Advertising
Advertising

10 Reasons Why You’re Not Reaching Your Goal at All

10 Reasons Why You’re Not Reaching Your Goal at All

Most of us have big dreams of accomplishing great things within our lifetime. We’re pursuing a feeling  by setting goals that force us out of our comfort zones and into new spaces where we become better versions of ourselves. Every single one of us has the capacity to be better. Before I talk about what holds you back from reaching your goals, I want to emphasize one important point: You are enough. Yes, you. You have the potential, the drive, and the zeal to accomplish every one of your dreams. But sometimes, you get in your own way. We all do it. Here are some reasons why you’re not reaching your goal.

1. Because you stop when it gets difficult.

Anything that’s worth getting is difficult to do. No matter your goal, whether it’s the finished manuscript, the weight loss, the marathon, or the million-dollar startup, getting to that goal takes a lot of grit. Along your journey, you will feel discouraged or stuck as often as you will be inspired to keep going. There will always be setbacks, but as long as you keep moving forward, you will make it there. So feel the burn, breathe into it, begin again, and know that the sweat and tears that you give to your goals will all be worth it when you get there.

2. Because you expect it right now.

If we don’t see the results we want right away, we give up. In our culture of instant gratification and immediate communication, we’ve gotten used to having things we want right away. So it’s not surprising that we’ve lost touch with working hard to get results we want to see. When they don’t show up right away, we feel like they never will, so we quit early and leave it up to our future selves to try again later (if at all).

Advertising

3. Because you don’t go with the flow.

When we have expectations that our path is set in stone, we get lost if it doesn’t lead where we thought it would. We stop looking for alternative routes, or worse, we turn around. Achieving meaningful goals is all about trying now things we’ve never done before. Be flexible on your path. Don’t get discouraged; take on the challenge. The saying, “it’s not about the destination it’s about the journey” is a cliché because it’s the truth—and solid advice.

4. Because you research without pulling the trigger.

With increasing accessibility to the Internet, we have a seemingly unlimited supply of information, research, and resources for just about any question we have. The other side of the coin is we have an unlimited supply of information. For every goal we make for ourselves, there are about a thousand people that have blogged, vlogged, or shared insight that relates to that goal. It’s definitely easy to get caught up in information overload and stall out before we even begin. Research what you need, and then get started like tomorrow is the deadline!

5. Because you sabotage yourself.

I can’t tell you how many times I wasted a killer workout by eating the most indulgent dinner that same day. Because, hey—I deserve a treat for that hard work! But that’s not what I need. We may not even realize we are sabotaging ourselves. Habits that are deeply engrained in our brains are not re-routed overnight. When I do something that helps me toward my goal, I feel realllly good. And to keep that good feeling going, I offer myself something else that I know feels good, like losing myself in a Netflix marathon, or eating that slice of cake, or buying that new bag I’ve been eyeing. But all of those things are designed to give me pleasure, not the intrinsic satisfaction that I feel when I do something that contributes to my long-term goals.

Advertising

6. Because you don’t manage your time.

There are only 24 hours in a day and it’s our choice how we fill that time up. And like changing our habits, changing the way we normally flow through our day does not change overnight. It’s up to you to say no to something that doesn’t contribute to your higher goals. You will never find time; you have to carve it out.

7. Because you lack a plan.

Reaching a goal means knowing exactly where you’re headed. Starting from the end and working backward is the easiest way to build a plan that will get you where you need to be. If you don’t know where you are trying to go and what milestones to reach, all it takes is one setback to stop your progress. Making a plan holds you accountable and keeps you moving in the direction of your ultimate goal.

8. Because you don’t want it enough.

Maybe you choose your goals because you think it’s what other people expect of you. When we see what other people are doing, especially when they are successful at it, we get a bias that influences our decisions. Don’t fall prey to the trap that we have to do things the way someone else has before. Every single human is unique and no two paths will be exactly the same. Stay true to what you really want.

Advertising

9. Because you lack clarity around why you want it.

This all comes down to the reason why we want the things we want. How do you want to feel? What are you pursuing on a more spiritual and authentic level? What’s your mission statement around the big goals you make for yourself? When you know this reason, never stop reminding yourself. Write it on your bedroom wall. Stick it on a post-it at your computer. Make it your morning mantra before you begin each day. Never let go of the why. It will help you remember why you started.

10. Because you procrastinate.

I waited until the end to write this.

Because putting off something is always way easier than doing it. Whether it be laziness, a lack of inspiration, or fear, it’s scary to do things that force us out of our comfort zone. We’re ALL guilty of this one. Ask yourself why you are resisting doing the work. Just wait. And I don’t mean put it off. When you find your attention span drifting away from the thing you’re supposed to be doing, don’t do something else. Just wait. And when you’re ready, get back at it.

Advertising

 

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

More by this author

8 Not-So-Obvious Signs You’re Actually Doing Work You Love 10 Reasons Why You’re Not Reaching Your Goal at All

Trending in Productivity

1 5 Values of an Effective Leader 2 How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them 3 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work) 4 30 Practical Ideas to Create Your Best Morning Routine 5 Is People Management the Right Career Path for You?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

Advertising

From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

Advertising

The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

Advertising

But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

Advertising

Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Advertising

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

Read Next