How To Turn Failure into Successful Goal Achievement

Sometimes we set goals for ourselves that we are unable to achieve for one reason or another. What should you do when you fail to meet a goal? While it can be easy to "throw in the towel" and give up on your goal, here are some other options to consider:

Tips for Turning Failure into Success

  1. Reestablish the goal with renewed commitment. Look at your goal and ask yourself a few questions. Does this goal align with my personal mission statement? Is this goal still important? If the answers to these questions are “yes,” then go forward with renewed determination to meet your goal.

  2. Modify your original goal. Reevaluate your long and short term goals to be sure that you are following a reasonable path. It is normal to come up short at times, so try to avoid regrets. While we can’t change the past, we can ensure that we are on track for achieving our goals for the future.

  3. Eliminate your goal entirely. If you find that your goal is flawed or is no longer important to you, get rid of it and create a new one or focus on your remaining goals in order of importance. If you decide to get rid of a goal, don’t be discouraged. Instead, explore new possibilities that may have been discovered during the process. Consider the lessons you’ve learned and reflect on what you did achieve. Take into account the personal development that occurred while striving to reach that goal. Avoid thinking in terms of failure. Rather, remember that perceived failure is often success when seen from another point of view.

Dealing with Life’s Circumstances

We are largely in control of our destiny, but we are also subject to time and chance. Unforeseen circumstances can delay or prevent us from achieving some of our major goals. Whether it is a personal tragedy, depression, a natural tragedy or a personal handicap, there are often situations in life that are beyond our control. You may be faced with the death of a loved one or be in a very difficult personal relationship.  When these types of events occur, don’t give up. Continue to move forward to achieve your goals. Give yourself time to naturally mourn, grieve, or regroup after a major unexpected life event that sets you off course. Once you have allowed yourself enough time, redouble your efforts to successfully achieve your goals.

Be Patient with Yourself

Do not let yourself become too discouraged. Good things, those worth achieving, often take time and patience. Winston Churchill periodically suffered from bouts of deep discouragement, yet his tenacity is legendary. He was able reach deep down inside himself to remain committed and optimistic about winning the Second World War despite his personal episodes of despondency.

When you fail to achieve a goal, take a good look at the factors surrounding it. Reestablish, modify, or eliminate goals as needed. Don’t give up on yourself or your dreams. While you can’t change the past, you can change your approach today to ensure that you are successful with your life goals in the future.

Leadership Excellence, based in the Cleveland, Ohio area, is an organization dedicated to leadership and management development of both individuals and organizations.

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