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Last Updated on May 13, 2021

11 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Results on Your Goals

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11 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Results on Your Goals

All of us have goals like getting in shape, earning more money, finding a life partner, setting up our business, achieving performance targets, or building better relationships. Some people seem to have no problem achieving their goals. Some, on the other hand, find that getting results is nearly impossible.

At the end of the day, if you find yourself stuck in your goals, it boils down to at least one of these 11 reasons:

1. Procrastination

You talk about how you want to do something, but you don’t act on it. This may be because you fear failure, lack motivation, or aren’t clear on your goal or task.

Procrastination can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety, and it will ultimately get in the way of getting results that you need to achieve your goal. If you find that this is a problem for you, check out Lifehack’s Fast-Track Class: No More Procrastination.

2. Underestimating Your Goal

Achieving a goal is about getting from point A to B. From point A, you create an action plan that gets you to point B. It sounds foolproof, except the action plan doesn’t always pan out the way you thought.

That’s because you’re setting the plan from point A. You haven’t even been to point B, so knowing how to get there is guesswork at best. Your action plan will certainly help bring you closer to point B, but it’s not going to be 100% accurate.

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Almost all the time, people fail because they underestimate what it takes to achieve their goals. What should you do, then? Overcommit your resources and review your progress constantly. Adjust your plan of action, and adapt accordingly.

3. Making Excuses

You complain how you are not getting XYZ results. When people try to give you suggestions, you spend more time justifying why their suggestions will not work and defending your lack of results than brainstorming with them on how to get out of your rut.

Spend less time talking about your problems, and use that time to think about solutions and act on them. You’ll start getting results this way, and you’ll be happier.

4. Staying in Your Comfort Zone

You don’t venture out beyond your normal routine. You do the same things, talk to the same old friends, act the same way, and circle around the same issues. It’s no wonder you stagnate.

Open yourself up, and take active steps to grow. Get to know more people who are driven, positive, and focused. Get new, refreshing perspectives by reading new books or blogs. Ask for feedback on how you can improve.

5. Not Working Smart

You do the same thing over and over, even when you aren’t getting results. You apply brute strength to your goals without strategizing how you can apply this strength more effectively.

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If you are not getting what you want, it’s a signal that it’s time to change what you have been doing. See how you can do this in a different, smarter, more effective way. Look at people who have achieved the same results before, and learn from them.

6. Caving to Fear

You avoid taking action because some of the things you have to do intimidate you. You would rather delay the process as much as possible.

Unfortunately, results are not going to come automatically from delaying. Results come to people who pay their dues, not people who avoid the work. The fear isn’t going to go away by waiting it out, so face the fear and do it anyway.

7. Getting Distracted

You get distracted by things thrown in your way, and your attention gets diverted from your goals. Your ability to stay focused and practice good time management is instrumental to getting results.

Be clear of what you want, and stick to it. Don’t let anything (or anyone) distract you. These are the obstacles the universe sends your way to see how serious you are about getting what you want.

8. Overcomplicating Situations

This is common among perfectionists[1]. If you are a perfectionist, you blow the situation out of proportion and create this mental image that’s so complicated that it’s no wonder you don’t get anything done. You may also avoid starting because you worry that perfection won’t be possible.

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Things are usually simpler than you think, so be conscious when you are adding unnecessary complications for yourself. Do your best to realize that perfect isn’t achievable; if it were, we wouldn’t learn much along the way.

9. Giving up Too Easily

You give up before you even get anywhere. If you read The Dip, you’ll know all big goals comes with a dipping point, a chasm where it seems nothing you do is giving you results.

This is the point that separates those who deserve the goal and those who are just taking a casual stab at it. There’s no “easy” way out, and all goals have their own set of obstacles to be overcome. Persevere, press on, and it’s only a matter of time before you reap the fruits of your labor.

10. Losing Sight of Your Goals

You settle for less, forgetting the goals you once set. That’s bad because then you are just stifling yourself and making do with what you have, and this isn’t who you are meant to be.

You have to first reconnect with your inner desires. If you could not fail, what would you want to do? What are your biggest hopes and dreams for your future?

Reignite your vision, and don’t ever lose sight of it. It’s your fuel that will help you start getting results that will lead to success.

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11. Being Rigid

You insist on doing things a certain way, and don’t open yourself up to new ideas.

If you do this, you’ll likely remain stuck in the same situation as well, unable to move forward and get the results you way.

Open yourself to new methods, and begin to experiment. You can only improve if you are willing to try new things.

Final Thoughts

If you haven’t noticed, these 11 reasons are self-created problems. You can easily dismiss them just as you have created them.

Your goals are in your hands, and you can achieve them as long as you strive for them. Address the 11 things blocking you from your success, and you’ll find that getting results happens naturally in your work and life.

More Tips for Making Goals Happen

Featured photo credit: Nubelson Fernandes via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Manage Your Perfectionism

More by this author

Celestine Chua

Celestine is the Founder of Personal Excellence where she shares her best advice on how to boost productivity and achieve excellence in life.

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Published on September 16, 2021

What Are Process Goals? (With Examples)

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What Are Process Goals? (With Examples)

Ready. Set. Go. For years, this was my three-step mindset when it came to goals. I would reach for the moon and hope to land among the stars without feeling the pain of the fall. This approach was all or nothing, and as a result, I experienced loads of burnout and almost zero productivity. In short, my task list was filled with high-level intentions, but I hadn’t taken the time to create a map to reach the destinations. I was lost in the planning stages because I didn’t understand process goals or have any examples to follow.

Since then, I’ve learned how to embrace the journey and break my outcome goals into smaller and more manageable process goals. This approach has improved my focus and reduced frustration because I’m now working towards a surefire strategy that will take me where I want to go––I’m creating a plan of action with achievable daily targets (a process goal).

What Is a Process Goal?

A process goal is not a destination, it’s the path you plan on taking to get there. For example, if you want to become better at writing, your process goal would be to post one blog article per week and learn from the feedback you receive. The destination is a monthly goal of 12 articles.

This distinction is important because it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that these types of goals are not all or nothing. Think about it. You’ve heard it said: it’s not about working hard but working smart.

Well, a process goal is an actionable target with what we call SMART criteria:

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  • Specific – The more detailed your goal, the better. For example, instead of “I want to be fit,” you would say, “I want to lose five pounds.” Make sure your goal is crystal clear.
  • Measurable – You need a way to measure progress and success, so it needs to be quantifiable. This is where you decide what “fit” actually means for you (more on this later).
  • Achievable – If your goal isn’t challenging, then it’s not going to be motivating. On the other hand, there must be a steeper mountain to climb if you want substantial results.
  • Realistic – “I want to run a marathon” is not practical for most people. Ensure you have the time, energy, and resources (e.g., training program) required to achieve your goal.
  • Time-Bound – Your goal needs an assigned deadline or it’s just a pipe dream. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, but what happens when the fantasy ends?

To summarize, these are the essential components of any process goal: specific, measurable, achievable within a certain time frame, and realistic.

What Is a Destination Goal?

A destination goal is a point in time when you plan to be at a particular destination. For example, if your goal is to get to represent your country at the 2025 Summer Olympics, you right need to focus on smaller increments to attain that success. On your way to that goal, you need to focus on smaller destinations. First, make the national team. Then, compete in a few events and so forth.

If you try to make it to the Olympics from the very start without any milestones along the way, it would be too daunting. On the other hand, if you focus on each milestone as a destination goal, it will all seem possible and achievable.

Process Goal Template

Let’s say you want to become a better cook. Here is one way of writing the process goal: “I will save $100 per week by cooking all my meals at home for 12 weeks.” This would be your destination (monthly), and the steps required to achieve this goal (weekly) would be:

  1. Spend one hour on Sunday planning my meals for the week.
  2. Shop for groceries after work on Monday and Tuesday nights.
  3. Cook all meals at home on Wednesdays through Sundays.
  4. Pack my lunch for work on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  5. Save $100 per week in cash by cooking at home.

This process goal will help you become a better cook by teaching you to save money through planning, shopping, cooking, packing your own lunch, and trying new recipes. It also includes a weekly reward (saving $100 in cash) that will help you stay motivated.

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Process goals encourage you to reach your ultimate goals. When you feel like you can accomplish smaller goals along the way, you gain sustainability and confidence to move forward.

In many ways, process goals are a lot like faith. Each accomplishment brings you closer to seeing the fullness of the life that you desire––it breaks through the fog and makes things clearer.

What Questions Helped Me Find My Process Goals?

After several years of setting lofty goals and becoming increasingly frustrated when I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, I decided to take a closer look at my approach.

Now, there are many ways you can do this, but here’s how I went about it. Last year, I asked myself the following questions:

  • What am I doing right now?
  • How can I get better at this?
  • Is this process goal leading me closer to my ultimate goals?

The choices I made from the answers to these questions became my process goals. They were the driving force that kept me motivated and moving forward when I wanted to give up and throw in the towel. Since then, I’ve been able to accomplish lifelong goals that I had given up on years ago. For example, I’ve been able to obtain a publishing contract, create more digital products for my business, and enjoy the moment.

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Before I broke down my goals into smaller ones, I was struggling to just get out of bed. The thought of my endless list kept me stagnant. Now, I look forward to each morning and taking on smaller projects to reach profitable outcomes.

What Are Some Process Goals You Can Try?

So, now that you understand the importance of process goals, let’s get you started with some examples that you can utilize this week:

  • Sign up for a new class.
  • Complete one portion of your project by Thursday.
  • Start walking around the block instead of running a mile.
  • Improve your writing by spending 30 minutes everyday journaling.
  • Practice your interview skills.
  • Read at least one book from the library this week.
  • Do ten push-ups each day before you leave for work.

You get the idea. These process goals don’t have to be complicated. If anything, you want to break down your plans to the point of them feeling easy or at least doable without needing a week’s vacation. By breaking your goals down into smaller pieces, you can accomplish a lot more in a shorter period. You’ll also feel more confident that you’re able to accomplish something within the moment.

It isn’t easy to continue towards your goal if achievement feels too far away. You need to celebrate the small things and embrace the process.

What Do You Need for Process Goals?

Think about how much time and money you’ve spent on new clothes, books, technology, etc. Many of us want to keep up with the latest trends and purchase the best gadgets from Apple or Microsoft. But all of these extra investments come at a steep price.

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To find your process goals, you may have to face some difficult emotions or situations bravely and confront them head-on. You might need to forgo the new outfit or the latest Mac book to meet your overall objectives.[1] Remember, process goals not only protect you from feeling overwhelmed, but they also keep you from being distracted.

Final Thoughts

You may feel overwhelmed at first when trying to set a process goal. Sometimes, just thinking about change triggers stress hormones, which only leads to more worries and anxious feelings. However, if you keep yourself focused and take small steps in the right direction, you’ll soon realize that goals don’t have to be complicated.

You can achieve your process goals one day at a time, and you can start today by breaking down your larger goal into smaller steps. It doesn’t matter if the process takes a week or six months, what matters most is that you’re moving forward and doing something to make yourself better.

Now, go on out there and achieve one of your process goals!

Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

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Reference

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