How are your goals going for the year?
Are your goals on track or have you fallen behind? Do you know exactly what you need to complete this week to achieve your weekly goals?
If you are not achieving your goals, there could be a number of reasons why.
Let’s look at some of the reasons you’re not achieving your goals and how you can turn them around.
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You don’t have goals in the first place
You saw that one coming, didn’t you?
You can’t achieve your goals if you don’t set any in the first place.
If you don’t have goals you need to set some. To help with your goal planning, Natalie Bardo has an excellent Slay Your Goal Planner. It will help you set your goals and follow through on the actions to make them happen. To get you started, Nadalie has a free Slay Your Goals Guide.
You don’t have a plan to go with your goals
You might have set a goal but have no plan to go with it.
Say you want to go on a 4-week holiday to Western Europe in 6 months. What is your plan to make sure it happens?
If you don’t have a plan in place there’s a good chance you won’t end up in Europe any time soon.
You need a plan for your goal. More to the point, you need a well-thought-out plan with due dates and actions allocated to it.
You are not following the plan
Okay, so you have your plan. Excellent. But are you following it?
By this I mean, are you checking it daily, weekly, or monthly to make sure you are following the plan?
Neglecting the plan is where we can come unstuck. We’ve done all the hard work, working out what needs to be done, so it makes sense to follow the plan.
Another issue to look out for when it comes to planning is overplanning.
You want to make sure you don’t spend too much time planning and then fail to implement your brilliant plan.
Sometimes we can over-plan and then underperform on the taking action side of things.
To fix this one, take a look at your calendar. Is enough time allocated to whatever work is required to achieve your goal or do you have too many planning sessions scheduled in?
You are not monitoring your progress
Goals need to be monitored and tracked.
If you don’t monitor your goals you won’t fully understand if you are heading in the right direction or going off track.
If you are going off track, monitoring your goals is what gets you back on track.
The less time we spend off track the better.
Let’s get real here, sometimes our plan doesn’t go the way we think it will or the way we want it to. What we put in place just isn’t working and we need to try another tactic.
Sometimes we need to stop doing what’s not working and find out what will work.
We need to stop what we are doing, rethink our strategy, and try something else. To be able to stop doing what’s not working we need to monitor and track our progress.
This means regular check-ins on results, reflection, and being open to changing direction.
This can be a hard mental shift to make, particularly if we have already invested a lot of our time, money, and energy into a particular course of action. Admitting to ourselves that it’s not working can be difficult. Sometimes we ignore all the warning signs and just keep doing what we’ve been doing because it feels easier than starting again or changing our process or routine.
While it’s hard, it’s important to have an honest look at what is not working and see if we can find a better way of getting our desired result. It’s not easy but it’s worth it.
You are not progressing at the speed you expected
Not moving forward at the speed you expected can cause you to lose motivation.
There are a lot of reasons why we struggle to move forward at a certain pace.
I wrote a whole post about this particular topic, so make sure you read 12 Reasons You Are Not Moving Forward Fast Enough
This situation can be frustrating. Really frustrating. It can severely affect your motivation (if you allow it).
When you feel this way you need to get your head back in the game and get motivated again. People motivate themselves differently so do what works for you.
One thing I would suggest is to go for some quick wins. They might be small wins but that doesn’t matter, they will help build your motivation back up so you push yourself forward.
Related post – Should You Keep Your Goal to Yourself?
You don’t have an accountability partner
This one can get a bit tricky. Let me explain.
When you read about accountability, there is often talk about having an accountability partner. This partner is normally someone an external person to help keep you accountable.
But the truth is that’s not always possible.
I’ve often struggled to find an accountability partner. It’s probably the reason I got so much out of working with a coach years ago – my coach was my accountability partner and I flourished in that relationship.
When I signed up for a big online course years ago, they recommended having an accountability partner but when I asked around people already had one or weren’t interested in having one, so I had to go it alone. An accountability partner really would have made a difference with this particular course.
Sometimes friends and family just aren’t the right fit for an accountability partner. Besides often it needs to be someone going through the exact same goal (as in the course I mentioned earlier).
In the end, you need to be accountable to yourself.
This may sound easy but it’s not, particularly when things get tough and your energy and motivational levels plummet. When you are stressed, nothing feels like it’s working and there is no one to talk to about it, it can be hard.
If you don’t have an accountability partner to speak to, this is where writing things down can really help. You might want to use a blank journal where you can write down your thoughts, fears, and frustrations or you might prefer a guided journal that asks specific questions aimed at helping you work through a thought process.
Whatever you decide you need something that has a monthly check-in to go over your challenges, successes, learnings, and the like.
You don’t want it badly enough
Sometimes we say we want something but when push comes to shove we don’t really want it or we don’t want to do the work that is required to get it.
Another consideration is you might be following someone else’s goal for your future and not what you really want for yourself. This might be the case if your parents want you to be a doctor but you want something else completely.
Firstly make sure your goals are truly yours and that you actually want to achieve them.
Remember that everyone has bad days and (yikes, sometimes even bad weeks), so be forgiving and patient with yourself. There will be days when you think this is all too hard and everything sucks. That’s okay, we all have those.
Shake it off and get back to work to make your goal happen.
You have goals but no idea why you want them
Knowing you want something is great but it definitely helps if you know why you want it in the first place.
Your why is important because, on those sucky days that I mentioned above, your why is what gets you back to work!
In her excellent book, The Desire Map, author Danielle LaPorte talks about setting goals with soul.
Danielle explains that goals are about how you want to feel. You want something because you want to feel a certain way. Danielle asks the question – How do you want to feel?
You are stuck on one particular hurdle
I’ll use myself as an example here. Perhaps there is one part of the achievement equation that is a big hurdle for you.
For me, that hurdle is tech.
I struggle with the tech side of things and it always slows me down and often stresses me out. While I’m always learning new tech skills, I still find it a struggle.
This is about being honest about what your weaknesses are.
If you struggle with one particular hurdle, seek out help from an expert.
I have a lovely tech guy who sometimes helps me. I don’t speak to him often but it’s always a huge burden lifted when I do talk to him.
Know where your weaknesses are and reach out for help when you need it.
You are not focused on your goal
I struggled with this one recently myself. I had a fallout with one of my close friends and it caused me to lose focus.
More accurately, I allowed it to shift my focus.
I allowed it to distract me at a time when I did not have the luxury of being distracted. It affected my mood, mindset, and productivity.
I let a personal issue distract me from my main goal.
I know we all have personal issues to deal with and our relationships are extremely important to us but sometimes we need to compartmentalize sections of our lives to maintain focus.
I’m not saying you neglect people in your life, I’m merely suggesting that you prioritize certain times in your day to focus on your goal and allocate a separate time in your day to deal with personal issues.
Just to be clear, I’m suggesting you do this with the more everyday issues in your life, not necessarily the big-ticket ones. The life-changing events in our lives often need our time and attention and I know from experience how hard it can be to focus when big events occur.
Your goal isn’t big enough
You have probably heard about setting SMART goals. Just in case you haven’t heard of this acronym, it stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound.
I was listening to one of Brendon Burchard’s amazing courses recently and he had an interesting suggestion.
Brendon suggests that you need to give some thought to your DUMB goals. In this case, the letters stand for Dream-focused, Uplifting, Method-based, and Behavior-triggered.
This is where you think big picture – not just practical. It’s where you allow yourself to dream and be filled with possibilities and wonder.
Avoid setting small goals. Your goals ideally should challenge you.
If you are aiming small, you might set a nice ‘easy’ goal that you can do with your eyes closed. When you achieve your easy goal, the feeling you get might be more ‘Meh’ instead of ‘Wow’, I’m so proud of myself for achieving that’.
Look at goals from both a SMART and DUMB perspective.
Your goal is not fun, enjoyable, or even interesting
Does your goal involve doing tons of stuff that you hate doing?
While we all have to do things that we don’t like, you don’t want your main goal to be something that you hate doing.
Seriously where the hell is the fun in that?
It’s not going to be all fun and games but make it interesting or at least a challenge that you enjoy working through.
Even if you are doing something you don’t like, you need to find some element or part that you can make enjoyable.
Related post – Do You Have a Fun Plan?
You aren’t working hard enough (or you are doing the bare minimum)
Doing the bare minimum may work for some goals but not many of them.
You might still achieve your goal by doing the bare minimum but it’s unlikely that you will feel all that happy about it because deep down you know that you didn’t put 100% into your goal. You even might feel like you don’t deserve your success.
There is only one way to fix this one – pick up your game.
Be honest with yourself about where you are slacking off and make up the slack.
You are working too much
Sometimes we can work too much towards our goals and burn ourselves out.
This can be quite common when we are starting out with a big project or goal.
We throw everything into it without taking any time out for rest or relaxation.
This causes us to get demotivated, feel completely exhausted (again majorly demotivating), or give up altogether (more on that one coming up).
You need to take time out to relax. This time will vary from person to person since we all have different energy, health, and sleep requirements.
Do what works for you but take some time out to avoid burning out.
Related post – How to Lighten Up – 25 Tips for More Fun, Play, and Relaxation
You don’t truly believe you can achieve your goal
This one can be insidious because you might not even realize its existence. It’s just buried deep in your heart and mind, reeking damage on a regular basis.
You need to believe you can do it.
You will stumble and fall and get back up but that is all normal.
Believe in yourself. Believe you can achieve your goal.
Related post – How to Believe in Yourself When People Don’t Support You
You gave up
You might not be achieving your goal because you gave up on it. You decided all of the above was just too much and you gave up.
And you know what – that is okay.
It’s okay if you took the time to think it through and decided that giving up was 100% the right thing for you to do.
You feel confident and happy with your decision to give up.
Sometimes we need to give up. We need to say – this is not working for me and stop doing it.
The problem comes when you don’t have anything to take the place of your original goal.
You need another goal.
It doesn’t have to be along the same lines as your last one or even something big and bold (if your last goal was big and bold) but it needs to be something meaningful to you.
Your new goal needs to give you a sense of purpose and achievement.
We all have times when we struggle to achieve our goals. The struggle makes the achieving part all that much sweeter. Here’s to slaying your goals!
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