Why do we fail to achieve our goals
Living a life without setting goals is like sailing a ship without having planned a course: you’re likely to end up somewhere that you wouldn’t want to go! This is why you need to set goals to develop yourself and achieve your dreams.
Most people claim to understand the importance of goal setting to attain a better life, but 80 percent of people never set goals for themselves. Even more surprising, of the 20 percent of the population that does set goals, roughly 70 percent fail to achieve the goals they have set for themselves.
When it comes to goals, there are two categories: “be” goals and “do” goals. In other words, who do you want to be or what do you want to achieve? Within each category, there are four areas of goals: wealth, health, relationships and self-fulfillment. So any goal you set for yourself will fall into one of these areas. Achievement involves all four areas, and success means finding balance in the four areas.
Setting goals gives us something to strive towards and boosts our self-confidence each time we achieve them. More often than not, we are guilty of setting goals that we fail to meet. Failure may feel you discouraged, question your abilities, or even give up. The good news is that you’re much more likely to accomplish your dreams if you know about these mistakes, and avoid them!
Setting effective goals is essential but unless you take action to achieve the goal, it will never truly be a
goal, merely a dream. Napoleon Hill said, ‘A goal is a dream with a deadline.’ Setting a deadline, for the achievement of your goal is another critical step in the process but unless you strive to meet that deadline, you are still just dreaming. Are you great at dreaming but struggle to reach your goals? If so, you must identify what it is that is holding you back. Once you do, you can take corrective action to get back on track and reach your goals.
Avoid these roadblocks and goal attainment will be yours.
- Lack of self-belief
Some people are afraid they will fail or, even worse, that they may actually succeed. They lack belief in themselves and in their potential. In their mind, if they fail, everyone will think negatively of them.
Way Forward: Believe in yourself, your abilities and others will, too.
- Lack of understanding about the goal-setting process.
Many people mistakenly believe that goal setting simply means putting a goal on paper, setting a date for completion, marking off checkpoints as they occur and then starting all over again. Such a mentality hinders people from success, because a goal isn’t a one-time thing that you eventually scratch off a list. Setting a goal is really about changing yourself for the long-term. Goals aren’t short-term, quick-fix things; they are fixed and immovable destinations that show the world who you want to become or what you want to achieve.
- Lack of ownership or commitment to the goal.
The most common reason a plan fails is lack of ownership. Lack of ownership results in finding faults for failure instead of finding ways to succeed. As with anything in life, if you don’t give it your all, you receive mediocre results. Commitment is crucial for attaining any goal.
Without action, nothing happens. So if you’ve created a goal list and now wonder why none of your goals are transpiring, ask yourself what action steps you’ve taken to achieve your goals. If you haven’t taken any action, now is the time to start.
- Analysis paralysis.
Many people let questions and doubts paralyze them. Always base your decisions and answer your questions with a view to the future, not a view to current situations. Your situation will change because of the decisions you make today and will dictate the success of your journey. So, move forward toward your goal knowing that you’ll never have all the answers.
- Creating Vague Goals lacking Clarity of purpose and image of destination [refer my earlier post ]
Your destination needs to be clear – what and why, something you can visualize and describe to others. How the Success looks like. Without such a clear view of what you want in life, you’ll be forever changing course and falling short of your potential.
- Failing to plan.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. [refer my earlier post]. Planning is crucial and critical to success. Implementation plan addresses who, where, when, and how.
- Lack of priority or focus; too many goals.
Some people have too many goals and not enough focus. You have only so much time and energy. Therefore, choose the goal that will give you the highest ROE (return on effort) and focus on that one goal first. Once complete, you can then focus on other goals in sequence.
- Not Taking Responsibility
Things will go wrong. That’s a fact of life. When something comes up and you don’t
achieve your goal, whom do you blame? If it’s not your fault, there is nothing you can do, right?
Own up to not reaching your goals. When you take responsibility, you’ll become resourceful knowing that you have control over the attainment of your goals. No one else but it is you and only you responsible for the outcome, good or bad; failure as well as for success.
- Listening to People Who Discourage You
When you go for your goals, especially the big ones that really count and fit in with your purpose in life, it is inevitable that people will discourage you. There are many reasons for this: concern, jealousy, ignorance, etc. How many goals have already been given up on because other people decided they were not worth pursuing?
As long as you know the purpose for your goal, ignore the naysayers. You can take what they are saying into consideration but make sure you make the final choice.
When you are determined and committed, you can achieve any goal you set for yourself and reach new levels of personal and professional success.
Some extracts from an article by Douglas Vermeeren