1. Keep your goal a secret.
Whatever you do, don’t tell anyone about your goal. That way no one can rally around you with support, resources, and accountability. Keeping your goal a secret also ensures part of you is hidden away. What’s so great about showing up in the world in an authentic way?
2. Think negative thoughts.
Give free reign to limiting beliefs about yourself and your abilities. Treat any negative thought that comes into your head as fact. If “I don’t know enough to ___ [insert goal here] ” pops into your mind, let that thought paralyze you, making you second guess yourself. Reinforce negative thoughts with a ready list of every past mistake you’ve made. Really pile on whenever possible.
3. Do the things you’ve tried before that didn’t work.
There’s nothing quite like doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It’s just so great for draining energy and diminishing self-esteem. Do not learn from experience. Instead, just do the same thing and try harder.
4. Ignore your strengths.
Discount your strengths and what comes easy to you. Don’t think about your natural gifts and talents and how you can leverage them. Spend as much time as possible focused on your weaknesses. Dedicate yourself to developing your weaknesses to the exclusion of what you already do well. You’ll be tempted to gravitate to your strengths, but resist the temptation.
5. Wing it.
Don’t have a plan. Take a scattershot approach to achieving your goal with a burst of frenetic activity followed by a long lull of unfocused inactivity. Strategizing is overrated. Who really needs a blueprint of the steps required to achieve a goal? In fact, there’s something kind of fun about having no idea whether you’re on track. Random and haphazard is the way to go when it comes to goal achievement.
6. Think a lot about your goal, but don’t actually take action.
Stay in your head as much as possible. If you think enough about your goal it will feel like a lot of work and you’ll think you’re making progress. Believe that thinking alone is enough, ala The Secret. In fact, don’t actually create a vision board around your goal—just think about creating a vision board.
7. Believe there’s only ONE way to get to your goal.
Decide upfront the one and only way to achieve your goal. Repeat this mantra: It’s THIS way or no way. Since there’s only one way to achieve your goal, don’t waste time and energy being open to other possibilities. If the ONE way doesn’t work out, I guess it wasn’t meant to be.
8. Set goals that don’t align with who you are.
A sure-fire way to sabotage the achievement of a goal is to start with one that isn’t your goal to begin with. The key here is to focus on others’ expectations of you. Then add in a robust number of “shoulds” and “have tos” to select your goals. To be 100% sure you won’t achieve a goal, also make sure it’s out of alignment with your core values.
9. Believe other people are lucky.
Believing there’s a lucky group of people for which everything happens or comes easily—and you’re not part of that group—is a great way not to achieve a goal. Don’t fall prey to the notion that luck is created. Be sure to take your “I’m just not lucky” mindset with you wherever you go to repel any goal from ever getting traction.
10. Expect perfection.
This is a really important one. If it’s the right goal and you’re really meant to achieve it, the path to get there should be paved with perfection. If you misstep along the way, then it wasn’t meant to be and you should give up. After all, if you can’t achieve your goal perfectly, what’s the point?