11/04/2014 05:14 pm ET Updated Jan 04, 2015

Most Goals Fail, Yours Don't Have To


Goals are essential to business.

Goals are what we set, drive towards and push ourselves as entrepreneurs to achieve.

In many ways, we have been taught, in an order to achieve, setting a goal is a prerequisite to success. Unfortunately, there is a fallacy in this belief encouraged by many an inexperienced coach or motivational speaker. We have all seen them on stage, whipping the audience into a lather and getting everyone excited to set a goal and just when you think you have your destination in mind and you have written down your goal they exclaim "now cross it out and double it!"

This lack of strategy may be exactly why so many goals fail.

Take New Year's Resolutions, how many of them are actually achieved? Around New Years, the media is saturated with products and services ready to help people kick-start their resolutions. Many people end up buying into these deals, and head into the New Year motivated.

But it never fails that after the glisten wears off when March and April come around, those resolutions that so many people set are history with the previous year.

A study conducted by Richard Wiseman on people who set a wide range of New Year's Resolutions, found that only 12 percent of the goals the test group set actually succeeded-meaning 88 percent of the goals failed.

Many people set goals like New Year's Resolutions, and that's about it... they set the goal, but they don't set up a plan to achieve the goal.

Creating a goal without setting up a plan to actually achieve it is more of a thought process than an achievement strategy..

Achieving our goals can be difficult; however setting up a plan to achieve them makes things easier. In our organization we use, and teach our clients to use, the 3Cs: clarity, confidence and commitment:

  • Clarity -- What is the goal you are setting? Are you clear on what it is and is it reasonable?
  • Confidence -- What are the resources you will need to complete the goal? How long can you estimate that it will take you to complete?
  • Commitment -- Beyond the surface level, what does that goal mean to you? Get leverage and solidify your why.
Last but not least, we encourage that you share your goal and it's 3Cs with someone close to you. Ask them for accountability and help and increase the probability that your goal becomes a reality. Accomplishing our goals is not easy. You will have challenges and road bumps along the way-so make sure to give yourself grace. If you fall off the wagon or miss a milestone, don't throw in the towel. Understand you are not alone and reflect on the third C, Commitment. Remember the reason you set this goal -- your why. Use that as the motivation to keep moving in the direction of your destination.. Once we stop setting goals, and set a plan to accomplish our goals.

Alex & Cadey Charfen are the Co-Founders of the Charfen Institute.