What to Do When You Don’t Hit Your Goals


Another year is coming to a close. And we have a few more days to take into account the new year’s resolutions that we set at the start of 2017. How did you fair? Did you reach your goals for this year? Did you tackle most of them?

One exercise that highly successful and satisfied people do is to set goals and passionately chase after them. In the process, they get things done. But it would be a myth to say that successful people hit all their objectives. In fact, even the most successful person in the world will have missed a target or two.

Whether that goal is- a financial, relational, career, spiritual or familial one, chances are some goals will not be met. But the volume of hit goals is not the only measure of success. In fact, a more important factor of success has nothing to do with your rate of met goals. It has more to do with how you respond to unmet goals.

Why It’s a Good Sign to Miss Your Goals

Looking back at my 2017, I have a few targets that were not met. Maybe it’s because I set too many or set them too high. Or maybe even both. Whichever it was, I saw it coming. But I set high and numerous resolutions still. Why?

Most people are afraid to remain ambitious because they’re afraid of the disappointment. But if you want to get anywhere you need to get ready to be disappointed. People who aim low will often land low. As the old saying goes, “It’s better to reach for the stars and land on the moon.” But what do we do when faced with unachieved goals? Here are three ways you can respond to unmet goals.

  • Acknowledge What You Cannot Control

The factors that cause unmet targets can be broken down into two general kinds- the ones we can control and the ones we cannot control. The second one is often the toughest loss.

This year we set a goal to have our second child. We came very close towards the end of the year only to meet disappointment when we found out Ces’ pregnancy was anembryonic (meaning the placenta formed but no baby in it). It was out of our control. What’s the best response to such factors? The first step is to acknowledge that it’s out of your hands.

Many times, we set objectives that are out of our hands, but that’s OK. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t set goals that are out of our control. But we need to acknowledge that there’s nothing we can do to control the outcome except do the things that we can do to make it happen.

  • Evaluate What You Can Control

The second kind of factors to unmet objectives is those that we can control. Financial goals are one instance of this. We have a lot, if not complete control of the in flow of money. And we have one hundred percent control over the out flow of money.

When we miss goals because of things we did not do right, it’s good practice to table what you could have done better to hit that goal. Experience is not the best teacher, as John Maxwell teaches. It’s in reflecting upon our experiences and applying them that we are taught a whole lot.

  • Set More Goals

No matter what factors work around your goals, you can never go wrong with pressing on and setting more goals. If you’ve hit one goal, aim higher. If you missed it, you can either choose to redirect your efforts on a different goal or keep moving towards that goal.

Whichever course you go for, the foundational principle is momentum. Don’t slow down. Set more and more goals every year, every month, every week and every day. When we set targets, we have a good picture of where we want to be and what we want to achieve. That vision sets us up to reach new heights and bigger wins in the future. You won’t always hit your goals but that’s fine. We will all miss the mark at some point. The most important thing is what you do when you miss those goals.

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