Chris Guillebeau in his latest post discusses what happens when he misses a goal he's set for himself:
1. Acknowledge disappointment: don't hide it away.
2. Revert to backups if possible: accept a secondary or partial goal.
3. Compare to other goals at the end of the year (and reevaluate for next year): if you did not achieve the goal, maybe others got in the way, or were more important.
Let's apply his response to our situation. As entrepreneurs, we are confronted with (the possibility) of failure every day. A sale could fall through, a product has a tough bug or problem with it, an employee - or yourself - can fail to get something done that needed to be done.
1. Acknowledge disappointment: let others know it happened - the telling gets it outside of ourselves
2. Revert to backups if possible: accept a secondary or partial goal - you did have an alternate or backup to whatever the goal was, didn't you?
3. Compare to other goals at the end of the year (and reevaluate for next year): if many things went right, and a couple went wrong, take it as a win and move on. Or decide on whether the goal is a valid one or not.
Try to follow the maxim: "Fight Adversity with Indifference". Act as though the setback has been expected, and that you have a response to it. It is not that you don't care about the missed goal - but that you are focused on the consequence, not the event itself.
An advantage of following the maxim also is that when you are setting the goal, you set the expectation as to what you will do if it is not handled. "We are going to sell product X to Company Z in 3 months" - well, what are you going to do if that does not happen?
Too often an entrepreneur says "well, we were supposed to get the sale last month, but didn't so now we don't know how to recover from it".
Instead, set goals in a matrix of what the different outcomes may be, and the resulting responses to them. It will keep you ready for when things do go wrong, and responsive when an alternative presents itself.