in back my head, I’m thinking you’re scared — and I imagine that’s not what you want me thinking about you because you don’t want to think that about yourself.

Nobody wants to think of themselves as a fearful individual. So don’t. Be brave. Set your goals, share them with other people, and check back with them often

End rant.

More about the Author

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Monica Pitts

Monica is the creative force and founder of MayeCreate. She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with an emphasis in Economics, Education and Plant Science from the University of Missouri. Monica possesses a rare combination of design savvy and technological know-how. Her clients know this quite well. Her passion for making friends and helping businesses grow gives her the skills she needs to make sure that each client, or friend, gets the attention and service he or she deserves.

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