7 Mistakes To Avoid When Planning Goals

Daniel Bussius

January 10, 2019

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Ah, the New Year - so fresh and so clean. With the restart of the calendar, ​I know a large number of us are setting resolutions for the upcoming year. 

I'm all for resolutions, I think they’re a fantastic thing to do and the New Year is a perfect time to reflect and set goals for our future success...but that’s not what I want to talk about here.

I want to talk about the challenges that stop people from finding success, and how you can prevent that from happening to you. 

Success by Design quote by Abraham Lincoln

This blog will give you clarity about what common mistakes to avoid; but more than that, it will show you how to get started designing a path to success that works, but I have to be honest... it's not something that can be done in one afternoon.

That's why I developed the 14-day, in-depth goal-setting course, Success By Design, which you can sign up for by opting in below. This course gives you everything you need to get into the nitty-gritty of your goals, and then create the actionable steps and strategies to get there. 

But better yet, it gives you the power to create your best year ever. 

Create Your Best Year Ever with Success By Design

Sign Up For the 14-Day Success By Design Course 

Feel confident you have a proven road map for success

Enter your details below to sign up now. 

Okay,  let’s dive into some of the things that prevent people from finding success in their personal lives and with their business goals.

Mistake #1

You Don’t Know What Your Ideal Life Looks Like

The Ideal Life is the life you would be living right now if you could have anything you wanted, in a perfect world. Where would you live? What would you be doing for a living? What would your finances be like?

The problem is, people may daydream about an "ideal life," but they never put it to paper, or even believe that they can get there! And how are you supposed to get there if you don't put forth intention, forethought, and action? 

By defining your Ideal Life (in detail!), you take the first step to grabbing the reins of your life and steering it towards what you want it to be. 

Success by Design quote by Marden

Mistake #2

You Don’t Get Real About Your Finances 

Finances are what make dreams come true. Yes, hard work and goals also matter, of course, but if you don't have your finances in order, your efforts will be wasted.

A lot of people don’t know what their current life costs (or even where they’re spending most of their money). Without understanding where you currently are in your own financial world, you're less likely move forward. 

Success by Design

Start by asking yourself:

  • Do you know what your gross income is for you and your business?
  • Do you know your monthly net income for you and your business? A
  • Are you setting aside money for retirement (if so, how much)?
  • Do you know your debt-to-income ratio?
  • What does your overall financial life look like?

I know some of these questions can be overwhelming, but if you can being to answer them, you'll give yourself a clearer picture of what you need to do to start to create change. 

And the good news is, you don’t have to do it alone.

I have a helpful worksheet for these exercises as part of my Success By Design course, where I walk you through these sensitive areas and help you plan your goals to set you up for current and future success.

Create Your Best Year Ever with Success By Design

Sign Up For the 14-Day Success By Design Course 

Feel confident you have a proven road map for success

Enter your details below to sign up now. 

Mistake #3

You Approach Goal-Setting All Wrong 

Goal-setting isn’t the easiest task.

Yes, you can look at your ideal life and start naming things that you want to achieve, but there are a lot of factors that come into play when setting realistic goals and a plan for short- and long-term achievement.

A few mistakes people make when setting their goals include:

  • Not writing them down
  • Setting vague goals with open-ended due dates
  • Only setting goals for just one area of your life
  • Setting too many goals
  • Not identifying the next steps 

That last one is very important...

A big problem that many people have is that they don’t come up with a system of bite-size steps that will help them achieve that goal. The result? Feeling overwhelmed and feeling like a failure.

One technique I’ve learned (and used successfully) is to identify the underlying roadblocks of each of your goals, and then, from there you can pinpoint the strategic issues that apply to each roadblock. 


2019 Goal: Acquire 25 high-profile clients to keep on retainer by the end of the year
Underlying Roadblock: High profile clients don’t know who I am 
Strategic Issue and Solution: I need to let people know who I am by a) building my reputation in the industry with expert content, and b) highly targeted advertising.

This process will help you define the bite-size steps you need to take to achieve each goal, making them a little more clear and a lot less intimidating.

Plus, as a bonus, it can also reveal the deeper connections between your goals, which can help you decide what to prioritize.

Success by Design quote by St. Francis

Mistake #4

You Don’t Identify Wider Trends That May Impact Your Goals

A lot of businesses use the SWOT framework when analyzing their goals, which helps them identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that affect their company’s performance

It's a solid framework, but it's missing something very important in today's global economy... Trends.

If you don’t identify the external trends happening in the world that may impact your industry then how will you know how to plan for success in that future?

Being able to predict and anticipate trends is one of the primary functions of a leader and a leading characteristic of successful business owners. Look ahead, examine the big picture, and see how you can leverage your strengths. 

Mistake #5

You Don’t Define Your Company DNA

Yeah, yeah, a mission statement is nice and all, but what’s your company’s DNA?

If you don’t dig into:

 1) WHY you do what you do, and/or 

2) WHAT is the deeper, unique value you give your customers, and/or

3) HOW you and your company will act upon these values each and every day.... 

Then it will be much more difficult to scale with consistency, which can lead to skewed messaging and messed up internal processes and client communications. .

Yes, if you're a 1-person company, it's easy to know what you're about. But as soon as you start growing your team, if they don't understand who you are and why you do what you do, how will they know how to treat your customers and go about business in a way that lines up with what you value?

They won't unless they have direction. And they won't have direction unless you define it for them.

Success by Design quote by Earl Nightingale

Create Your Best Year Ever with Success By Design

Sign Up For the 14-Day Success By Design Course 

Feel confident you have a proven road map for success

Enter your details below to sign up now. 

Mistake #6

You Don’t Know Who’s the Boss

No matter what size your business is now, if you don’t clearly identify who’s the boss of what, or what your future organizational structure looks like, scaling will be a mess.

It’s surprising how many businesses plan to grow, yet they don’t know (or they don’t clearly identify) what key departments they need to keep their business running now (and in the future), the specific functions of those departments, or who should be held accountable.

An organizational chart for your company structure will act as a guide for yourself, your current and future employees, and will help you achieve your professional goals more quickly and easily.

Plus, once you lay out the roles in your company who’s the boss of what, you’ll be able to see where you need to plan to hire, see if you need to reorganize, gain clarity on who is able to scale with your company, and you may also see if there’s someone in your company who isn’t providing enough value.

Without this, you’re moving forward blindly, and possibly with the wrong people in the wrong departments. 

Mistake #7

You Don’t Master Your Time

The majority of people go about scheduling their work days and weeks all wrong.

Either they’re so busy and overwhelmed, they don’t plan at all, or they try to to plan everything down to the minute.

Both of those options leave you feeling scrambled, stressed, and usually with plenty of stuff left on the to-do list at the end of the day.

It’s unrealistic to force life to fit into your minute, perfect schedule. You know that tasks can take twice as long as planned, meetings run long, emergencies occur, and interruptions happen. 

There’s a better way to shape your daily and weekly schedule, and that’s with creating specific time blocks for different areas of your business dealings. This will help you become less reactive, and more organized. 


YOUR WEEK: Looking at the week, you can break up each day for specific intentions, e.g. Mondays are dedicated to company meetings and employee support; Tuesdays and Wednesday are dedicated to clients; Thursday is designated as a catch-up day to deal with anything that comes up during the week; and Friday is dedicated to focusing on your own business.

YOUR DAY: Looking at your day, you can continue to time block, even with something as simple as morning, noon, and evening. "Morning" could be dedicated to meetings and work, "Noon" could be dedicated to yourself (food, exercise, personal time), and "evening" could be dedicated to admin tasks and so on.

These are just examples - really if you want to become master of your own time you need to identify (and then base your calendar around): 

  • When do you tend to be most productive (are you a morning person or a night owl?)
  • When do you tend to face the most interruptions? What days demand the most flexibility from you?

This systematic cadence won’t just just make you the master of your time, it will provide leverage for you in planning how much room you have for new clients and new projects. 

Success by Design quote by Kimbal Musik

These are just a handful of the challenges that can prevent you from finding success, and the most important takeaway here is that you can't sit back and wait for success to find you. 

Success doesn't happen by accident, it happens by design.

 If you want help making this year your best year ever, I can help. Sign up for my Success by Design course below, and I'll provide you with everything you need to create your pathway to success.  

Create Your Best Year Ever with Success By Design

Sign Up For the 14-Day Success By Design Course 

Feel confident you have a proven road map for success

Enter your details below to sign up now. 

If you are a business owner that is serious about growing his or her business, then I would like to personally invite you to schedule a free strategic consult with my agency. 

We'll discuss your road map to success and how we can add value to your company by creating and implementing intelligently designed marketing strategies, video, graphics, and copy writing into your business. Click here to schedule your free consult.


Daniel Bussius is an award-winning Infusionsoft Certified Partner who is highly sought after Marketing Agency CEO and Professional Consultant, Daniel and his agency, Built By Love, work with celebrities, New York Times best-selling authors, Fortune 500 companies and over 1,000 small business owners from around the world.

Daniel Bussius Consulting StoryBrand Certified Agency
Daniel Bussius Digital Marketer Certified Partner

Daniel is the world's only dual certified StoryBrand Certified Agency and Infusionsoft Certified Partner. His agency holds a long list of certifications and hires top talent that has one primary goal: to make the client achieve their wildest dreams. 

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Daniel Bussius

Daniel is the CEO for the award-winning full-service digital agency, Built By Love. He is also an award-winning Marketing Consultant that has been flown around the world to consult for and train CEO’s and marketing agency owners. He is one of the top Infusionsoft/Keap Certified Partners in the world. Daniel holds a number of acclaimed marketing certifications, including being the world’s only StoryBrand Certified Agency and Infusionsoft/Keap Certified Partner.

He is a member of the Infusionsoft/Keap Partner Advisory Group as well as a Digital Marketer Certified Partner, PandaDocs Gold Partner, Memberium Partner and PlusThis Certified Partner. Daniel’s agency, Built By Love, offers full-service digital marketing, strategy, creative, and execution.

You can learn more at:
Built By Love (full-service agency): www.builtbylove.com
Daniel Bussius Consulting (strategic consulting): www.danielbussius.com
In The Mix Agency (live events): www.itmpromos.com

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