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The Top 12 Mistakes of Goal Setting

goals mistakes Jan 05, 2023
April Price Coaching
The Top 12 Mistakes of Goal Setting

Welcome to the very first episode of 2023! This is a time when many of our thoughts naturally turn to goals, thinking about our future selves, what we're trying to create and how we're going to do that. 


Why do you resist setting goals?

I think most people are at least a little bit resistant to setting goals. 

Because many of us have used our goals against ourselves. We have used our goals to shame ourselves and beat ourselves up, and it’s left a bad taste in our mouths.

If you’ve set goals year after year and been disappointed when you didn’t reach them, maybe you’re starting to wonder why you should even bother in the first place.


A better approach to your goals

It doesn’t have to be this way. I’d like to offer a different way to think about your goals. 

A way that you can use goal setting to discover what you really want and tap into your real self, your eternal self. To find out what that part of you wants while you are here on Earth. 

If you knew you couldn’t fail, if you knew that you could create it, what is that you would want to do?

Because the truth is, setting goals is only painful when we make achieving or not achieving them mean things about us. And we never have to do that. 


Top goal setting mistakes

As you hear these top mistakes, remember that the purpose is not to make you feel badly if you’ve done these things. Instead, I want you to be aware of these mistakes up front, so that you can catch yourself and have the best chance of creating the things you want in your life. 

  1. Looking to our past to inform our goals and our ability to achieve them, instead of being pulled forward by the future. Try to think about your goals from the version of you that has already created it.
  2. Making our doubts mean something. When you set a goal, it is by nature outside of your current ability and comfort level. So of course, your brain is going to have doubts. Your doubts never mean that the goal is wrong. You just have to decide to be diligent about redirecting to what you are going to believe.
  3. Underestimating our brain's resistance to any goal. Your brain is always going to push back. It is never going to want to do something new. It is always going to try to talk you out of it, and you need to start expecting it and anticipating it.
  4. Not planning for negative emotion. We think only about the end result, not how bad it will feel along the way to our goal. Because growth doesn't feel good when you're doing it. It feels good when you're done.
  5. Trying to set more than one goal at a time. Managing the resistance and the negative emotion that comes with working toward your goal becomes even more difficult if you’re trying to accomplish more than one goal at a time. You have enough time for everything you want to do and create in your life. What is the ONE thing you want to focus on this year?
  6. Using our goals as a fix-it list. We look at all the things we don’t like or that we hate about ourselves or that we wish were different. But setting goals from a place of frustration, judgment, disgust and shame just gets too hard. It’s too much to overcome.  It matters that you set your goals from a place of love and approval and just a desire to have more. Then you get to be your own best friend and cheerleader.
  7. Thinking about short term changes instead of the long haul lifestyle changes. Your goal shouldn’t be about a big push for the next three to six months (or even a year). I want you to think more about changes you can make that you can do for 1000 days. This will let you see if it’s actually doable and sustainable. 
  8. Focusing on the outcome instead of the process. It takes time for results to add up, and even then our brains will minimize what we’ve achieved. Instead, focus on your behavior. Did you show up the way you said you would? Did you keep your commitment to yourself?
  9. Using our goals and achievements as a measure of our worth, rather than a way to create an intentional life. Using our goals to become better or worthy makes the stakes way too high (and it doesn’t work that way, anyway). You cannot earn your worth. Your goals are just there to create experiences for you that you want in your life.
  10. Problem solving from doubt instead of decision. There will be setbacks, problems and obstacles on the way to your goal. It will not go perfectly. But if we don't stop, we will eventually get to our finish line. Instead of stopping, we need to problem solve. And to do it a place of decision and the assumption that we are for sure going to get to the goal.
  11. Changing the goal. We run into an obstacle, stop believing, stop trying or change the goal. When we stop believing in the goal, we stop problem solving for it. Instead of changing the goal, go back to nurturing and building up your belief that you can create it.
  12. Trying to do it on our own. We tell ourselves that we should be able to figure this out and  do it without help. We're all sharing this planet here together. And we're all struggling. We all have a brain that is telling us that we can't and then we're not capable. And we need help. We need help from somebody who is outside of that brain telling us and reminding us of the things that we cannot see.

Having a coach has allowed me to create so many goals in my life I never thought were possible. The most amazing thing I have learned is that, really and truly, I am capable of anything if I just don't stop. 

Don't let these 12 things keep you from achieving your goals. Because if you don't stop every single one of your goals is absolutely inevitable.

And if you want help achieving your dreams and your goals, my next coaching group starts next week. If you want to completely change the way you go after your goals and increase exponentially your chances of creating it, sign up right here


You’ll Learn:

  • Why goal setting gets a bad rap
  • How to approach your goals from a more positive place
  • The top mistakes I see in goal setting - and what to do instead



  • Episode 191: The Most Important Interview of the Year


Welcome to the 100% Awesome podcast with April Price. You might not know it, but every result in your life is 100% because of the thought you think. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome.

Hello Podcast Universe. Welcome to episode 194 of the 100% Awesome podcast. I'm April Price and I am so happy to welcome you to the podcast today. I almost said Happy New Year when I started this. Like I know that we are way past the New Year, but this is actually the very first episode that I am recording in the New Year. The other ones that you've heard over the last couple of weeks, I actually recorded before the.

Holidays, and so I feel like actually this is like the first time I'm seeing you and talking to you in the New Year. And so, I just want to wish you all a happy New Year, and I hope that it has been amazing. I hope that. You have not nagged. Or bullied yourself or told yourself that you're already supposed to be. Somewhere else, somewhere different, some somewhere completely transformed. We're going to talk a lot about that today on the podcast. You know, I just find that in January, especially my brain, it already wants to be at the goal. And so, I just want to invite you. If your brain tempts you to want the same things. To kind of just set that down and take a deep breath. I asked David about three days into the new year, like if it was possible that I had already failed and messed up the entire year. Right? So, this is just what brains do. And so, I just want you to be aware of it. If your brain is giving you a hard time making you feel bad about yourself.

Don't let it. And I hope today's podcast will really give you some ideas and some help to be able to calm your critical brain down here, especially at the beginning of the New Year. And I just want to offer you, for those of you who never watched the Inner Critic workshop that I offered last fall, like it was so helpful. And so I just want to remind you of that, that there is a free course called the Inner Critic Workshop on my website. It's available for free for a free download. And you can listen to that hour of teaching and coaching and giving you tools, and I think it will really help you give you some, like really valuable insights and tools to help you if your brain is especially. Critical this time of year. So anyway, just a thought for those of you that are. Struggling like I have been actually. So, this podcast is born out of my own personal experience like.

They all usually are. But I found that this year has been so difficult in terms of just how like, I mean, my brain has been to me and just how venomous sometimes and like cruel and just like obnoxiously rude sometimes. My brain has been to me and it's just made me feel so heavy. And down at the beginning of the year here, I think in January, we are really susceptible to all these messages about being different and changing and, you know, New Year, new you, all this kind of stuff. And so our brains, which are naturally critical, like they almost go into hyperdrive every time we hear another message about.

How we can be different. Or things should be different. And so, I just felt like I cannot go any farther into the new Year without addressing this. For you, without. Talking about how important it is to love yourself and like yourself and improve the relationship you have with yourself no matter what your goals are. If you set some, if you didn't, it doesn't matter. You. The relationship that you have with yourself like that can be really eroded sometimes in all of this. Talk about self-improvement. And so I really today want to talk about how we like ourselves and just remind you of some of the very simple daily practices that you can do in your life to like yourself. So towards the end of our holiday celebrations as our kids, we're like preparing and packing up and preparing to go back home. I happen to be talking to one of my kids and they were just speaking about themselves really negatively, really down on themselves and seeing a lot of mean negative things about themselves. And I was teasing them and I'm like, Hey, you can't talk to my kid that way.

Like you're not allowed to speak to my kid that way. And they said, Yeah, like, I don't know what happened. I was doing really well. It was like really getting to a good place with myself. And I was my self-worth was like in a really good place. But like over the last little bit, it just hasn't been the case. It just hasn't been there. And I've just been like, really down on myself and I don't know why, but hearing my child's experience suddenly, like, shone a light on my own experience because I was experiencing the exact same thing for the first week, ten days of the New Year, I was just really down on myself and like I said, just like kind of feeling this like constant barrage of negativity from my own brain.

And like, as I was talking to my to my child, I was like, Oh, no, like, you don't understand. This is ongoing work. Like being yourself is not a destination, right? Like, you're not. To develop a relationship with yourself, and then it's just going to stay that way, right? Because you have this brain in the background that's constantly. Like picking away at yourself. And so you have to remember that this is ongoing work and you're not going to get to a place where you like yourself and just like build a house there and stay there forever. It is constant work to like hold your ground with your brain and to be able to like and love yourself. And it's you know, it's going to be part of your daily journey as a human in this earth life experience. And it's daily work for every single one of us. And as I was talking to them, I realized I have not been doing this daily work either.

Because of the holiday and because of like the like we basically were not living on a schedule and I wasn't doing my usual activities. I also wasn't doing the daily work that I needed to do. That helps me to have a good opinion of myself, that helps me to think positively about myself. And I have three simple practices that I do every day that really help me have a good relationship with myself, have a good opinion of myself. And listen. David will tell you that this is not perfect, that even with this daily practice, I still have moments where I am not kind to myself and my brain wins the battle, right? But they do make a huge difference. They are the daily things that I try to do to maintain like the positive regard that I have my for myself. And they are just kind of built into my daily schedule, right? But without the holidays, like when I don't have a daily schedule, like I haven't been doing them and in three weeks of not doing them, like it.

Really, really shows you. Okay, So, I just thought that probably so many of you are experiencing the same thing. And like whether or not you've set goals, like you're kind of in this, like self-improvement, like soup that we're all in right now and being exposed to it. And either way, even if you're not, your brain is still highly critical of you. And so these are just daily practices that that I have learned that have made a huge difference in my life. And I want to share them with you. And I just want to remind you that having to do work to like yourself doesn't mean there's something wrong with you.

It means you're a human. Okay? So, sometimes when I'm like, Yeah, we have to work on that. People are like, Oh, like, shouldn't I be the kind of person that just likes myself? Listen, there's no kind of people like that. Everybody who likes himself has done work to get there and is doing ongoing work to get there. Okay. So now, again, these practices probably are not new. If you've listened to this podcast for a long time, you've heard me talk about them in one way or another, but maybe not all together like this, you know, in one episode as a practice for liking yourself. And even if you've heard them before, they bear repeating because you know, things happen. We get interrupted, we stop doing them, we forget about them. And so, I think this will be a useful reminder and a valuable practice for the entire year. Okay, So I'm going to offer you three daily practices, and I like doing all of them. Maybe that sounds like a lot and you want to just start with one. That's fine, right? But I find it most effective when I can pretty regularly do all three of them. Okay, so but even if you only want to do one, it will make a difference in your personal opinion of yourself.

Okay. And I just want to say one more thing before I start, which is, listen, your brain is going to think they're dumb. I'll just tell you that right now. Your brain is going to be like, well, how is this going to help? Right. And it's going to think they're dumb. It's going to think they're stupid. It's going to think they're a waste of time. It's going to want to poo poo them. It's going to say like, that's not big enough to make a difference. Right. But listen, we talked about the value of doing small things last week. And I want you to recognize that even though these things seem small, they will make a huge difference in your life. Okay. So they're going to seem simple. They're going to maybe even seem childish or indulgent or like beneath you that like, you're too sophisticated for this.

But listen when it comes to criticism, our brains are not sophisticated. They say the same garbage. All the time to us and it's not sophisticated. And we actually don't need anything complicated, sophisticated to combat it. We just need some simple things that we're going to do regularly in order to keep that, you know, negative, critical voice at bay. All right. And so if you want to feel better about yourself, I just want to challenge you to try it to try these practices. I would love for you to practice it for 30 days and then. Like email me and tell me how it went. Tell me your experience and tell me the difference that it made for you. Okay, so the first practice, the first daily practice that I recommend is finding three things every single day that you're proud of. So I started this practice about a year and a half ago. I was really working with my coach to curb the amount of shame that I was feeling.

In my life. And like. Just naturally, my brain. Loves to give me. Shame. But it particularly like, I recognized that, like, I'm going to get through this life. And if I have to list the top three emotions that I felt the most while I was living, shame is going to be at. The top of that list, and I don't want it to be that way. And so, we were really actively like targeting and working on the amount of shame I felt. And I had this kind of what I would call a shame habit. And every day, no matter what happened, no matter what I accomplished, no matter, you know, what I got done or who I helped or anything like that, all my brain would notice was the things that I hadn't done, the ways that I had done it badly, the ways that I had failed, the ways that other people were disappointed or God to be disappointed. And it was like this shame habit where every day was just like, I would just like, swim in this like.

Pool of shame, right? And I was just like. Like, I've got to break this habit. Of, like, dipping into the shame pool every night, right? And so I developed this habit where every day at the end of the day, as I went and I changed my clothes, I would tell myself three things I was proud of. I would say, April, I am proud of you. I am proud of you for this. I'm proud of you for this. I'm proud of you for this. And I just required myself at the end of every day to, like, stand in my closet as I was changing my clothes to look for the things that I was proud of. And of course, there were days where my brain was like, I can't think of anything. Can't think of one single thing. Right? But I would not let myself leave that closet until I had come up with three things that I could say, Hey, I am proud of you for this. And I did this really, really regularly. And for about six months and one day after I had been doing it for about six months, I was just sitting in the tub, just like on a random Saturday. I was just like taking a bath, just relaxing. And this thought popped in my head that said, I'm proud of you. I didn't intentionally think it just came into my brain out of nowhere, and I was so stunned.

I remember sitting up in the tub in the water, splashing over the edge and be like, Oh my gosh, my brain just offered me that thought. I'm proud of you. And I didn't even do it on purpose. Like I had practiced it enough that my brain was like, Hey, here's a thought. You want to try this one? And my brain said it all by itself. Now, of course, it doesn't do that all the time. Most of the time it's like, let me tell you how I'm not proud. But like, this is such an important practice and habit to get into and listen. The three things do not have to be big. When I'm struggling with it, I tell myself, Hey, it can be big or small, but something small today that you're proud of. And it's just you're just creating a moment in your life, a space in your life where you're requiring yourself to find three things that you love, three things that you appreciate, three wins, three things that you're so grateful to you for doing.

And I really recommend that you pair it with something that you do every single day anyway. Like, it's easy to create the habit when it's something that that you do like me at the end of the workday every single day, I change my clothes into my pajamas or my sweats, my comfy clothes, whatever. I'm going to sit on the couch and. Like, watch Netflix. And like, I always every day I change my clothes. And so it was a perfect time to, like, make my brain instead of dipping into shame, like, actually stop and think about what it was proud of. So, like, and that's why over the holidays I wasn't doing it because I wasn't wearing any clothes. But that's for two weeks, right? Like I never changed my clothes. I just wore pajamas when I went to bed and I kept wearing them the next day. So, like, I just, you know, this practice didn't come.

Up, but I would find something in your life that you never miss, that you never skip, and that and pair it with that and just take that moment takes a minute or two to just stop and acknowledge what you're proud of. It's such a simple practice. It will make such a difference in your life. Okay, the second daily practice that I want to give you takes a little bit more time and a little bit more effort. But it is so helpful and useful and it is a thought download. Now, I'm sure you've heard me talk about thought downloads before, but I, I love my thought downloads. They make me feel better than anything when I start my day. So I usually do my thought download the first thing that I do when I get to my office, when I walk into my office in the morning is I grab a piece of paper, I have a notebook and I do a thought download and I just dump out my brain and I just put everything that my brain is thinking and saying to me.

And I put it on paper. And again, because I wasn't. Going into my office over the holidays, I did not do this practice. But it's just a place to dump out your brain and become the observer of your thoughts instead of. You know. The receiver of them, the thinker of them. Like it's a chance to move those sentences, those negative thoughts like that, that negative dialogue that your brain is giving you, it's a chance to move it outside of your brain and on to paper and to create some distance between you and that dialogue of negativity. You can kind of compare it to like being in the shower and like thinking about yourself as being like under this barrage of negative thoughts, right? Like you're in the shower, the water's coming down and just think about your brain is just like giving you a shower of negative thoughts and it's creating all kinds of negative emotion. You what you're going to do is you're going to step outside of the stream and observe it. You're going to see the thoughts from a distance are simply like under the barrage and feeling all the feelings of it. You're taking those thoughts and you're putting them on paper and you're creating some distance where you can observe and see what your brain is telling you as sentences instead of the truth. As words on a page, on a page, instead of like the truth about you. And so I just grab a piece of paper. Like I said, I have a notebook, but you do not need anything special.

You can write it on anything. And I just let myself write whatever comes up, whatever I'm feeling, whatever my brain wants to tell me, whatever trashy, terrible thought it wants to say, I write it down on the paper and like, sometimes it sentences, sometimes it sounds. Very often I start. My download with like a big long oh, like a big lung grow, right? And I just write that out and I get it on paper and I get some distance from it. And I thought about reading you an example of one of my downloads. But listen, they are trashy and mean and. Hearing my thought download is not the point. Like all of my thought downloads are. About how scared I am, how incapable I am, how I'm feeling. I'm not strong enough or smart enough, how you know how I'm doing it all wrong. And they're just like, it's just garbage, right?

But it's now on paper instead of in my head. And one thing that I've kind of been adding to this, you don't have to. Just getting the thoughts on paper will give you some distance and be able to see like, oh, like my brain is just telling me all of this garbage. No wonder I feel bad and just recognizing like there is.

A really good reason that I feel anxious and scared and overwhelmed and discouraged in the morning. This is what is in my head, right?

But one thing that I've kind of added to it is just like after I get that on paper, I just pick one emotion that came up for me when I was doing that, right? Was it inadequacy? Was it fear? Was it anxiety? Was it discouragement? And I just drop into my body and let myself feel that emotion, ask myself where I'm feeling it, where I'm feeling vibration. I describe it to myself. I notice how it's moving in my body. I notice like where it is and if it's hard or soft, if it's hot or cold, if it's fast or slow. And I just describe it to myself and process it and feel it like this simple practice just gives you a restart, like on your day, like and I know like, I just started the new day, but I start the day with like my brain giving me like so much negative emotion.

And so, it's just really good way to start, like to dump it all out, get some distance from it. Process the feelings and then be able to think something new. And that brings us to the third exercise that I do every single day, and that is I ask myself, what is it I want to think today? Like, What is it? I want to think about myself. What is it? I want to think about what I'm going to do today. What is it that I want to think about as I go to, like, live this day? And I write that thought on a little sticky note, just like on a little post-it, and I put it right there on my computer.

But, you know, if you're not working at a computer, like put it on your phone or put it on the fridge or put it on your mirror, like wherever you can, like occasionally see it during the day so that you can just glance at it and remember, Oh, yeah, today I'm going to think this thought. Today was one of those days where I needed to create a lot of content. Like, I'm doing this podcast and I'm creating like my post for social media ads and emails to write. So I was creating a lot of content. And on days like this, my brain wants to say like, This is stupid. Nobody cares about this. Why are you even doing this right? This is a waste of time. Or it will often say like, I don't even know what to say. I don't have anything helpful. I don't have anything useful. And so because I knew like that was going to be my brain story, I was very intentional about the thought I chose. I wanted like to have an answer back to my brain and that when it was time to work and it was time to create and it was time to make content. Like, the thought that I want to have is I know exactly what to say to help someone. So, to give you a few tips about this, I just want you to remember that it doesn't have to be profound thought and it doesn't even have to be a new thought.

I repeat thoughts all the time. All you're doing is you're looking for a sentence that will shift your energy and help you feel even a little bit better about yourself or the work that you're going to do that day. And I really like want to caution you, like it doesn't have to be perfect. I don't want it. I don't want it to create a lot of pressure for you to come up with something, like I said, brilliant or or profound, like you just trying to feel 10% better. Just trying to feel a little bit better so you can get into action and make the choices that you want to make that day.

Sometimes it's as simple as like, I love me no matter what and I'm proud of me. It can be as simple as that. This is important because most of the time our brain is just like running on default, giving us the thoughts that are most efficient. And that means the thoughts that it's thought most often, right? Most of those are negative and they're going to come to us automatically. And we want to have a plan ahead of time. We want to have an intentional thought that we are going to choose on purpose to think and listen like you might be thinking, like April, I have thousands of negative thoughts every single day.

How is one thought, one sentence going to make a difference and that one sentence shifts my energy just enough to get me moving, to get me into action, to empower me to be an agent that is choosing my life rather than just being at the effect of my brain. Okay, so those are the three simple daily practices that will help you like yourself, love yourself, like improve the relationship you have with yourself. There is no better gift you can give yourself this year than a good opinion of yourself, and these three practices will help you create that.

So, find three things every single day that you are proud of and make it a habit to like point them out to yourself. Do a thought, download every single day and dump out your brain's negativity. Don't just stand into the barrage of it's like vicious, mean, negative words, but like step back, get some distance from it, and recognize like, this isn't me. This is just my brain. And then intentionally choose every single day. One thing that you want to think, one thing you want to believe about yourself, and one thing that you are committed to thinking that day and put it somewhere where you can see it. Okay, So I know most of you are like sick to death of hearing about goals at this point. Like, even I am. I love goals and I'm just like, please, I can't hear about goals anymore.

But I just want to offer one. Thing here at the end. Like, some of you hate setting goals and hate talking about setting goals because like, your brain is just like wreaking havoc on you and criticizing all the time in the goal talk just makes that even worse. And then there's others of us that are like desperately pursuing goals and going after goals and setting a million goals because our brain is doing the same thing. We're wreaking havoc and criticizing us and we're trying to like, outrun ourselves and like accomplish ourselves. And we're using all these also like tick the boxes and like somehow get to a place where we have a better opinion of ourselves.

And listen, I just want to tell you, like, I don't want you not setting goals so that you can like yourself and I don't want you setting goals so you can like yourself. Liking yourself is a choice that we make in our mind. It's the result of how we think about ourselves. So, whatever you choose in terms of goals or no goals or structuring your new year or, you know, changing things up or leaving them exactly the same, all of that is an entirely separate issue from liking yourself. You don't have to do any of it to like yourself. They have nothing to do with one another. Liking yourself is a choice, and it is a choice that you actually have to intentionally make every single day. But you are allowed to make it. And nothing has to change on the outside for you to do that. This is internal work. It's the choices you make in your mind. And no matter what. I hope this year you are choosing to like yourself.

And that, my friends, is 100% awesome. I love you for listening, and I'll see you next week. Thanks so much for joining me on the podcast today. If you want to take the things I've talked about and apply them in your life so that you can love your Earth life experience. Sign up for a free coaching session at April Price Coaching Icon. This is where the real magic happens and your life starts to change forever as your coach. I'll show you that believing your life is 100% awesome is totally available to every one of us. The way things are is not the way things have to stay. And that, my friends is 100% awesome!

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