Total, Complete Failure

Strategies For Learning From Your Mistakes
Rodmacdonald Preview

Q: “So New Year’s has come and gone and yet again, I had set a resolution only to watch it crumble away barely a month later. I feel like a total, complete failure. What can I do to stop being such a loser and turn this around? Or have I just proven to myself, yet again, that I should just accept my inability to set a goal and stick to it?” -Jakob 


A: Jakob, rather than see your past challenges as proof of some inadequacy, you have the option to see those situations as lessons. It is much more empowering to seek meaning from past experiences than stew in the missed expectations. As for resolutions; most are not achieved, so you’re in good company. What will make a positive difference for you is a strategy that you can implement any time for any goal. Here are the basic elements of one such strategy: 

  • Get really clear about what you want to achieve, but more importantly, what that will get you. For example, a weight loss goal may get you a better sense of self and that may get you more confidence and that may get you the relationship you’ve been wanting and that may get you the love you crave. So, weight loss is not always about the weight. In this example, it’s about love.

  • Get help. Working with a coach is a great way to get support, validation, encouragement, and in some cases, a host of other strategies that you didn’t even know existed.

  • Take massive action in really small steps. Don’t wait for any particular day or time of year. Better to take a really small action right away and another tomorrow and another the day after that. Any worthwhile goal is worth a long-term approach.

  • Prepare for setbacks. Every goal will suffer from setbacks. Some come up internally and others externally. List out as many of the likely obstacles you may face and create a one sentence strategy for how you will respond to those setbacks.

With a strategy and support, you will dramatically increase the likelihood of success. There are no guarantees, but as you keep at it, you are highly likely to achieve what you want to achieve. 


Combining over 30 years in the field of self-development, Rod is the CEO of the Certified Coaches Federation, one of the largest coach education companies in the world, and a speaker, coach and author. For more information on the Certified Coaches Federation, visit and for more information on Rod, visit  


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Categories: Emotional Health & Wellness