Given up already on your New Year’s Goals? Or maybe you didn’t bother this year?

What is it that makes goal-setting work for some and not others?

There are many reasons why people fail to achieve their goals, but look below and you might be amazed to find there is a solution to your personal goal-setting failure.

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Type A: Non-Committal Attitude

In my experience, the number one reason for failure is that you haven’t really committed to the change in the first place. The age old New Year’s Resolution: “This year I’m going to get fit” will be heard far and wide, but if you really commit to the goal you need to ask yourself how you are going to do it.

Solution: Clarity is needed to encourage commitment. If you really want to get fit, think it through—decide on the type of exercise you plan to do, and decide what days of the week and at what time you will do it. Having this all decided in advance makes it more difficult to make excuses. Tell people who support you what you intend to do, and even consider finding yourself an accountability buddy who will check up on you and encourage you to keep going.

Type B: Aversion to Planning

Many people don’t like to be seen as planners. They see planners as being stifled and boring, and assume that routines and schedules are not for them. I know this because for many years I fought against routine: I was too young and too cool to plan anything; spontaneity was my best friend. What I found many years later was that by planning, I could achieve more—by planning, I could get things done and leave time to be more creative and spontaneous.

Solution: Set a goal and plan out how you are going to achieve it. Start small: if you want to write a book, plan and schedule the first chapter. When you achieve this first milestone, you will see how easy it was to do so and then plan the next chapter. Plan regular small steps in your calendar and you will be amazed at how much more you will achieve in life.

Type C: Non-Believer

Most of you will be familiar with the Henry Ford quote “If you think you can or think you can’t you are probably right.” This holds true with goals: if you set a goal and deep down don’t believe you can actually achieve it, don’t waste your time.

Solution: Only set goals you believe you can achieve. What can you do if you don’t believe in your own power to achieve any of your goals? Positive affirmations can help you to achieve your goals, so try to make all your thoughts positive and supportive. Mohammad Ali proclaimed “I am the Greatest” long before he actually believed it.  Monitor your thoughts, when they are negative try and replace them with a positive one.

Type D: Easily Led

Then there are those who look to others for affirmation, but instead they get discouragement. “Don’t go for a run—come for a beer instead, it’s way more fun.” Well, it’s more fun for your friend, who won’t feel guilty that they are not exercising when you are. So many people unwittingly try to sabotage your success, and they often do so because if you improve, they’ll be forced to focus on their own stagnation. They will try to drag you back to their level at every opportunity.

Solution: Hang out with people who support you. If that’s not possible, if you have a sibling or spouse who discourages your goals and dreams, start to recognize when it happens and remain committed to your goal. When you start to recognize that other people are preventing you from living your life, you will stop allowing it to happen.

Type E: All or Nothing

I’ve met many of the “all or nothing” type in my time—they want it all, and they want it now. If it won’t happen tomorrow there is no point in doing it !

Solution: Reality check—nothing happens immediately. Learn to set smaller goals that give you more instant gratification along with your larger goals, so you can have the best of both worlds.

Awareness is the key factor when it comes to making changes. By understanding yourself and your excuses you will be better able to make decisions which will serve you and get you a step closer to achieving your goals this year.

Featured photo credit:  Mountains landscape. Young woman walking a trail in a green mountains. via Shutterstock

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