How to Embrace Failure with Goal Setting
If you’ve been following my journey for a while now, I’m sure you know about my love for goals. It started as a young athlete, setting small tasks to accomplish each game I played and has snowballed into big milestones in building my Training2XL empire.
I was recently asked how I dealt with failure when it comes to my goals - “what happens if you don’t achieve something? What happens if you fall short?” That question is what sparked the idea for this blog post.
As much as one of my favourite feelings in the world is highlighting a goal on my goals list, were going to chat today about the ones that don’t get highlighted … perhaps get neglected and never achieved. A lot of times people see this as failure, but failure is not a bad thing because it always leads to some sort of growth. At least that’s what I’ve learned over the past couple years. Of course when I set goals I have every intention of accomplishing them but sometimes failed attempts lead to something far beyond what I originally had hoped for.
A tool I’ve used over the past couple of years when asked if I accomplished things on my list and picked out something I had not, instead of saying “I didn’t have time to do it.” I simply change one word - I didn’t CREATE time to do it. Changing that one word helps me reframe my mindset, it simply wasn’t the priority I anticipated it would be and that’s OKAY. This also helps me take ownership for my decisions as opposed to blaming some external source (like mercury being in retrograde or something).
Not achieving goals also helps me learn realistic timelines for myself as an entrepreneur. Let me tell you, I have about 10000 ideas per second floating around in my head and sometimes I word vomit them all onto paper thinking it’s realistic to get everything done in one month, but through not achieving everything on my list, I’ve learned to set more timely goals and be mindful of what kind of hours it would actually take to accomplish something. This is has been a huge part of learning for me and learning is never bad. You can also always add that goal onto your next goal’s list … if it’s still something you want to accomplish, keep reinforcing it!
Also, I’m just going to be real for a second, sometimes sh*t happens and things don’t always go the way you want - chances are the universe is attracting something you needed more than what you thought (i.e. you think you need more work so set a goal to get another job, you don’t get said-job thinking you’ve failed when really the world is telling you to rest and enjoy downtime when you have it).
Finally, the old school acronym of SMART is actually, well, smart. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Timely. Next time your writing down a goal, make sure you’ve considered all of those aspects before you write down “write a novel by 10am tomorrow morning.” I’m not saying it’s not possible, but you need to look at goals from a different lens.
To recap …
(1) Change your language, shift your mindset.
(2) Learn from past mistakes.
(3) When one door closes, another one opens.
(4) SMART goals are smart goals.
As much as I always want to check off my entire list, sometimes you just gotta go with the flow and learn from the things that didn’t happen. Embrace “failure” (if that’s what you want to call it) and move forward. Baby steps are still steps in the right direction.
I’ll be covering a couple different aspects of goal setting over the next couple weeks, so feel free to leave a comment with a question or topic you’d like to hear about!
Want to set goals with me in the New Year? I will be hosting a Training2XL at Goal Setting New Year Workshop on January 12th, click below to get your ticket!