How often has it happened that you’ve told yourself that by a certain point in time you’d be doing a certain something, and then silently watched as that deadline sped by, you no-where near your target? It happens to most people I know – even those who are “movers” and “shakers”, they still don’t make ALL of their goals – but understanding why is a great first step in breaking the cycle.
Cross-posted from DumbLittleMan.com, an awesome site full of life tips.
Are you the type of person who has big plans but just never seems to get anywhere with them? Did you make resolutions at the start of 09′ and completely ignore them? Perhaps you feel like life is just getting in the way and you can’t stay on track?
If you could relate to any of those questions, then this post is for you. There is no doubt in my mind that the human brain contains some form of ‘goal seeking mechanism.’ Our first aim and main goal is of course, to survive: we need adequate food, water and at least some form of shelter and out of necessity.
In this day and age, it’s becoming a lot rarer for anyone to be desperate for food and water, at least in western society or for anybody who is able to read this article. Because of that, we don’t just focus on survival and instead set other goals for ourselves. They might be productivity goals, sporting goals or even financial goals. Whatever they are, we all have them.
In thispost I want to look at the four main reasons people fail to achieve their goals. I hope that some of these points might help to awaken you to where you may have been going wrong.
- Limiting Beliefs
At times, when I’ve failed to attain the things I’m going for in life, it’s simply because I didn’t believe I could fulfil my desires. It could be my friends telling me that I can’t do something or my own beliefs based on past experiences. Either way, I would prove myself and others right by failing to achieve what I wanted.
“Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right” – Henry Ford
If you start doubting your own potential, it will make it far more likely for you to give up on a goal and just move on to something else. A good way to get past this limitation is to find people who have had success on a similar path and find out as much about them as you can.
- Picking the Wrong Goal
Saying that you picked the wrong goal should not be used an excuse for being lazy or finding it easy to give up. Picking the wrong goal should only be stated when you really have chosen the wrong goal. Wrong goals come in many formats, they could be:
- Things you’re trying to achieve because other people want you to
- Doing something just to impress others
- Focusing on something you don’t care if you achieve or not
- Mirroring others just because you think it’s the right path to take
There are more examples of this, but these are some of the most common. A good way to find the ‘right’ goal for you is to literally pick up a pen(cil) and paper and start writing down all the things you would like to achieve. If you do this for a decent amount of time, there will be something that just stands out, something that just feels right. This is probably the right goal for you.
- You Lack Consistency / Patience
Whenever I have stated this point in person, I always tell people a short personal story. As many of you will know, I’m a regular writer here at DumbLittleMan and also run my own blog which is fairly successful. Back when I first started it however, I only managed to build a few hundred readers and I wasn’t happy with the growth. Because of this, I ended up selling it for $1,500.
A few weeks later I realised what a mistake I had made when I was going to start yet another project where I’m sure the same thing would just happen again. Luckily, I was able to haggle and get my site back. In the hands of a different buyer, I probably wouldn’t have been so lucky and the blog wouldn’t have as large a following as it has today.
The key here is to keep going. Once you’ve decided on your goal, don’t let anything getin the way. There may be times when ‘life’ distracts you as it always will, but once things are dealt with, get back on track.
- There’s No “Next Step,” No Action Plan
Some people simply set themselves a goal and leave it at that. It’s something they have at the back of their mind and take action on whenever they remember. There’s no use in having a goal if you don’t lay out an action plan for yourself or at least some time-frame in which you would like to complete it.
Every morning I go over a sheet of paper which contains my three main goals in life. They are related to my health, wealth and my blog. I then set tasks for each, where necessary, and work to complete those during the day. I have a little freedom as I work for myself, but the principle of putting a plan together still applies.
I know for a fact that if I didn’t set out goals or targets for certain aspects of my life, they wouldn’t be as far along progression wise as they are now.
What else have you found to get
in the way of achieving your goals? I would love to hear your additions in the comments!