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Don’t Make These Goal-Setting Mistakes

Are you sick of hearing about resolutions yet?

Too bad, because I’m not!

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Now, if you’re as into seeing the New Year as an awesome opportunity to start living a healthier, happier life as I am, you’re in the right place. Because regardless of the resolution itself, there are a few really common mistakes many people make when setting them — and I’m super psyched to give you the scoop on what those mistakes are as well as how to avoid ’em.

Mistake 1: You only look at the big picture.

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The big picture is great, and it’s important to have an overall idea of where you want to go — but you can’t go from A to Z without a few steps in between, and in order to make sure you’re on track to reach your overarching goal, you’ve gotta have a plan in place. Saying you want to eat healthier is great — but what specifically does that mean, and what can you do on a daily or weekly basis to really track whether or not you’re doing it?

Mistake 2: You go in with an all or nothing mentality.

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It’s not that your intentions aren’t admirable, but when your goal is perfection rather than progress, there’s only one way to succeed — and dozens of ways to fail. Set yourself up for success by allowing for a bit of flexibility as the healthy changes you make become new habits.

Mistake 3: You set a huge goal that doesn’t take your life — or your actual self — into account.

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Lots of people set goals that are more about friends or people they admire than they are about themselves, and you wanna guess how often they reach them? Rather than aiming to get legs like Serena Williams or run like Shalane Flanagan, think about what the strongest version of your legs might look like, or what a major running goal looks like for you given your real-life body, experience, and training time available. Confidence rocks — believe in yourself, for sure! But striving to look or perform like an elite professional athlete when you’ve only got 30 minutes, five times a week to put toward that goal might not quite add up.

Mistake 4: You assume that only big changes lead to the results you want.

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Seeing a theme here? Sure, big changes are sexy and exciting as hell — but how likely are you to stick to something that’s turned your world upside down beyond, say, this week or this month? Don’t discount the impact that small changes can have on your health. Going from eating steak several nights a week to being vegan is … well, quite a challenge. But making a point to celebrate Meatless Monday regularly? You’ve got that — and that step will make the next steps easier.

Mistake 5: You decide to go it alone.

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When it comes to making changes — and sticking to those changes — support and accountability are enormously important. That doesn’t just mean telling a few friends what you hope to achieve, although that’s a start. What really makes the difference is enlisting the support of someone who cares but who will also hold you accountable. Talk to friends or join groups that have the same mindset as you — that start from a place of self-love and work from there to take small steps toward big changes. You’ve got this!

So — what are you gonna accomplish this year? Kristen

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!

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7 Comments
  1. Rezan says:

    Great tips! These mistakes are probably the cause of most new years resolutions failing within the first couple of weeks.

  2. Nikki says:

    Sooo true! Such a good reminder for everyone, it takes baby steps to reach the bigger picture goal.

  3. You made some really good points. Thanks for assuring me that I’ve got this with my own goal setting.

  4. Nice!! I like the valuable information shared. Sooo true! Such a good reminder for everyone, it takes baby steps to reach the bigger picture goal.

  5. kevin says:

    Informative article! Excellent tips! Thanks for sharing such an valuable article!

  6. Megna says:

    Yass! This is a true eye opener for all the newbies into workout

  7. Manav Vij says:

    Amazing Piece of Information. I hope I Follow These Rules!