girl on the starting line of the year 2021 ready to sprint


In my previous article, I stressed the importance of mastering our minds, of having full control over the tiny voice that always speaks to us trying to hold us back from pursuing our goals.

I mentioned what YOU should do in order to develop the self-discipline needed to be the captain of your life, and prevent the f*cking little voice from controlling your destiny.

Unless you learn how to master your mind, there’s no point in pursuing any goals.

Any time you set a new target but your mind is untamed, you are likely to give up your dreams.

That’s because along the journey towards the accomplishment of your goal there are always challenges.

If you lack self-discipline because you have not learned yet how to tackle the biggest challenge, i.e. mastering your mind, there’s no way you can follow through and overcome the obstacles that separate you from your destination.

Having said that, let’s look at the 9 common mistakes that people make when they set goals for the new year.



Businessman is keeping and unrolling an endless list of goals

According to research, the human mind is not designed to carry out different tasks at the same time.

Having multiple goals can drastically increase the chance of failure in pursuing them.

The human mind has a knack for switching focus from one task to another.

That’s the problem when you have many goals; you end up being distracted and squandering your energy. 

You should develop a laser-focus attitude, so narrow your target.

Prioritize goals that allow you to change your life if you are consistent in working every day for the entire year.

Is it losing 10 Kilos of weight?

Is it creating a strong and affectionate relationship with your family?

Is it starting a side hustle so in time you'll eventually be able to get out of the 9 to 5?

It doesn’t matter; what matters is that it must bring about your fulfillment.


notebook on which there is written:what do you want?

It’s not sufficient to have a goal.

You MUST know exactly what you want to achieve.

If, for instance, you want to lose weight, you should know exactly how much you want to weigh at the end of the year.

Because, if you don’t, the loss of just 1 kilo would give you the impression you have achieved your goal.

Is that what you really want?

I don’t believe so.

The more details you write down when you set your goal, the more instructions you give to your mind.

This enables you to have a GPS that will guide you towards your destination.


sheet with a writing on it: what's the plan?

Having a plan is similar to driving towards a city.

Your goal is the city.

What do you need to know to get there?

Either the different streets that lead you there or which public service can take you there.

When you set your target you should backward-engineer your goal.

You should break your goal into smaller tasks, actions, habits, and strategies you must put in place every day in order to get to your destination.

You could learn from people that have already achieved what you are shooting for and leverage their plans and strategies.

This will definitely shorten the time you need to become who you want to be.

Modeling other successful people is a strategy that can make a difference for you.


writing: give up something good for something better

YOU should be aware that in order to achieve your target you must give up something.

There is always a price to pay to get to your destination.

In any scenario, you have to know upfront that you have to sacrifice something in order to succeed in whatever goal you set.

If you want to earn more money you should be mentally ready to work your tail off and quit watching your favorite tv series, hanging out with your friends, etc.

If you want to be in shape and feel younger you should say NO to pizza and tv and YES to vegetables and exercise.  

Are you ready to pay the price?

If so, you are on the right track to succeed in whatever goal you want to achieve.


writing: always remember your why

In my previous articles, I have already stressed how having a specific reason, a strong WHY, for which you must achieve your goal is a game-changer for you.

It is what fuels you, what keeps you motivated to follow through no matter how many challenges you face.

What is your WHY?

Why do you want to earn twice your salary?

To treat yourself to a new fancy car so you can boast with your group of friends?

Or do you want to be able to support your family and have a nice vacation with them?

Can you spot the difference?

Same goal but different reasons.

If you are anything like me and your family is one of your primary values, you will agree that earning more money to be able to spend and enjoy time with your family is a much stronger WHY than buying a materialistic object.  

So when you sit down to write your goal make sure you are extremely clear about WHY you must complete your journey.

Ask yourself and write down:

WHY must I achieve my goal?

What are the consequences of not following through?

When you have a strong WHY and you feel the pain that not achieving your goal implies, you will be motivated to do whatever it takes to hit your target.


shining star

If having great long-term goals is a game-changer for a better life, you should be aware of where you are and the resources you have when you start your venture. 

Having challenging goals is perfect because you have to stretch yourself in order to get to your destination.

But challenging doesn’t mean unrealistic.

If you set unrealistic goals, you are setting yourself up for failure.

So, make sure you set attainable and realistic targets.


top of a mountain

Your journey towards your goal is like trekking to the top of a mountain.

What happens if you continuously focus your attention on the top?

Chances are that you will feel too far from the top and you will give up because of the big distance that you have to cover.

Too much hassle to overcome!

Just switch your focus from the top to the next step you have to take.

You cannot conquer the top straight away.

You have to conquer one step after another.

Ask yourself, “What do I need to do today to get myself closer to my goal?”

What is the most important thing for me to do today?

By focusing on one step a day you are able to enjoy your journey towards your destination.

On the contrary, when you are obsessed with the top of the mountain you can only feel distressed.

By focusing on what you should do today you can also develop the patience required to pursue a goal.

“Patience is a key element of success". - Bill Gates 

If you take one step a day, you will have walked 365 steps at the end of a year.

What happens instead when you look at the top of the mountain?

In all likelihood, you get discouraged and you don’t even start.

That means that, after 365 days, you are exactly where you are right now.

So, take one step a day and do your best to conquer the day.


writing: what you become is more important than what you accomplish

What you become through the process of achieving your goal is much more important than the goal itself.

At the end of the day, individuals set an objective because they want to improve their life.

What does improving their life imply?

It implies that they grow, develop their skills and knowledge, and ultimately, become a better version of themselves.

Bearing in mind this concept can give you the motivation to follow through and not give up till you hit your target.

You are aware that, despite the struggles you have to face in order to get to your destination, you will be a better version of yourself.

So just keep in mind the better version of yourself and use it to fuel your motivation along the journey towards your success.


writing: stick to it!

People often give their goals little importance.

That happens because they are not consistently working to hit their target on a daily basis.

Considering that human beings are creatures of habit if you do not persevere, and focus on your goal every now and then you end up overlooking it, and eventually, you will give up.

You should wake up every morning with the intention of working on your daily goal, and you should go to bed revising what you've done during the day to get you closer to your destination.

You could follow the practice of Grant Cardone, best-selling author of the 10X Rule and also named the no. 1 marketing influencer in 2017 by Forbes Magazine.

"I want to wake up to it. I want to go to sleep to it and I want to dream with it...I want to write my goals down before I go to sleep at night because they are important to me, they are valuable to me and I get to wake up to them again tomorrow”. - Grant Cardone

Waking up each morning determined to work on your goal is so much more fulfilling than just going through your routine on autopilot.

Life should not happen to you, you should be the creator of it.


Now that you are aware of the 9 most common mistakes people make when they set their goals you can avoid them and set yourself up for success.

Having a goal is what makes your life worth living.

Don’t just sleep-walk through the day.

You deserve a meaningful life.

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score”. - Bill Copeland

More resources for YOU:

Christian Caliendo
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  1. Lara Cayo Widmer

    Thanks a lot for this great post, it is truly important to practice goal setting and focus on these points to get better at breaking them down into nice and achievable steps. all the bedt

  2. Thank you Christian!
    Very useful article to remind me not to repeat the same mistakes over and over, as I usually do.
    I’ll print it out and read it now and again.
    Thank you!

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