Advertising

Last Updated on January 19, 2021

4 Reasons Why You Can’t Achieve Your Goals

4 Reasons Why You Can’t Achieve Your Goals
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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!

Advertising

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)

More by this author

Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2021 Updated) How to Be Productive: 4 Tiny Tweaks to Make in Life 10 Negative Thoughts We All Have and What to Think Instead 22 Hardest But Most Important Things You Must Do To Achieve Success

Trending in Goal Getting

1 A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success 2 The Ultimate List of 29 Life Goals for Living a Fulfilling Life 3 4 Effective Goal-Setting Templates To Help you Set Goals 4 7 Best Goal Planners To Get in 2021 5 How to Find Motivation to Achieve Your Goal After a Setback

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 29, 2021

A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success

A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success
Advertising

If there was a rule book of life, there would be one particular page that was highlighted, underlined, and titled as most important. It would be the one which told you that you need to master effective goal setting and have an aim in mind before you get on with the process. While there may not be an actual rule book of life, we do have this helpful goal setting guide to offer.

Yes, goal setting is important. In fact, it’s more important than achieving the goal itself. This is because it is the sense of direction that is needed for you to fulfill any task in life.

You don’t have to feel overwhelmed if this sounds new to you, as all the following information has you covered.

Today, you’ll find out all about the importance of goal setting, types of goals, and tips to define realistic goals for yourself!

What Are Goals?

To kick off our goal setting tips guide, you need to first recognize what goals are and how they are different from objectives, dreams, and expectations.

A goal is essentially your aim for the long-term future. It is the bigger umbrella, the main focus.

Objectives, on the other hand, fall under the umbrella of goals. They are the stepping stones that help you achieve your goals[1].

Objects vs goals for goal setting tips

    For example, you may decide you want to learn a new language. Your goal is to be fluent in the new language. Everything you do to achieve this goal, such as the daily tasks and monthly learning aims, are the objectives.

    Similarly, your expectations, visions, and dreams are not your goals. If you wish to learn a new language someday, that is your dream. If you see yourself fluently speaking multiple foreign languages, that is your vision. If you think you’re capable of learning a new language, that is your expectation.

    However, if you aim to fulfill these visions, dreams, and expectations practically, that is your goal.

    Why Is Goal Setting Important?

    Why should you bother with goal setting at all? Wouldn’t it be more convenient to just get on with your daily objectives, follow a dream or vision, and let life take you wherever?

    Advertising

    While that road can feel exciting and spontaneous, if you actually want to tick off things from your list of goals to achieve, learning how to set goals is necessary.

    Being committed to a goal puts your brain to work in one specific direction. Believe it or not, by having a defined goal, your brain does its magic unconsciously, 24/7, with full efficiency, to achieve the desired results[2].

    Goal setting is important to shift your focus, boost your motivation, and give you a sense of direction. Without formally defining a particular aim that you want to reach, you won’t be able to keep your objectives in line.

    Hence, this one tiny step can end up saving you a lot of hassle and time while also encouraging your productivity.

    Types of Goals

    Before we move onto the technique of setting effective goals, we need to first take a look at all types of goals in this goal setting tips guide.

    These categories will not just help you brainstorm new one for yourself, but it will also guide you to list them down in the right way.

    Time-Based

    One of the two broad categories of goals is based on time. These goals define how far in the future you want to achieve them.

    Daily

    There are certain smaller goals that you can easily achieve in a day or two. In fact, some of these daily goals can be recurring, too. For example, you may want to run for an hour every morning.

    Now, these daily goals can also serve as objectives for a long-term goal. You may be running every day because, in the long-term, you want to increase your stamina.

    Daily goals are highly effective for people who want to improve their mental wellbeing, time management skills, and stress management.

    Short-Term

    Next in line are short-term goals. As you would have already guessed, goal setting in this area is aimed at the near future.

    The great thing about these is that they are generally easier to achieve. This is because short-term goals are set for the foreseeable future. You are aware of the circumstances and have a general idea of how much the situation can change.

    Advertising

    Just like daily goals, short-term goals may also serve as objectives for a long-term goal. Your short-term goal may be to lose 5 pounds in one month. That could be a goal in itself, or maybe it is just one objective to fulfill your goal to adopt a healthy lifestyle in the next two years.

    Another example of a short-term goal is to fulfill the checklist for promotion within the next 6 months. Or, you may want to reduce your screen time within the coming week.

    Long-Term

    Lastly, we have long-term goals that are meant to be completed over a stretched period.

    Whatever you want to achieve in a later stage of life is a long-term goal. An insurance plan, for example, is a long-term goal.

    Some long-term goals don’t have any time frame at all. They are goals that you want to accomplish at some point in your life. So, something like traveling the whole world is a lifelong goal with no specific time constraint at all.

    There’s one thing about long-term goals that isn’t great.

    They are the hardest to keep up with since you’re not seeing any huge achievements regularly. This may take a toll on your motivation. To tackle this problem, it is best to divide a long-term goal into various, short-term and daily objectives so that you’re always tracking the progress you’re making.

    Life-Based

    Moving forward, you can also start goal setting based on the results you want to achieve instead of the time period.

    Career

    Like most people, you will likely want to succeed and excel in your career. Anything that has to do with this intention, regardless of the time frame, is a career goal. These are usually measurable goals, such as receiving a promotion within two years, finding a job at a certain company within the next six months, etc.

    You can learn more about how to set successful career goals here.

    Personal

    The past few years have all been about emphasizing your personal health. So, when it comes to goals, how can we forget the ones that have to do with our personal gains?

    From health to finances to relationships, everything that brings you happiness and composure as a person is a personal goal. It’s important that these are realistic and attainable goals for your life.

    Advertising

    Whether you want to get rid of your debt, quit smoking, start a side hustle, have children, or travel the world, all of these goals are personal and very important to have on your list.

    How to Set Goals

    The best way to guarantee the fulfillment of goals is to set them the right way.

    1. Use SMART Goals

    Every goal you define has to be SMART[3].

    SMART stands for:

    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Attainable
    • Relevant
    • Time-Bound

    In summary, your specific goals should be very well defined. They shouldn’t be generic or broad, and every detail should be clarified as you’re goal setting. 

    If you want to start running, how often do you want to do it? How long will each session be? For how long will you continue this habit?

    There has to be a connection between your goals and beliefs or you’ll never be able to achieve the results you want. Most importantly, do not be unrealistic. You cannot learn to fly, and forcing yourself to try is only going to demotivate and stress you out.

    2. Prioritize Your Goals

    As you’re looking into how to write goals for the next month or year, it’s likely you’ll come up with more than one. In this case, it’s important to prioritize which are the most important or the ones that have the tightest deadline. This is going to be subjective, as only you know which goals will have the most impact on your life.

    3. Think of Those Around You

    As you’re working on goal setting, keep your loved ones in mind. You may have a partner, children, or employees that depend on you, and you should take them into consideration with your goals. For example, if you set a goal to travel to 10 different countries in the next two years, how will this affect your children?

    If you want to lose 30 pounds this year, is there something your partner can do to support you? S/he will need to be made aware of this before you set off on your weight loss journey.

    4. Take Action

    Setting goals is the first step, but in order to be successful, you have to follow this with action. If you set goals but never act on them, they become dreams. Create an action plan laying out the steps you need to take each day or week in order to achieve your big and small goals.

    You can also check out Lifehack’s free guide: The Dreamers’ Guide for Taking Action and Making Goals Happen. This helpful guide will push you to take action on your goals, so check it out today!

    Advertising

    5. Don’t Forget the Bigger Picture

    Most people refer to the big picture as their vision. Whether it is the long-term result or the connection of the goal with your desire, keep it in mind to keep yourself from getting distracted.

    You can learn more about creating a vision for your life here.

    I also recommend you to watch this video to learn 7 strategies to set goals effectively:

    How to Reach Your Goals

    You can ensure your progress by following some foolproof tactics. The use of relevant helpful tools can also keep you on the right track.

    Tactics

    One rookie mistake that most people make is that they work on too many goals simultaneously. Create an action plan and focus on one thing at a time.

    Divide your goal into smaller, easily achievable tasks. Taking it one step at a time makes it much easier. However, do not break them down too much. For example, for long-term goals, you should go for weekly checkpoints instead of daily ones.

    Also, keep track of your progress. This will keep you motivated to work harder.

    Tools

    With so many categories of goals and so many aims, it is almost impossible to remember, let alone work, on all of them.

    Luckily, numerous goal tracker apps will help you keep track of your goals, as well as your plan to achieve every single one. Have at least one installed in your smartphone so that your plan is always within reach.

    The Bottom Line

    In conclusion, using a goal setting tips guide is not rocket science. All that it takes is strong will power along with all the knowledge that you’ve learned so far.

    Try out the tactics and goals setting tips mentioned above to be able to set successful goals so that you can achieve the life that you want!

    More Tips on Achieving Success

    Featured photo credit: Danielle MacInnes via unsplash.com

    Advertising

    Reference

    [1] Smart Insights: The difference between marketing objectives and marketing goals?
    [2] Confluence: Goal Setting Theory
    [3] University of California: SMART Goals: A How-To Guide

    Read Next