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).
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.
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.
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.
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