Goal Setting: The 9 Reasons You Won’t Reach Your Goals

It’s February and your goals are long forgotten.

And I have bad news – You probably won’t ever reach them.

Boy am I full of optimism or what?

Nope, just truthful – that’s all.

Be honest for a moment and tell me, were the goals you set 1 month ago the same (or at least related) to the ones you set a year ago, 6 months ago, or even before the holidays?

Did you reach them then?  No, didn’t think so.

But, take heart, you are not alone – most people get on this merry-go-round!

Wait, though, is that consolation?  I don’t want you to take heart that everyone else fails too.  That sets us up for thinking it is impossible!

No, take heart in this;  If you will realize the REASON you are failing and correct that, you WILL succeed.

So, what are the reasons we fail to reach our goals?

Here are 9 of them, see if you recognize yourself in any of these.


1. Your Goals Were More Like Hopes/Wants/Needs/Desires

“I need to lose weight.”

“I want to spend more time with my family”

“I need to make more money.”

“I want a new boat.”

Let me be clear.  Those.   Are.   NOT.  Goals!

Too many people are afraid to set actual goals because they are sure they won’t meet them.

Well, you won’t meet any goal you don’t actually set.  And these were not set goals.  They are vague notions of what might make my life better.

No actual destination = failure.

Solution:  Set a goal where you can tell if you actually reach it.  How many pounds?  What amount of time?  How much money?  What kind of boat?


2. Your Goals Are Not Really Yours

You know you should lose those 20 pounds because your spouse says so or the doctor says so, but you feel fine.  So, is that really your goal?

Do YOU really want to accomplish that thing or is it something you think others will be impressed with or someone else wants for you?

If this is not what YOU want then there will be no fire under you and nothing driving you to the finish line.

In this case, you will fail.

Solution: Find a goal that YOU want, that YOU are motivated by and fulfills some desire YOU have.


3.  The Price is Not Right

“Wait”, you say, “there is no money involved in my goal.”

Yes, but every goal has a price attached. There is a cost to reaching every goal be it in your time, your effort, your sacrifice, your sweat and tears or your money.  It is GOING  to cost.

When the cost seems to steep, again, we will fail.

Solution: Determine the cost.  If you want to lose weight then the cost will be giving up food and time spent exercising.  Is that worth it?  Will you do it?


4. The Goal is Really Unattainable

You WILL not make 10,000/month if you cannot learn to make $1.

You CAN not lose 100 if you cannot figure out how to lose 1.

You WILL not be president of the company if you cannot learn what it takes to be promoted to the next level above your current one.

By all means reach for the stars, but set your goals for places in between.  Like stair steps are necessary to reach the landing, your goals may need to be the next step not the last.

Solution: Break it up.  Quit setting things too high – the cost will not be worth it.  Instead of thinking you need to exercise for 1 hour 3 times a week, set it for 15 minutes and DO that for 1 month.  Then inch up to 20 minutes for another month.  And so on..

If your goals are set too high, you will probably fail.


5.  You Don’t Know How to Get There

Like I stated above, if you don’t know how to make your first $1, what would make you think you could reach the ultimate goal of $10,000?

It is the same step that will do both, just more of them to reach the end.

But, do you know the step to take?  If not, failure is inevitable.

Solution:  Find someone else who has been there and ask them for the steps to reach your goal.


6.  Tomorrow, Tomorrow There’s Always Tomorrow

Procrastination is one of the most common culprits to goal failure.

We want a good “clean” start (think Jan 1st) or we think it is not worthwhile.

But, research has shown those who actually reach their goals start right then.  They don’t wait until it is ‘convenient’ or ‘organized’ – they just start.

Solution: Any action is better than none.


7.  Your Resolve Has as Much Stickiness as a Post-It

Post-its have many, many wonderful uses, but they are no substitute for duct tape.

Do you start and then just give up?

Most do!

But just like it took you many years to develop the habits you are trying to break, it is not going to be undone in one dedicated, momentous month of work.

You will falter.  The flu will keep you from the gym.  You will have to work one weekend.  You will oversleep.  You will get busy.

Stuff does happen, but do you have the sticktuitiveness (also known as self-discipline) to get back into your steps to reach your goal?

(Memo: You will, by the way, if 1-6 are fixed!)

Solution: Make a goal you are passionate about and you won’t be able to help to reach it!


8.  You Can’t Stomach Failure

You see any setback as failure and your trying to avoid that like the plague.

So, probably in order to avoid failure, then probably Numbers 1 and 6 both describe you.  You just never really set them and/or putting them off seems better than failure.

Solution: Find something where the price is worth it – then see failure to reach that goal as unthinkable.

But then change your thinking about failure.  Preparation only comes through practice.  And who doesn’t fall along the way?  It’s the only worth while way to get somewhere!


9.  You Just Quit

Life happens and you just can’t seem to get back on track.

Or you lose interest and other things gain appeal.

Solution:  Take another look.  It is ok to throw away goals that no longer take you where you want to go.

In that case, reevaluate and find a new passion.  Create a new goal out of that purpose!

Which of these things is keeping you from reaching your goals?

Have you given up and let life take over so that you go where ever it goes instead of being in control?

Make Sure You Reach Your Goals

Look at which of these is keeping you from succeeding.  Determine then to follow the solution.

There really is a way to reach goals – they don’t have to be empty, wasted vague notions of a better life!

Set goals meaningful to YOU, determine the price involved and whether you will pay it, take one step a day toward it, expect failure and get back up when it happens!

Your Time Management Style

2 Responses to “Goal Setting: The 9 Reasons You Won’t Reach Your Goals”

  1. Marsha says:

    Thanks for your posts. Wanted to give you a gentle nudge to correct
    your typos; you’re using the word ‘loose’ (as in ‘this drawer feels
    loose’) when you mean to write ‘lose’ (as in ‘need to lose weight!’)

  2. admin says:

    I had to laugh! I did do that didn’t I – an English major I weren’t! But I really do hate those kinds of things and am usually very careful. But at least I was consistent!

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