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Goal Getting

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

Written by 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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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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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