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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!

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Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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