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4 Reasons Why You Can’t Achieve Your Goals

4 Reasons Why You Can’t Achieve Your Goals

For many professionals, setting business goals is seen as much more serious than setting New Year’s resolutions for example, but do these goals really have a higher achievement rate than resolutions? While they may be taken more seriously, statistics show that they’re just as likely to be wanted badly enough to be worked on for a couple of weeks and then just as quickly given up on at the first obstacle!

No matter what string of events has apparently blocked you from achieving your goals, blaming fate, circumstance or misfortune for your inability to accomplish your aims isn’t going to get you anywhere! So what is it that keeps you wanting your goals so badly and yet at the same time holding you back from achieving them?

Working with hundreds of clients has allowed me to identify four categories of pitfalls among entrepreneurs who find themselves at a dead end in regard to their goals.

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1. You have conflicting goals

Humans are multifaceted beings; therefore, it isn’t entirely out of the question that we may find ourselves setting goals that either directly or indirectly conflict with each other. You might have a true commitment to achieve your goal, but you might simultaneously and unconsciously hold competing goals and so you don’t take consistent action forward and the result is that you don’t achieve those goals.

SOLUTION: 
Be honest with yourself and take the time to reflect on the goals you are setting. Ask yourself, by achieving this goal, am I compromising on other important goals? Are all your goals aligned, how much does achieving one goal affect the others? etc.
The second important question to ask is; is your goal in conflict with any belief? ie. I want to improve my sales skills, but I don’t want to self-promote and come across as arrogant. (Which is a belief you hold – self-promotion = arrogance). Your beliefs drive your behavior, not your goals.

2. You have insufficient belief in yourself

Taking an honest approach to evaluating your skills, abilities and resources is one thing, but having doubts about your ability to improve, learn and achieve your goals altogether is another.

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Do you believe you can achieve your goals and can you see yourself achieving them? Or do you actually hold a lot of doubt and uncertainty about what’s possible for you? If you have more doubt than belief in yourself, you’re probably unable to fully, 100%, commit to your goals.

SOLUTION:
There is no point in taking action, pushing yourself forward, if you don’t actually believe that it will bring you the results you want. Again, reflect and be honest with yourself, do you actually believe in yourself and your abilities to achieve what you want? If not, why? What needs to change so you do?

3. You are all talk and no action

If you’re quick to talk, make promises and set goals without properly turning them over in your mind or giving yourself time to process your desires and emotions, then you’re more likely to let yourself down when you’re unable to achieve what you said you would. When talking without taking action becomes the norm for you, your words will eventually carry as little weight to others as they do to yourself! You find you set goals and give up, set them again, and this actually becomes a habit.

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Too many people say they want X, but when they start to tell you what they are doing to achieve X, it’s immediately clear why they aren’t reaching their goals. It’s either very minimal action they are taking or the wrong action and often, no action at all.

SOLUTION:
Don’t commit to things you can’t take action on. Just because you speak a lot about what you want or you are going to do, unless it is backed up by action – it’s worse than not saying anything at all because you actually decrease your confidence. Every time you say you are going to do something and then you actually go and do it – you boost your self-confidence. Take one action every day towards achieving your goal, no matter how small, and let this be your habit.

4. You have an ambiguous vision

Vague goals result in vague plans that are usually never clearly outlined and are therefore typically either never embarked on to begin with (how would you even know where to start?!), or don’t have a well-defined end-goal so are never really ever completed! Abstract goals can leave professionals lost in trying to connect all the stepping stones towards dubious outcomes. Lack of motivation shows up immediately, accompanied by inaction when you have too vague a vision.

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SOLUTION:
It cannot be overstated that if you are not crystal clear on what you want, why, and how to move forward – you won’t reach your goals. You will know when you have articulated your goal well enough because it will be so clear and exciting that you might even find yourself welling up with tears of happiness at the thought of achieving it.

Self Check-in

Are you able to relate to any of the four categories above? If you are, then at this point you’re probably wondering what magic pill successful people are taking to overcome such obstacles and where you can get your hands on it! The reason that professionals looking for quick-fix, cookie-cutter solutions to their problems are rarely able to resolve their issues is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for matters relating to productivity or achievement.

Ask any successful person how they got to where they are today and they’ll tell you it’s all about working on your habits and mindset, and that contrary to popular belief, these pillars of achievement actually take significant time and effort – things that you absolutely cannot put a price tag on!

Developing the right techniques to using your time and resources productively can be a challenge, but if you’re ever feeling like the cards are stacked against you, think about this line: “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” (Henry Ford)

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Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on November 5, 2020

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. A rut can manifest as a productivity vacuum and be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. Is it possible to learn how to get out of a rut?

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, or a student, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on Small Tasks

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks that have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate positive momentum, which I bring forward to my work.

If you have a large long-term goal you can’t wait to get started on, break it down into smaller objectives first. This will help each piece feel manageable and help you feel like you’re moving closer to your goal.

You can learn more about goals vs objectives here.

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2. Take a Break From Your Work Desk

When you want to learn how to get out of a rut, get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the bathroom, walk around the office, or go out and get a snack. According to research, your productivity is best when you work for 50 minutes to an hour and then take a 15-20 minute break[1].

Your mind may be too bogged down and will need some airing. By walking away from your computer, you may create extra space for new ideas that were hiding behind high stress levels.

3. Upgrade Yourself

Take the down time to upgrade your knowledge and skills. Go to a seminar, read up on a subject of interest, or start learning a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college[2]. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a Friend

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while. Relying on a support system is a great way to work on self-care when you’re learning how to get out of a rut.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget About Trying to Be Perfect

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies. Perfectionism can lead you to fear failure, which can ultimate hinder you even more if you’re trying to find motivation to work on something new.

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If you allow your perfectionism to fade, soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come, and then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

Learn more about How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up.

6. Paint a Vision to Work Towards

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the ultimate goal or vision you have for your life?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action. You can use the power of visualization or even create a vision board if you like to have something to physically remind you of your goals.

7. Read a Book (or Blog)

The things we read are like food for our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great material.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. You can also stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs and follow writers who inspire and motivate you. Find something that interests you and start reading.

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8. Have a Quick Nap

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep[3].

Try a nap if you want to get out of a rut

    One Harvard study found that “whether they took long naps or short naps, participants showed significant improvement on three of the four tests in the study’s cognitive-assessment battery”[4].

    9. Remember Why You Are Doing This

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall your inspiration, and perhaps even journal about it to make it feel more tangible.

    10. Find Some Competition

    When we are learning how to get out of a rut, there’s nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, and networking conventions can all inspire you to get a move on. However, don’t let this throw you back into your perfectionist tendencies or low self-esteem.

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    11. Go Exercise

    Since you are not making headway at work, you might as well spend the time getting into shape and increasing dopamine levels. Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, or whatever type of exercise helps you start to feel better.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

    If you need ideas for a quick workout, check out the video below:

    12. Take a Few Vacation Days

    If you are stuck in a rut, it’s usually a sign that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange one or two days to take off from work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax, do your favorite activities, and spend time with family members. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest.

    More Tips to Help You Get out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Ashkan Forouzani via unsplash.com

    Reference

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