top of page

5 Mistakes Perfectionists Make When Goal Setting

Updated: Mar 25, 2022

If you're like me, you love setting goals, making plans, and want to improve many areas of your life all at once. Goals are a vital component of growth. Having a desire to better yourself or accomplish something is a great feeling. As a perfectionist, make sure you're not making these 5 mistakes when putting those desires into a game plan.

5 Common Mistakes Perfectionists Make With Goal Setting

Mistake #1: Setting too many goals at once

There is a saying "The man that chases two rabbits, catches neither." I love this analogy because it paints a clear picture of what happens when we focus on too many things at once.

Priorities can never be in conflict.

Priority: the fact or condition of being treated as more important

You can never have two goals with the same level of priority, unfortunately that's not how it works. Pick one clear focus and go for it. That is the only true way to build momentum.

Having one goal will bring up fear and doubt because it forces you to go all-in on something! We don't realize it, but when we set a bunch of goals at the same time, it gives us an out.

Does this sound familiar?

"I'd be closer to my fitness goals if I wasn't so focused on getting a promotion at work."

"My side hustle would be more profitable if I wasn't busy building my social life."

When you have numerous goals, it's easy to blame that as the reason for slow progress.

I used to be scared to focus on one goal. How could I pick? I didn't want to neglect the other areas of my life and feel off balance. I tried to do everything and ended up doing nothing.

When I focused on one goal, I made tremendous momentum. I didn't neglect the other areas of my life, but rather maintained where I was at with them.

Your other goals don't have to disappear once you pick one to focus on. Write them down and put them on your mental bookshelf. Once you’ve created momentum in one area and have established a new normal, you can turn your focus to another goal.

Mistake #2: Setting vague goals

Create a goal that is specific, measurable and has a deadline! Often we create vague goals because we fear we won't achieve the goal if it's specific. Loose goals give us wiggle room so we don't have to feel uncomfortable with failure.

If you've been saying you want to "get fit" that's not enough. What does fit mean?

A better goal for fitness would be " I want to do 10 pull-ups, run a 6 minute mile, and hold a 2 minute plank by November 2nd."

The second goal is specific, measurable and has a deadline!

When you pick a goal, remember that there are many micro-goals you will have to achieve to get there. It's important that you take the time to reverse engineer your goal and create an action plan.

Mistake #3: Playing small

If a goal feels realistic, that simply means you don’t have to grow to achieve it. By setting realistic goals, you are playing it safe so you can avoid discomfort.

You cannot grow without discomfort. Start looking at failure, discomfort and rejection as a sign that you are moving forward. Reward effort over results.

Mistake #4: Quitting if you fail

So many people give up once they fail at something once. Failure is a learning opportunity and isn't a sign of your worth or future capabilities. If you grow pursuing your goal, it is a success, whether you achieve the goal or not. If you achieve your goal, that’s a bonus!

Failing once doesn't mean you won't ever achieve your goal. Failing 10 times, doesn't mean you won't ever achieve your goal. With each attempt you take in more knowledge to try again. Get back on the horse and keep going.

Mistake #5 Not putting God at the center

I believe God is the ultimate mentor with goal setting. If you are a believer in Christ, it’s so important to make sure your goals glorify Him and spread joy and love to the world! The man’s heart plans his course, but the lord establishes his steps! To do scary, unknown things we need to have faith in God. We can have peace knowing that He is with us every step of the way and take courageous action without fear.

Closing thoughts

Many people think that when they achieve a goal they will feel a certain way or their life will be better. Achievements may give you a temporary high, but it fades and you just set new and bigger goals. Check in with your motive behind your goals. Make sure you aren't idolizing your performance or achievements and losing site of what's most important.

Next time you sit down to map out your goals, take these 5 common mistakes into consideration and watch what happens!

bottom of page