The 7 Biggest Mistakes In Goal-Setting (and how to avoid them): #4

#4. Not putting a date on the goal

Until you have put a date on your goal, it will keep getting pushed to the back of your queue of priorities.

Why? Your unconscious mind is a good and faithful servant, and it will do its best to give you whatever you ask it for. But it will always take the line of least resistance. If you don’t put a date on your goal, there will always be something more urgent to deal with. This (I believe) is why important but non-urgent tasks tend to be neglected, as time management guru Stephen Covey pointed out in The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People.

You therefore need to put a date on your goal. Make that date as soon as you reasonably can. If it turns out that you overshoot it by a day or two, that’s a lot better than setting the date several weeks later than you could actually have achieved it.

Make sure it’s an actual date. If you estimate that your goal is achievable in a year, other than saying “next year”, make it an actual date by taking today’s date and adding one to the year.

The reason is this: if you tell your unconscious mind “next year”, the goal will always be a year in the future.

Instead, if you put a definite date on your goal, it stays where it is. As you move along your “timeline” into the future, the goal gets closer and closer, so you have to do something about it.


Illustration from my book, Achieve Your Goals: Strategies to Transform Your Life – 11 5-star reviews on Amazon!

Read this next: How to avoid goal-setting mistake #5

© 2006 – 2022, Andy Smith. All rights reserved.

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