Throughout my 20+ years in management and my time as a mom, I have heard many a sob story about how someone is frustrated about not achieving a goal. I am also guilty of this and have hosted one too many pity parties as a result of something not going right. However, this is the time to self reflect and understand why things did not work out. Why did I not reach my goal? What goal have you set out for yourself and failed to achieve? Have you tried over and over again only to come up with the same result? What have you learned from your failures? Chances are that you are more than likely guilty of at least one of the top ten reasons people do not achieve their goals. Which one applies to you?
1) You don’t look before you leap
This simply means that you do not put in the work to truly understand what it takes to achieve the goal you want to reach. It’s like going to the gym and lifting weights without a plan or understanding of what weights or exercises will target what muscle group. Eventually you will get discouraged because you don’t see the results but had you done a bit of research you would have learned about targeting muscle groups.
In a business scenario I would equate this to starting an online business. I myself have had this struggle. I had to reverse engineer the failure to understand and learn what I had done wrong. I had not done the work to truly understand what SEO was and thought, I would just open and online shop and the money would come. Wrong!
2) You don’t define your goals
There is a difference between having a goal of wanting to be a millionaire and having a goal of starting your own business. One may lead to the other but the road to the latter can by much more defined and achievable. How can you define and break down the process of starting your own business? What kind of business? Who is your audience or customer base? What is the average revenue from this type of business?
The same can be said about a personal health and wellness goal. I can say I want to be a better communicator. But what does that mean? Do I improve my listening skills? Expand my vocabulary? Or work on my emotional intelligence and reaction to communication? When it comes to health I often hear about people who want to lose weight. What is the true goal and how do we define it? To say I want to lose weight can mean different things to different people. You get on the scale one morning and are down 2lbs. Yay! Goal accomplished! Right? Wrong. Define what you really want, visualize it and write it down to help you focus on what you want to achieve.
3) You don’t break your goals into bite sized pieces
How do you build a wall? One brick at a time. This is very important to remember because we punish ourselves for not achieving our goals but in reality do not set ourselves up for success in the first place. Take the example of wanting to start your own business. That is a great goal and very achievable but you cannot get there without following other steps. Those additional steps can be to educate yourself on ecommerce or the logistics process of your business. It can be to test product or service. It can be to secure funding or grow your audience. Whatever those steps are, they should be goals that you seek to achieve to help you reach your ultimate goal. We fail to set smaller achievable goals and lose steam along the way because it has taken too long to see success with the ultimate goal. Crushing smaller goals gives us a sense of accomplishment and energy to continue on with the next task or milestone.
The same is true with health and wellness. If it’s about losing weight then setting a goal of losing 100 lbs is quite and undertaking. However, if you achieve the first 10 lbs in one month, you can feel a sense of accomplishment for achieving your first goal. If you want to be a weight lifter and currently are lifting weights at 10lbs, your goal can be to increase the weight by 5 lbs every two weeks. Small goals help you climb to the big one.
4) You don’t put in the work
The most frustrating thing is when people expect 100% of the reward but put minimal to no effort into getting it. You have to put in the work to get the reward. It seems that many people dream of great things but do not want to put in the effort or sacrifice to get what they want.
For example, those who dream of starting a business may feel that this will provide them better work life balance and allow them to come and go as they please throughout the day. The truth is that eventually that may happen. However, in the beginning it will take sacrifice and dedication to get there. This may be in the form of early mornings and late nights or performing several roles at once because you don’t have a team yet.
With health and wellness it can mean waking up an extra hour early to work out or meditate. It can mean listening to self improvement podcasts on your way home instead of rocking out to your favorite radio station during your commute. It can mean enrolling in a self help or self healing seminar instead of going out with friends. Either way you will need to put in some work to get there.
5) You are not committed to the process
I have seen that the most common reason people do not reach their goals is because they are not committed to the process. They do not see results fast enough and give up. This one applies to any scenario. It can be seen in a business sense or personal wellness. I have personally been one to give up on goals pretty quickly in the past because I did not see the results right away. Truth is when I look back, it was not the goal but my lack of commitment to goal and the process that made me fail. In the times when I was committed, I reached my goal and felt the desire to achieve more.
6) You are controlled by fear of failure
This is one that almost all of us can relate to. The fear of failure can be crippling. It can keep us from applying for a promotion. It can keep us from meeting that someone special. It can keep us from being healthy. Truth is that the fear of failure came from something way in the past and you need to silence that voice. Failure is a part of life but so is learning. Instead of fearing failure we should embrace it. Looking at failure as a lesson on how to do something better will completely change your perspective on the subject. I relish the failing moments in my life because it gives me an opportunity to shake it off and say “ok, let’s go to round two”. That gives me a fire in my belly. However, I too was shaken by a lack of confidence and still live with a fear of failure. The difference is that I now make that fear drive me to persevere.
We should not fear failure. We should anticipate it and have a plan. The true fear behind failure is the unknown circumstances that follow. What will people say? What will I do? How will I recover? Figure out a plan for those questions and the fear will no longer control you.
7) You are not passionate about your goals
Many of us have a goal and seek to achieve it by any means necessary. However, those means will eventually catch up with us if we are not passionate about what we are doing. Like anything in life, if you go into it half hearted and are just trying something out for the sake of saying I tried, then it will not work. You will be leaving effort and energy on the table which can be instrumental to the success of achieving your goal. Whatever your goal is, you need to be passionate about it and the process in order to succeed.
8) You are not motivated
Whatever the reason for your goal, you need to make sure that it is enough to motivate you through the process. It is easy to say you want to be your own boss or your want to become a fitness model. However, if you do not have the true desire to do it you will lack motivation. This requires some deep work and search for what motivates you. Do you come from humble beginnings and have struggled financially growing up and want better for your kids and family? That would be a means of motivation. Do you suffer from several physical ailments of have a loved one who may have had a health scare? That could be a form of motivation to get healthy and improve. Whatever it is that motivates you to get started needs to be compelling enough to keep you on track to keep doing the work and endure the process.
9) Your expectations are unrealistic
It is easy to get discouraged when working towards any goal if we do not see the desired results right away. Another discouraging reality is that your accomplishments will not be celebrated, understood or supported by those around you as you had originally imagined. At this point you need to ask yourself if you have established unrealistic expectations for yourself. Do you have the expectation that you are going to be an overnight success. Are you comparing your day 1 to someone else’s day 300? By following one of the steps above and setting realistic expectations as well as breaking down your goal into bite sized pieces, you will be more likely to accept and overcome any setbacks in a positive manner and approach it as a learning experience.
10) You give up too quickly
The biggest and most common reason people fail to achieve their goals is the fact that they give up too quickly. We live in a society in which we have instant results for things. The internet gives us immediate updates on information. Social media gives us immediate access to other people. Even the way we watch television today allows us to immediately watch what we want to watch and when we want to watch it. The same is not true when working on your goals. How many people do you know who start a diet or exercise routine and give up within the first 30 days? Chances are that it did not take them 30 days to get to the point where they are with their health yet they fail to have patience with themselves. If your goal is business related, just remember that the companies or entrepreneurs you admire once started with nothing. They started with hustle and heart and kept doing the work. Society shows us the glam of success for these individuals but few of us really dig into the behind the scenes to see what really happened and how they got there. Simply by not giving and filled with passion and motivation.
So no matter which of these reasons strikes a cord with you, always remember to go into it with 100% committed heart and be passionate about it and in the end you will see results.