How are you doing on your most important goals? How do you even know unless you are carefully measuring your progress on each goal?

You are not alone. You probably already know that 91% of New Year’s Resolutions -- you know the ones to lose weight, go to the gym, and clean out that junk drawer -- are abandoned in the first three months of the year. I’m not talking about those “goals”, they are more like wishes anyway.

I am talking about setting goals and objectives that are important in your business adn your life, that is meaningful goals. Have you ever wondered why you achieve some goals but not others? Have you ever wondered how to achieve your goals consistently?

Something happens between when you set your goal, right up to the point where you completely abandon your goal. Let’s explore three common traps in effective goal setting; I have assembled more than three dozen pitfalls that I will share with you over time. For now, review these three goal setting traps and see which ones ring true for you:

1. Do you set unrealistic goals? Have you ever tried to lose 30 pounds in 30 days, double your business in 6 months, or learn a foreign language in a month? It is very unlikely that that is going to happen for the average person.

2. Do you set too many goals? What is the effect of adding more goals to your already overbooked life? Pressure, tension, regret? These new goals don’t have a chance of being achieved when they are just layered on top of everything else that you are doing.

3. Do you set goals that are not within your power to achieve? Do you have goal for a client to do something? How about to be accepted by a group or institution? On the personal side, the goal for your child to go to medical school? You have little control over a goal like this. It’s not a goal, it’s really a wish, a hope, a dream.

As you can see, our goals are in peril. So what is the secret to staying on track with your goals? How can you avoid the pitfalls? You can do it by applying the 5P’s of Effective Goal Setting.

1. Priority – only set very important goals. There needs to be passion and a burning desire around your goal or else it will lose its luster in short order.

2. Possible – the goal needs to be attainable and within your power to muster the resources to get it done.

3. Payoff – imagine that you have met your goal. Picture your new future. What benefits will you enjoy after you meet your goal? The payoff keeps you going when the going gets tough.

4. Plan - specific, time bound, step-by-step action plan that is doable and helps you to track and measure your progress toward reaching your goal.

5. Persistence – be in it to win it. If the goal was important enough to set, it is important enough to keep working on, no matter what obstacles you encounter.

You can achieve every goal every time. Stay tuned to this series. You can do it with powerful new goal setting tools and techniques.

Author's Bio: 

Donna Marie Thompson, PhD -- aka The Goal Goddess -- is a popular speaker, best-selling author, and leader of Goal Getter Groups. She works with companies to help them meet every goal every time through effective planning, prioritizing, and monitoring.

She earned a PhD from George Washington University and an MBA from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Donna Marie was a Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting. Find out more about how to meet your goals at: