Why Goal Setting Doesn’t Work Without Reflection?

The truth is that goal setting and thinking positively on it’s own won’t work because it only provides one of the 3 perspectives.

It is purely focused on the future and what you want but doesn’t remind your critic of what you have or what has worked in the past.

Resulting in many people setting goals feeling like they are starting from scratch when so often they are so much nearer to their goal than they realise.

They also neglect to remember things that have worked for them before so that don’t maximise existing skills, resources or strategies they already have.

This can result in fear and overwhelm rather than motivation or excitement when considering your goals.

This is okay if you are a bit of an adrenaline junky, but generally not so good for your nervous system or sense of well being and your critic can have a lot to say about it. Whether that is your own inner critic with words of self doubt or your peers who infer it is not possible. 

Don’t get me wrong – change and growth can be and are by nature a little uncomfortable – but your critic will not support change that it fears will hurt you too much or it cannot perceive is possible.

So you either find ways to reassure your critic that you are okay by collecting evidence or you take it in much smaller chunks.

Reflecting on what you already know and what is already working can contribute towards both and prevent your critic from sabotaging your success.

If you want to create lasting change and turn your dreams into a reality then I encourage you to invest time in reflection as much as you do goal setting and forward planning. That way you can articulate to yourself and others with clarity and confidence what you want and why you know it is doable.

Power of Reflection


Taking time to reflect and notice what has worked, what didn’t work and considering what would have needed to have happened for it to work better updates your critic with a more objective view of the past.


Taking time to consider what is working right now, what is not working and what needs to happen for it to work better ensures you understand your starting point so that you can review progress more effectively – this keeps your own inner critic at peace and it gives you confidence to communicate to others the progress being made. Now these questions require you to have a reasonable level of memory recall – if you cannot remember then you have a couple of choices:

  1. Peer support – Ask for peers – friends, family and colleagues that you know have your best interest at heart to share what they think is working or not working or what has worked.  can give you a new perspective that is outside your conscious awareness right now.
  2. Record – start now to record daily, weekly or monthly what you are noticing so that you have the data when it comes to reflecting in the future.

Christmas and New Year can be a time for being present with those we love, reflecting on the year just gone and planning the year ahead. My advice is that you make this a discipline that you do daily, particularly if you are struggling with your critic and overwhelm is preventing you from taking action to create the change you want in your life.

This week in the Manage your critic Facebook group – I ran a live training with 12 questions to ask yourself to reflect and learn in order to set yourself up for success.

Below is a recording of the video, please do email me on sheryl@stepbysteplistening.com if you would like the worksheet I refer to in the video.

Step by Step Listening
Supporting you to do more of what you love and ditch the critic that says you can’t

Please share below your thoughts as google likes to know you like me or join us for more private conversation in our closed Facebook group Manage your critic

If you are struggling to be heard and understood and it is preventing you from doing your best work and living your best life then please do book a 30 minute call today with no obligation and I will be happy set you up for success.

I might be part of the solution you need and I might not, but you will you know your next best step.

And you can thickpaperbackfront_Finalpurchase a copy of my book here








About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detective

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough.

That was until she learned the importance of being heard and asking for support. In her book she describes the step by step journey she took to learn how to manage her critic turning her overwhelm into clarity in 7 steps.

Sheryl now runs retreats that encourage you to really listen to what you need to work, learn and live at your best with others and the confidence to ask for those needs to be met.

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Published By

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening is well known for her fast speaking and highly motivational passion. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. Sheryl use to find it difficult when criticised even when she knew they meant well and found it difficult to respond rather than react. A series of 3 events in her personal life exaggerated her emotional overwhelm and forced her to address this problem and conquer her sensitivity to criticism. Today she shares every day stories of every day people and inspires you to discover ways to gain clarity and confidence to change the way feedback and criticism impacts your performance.

View all posts by Sheryl Andrews →

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