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10 Mistakes That Make You Unable To Reach Life Goals

10 Mistakes That Make You Unable To Reach Life Goals

How excited are you for the end of the year to be over and the new year to begin? I’ve heard a wealth of mixed responses. For some, this time of year brings anxiety, for others hope, and for some, a sense of ‘here we go again, new years resolutions” (eye’s rolling). Everyone knows that New Year’s resolutions play a big part in the season’s conversation, and there is a lot of unspoken pressure to”‘change what you know isn’t working.”

Many people use the new year as an opportunity to change a habit they have been wanting to change for years or setting a new exciting goal; either way, whether you are moving away or towards something, reaching your goals is not as easy as it seems, but it doesn’t need to be hard either. In life, as with everything, making mistakes is part of the journey and goal setting is no exception. It is a wise thing to set goals and push yourself out of your comfort zone, but it is also easy to get disillusioned when you don’t see any results.

When you don’t reach your goals, do you know why? Of course, it’s not always easy to identify what we might be doing wrong.

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Here are the top 10 mistakes you’re probably making that make you unable to reach life goals.

1. Pursuing several goals at once

Always and only focus on one or two goals at a time. Pursuing several goals will certainly undermine your results. The reality is: you most likely don’t actually have the time it takes to dedicate yourself to pursuing each goal. Also, your focus is too diluted and far spread, and what often happens is that you end up with no results because you are trying to do too much. Rather focus on one goal, put all your energy and effort into achieving it, and then set a new one. This will build your confidence in goal setting as well.

2. Setting a huge and unachievable goal

Your goal must be exciting and the thought should make your heart beat faster for sure! However, there is a very thin line between setting a goal which cannot be achieved and one that makes you excited. Using the SMART guidelines when goal setting should help you to clarify your exciting goal and make it achievable. Be careful who you listen to when sharing your goals and don’t let others impose their limited thinking on you. Find a balance between what you would love to happen and what you can see happening if you put in the required work.

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3. Not taking any action towards the goal

If you are simply dreaming about the goal and not taking any action, you won’t get anywhere. You must dream about your goal and have a vision but you also need to take massive and continuous action to reach your goal. Just sitting around and putting in a little effort here and there will not get you any results. Every day you need to take action that will help you get closer to your goal‒it is as simple as that.

4. Not putting results before comfort

Everyone knows it isn’t a piece of cake to meet your goals, and it’s because most goals require you to put a lot of effort into them. You often have to go out of your comfort zone and do things you don’t feel like doing with the long term goal in mind. One of the reasons that most people give up is simply because they don’t have the motivation, dedication, persistence and patience to put results before comfort. This is what truly separates the majority of those who achieve their goals and those who don’t‒the former certainly takes disciplined action.

5. Giving up too soon

How long do you try before you give up? Trying is not about doing the same thing over and over and hoping it will work out differently each time. When it seems like things aren’t working out and you want to give in, you might just need to tweak your strategy slightly or do something different‒that is it. Perhaps you feel that you have been trying and trying, yet to see any results and you want to give up. Patience is also required when it comes to setting goals and achieving them. Sometimes we give up just before we have our breakthrough. Don’t throw in the towel when things get tricky; work through it and the results you desire will follow. Read the biographies of the famous and you will see that persistence is an essential ingredient in success.

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6. Playing the victim game

We have all felt like victims before, you know, when things just don’t go right and we feel like it just isn’t fair. Thinking this way too often can be detrimental to your success however, because this way of thinking is simply dis-empowering, and it will make you think that you have no control over the results of your efforts. Commit to staying in the driver’s seat and directing your life. Don’t stay in the passenger seat being driven around by other people and feeling like a helpless victim.

7. Not having clear direction

If you don’t know exactly where you are going, how will you know when you get there? Having a clear direction does not only lead to targeted actions, but it serves as a visual goal, which will give you added motivation. The clearer your goal, the more motivated you are to achieve it. See your goal as a crystal clear image in your mind’s eye, and you will be drawn towards it.

8. Always expecting the worst

Henry Ford famously and so truthfully said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” In other words, If you expect the worst, you will most likely get the worst and if you expect the best to happen, you will most likely experience that. Why waste your energy on thinking about things you don’t want to happen and start to think about the things that you do want to happen. What you focus on expands, so think about those things which you want to expand.

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9. Doing what you think you should and not want you want

When you set goals that you don’t really want to achieve, but feel like you should, you won’t be so inspired to take action and you will feel a resistance. Likewise if you set goals because somebody else wants you to, you will find them hard to accomplish. Do what you really want to do, not what you think your family, partner or friends want you to. Doing what you love and really want to do is the best motivator ever.

10. Not dealing with obstacles

Obstacles are bound to come up, but if you give up at the first sign of an obstacle, you will find it difficult to achieve most your goals. When you are goal setting, you should identify your anticipated obstacles and plan ways to overcome them. There will always be obstacles, but the most important part is how you deal with them.

Goal setting doesn’t need to be difficult, to be tedious or fruitless. If you set and achieve goals that really mean a lot to you, you will literally change your world around! You have all the power inside you‒you just need to tap into it.

To your success!

More by this author

Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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