4 Reasons Why You Aren’t Achieving Your Goals & How to Start
Every year, millions of people set goals to better their bodies, minds, wallets, and lifestyles. And, every year, millions of people never achieve the goals they set. Why is that? Isn’t putting your desires out into the universe enough? In theory, we should be able to set a goal, stay focused, and relentlessly work towards it until it’s completed. But that is certainly not how life works. We’re going to break down the main reasons you aren’t achieving your goals and how to finally start getting what you want.
Reason #1: You’re overwhelmed with the size and impact of your goals
Say you want to lose a substantial amount of weight or find a job that has opportunity for progression. Those are some lofty goals! You’re likely getting discouraged by how long it’s taking to make progress, how much farther you have to go, and by the doubt you may be receiving from people around you. They may see you working towards something big and that makes them feel insecure about what they can accomplish. Or maybe you don’t have a proven track record of staying focused and they don’t have much faith in you now. Whatever the reason, your goals are feeling out of reach.
Solution: Having big dreams isn’t a bad thing and it doesn’t mean they’re out of reach. If your overarching goal is a big one, you need to be separating it down into bite-sized chunks. What needs to happen before that goal is achieved? If your goal is to lose weight, you need to get your diet on track and be exercising regularly. Each month, set yourself a new bite-sized goal to complete (ex. no fast food or takeout for the month). After twelve months, you’ll have built habits and routines that will lead you to your end goal.
Reason #2: You’ve gotten too lazy/busy/distracted/insert excuse here
You may have watched an inspiring YouTube video or read an empowering blog post about goal setting and that sparked your interest in setting your own. That’s great! This doesn’t have to be a passing phase, you set these specific goals for a reason. But, life gets busy; we all have careers, families, social lives, and hobbies that demand our attention. There’s a new series on Netflix you need to binge. These priorities may be getting in the way of your goals. Although life gets busy and your priorities are important to you, don’t allow excuses to be your truth. You deserve to be happy; if these goals will positively change your life, make them a priority!
Solution: Create reminders for yourself wherever you spend a lot of time, i.e. at home, your desk at work, in the car, etc. These can be images cut out of a magazine that represents your goal; it could be a post-it note that says what you want to achieve on it. It could even be a single word, doodle, or image that represents who you’ll be once your goal is achieved. The trick is to place these reminders in places you’ll see them often so that you’re forced to think about them, and subconsciously they’ll be on your mind. We create what we think about, so think about your goals.
Reason #3: Your goals are too vague
Using goals that aren’t specific enough will leave you unsure of how to achieve them. Goals like “lose weight” or “make a lot of money” or “become happier” are not detailed or specific. How are you supposed to achieve overall happiness? What does that even mean? They probably sounded nice when you were brainstorming goals and, hey, who doesn’t want to make more money? But goals like these will leave you motionless and confused. You’re likely to give up the second you have a bad day.
Solution: Be specific! And use numbers; when you include a weight amount you want to lose, a number amount of how much money you want to save, or even a specific deadline, you’re holding yourself accountable. Vague and generic goals allow you to quit and blow them off because there was no real target. If you have a very specific, detailed goal, you can break it down into bite-sized chunk much easier as well. Here’s an example of a good goal: “I will lose 10 kilos”. Here’s an example of an AWESOME goal: “I will lose 10 kilos within the next 12 months by improving my diet and exercising regularly.” With the awesome goal, there are so many possibilities of small things you can do that will inch you closer to the end result.
Reason #4: You’ve set too many goals
Maybe the problems mentioned above are no-brainers to you; in fact, maybe you’re an over-achiever and have set 100 specific goals to achieve this year. While your enthusiasm is admirable, setting too many goals can lead to exhaustion and overwhelm. Not to mention disappointment at the end of the year when you haven’t been able to check everything off your list. When we try to over-plan our lives, we miss out on the daily coincidences and unplanned moments.
Solution: Set one goal in each “life category”. It’s fair to have multiple goals, just don’t let them overlap. Choose one main goal for your health, your job, your finances, your intellect, your spirituality, or for whatever categories apply to you. From there, you can break each goal down into monthly tasks. Rather than creating as many goals as you need to have the “perfect” life, focus on improving your life while also loving yourself and who you are right now.
Setting goals is an excellent way to work on improving yourself or a part of your life. They can help you stay focused and stay productive. However, if you set the wrong goals that allow you to give up too easily or get distracted, then you’ll never achieve what you wanted to. If you set too many goals, you’ll either get overwhelmed or not appreciate yourself for who you’ve become so far. Following these tips will help you choose goals that are achievable with methods to keep yourself on track. Don’t give up on the goal-setting process because it hasn’t worked yet, it will if you choose the right ones and keep working towards them.