Inside: Are you struggling to reach your goals? Here are 7 SIMPLE reasons why you haven’t achieved them with EASY tips on how to change that.
You decide you’re going to change. You’re going to achieve the thing… you know… that thing you keep telling yourself you’ll do.
You’re going to lose 20 pounds. You’re going to learn Spanish. You’re going to start that blog you’ve been meaning to.
You’ve never felt so pumped about your goals before. This time, I’ll do it. This is it, you tell yourself.
A few months (or few weeks) later, you’re scratching your head and wondering how you’ve failed again.
It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
You feel so fed up with yourself and your lack of follow-through.
I know how you’re feeling. I’ve been there many, many times in the past. Heck, with some goals I keep setting for myself, I’m still there.
Why do you keep failing to reach your goals? For 7 crazy simple reasons.
Table of Contents
Why You Never Reach Your Goals
1. You don’t have an action plan in place.
You’ve written that big, scary goal down. That’s the first step. But did you actually map out how you’re going to get from where you are now to standing on that achievement block?
The thing with big, scary goals is that, well, they’re big. And scary. It seems so hard to get to the end goal.
So, we putter around, trying to make progress by doing this or that. We don’t plan the actual step-by-step manual to get ourselves there.
Smart goal setting requires a plan of action. If you take a little bit of time to plan out a road map to get you to your goal, you’ll be so much more likely to achieve it.
In fact, one study showed that 76% of participants who wrote their goals, actions, and reported to a friend achieved their goals versus only 43% with unwritten goals. Planning pays off.
It’s so gratifying to check off smaller tasks and goals on the way to the big one. Each check on that list is a little “Get it, girl!” for your brain to keep moving forward.
So, whatever the goal is, break it down into tiny pieces. And when I say tiny, I mean miniscule.
Want to start that blog?
See? All those are tiny little steps that you have to take before you can even write your first post. But if you start there, and take care of all those things, you’re ready to move on to content creation.
2. You don’t have a plan for de-motivators.
It’s so easy to lose your mojo when it comes to accomplishing your goals. You’re psyched one minute, and you’ve lost all motivation the next.
What happens there? Life, friend.
Life gets in the way sometimes. Your kid gets sick. You have a death in the family. The car breaks down, so you have to pick up extra hours at work to cover that unexpected expense.
Or maybe it’s not an unexpected life event. Maybe it’s something small… a distraction, if you will.
Have you ever sat down to write, and your kid comes to ask you 15 questions about dinosaurs? Distraction.
Or how about when you log into Facebook to check something real quick. The next thing you know, the two hours you’ve set aside to work you spent laughing at memes instead. Distraction.
And if you’ve never been so frustrated you wanted to throw your computer, you’re not even human. Technical difficulties seem to happen at the worst times, don’t they?
All these roadblocks are the things that hold us back from what we want to achieve. Have a plan to overcome them… or at least to muddle through despite them.
3. You don’t stick with it long enough to form good habits.
I’m guilty of this myself, so girl, please know I am preaching to the choir here.
Let’s say you’ve set a goal to lose 10 pounds this month.
Day one is off to a rocking start. You drink 100 ounces of water. You eat veggies at every meal. You’ve gotten a healthy balance of carbs, protein, and fats. You even hopped on the treadmill for about half an hour!
Day two… is looking a little shaky. You woke up late, so there’s no time for breakfast. You head out the door and forget your water bottle. Dang. After a busy day of work and errands, it’s time to take the kids to sports. Who has time for dinner when you don’t finish until 7 PM? Through the drive thru you go.
Okay, that doesn’t happen on the second day, but you get the idea. First, one thing slips, then another. This happens when we’re faced with challenges; we default back to our old habits.
Studies now show that it takes about 66 days, on average, to form good habits. That’s TWO MONTHS and some change, y’all. At least.
We have to work a little harder at sticking to our plan to make sure the habits become ingrained. That’s when achieving your goals gets a little easier.
4. You don’t have accountability.
If a goal is never told to another soul, have you set that goal at all?
I don’t think so.
Some of you may have more willpower than I do. But if I don’t tell anyone my plans, It’s super easy to give up on whatever goal I’ve set for myself.
Find that bossy friend who will push you to succeed. You know who I’m talking about… the one who will give it to you straight. Tell the one who will call BS on your excuses when you make them.
I have to give a shout out to my friend Joyce here for being that person for me. She’s a busy mom of 4, and let me tell ya, she gets it DONE. She’s a great motivator for me when I’m feeling lazy. So you can bet when I say, “Joyce, I’m going to do X this week… hold me accountable”… she’s going to follow up in a few days to see where I’m at.
5. Your goal isn’t a good fit for you.
Some things are not in the cards for you. And I don’t mean that you shouldn’t aim big here. You totally should. But some goals aren’t line with our personalities and with what we want to achieve in life.
Was the goal you failed to reach a goal you actually wanted to achieve, deep down in your soul? Is it something you can actually get excited about?
If not, it’s not the goal for you.
Let me give you an example.
A while back, I set a goal to wake up at 5 AM every morning. I typically get up around 8 AM. I am not a morning person at all, but I felt so motivated to do it. I thought willpower was enough.
Surprise, it wasn’t.
That lasted about 4 days. One night, I stayed up late working on something, and the next morning, I just could not drag myself out of bed at 5. Or at 6. Or at 7.
The problem? I went too hard, too fast. And, let’s be honest, I don’t really care about getting up at 5 AM. It’s not that important to me.
Nowadays, I aim to get up just an hour before my son and hubby to give me time to myself. That works well for me.
That 5 AM goal was not a good goal for me, in this season.
It doesn’t mean that it won’t ever be a good goal for me, right? It’s just not a good fit for me right now. I don’t have a compelling “WHY” that will make me get up at 5 AM every single day. Some days? Sure. But not every day.
The same may be true of the goal you can’t seem to conquer.
6. You’re stuck in the research and planning phase.
Do you love planning and researching whatever your interests are (like how to reach your goals in life, for instance)? I do.
That means when I’m in the mood to blog, I can spend hours researching. I look at faster ways to write blog posts, how to craft better headlines, or how to grow Instagram.
Not only will I spend hours researching that, I’ll then see what other people have to say about it. I’ll buy an e-book here, a course there, and watch yet another person’s webinar. Rinse and repeat.
Alas, you can’t research and plan forever. Although this seems productive, it isn’t. It’s actually passive action (or what I like to call purposeful procrastination) that gets you nowhere.
I don’t mean that you should never research. You absolutely should. But put a time limit on it, and then get started.
All the planning in the world won’t get you anywhere if you don’t take the first real action toward your goal.
7. You’re a perfectionist.
Do you start lots of things that you never finish because they don’t seem quite perfect? Are you afraid of failure? If so, you’re battling perfectionism, and that’s something you have to work on letting go.
Because here’s the thing: there will always be someone who can do it better. And there will always be someone who’s ready to point out the flaws in what you do. Do it anyway.
Accept that no matter how much you work on something, it will never be perfect.
Once you get past that, you’re on track to reach for your goals.