The Real Truth About How Failure Impacts Your Goals

by | Feb 16, 2017

how failure impacts your goals

In May of this year I will have been blogging for two years. At first I wanted just to connect with other women and mothers living with ADHD. Over time I have decided that I like our little community so much I want to grow it into a full-time gig.

The thing is, I have done many things wrong. I have had poorly constructed posts and bad visuals. There have been technical issues out the wazoo. In fact, I still spend way too much time trying to make this website into my vision.

Since I have so much experience with what doesn’t work, now I want to set my goals based on what I have learned. I figure if I screw up again, at least it will be a different set of mistakes.

The Real Truth About How Failure Impacts YOur Goals


In order to set goals we need to look at our failures.

Make a list of every goal that didn’t work in 2016

Some of our goals are personal in nature, and those can be included along with professional ones. Consider any goals you had for yourself, big or small. Be honest with yourself about what didn’t work.

Write it all down on one side of a piece of paper. Draw a line down the middle. On the other side write down why you think each particular goal didn’t work out.

I had big goals in 2016 for this website. One goal was for us to reach 1,000 email subscribers. While I did come reasonably close, I am not at 1,000 yet. And I know why.

There were not enough freebies for my readers. I didn’t give my monthly visitors opportunity to sign up. And I only posted once per week, which is not enough to keep people interested.

I wanted the email subscribers, but not bad enough to make it happen.

Is there anything that you wanted, but not bad enough?

Think Bigger

As in, your goals should be crazy. I have a list titled “Crazy Goals” in my planner. Making this list helped me to see that all of the things I want are within my reach. The reason I have not always met my goals is because the they were too “safe”.

The goals we set were small so that we would not be afraid to fail. When we failed, it happened so gradually and so quietly we hardly even noticed. I say “we” because I did this too, you are not alone.

I was reading an article Link Here from Ruth Soukup of Living Well Spending Less the other day, and she said something that really struck me:

“Thinking small won’t get you anywhere.  For your dreams to motivate you to action, they have to big enough to scare you a little, to ignite that spark of courage and determination that lives inside you.”

This whole time I have been thinking small about this website. I should be thinking big. I should be “doing it scared,” as Ruth says.

How failure impacts your goals

Filter Out The Time Wasters

I spent a ton of time trying to grow my social media presence last year. My efforts paid off in part, as I do have more followers on almost all channels. But I am not building a business on social media.

The lesson here is that I wasted time on smaller “wishes” instead of focusing on the big goals. Sure social media is fun, and I am not quitting it. (God knows I couldn’t.) But my time is better spent working toward my larger business goals.

When you look at your list of what didn’t work, can you identify some time wasters?

Make it happen

One of my recent posts was all about determining your personal values so that you can prioritize. If you know the  in your life, setting goals becomes much easier. Link to article

Since my top priorities are clearly defined I feel comfortable setting big goals in those areas. And I know that the time, effort, and energy I expend working toward those goals will not feel like work. Finding the time to make my goals a reality becomes easier when the goals align with my personal priorities.

I know that I want to build the traffic on this site to 100,000 page views per month. I wanted to increase the traffic last year, but I wasn’t willing to put in the time. Now I am making the time to produce the written and free content necessary to make that happen.

What do you need to do to make your goals a reality?


Do you need to stay home and skip an engagement this weekend?


In what other ways can our failures inform our decision making?


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