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You started out the year full of hope. You had set year long goals that excited you. You drew up an action plan. You visualized it. You took many steps toward achieving the goal. But now, the year is almost over and you failed to achieve your goal.

What now? Should you just become depressed over having failed in the achievement of the goal?  Swear that you’ll never set any more goals so you don’t become disappointed?

No.

Consider that sometimes, who we become in the pursuit of our goals is more important than actually achieving the goal. Pursuing goals leads us to acquire knowledge, become more skilled, and take more action.  We change because we pursue goals that we otherwise haven’t.  Sometimes, we change enough in the pursuit of the goal that we no longer need to actually achieve the goal to have met the real objective behind the goal.  We can then let go of the goal and aim for something else that we desire.  As a friend wrote to me recently “Goals aren’t contracts, they are aspirations and important guides”.

But, what if this isn’t the case? What if you still desire to achieve this goal despite having failed to achieve it this year?

First, take total 100% responsibility for things not having gone the way you planned it. This means, no blaming the country, the government, your parents for how they raised you, nor anyone else.  If you blame others, since you can’t change them, you’ll then remain powerless to achieve what you want.  If you take 100% responsibility, and since you can change your actions/beliefs/methods, you will then be empowered and have a shot at achieving what you want.

Ok, with the idea that you’re taking 100% responsibility, the second thing is to take out a journal, either on paper or on the computer.  You can likewise just use notepad or Word on the computer.  It’s important to write down the answers to the following questions.  Just thinking them won’t help much as our thoughts become circular and stay shallow without writing them down.  Writing the answers down helps your brain crystallize your thoughts and give you much greater, deeper insight.

Once you’ve got your journal, answer the following in regard to why you didn’t achieve your goal:

1) How did I create that?
2) What was I thinking?
3) What were my beliefs?
4) What did I say or not say?
5) What did I do or not do to create that result?
6) How did I get the other person to act that way?
7) What do I need to do differently next time to get the result I want?

Make sure to take the time to write the answers there.  These questions came from Jack Canfield’s book “Success Principles”, however, skip the questions that doesn’t apply to your specific goal.

I didn’t achieve some of my goals this year.  I was really bummed out about it.  However, I took the time to go through this process of answering these listed questions slowly and carefully.  As I did it, I figured out exactly how I screwed up.   Totally unexpectedly, my mood lightened up, and I wasn’t bummed out anymore.  I was actually feeling quite good, because I now could see that I had a clear path to achieve my goal.

That’s because once you figure out exactly how you screwed up something, then it becomes easier to figure out how you can achieve what you desire.

As I’ve heard often before:

“Success comes from good judgement. Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement!”.

Make sure you get the full benefit of your screwed up attempt at achieving your goals!  🙂

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