How To Get Back On Track If You Are About To Miss Your Goals

Setting goals can be easy to do. After-all, it doesn’t require much more effort than to think of the goals we want to achieve and write them down. This first step is usually the easiest part however the process of actually achieving those goals can be a lot more challenging.

If you’re one of the few people who actually sets goals, then you’ve probably achieved some goals and also may have missed some goals. It has been predicted that only around 3% of the population sets goals and of those 3%, an even smaller percentage actually ever achieve their goals.

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If so few people actually achieve their goals, then what options are available if you know you’re going to miss your deadlines? Here are five simple ways to get back on track so that you can achieve your goals easily and enjoy the rewards that achieving those goals will bring you.

  1. Try a new approach. Oftentimes, we get so caught up doing things a certain way when sometimes, all it takes to achieve a goal, is to change how we are doing those things. A simple example can be writing a book. I know when I have written books previously, by changing the order in which I write my chapters actually help in speeding up the writing process. Instead of writing the book sequentially, I found that if I write the chapters the find easier first, it gives me better insight into how to structure the chapters I had been struggling through. Therefore taking a different approach can often spur on new ideas which can help overcome any resistance we may have been facing.
  2. Abandon the goal. This can be harsh especially if we’re talking about achieving goals. It’s not uncommon for us to set emotional goals. Maybe we had an experience that really motivated us and we thought we were unstoppable and set a goal to change the whole world. Then after a period of time, we realise that we aren’t interested in that goal anyway because it isn’t aligned with other things we are doing. In such a case, it is better to let go of the goal so that you can direct your focus and energy to the goals that matter. You’ll find that clearing the slate and letting go of things that are not important anymore will help speed up the achievement of your other goals.
  3. Negotiate for more time or an extension. This is important especially if you’re working on a project that has a deadline. Typically, the due dates set are at best, a guess. If we know that we won’t meet the deadline, then the first thing we need to do is to find out what is the absolute latest deadline that cannot be missed. As part of planning a project, there is usually a lag or buffer time built into the project, which means extra time has been factored in for delays. Therefore, negotiating a new deadline may not be a big deal and can be easily accommodated. If it is a personal goal, then be okay with giving yourself an extension and get on with doing the work necessary.
  4. Ask for help. This really should be an easy step because most of the time, all it takes is for someone to give us some advise, a resource or actually do something for us that can move our goal forward. This is why having a mentor, coach or an accountability partner will almost always guarantee we take the actions required to achieve our goals.
  5. Make a public declaration. If we’re honest with ourselves, whenever we don’t achieve our goals, it’s because we haven’t done what was required to achieve those goals. It could be because we were overwhelmed or procrastinated or made up some excuse for not doing what was necessary. Therefore, sometimes it requires us to be bold and make a public declaration to do that thing we have been putting off for so long and have a consequence if we don’t meet it. You can make it fun or you can get really serious like offering to donate a certain amount of money if you fail to do what you are declaring.

It is perfectly normal to get off track whenever we’re on the path to achieving something. The key is to review regularly so you know how you’re tracking and can quickly make the necessary adjustments to get back on track. These are some simple ways that you can use over and over to readjust and recommit to your goals.

Question: How do you get back on track if you’re about to miss your goals?

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  • Sean Smith

    Good stuff, Neel. Unfortunately #2 is the most common for many of us, but with these other very simple ideas, I think more people can knock out their goals. 😉

    • Neel Raman

      Thanks Sean! I know I have abandoned many goals after realising they are not aligned with anything important. They were really meaningless goals so no shame in ditching them. The other approaches work very well too! 🙂 Thanks for your comments.

  • Jane Ransom

    Thank you, Neel! I am becoming a pro at giving myself extensions. 🙂 Everything takes longer than i think it will—and you are so right, that if that goal is important, one just has to stick with it and continue working.

    • Neel Raman

      You’re not alone Jane in giving yourself extensions! 🙂 I’ve become pretty good at that too! I think having the awareness that a goal is no longer in your best interest is really important. I’ve let go of goals that are no longer aligned with where I am heading. Appreciate your comments Jane. 🙂

  • Ivan Siladji

    Another great post. Thanks. Often one of the key things I do to get back on track is re-visit my “why” I am doing what I’m doing. Often when people start on a goal or atleast write it down they meet that need of certainty and quickly get comfortable. Re-visiting your “why” gets you uncomfortable again as often pain or fear drives us towards achievement and can be a big pulling force to taking action. That’s what helps me. Thanks again for the post.

    Ivan Siladji
    ivansiladji.com

    • Neel Raman

      Hey Ivan, thank you for sharing your insights. I agree with you totally that the “why” behind what we do or the goals we set is one of the most important things. I’m glad that you recognise the behaviours that either pull or pushes us. Thanks again for your perspective.