Does constructive criticism hurt your feelings? Then that’s a big part of the problem.
Entrepreneur and Online Marketing Expert
December 27, 2018 7 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
As we say goodbye to 2018, it’s time to survey our year’s accomplishments. If you are like many of us, you started the year with an unshakable commitment to your new year’s resolutions and ways to crush them. But looking back at the past year, you’re probably asking yourself what went wrong.
You had all the energy and commitment and believed the year couldn’t possibly end without you hitting all your goals. Instead, you find yourself struggling to identify even one goal you were certain you’d achieve.
If this describes you, you are not alone. In fact, 80 percent of new year’s resolutions fail. If you want to do better next year, identify why you failed in the past. Once you know what needs fixing, you’ll be more likely to accomplish your future goals.
Here are 19 possible reasons why you couldn’t achieve your goals this year.
1. You lack consistency.
Lack of consistency keeps you from moving forward. You start feeling excited about a project, but you lack the drive to see it to completion. Learn what other people do to finish what they start, and apply those strategies in 2019 to achieve your own goals.
2. You fail to write out your plans.
You launch into the year without a concrete, written-down plan of your goals and ways to achieve them. The result is no achieved goals at the end of the year. Now is another opportunity. Write out those goals along with a detailed plan of accomplishing them.
3. You court complacency.
Have you heard the saying “complacency is the enemy of progress”? Complacency flourishes when you dwell in your comfort zone. The irrational mind fails to see the dangers of staying in the comfort zone; hence, it does not look for change. But progress has never been made in places of comfort. Commit to pushing yourself out of your comfort zone this year.
4. You don’t think big enough.
When you set goals, do you think small? Or do you set them imagining unlimited possibilities? Remember the quote by Les Brown: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” That said, your efforts should match your ambitions. Your goals might be big, but what about the efforts required to bring them to life? Are they equally as big?
5. You make too much noise about your goals.
Apparently, the more you talk about your goals, the less motivation you have to pursue them. Psychologists have found that telling people your goals, especially “identity goals,” may be a bad idea. When you tell others what you dream of becoming, they begin seeing you in that light, which decreases your likelihood of putting in the effort to accomplish the goal. Talk less about your goals, and do more to advance them.
6. You’re constantly in the wrong company.
Association is one of the most powerful factors of success. Successful people hang around other successful people and vice versa. If you’ve consistently missed every goal you have set for yourself, study the people around you. Do they ever accomplish any of their goals?
7. You hate being corrected.
A wise man understands he knows nothing. A fool despises correction. And when you only listen to positive feedback, you run into the next problem.
8. You value praises over constructive criticism.
Constructive criticism may be hard to stomach, especially when it’s directed at something you feel vulnerable sharing with others. But you won’t improve when you only listen to people who sing your praises.
9. You micro-manage everything.
Micro-managing hardly ever yields good results. It wears everybody out. When your goals require the collective efforts of others, you have to trust them to do their jobs.
10. You give others too much of yourself.
Kindness to others is healthy when you’ve taken care of yourself and your goals. You cannot give what you don’t have. When you find it difficult to say no to others because you want to look good, you set yourself up for failure.
11. You wait too long to make corrections.
In the course of pursuing your goals, mistakes should be attended to as soon as they occur. The mistake you fail to correct at an early stage may be the reason you’ll have to start all over at the final stage.
12. People’s opinions are important to you.
When you set a goal for yourself, what others think about it shouldn’t matter to you. In fact, others’ opinions are what they are — merely opinions.
13. Your parents still advise you.
When you run to your parents for advice every time you face a difficulty, accomplishing your goals will be hard. That’s because parents are not good at giving constructive criticism. If you want to grow in business and life, seek out professional mentors.
14. You’ve always done things the same way.
If you’ve always done things the same way, it’ll take magic to see different results. If you failed to achieve a goal last year, why would you do the same thing to try to achieve it this year? Working harder won’t make a difference if you don’t change your approach. Instead, examine what you did last year, and see what you can do differently.
15. You’re a jack of all trades.
You’ve spread yourself thin because you thought it was wise to try all the business ideas your friends suggested to you. Now, you’re in debt, and you have accomplished nothing. Or you tried to accomplish all the tasks yourself instead of hiring help when needed. This year, limit your goals and stick to them.
16. You don’t take care of your body.
If you put your health aside to pursue your dreams, you will not only burn out before fulfilling them but also perform worse overall. While you pursue your dreams, don’t ignore your physical health. You’re more likely to hit your goals if you maintain a healthy diet and an exercise routine.
17. You do not have a team.
Back when I was running a one-man show, every vacation I took would set my business back. I decided to let my guard down, and get myself a team. With adequate training, they ran my business with me — and without me. In Feb. 2018, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, and work practically stopped for me because of frequent hospital appointments. My team kept my business running while I was addressing my health issues. If you don’t have a team, you’ll continue to struggle to hit your goals.
18. You make comparisons.
Comparing yourself to others kills your happiness. It drains the energy you need to function at optimal levels. Draw inspiration from others, but don’t compare yourself to them.
19. You fail to act.
It’s surprising how many of us know what to do to become successful. The only problem is we hardly take the necessary steps to achieve that. Acting on your goals is the only factor that’ll set you apart from those who don’t achieve their dreams.
It’s a good thing for you to set new goals for the coming year. It’s even better if you create a concrete plan to achieve them. But before you can do that, you need to know what went wrong in the past so you can correct the course and finally achieve every goal you set for yourself.