In my experience, these are the main mistakes we make when setting goals.

Not realistic.

Sometimes, you set goals that are perfectly reasonable – until you set a timeline on them. For instance, losing 20 pounds. is great. Doing so by next Friday? Probably not very realistic.

I’ve found especially with new entrepreneurs, that they tend to overestimate the amount they can accomplish in a short period of time. Learning curves – particularly online – can be steep, and unexpected obstacles arise. Then, these setbacks cause you to get discouraged and abandon the whole project because your original estimates weren’t met.

Let me say this: things rarely go as planned – in business or in life. When setting your goals, build in some wiggle room that will allow you to manage unanticipated delays. In other words, expect the unexpected and plan for it.

Not challenging enough.

The converse of the unrealistic goal is setting goals that aren’t enough of a stretch. It may seem smart to set very low expectations, but in actuality, it can undermine your motivation. What’s so great about running half a mile when you know you could easily run ten times that much? It’s hard to be proud of your accomplishments when you know you could have done much better.

Not specific.

If your goal is not specific enough, you’re going to have trouble meeting it and being motivated by it. If your goal is a vague statement such as “lose weight,” you could lose half a pound and call it a day.

 Is that satisfactory? Or you could lose 20 pounds and feel disappointed. How do you know if you’ve achieved a goal if the goal is as vague as “lose weight?” If you’re not feeling motivated by your goal, try making your goal more specific.

Next week our final three mistakes. Meanwhile, share your thoughts and ideas about your goals by leaving a comment below.

Jeannine Grich, owner of Accurate Business Services, a VA practice, is an author, writer, speaker, and VA Business Coach, specializing in providing professional business coaching to established and start-up virtual assistants (VA’s).  For her FREE article,  “What’s Holding Back my Business Success?” Visit:; or contact her at: