Often we set ourselves financial goals and then we fail. We dust ourselves off and promise we'll be stronger next time. Many of us don't take the time to really examine why we failed, but that failure postmortem is an essential learning tool.
Photo by StockMonkeys.com
Financial blog The Simple Dollar points out that people tend to thrive in the short term after setting new goals, but eventually most of us suffer some form of failure, even if it's just a small setback. The trouble is that we beat ourselves up for those failures, but don't always take the time to critically examine them. The process repeats, the failures accumulate, and as often as not, that shiny new goal falls apart.
Failure at a personal goal means that there's some significant aspect of your life that's working in opposition to that goal. It's a sign that maybe you need to work on something else first.
For example, if you find that the reason you're failing at spending goals is because it's so easy to buy something incidental with a friend, your challenge shouldn't be to adopt strict spending limits, at least for now. Your goal should be to separate social encounters from shopping, because it's that connection that's causing you problems.
Just remember the old cliche: Failures are opportunities to learn. Take advantage of them.
Make Failure Into a Stepping Stone, Not an Excuse [The Simple Dollar]