Why do we fail?

There’s research to say only 8% of people who set New Year’s goals actually achieve them. A recent online program I completed started off by telling students that only 30% of participants would complete the studies. A PwC study of over 10,640 projects found that only a very small proportion of companies – 2.5% – completed 100% of their projects successfully. 

Obviously these numbers are not great – the odds are against us. But knowing that we continue to fail does not help us to change for the better. So I want to talk about setting better goals so we can get on with getting goals. 

Not all goals are created equal! A ‘good’ goal has the following characteristics:

  • It is specific
  • It is a challenge but not too much of a stretch
  • It is aligned to a strong ‘why’ 
  • It has a deadline
  • It is a priority – for you.

Our actions or behaviors that derail goal getting include:

  • We lose sight of why we are doing this and what we will gain from it
  • We focus on reward instead of effort
  • We don’t plan
  • We don’t anticipate problems 
  • We overestimate time and resources.

Easy or vague goals are rarely achieved. Setting a goal and simply saying you’ll do whatever it takes to achieve it won’t work. It is too vague, you’ll be overwhelmed with no idea where to start. 

Even just writing down your goal can increase your chances of achieving it. Gain some clarity by simply filling in the blanks:


I will do _________________[ this] by _____________ [then] and the value to me will be ____________ [ this]


Are you excited about achieving this goal? How will it change your life? Is it too complex? How can you break it down into manageable steps? This is why you need a PLAN! 

Size Matters

Aligning short term goals with the long term, bigger picture achievement will help you to succeed. As we pursue our goals, we need to top up our tanks with the dopamine hit of a win, a small success, to fuel us for the road ahead. 

No one goes far alone

Surround yourself with support, motivation, feedback and accountability. Seek out guidance. Make it a habit to share your milestones and when you hit them. 

Re-energize for Spring by:

  • Checking your passion – is this still important to you? Why?
  • Breaking it down – this is a series of small steps to create change. 
  • Creating target dates – because what can be done anytime is done at no time. 

You must plan for success. That way you can start strong, finish strong. 


Are you ready to move from
goal setting to goal getting?
Join me for a free online Masterclass
on March 24 at 12pm Central. 

Accelerating Your Success: Spring Forward and Get Stuff Done will help you devise a highly actionable plan to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Employing project management best practice combined with my people-centric insights you will leave motivated and regenerated for a successful Spring. Invite your colleagues, bring an open mind and get ready for action.