Are You a Goal Abandoner?


By Ann Yaggie, Certified Coach & Executive Consultant
Coaching Spotlight #2

For this month’s coaching spotlight, I’d like to talk about a certain client whose challenges will probably sound familiar to many of us. For the sake of anonymity, we’ll call this coaching client JB.

In the end, JB was able to see fantastic results from the time we spent together. However, this change did not come without some important realizations concerning his goal-setting habits.

From the beginning, JB was determined to improve. But, despite this determination, he was practicing certain self-sabotaging habits that were setting his progress back. Each time we met to discuss his progress, JB would eschew the last session’s goals without a moment’s hesitation and replace these old goals with new ones.

JB’s new goals addressed important issues and were made in honesty, but they were also completely unrelated to his previous goals, which were now going ignored and unmet. Instead of seeing a goal through, JB would toss it out and replace it. I began to notice that this habit was preventing him from making any real progress.

Some of these new goals are probably familiar to a lot of you. Have you ever begun to think about a goal of your own, and suddenly branched off into the long laundry list of your worries or aspirations such as:

  • “I want to figure out what’s next for my career.”
  • “I want to lose weight, start eating and exercising right.”
  • “I want to get my finances in order.”
  • “I’d like to be more involved in my community.”

In addition to surprising me with these new goals during our sessions, JB would change goals in between our meetings. This habit left me, as his coach, completely in the dark and without the ability to help or guide him.

Have you ever caught yourself falling prey to the temptation of getting lost in your own possibilities? I’ve certainly witnessed this detrimental tendency in myself! I used to think that if I address one goal or problem, that I will have to address them all. The problem with this habitual thought process is that it distracts you from acting.

In the end, JB was able to move past this stage of transient goals and ensuing stagnation. He did this by asking himself some revealing and essential questions:

  • What is behind all of this goal changing?
  • Is there something regarding these goals/changes that I fear?
  • Are my goals the right goals? Perhaps they’re not resonant or thrilling?

As a coach, I’ve found that the majority of unmet goals are the result of two things: A fear of change or a failure to establish an appropriate goal. Once you’ve identified and overcome your fear, strengthened your conviction, and set off on your path forward, there’s only real, positive change to come!

If you’re interested in a helping hand as you see your goals through to the big, fantastic, end, contact me today!

Related posts:

  1. Operations Director Changes Her Life through Coaching
  2. Time Management Tips for Executive Assistants
  3. Role Models Aren’t Just for Kids


  1. Charles Yaggie says:

    I’m 74 years old and in need of a life! What, pray tell, can I do?

  2. Ann says:

    Hi Dad – glad to see you’re reading my posts! ;-) Sounds like you need to visit your favorite store full of potential projects!

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