Common Mistakes When Starting a New Project or Goal

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Failing to define clear goals: Without clear goals, it's easy to lose focus and get off track. It’s easy to say you want to start a new goal to eat better, draw more, spend less time in front of a screen, etc.
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Failing to define clear goals.

It’s easy to say you want to start a new goal to eat better, draw more, spend less time in front of a screen, etc. But, vague goals are unhelpful. I can say I want to eat better, but what does that mean? Better than I was eating a few years ago? Better than my family? Better than the line at McDonald’s? A murky goal will lead to frustration due to being unable to see results.

A better solution would be writing out a clear, concise goal, such as: “I want to stop eating fast food and eat more nutrient-dense food.” Both of those are measurable and clear to evaluate whether I’ve made progress or not, because without clear goals, it’s easy to lose focus and get off track.

Not doing enough research.

This isn’t one area I struggle in; I tend to over-research, but it’s one I see folks make. Jumping in without taking the time to look at the various angles can lead to more time spent fixing issues that could have been avoided simply by a little time of study. Failing to do enough research can also lead to missed opportunities or wasted resources.

Underestimating the time and resources needed.

Always include buffers in your project’s timeline. Let’s face it, life is unpredictable, but with some proper preparation, you’ll be ready to tackle any hurdles that come your way. After all, we’re all about avoiding burnout and focusing on our goals, right? Unforeseen circumstances will occur, and if you aren’t preparing for this; you will find yourself behind schedule. Starting a project without a realistic understanding of the time and resources required can lead to burnout and disappointment.

Researching too much.

My Achilles’ heel. I read and read and read until one of two things occur.

Option 1: I research so much that I overcomplicate and psych myself out over the project.

Or option 2: I research so much that I feel a false sense of completion over learning rather than doing the project. Anyone else?

Not having a clear plan or timeline.

A roadmap is essential to keep team members or yourself on track and focused on important milestones. Without it, delays and missed deadlines can occur. Create a concrete plan that outlines each stage of the project, including timelines and key objectives. Share this plan with everyone involved and regularly review, update, and refine it as needed. This approach will maintain momentum and help meet critical deadlines, resulting in a successful project outcome.

Without a clear roadmap in place, it’s easy for individuals or team members to lose sight of important milestones and, ultimately, momentum. 

Trying to do too much too quickly.

It’s important to set realistic expectations when beginning any project, as setting the bar too high can hinder progress and lead to burnout. Approaching projects with a realistic and mindful mindset can help us achieve achievable goals and stay motivated. By acknowledging both our strengths and limitations, we can track our progress and keep moving forward. Regularly reassessing our expectations is crucial in avoiding burnout and focusing on making steady progress. Small steps are still steps in the right direction, and remaining aware of our expectations can keep us on track towards achieving our goals.

Not adapting to changing circumstances.

Projects can be unpredictable, and failing to adapt to changing circumstances can lead to missed opportunities or failure. It’s important to be flexible and adaptable to changes to ensure project success.

Not celebrating small victories.

Failing to celebrate small victories can lead to a lack of motivation and enthusiasm for the project. By taking the time to celebrate small victories and milestones accomplished, it helps push you to completion.

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