Monday, September 5, 2011

Failure...Use it! (On Management of Goals and Plans)

Nobody wants to fail. Ever. Some people are so  paralyzed by their fear of failure that they have misgivings about even starting new projects . We all know people like that. Hey, on occasion, I’m pretty sure I’ve been one, if I’m to be honest with myself.  Failures can be great or small. Of course, we’re all supposed to learn from these failures, take lessons so that next time we would succeed. But before we remember that we have to do that, we go through the stages of anger, depression or denial, depending on the size and the importance of the failure. Most people usually get angry at themselves or find something to wrongfully assign blame to.
First thing you have to understand is that you need to have a major goal and to have a good plan in place to keep you focused. The short-term goals that you create are the lamp posts that help illuminate the way to your ultimate goal. It takes determination and discipline to keep moving towards that goal. But the short-term goals are as important.
And so, one should divide one’s major goals into smaller, more achievable goals. Not a new idea by any means, but I had to be reminded that this might be a good approach to take. I started adapting this strategy a few years ago. What surprised me the most was that this strategy somehow started integrating itself in all areas of my life, including writing, my day job, my relationships, etc.. A clichéd expression of “taking it one day at a time” comes to mind, but it’s a cliché for good reason.
This philosophy also helped me get back on track with writing. Small goals were making it easier to accomplish my larger writing goals. It helps to have someone be aware of your goals and hold you accountable, whether it’s finishing a word count for the week, finishing a chapter or sitting down for a certain amount of time to write. It can even be putting up an extra few posts a week on a blog.
Here are my suggestions for overcoming failure and moving forward:
1)      Winston Churchill said:Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
      Failures are a part of life. They will happen. Accept the fact and it won’t bother you as much.Don’t be discouraged, because sometimes you have to take one step back in order to take ten steps forward.


2)      Try to analyze why the failure occurred and how it can become a success instead. Don’t get angry – learn. You should not be emotionally attached to those failures as failures. You should adapt an attitude of using your failures as opportunities for growth.

3)      Make sure you have a plan in place to help you reach your goals.
Napoleon Hill said this on the value of making a plan: Create a definite plan for carrying    out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.
Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.

4)      Divide a major goal into smaller, more achievable goals. This makes both successes and failures more manageable.

5)      Be proud of yourself for making those smaller goals. It’s ok to feel that.  But don’t get too complacent.

6)      Reward yourself. The rewards can be anything positive that will make you happy. You decide.

Share how you manage your goals and plans, and how you learn from failures.


  1. I'm really happy about any action I take after failure. I'm even proud of the failures because I've always found it easier to protect myself by not trying or not doing. So whenever I fail, it means I tried.

  2. Kelly, then you're doing everything right! As long as you try, that's all that matters. We can't be afraid to just do. Otherwise, we'll never know our potential.Thank you for your comment!

  3. Excellent suggestions and post! Every writer needs to read this and remember to celebrate. :) Loved it!

  4. Hi Heather, I'm glad you enjoyed reading the post! :)


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