From failing at Goals to Succeeding at Life!

Be honest, how many times have you set goals that you know, deep down, you are not going to achieve, or that don’t excite you – or that you don’t even care about but have set because they are goals you ‘should’ want to go for?  Are they added pressure in an already busy and stressful life so you end up ditching or resenting them?  

Trust me, I have been there, and it was only after yet another year of not achieving any of those goals I excitedly made on 1 January, that I realised my whole approach was actually setting me up to fail, not succeed. I took the time to work out why I was not achieving what I’d set out to, and the answer surprised me.  It had less to do with my goals not being SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed), but more to do with feelings of overwhelm, and not planning my daily steps towards them.

This is the number one mistake I see people make – setting very clear, defined, and SMART goals, but not creating the actual steps they need to take in order to achieve them. And that leads to overwhelm and failure.  This led me to create my FATES™ approach, which uses simple steps to achieve success.


Choose only one or two longer-term outcomes to focus on.  This reduces overwhelm and means you can give more time to what you want to achieve.


Identify what it is you really want to achieve, not the numerical goal but the impact it will have on your life.  For example, you may want to lose a stone, or earn £100k this year but these are just numbers.  What will achieving these give you, how will your life change or be enhanced? That is your true emotional goal and knowing that creates the appetite to achieve.


You need a timeframe but make it flexible.  For example, you set a goal to “earn £100k by 31st December 2022” but on that date you have earned £99,998 and feel you have failed, despite being only £2 short of the target.  A more flexible outcome like “earn between £90k and £100k within a year” means £99,998 is a huge success!


Whatever outcome or timeframe you choose, make the journey enjoyable, or it will be another pressure in your life.  When we enjoy the process, we are more likely to keep going and reach our desired outcome.  This is important not only because you will spend a lot longer on the process than the outcome, but also it makes it more likely you will continue afterwards


The steps you take towards your desired outcome are crucial.  You need to do something every day that takes you closer to your goal.  These may be tiny steps or big leaps depending on what needs to be done, but the key is to do them daily, or you risk falling behind and ending up with too much to do to achieve the goal. 

You may meal plan so you eat healthily; create a fixed exercise time; post daily on social media; speak to or email someone who can help your business; check your income daily to monitor progress – you get the picture.  Small, simple steps that are sustainable not overwhelming.  If you need to take larger steps, break them into small chunks that are more easily achieved.  

This is a brief overview of my FATES method; it doesn’t leave achievement up to fate , it puts you in control!

By Sarah Bolitho

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