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Why We Fail to Achieve Our Goals and How to Stop
Why we fail to achieve our goals is beyond our understanding. Meaning, we are such creatures of crummy habit we don’t always see what derails us. That is until we are so far off course we can’t turn around and see the path we took to get there.
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People will say “You don’t plan well enough…” which might be true, but there’s a lot to be said for the plans we make, and whose action we never take. Others say “We get distracted by other things, more important things…” but if Harry Potter’s goal and life purpose were always to defeat Voldemort, then how come JK Rowling wrote his first six stories? Why didn’t she give him his end game in one action-packed book, and call it a day?
The truth is; it all matters. All the details, all the mess-ups, all the failures. They lead to your goal.
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So why we fail to achieve our goals is not the right question: The right question is; How can what I do today? Get me to where I want to be tomorrow?
7. You allow LIFE to overwhelm you and become
In my post about mom-stress, I talk about how easy it can be to put yourself and your goals on the backburner to your day to day stress. Especially when that stress seems insurmountable. Bills pile up, and the washer breaks. You get an eviction notice and all of a sudden your weight loss plans, or small business plans, are the first thing to get pushed to the side.
How do we change this?
By changing your perspective on your life stress. How many problems that you have in your life, currently, could be solved if you achieved your goals? Doctors appointments for blood pressure, or chronic pain? Perhaps your health goals could aid in that. The financial burden too much currently? Maybe your small business idea could support in that. You see successful people aren’t without life stress, they merely use their goals to fix their problems.
6. You plan, but fail to act.
In the 11th grade at school, they said: “Write out your goals for this year, short term and long term.” So we did. On some random sheet of paper, I wrote that my long-term goal was to be a writer and my short-term goal was to get a B+ average in the first semester.
I didn’t become a writer until 10 years after high school, and I never achieved a B+ average GPA. Why? Because I planned, but I didn’t work backward to actually figure out what steps I would have to take to get there.
Think of it as a road trip. These days you can punch into your GPS where you want to go, and the GPS will take you, turn by turn, mile by mile until you’ve reached your destination. Putting a goal out there of “Lose 10lbs this year!” is excellent for a refrigerator sticker that you can loathe in November but not realistic if you want to reach it. Plan it out, then act it out. Do you want to finish the book by Sunday? How many chapters will you need to read per day? How many hours? Get specific, then do it.
5. You let the little voice win.
It might sound like your mother in law, telling you your spending too much money on a pipe dream. Or maybe it looks like your father telling you that college is a waste of money. Perhaps the little voice is your best friend telling you that you repeat your mistakes too often.
Whatever the little voice is, tell it to shut up.
In my Freedom From Failure course, I teach exactly how to overwrite your negative thoughts into positive affirmations. Piece by piece, one by one until you are the only voice in your head and that voice is telling you: GO! BE! DO!
Seriously, tell it to shut up. Thank me later.
4. You think you’re alone, and Forget the Power of Accountability
I know I said the only little voice you need is you and that ultimately is correct. But a significant reason why we fail to achieve our goals is we take away the power accountability, and an audience has on us. Tell your husband your goal, your brother, sister, best friend. Tell the person in your life who is the most encouraging and has the most “go-getter attitude”!
Tell them, because it will not always be easy to continue like it is in the beginning. Besides that, you will need the power of a trusted person to remind you why you started. So that even when you don’t believe in you; they do. You aren’t alone in this goal. Chances are many came before you to achieve the same outcome, but your journey is your struggle, not theirs. So find your tribe, and lean on them when the road gets rocky.
3. You put Limits on your Abilities
Maybe you’ve tried this same thing before and failed, and therefore you tell yourself you lack the willpower to see it through. Heres the cold hard truth:
- Willpower doesn’t exist.
It’s not real, no one has it. If everyone had it no one would struggle to meet their goals.
- Grit is real.
Grit is the thing everyone possesses if they want something bad enough and that’s the ability to keep going towards something regardless of how hard it is.
So when you limit your ability to meet a goal, before you even begin; Ask yourself how badly do you want it? Where there is a will, there is a way, and where there is a limit, there is an excuse. Society already limits you enough, don’t add to that.
2. You don’t invest in yourself.
Sometimes goals take more than just a want. They require tools, and they receive help. Often times they cost money. It’s not fair that everything else gets first place to the goals you want to achieve. If you keep trying to meet a goal and keep failing to guess what? You might need to spend something to get where you want to go. This is to give yourself incentive and foresee meeting your goal as a Return on Investment. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary sometimes. When I work with clients, I help them understand this. You are worth what you are willing to spend on yourself to help you achieve your purpose.
YOU ARE WORTH IT.
So if you keep telling yourself, that you don’t have the money to invest in weight watchers, a personal trainer, a goal coach, an online course or college tuition, what are you really saying about how you feel about yourself?!
1. You’re N
That’s a hard one to swallow huh? If your excuses were hung like curtains in the doorway to your goal, you would just stand there instead of pushing them to the side.
When it comes down to why we fail, ultimately it comes down to this:
You aren’t willing to do what you have to do, to have what you want to have. Period.
Can we change this?
Hell yes, you can change this. Please, please change this!
Start with a good plan, like Nadalie Bardo’s Goal Planner. Take some severe self-assessments every few months. Do something every day to become who you want to be. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it will happen if you keep going. Take my free course if you don’t know where to start. It gives some great pointers with an excellent track record of changing minds and futures.
Whatever you do, keep going. Don’t stop until you get there.
I’ll meet you on the other side. Don’t worry, and I’ll bring the champagne to celebrate. 😉
This is a great piece. Letting go of your little voice is a big one. Negative talk inside your head will stop you from moving forward. Great advice and tips.
Thank you Kathleen! I agree, getting the little voice in your head to quiet down is very difficult! I teach about that in my free course! 🙂