Goals are be a huge component in the life of any of us that would like to have a fulfilled and rich existence. Goals keep us pushing forward and giving the best of us, even when we’re lacking the energy to continue.
Whichever your goals are; to finish your education, lose 10 pounds, learn a new language, or even seek an early retirement or to find happiness in life, goals can be the ultimate frontier of personal development. Yet, they can also be your biggest source of frustration.
When you set any goal, you start dedicating all your energy to it. You make an effort to complete the new daily habit, or to diligently take the always advised “baby steps” towards your goal. For some months, or even some years, everything goes smoothly, and it seems that, finally, you’re making progress in turning your new habit a life change. And then, all of a sudden, the tiniest variation in your schedule, in your workload or in your habitual scenery makes you fall off the wagon of good intentions.
When you fail to achieve one of your goals, it’s almost impossible not to feel defeated, and you don’t even want to try again, because it has no point.
The BIG question here is: why aren’t you achieving your goals?
Here are some probable reasons why you’re not reaching your goals:
You’re not giving goals their due importance
Sure, you think a green smoothie every morning before coffee will do wonders for your health. But in reality, you’d rather spend 5 more minutes in bed than taking out your blender and preparing your smoothie before going to work. Your goals appear to be of utmost importance on paper, but not so much in the real world. Maybe it’s time to rethink your goals. Did you set them up to please someone else, or just to follow a trend, and not because they’re important to you? Be completely honest, so you don’t waste energy on something that's not quite as crucial as it was before, or as you thought it was.
You have the wrong mindset towards your goals
Perhaps the action you need to take towards a goal has been associated with something unpleasant in your mind, instead of being linked to something positive.
For example, if your goal is to practice healthier eating habits and you find yourself going back to your old, not so healthy eating habits, maybe it’s because your mind is associating the flavors of vegetables or lean meats as tasteless and boring, and immediately seeks different alternatives (sweets and greasy snacks), for instant gratification.
Learn to associate your habit with something positive that you’ll obtain, and keep in mind the bad consequences you’ll have if you don’t work towards your goal. In the example above, try to associate your new eating habits with better health, a leaner figure, a more luminous skin complexion, an extended lifespan, etc. At the same time, focus your thoughts on the consequences of not changing your eating habits: possible pain, digestive discomfort, tighter pants, and so on.
You’re not prioritizing your goals
If you treat your goals as something optional, something you’ll maybe do when you have the time, or when you finish all the other things you need to do, you’ll never achieve them.
Hold yourself accountable. Treat your goals as the most important part or the most crucial tasks of your entire day. Think of you as your most important client, and think of your goals as deliverables you need to turn in before the due date, which is today and every day.
In order to prioritize your goals, you need to make up time for them. Schedule time to work on your goals, set it aside and keep that promise to yourself, as if it was a meeting with your boss or a job interview. You wouldn’t miss those, would you? Treat yourself with the same importance and the same respect; you deserve it.
You haven’t gone deeper on your goal
Educate yourself as much as you can about the benefits of achieving your goal. If you wish to finish your career, investigate what you’ll learn in the courses you still need to take and how interesting they’ll be, find out how much money you’ll be able to earn once you have your degree, and interview future colleagues about the different career paths you can choose from once you graduate. If your goal is to drink more water, read about the benefits of a good hydration, the best times of the day to drink your water, and try out different mixes of fruits and herbs to add a hint of flavor to the water you’ll take. The more you know about your goal, the easiest will be to picture the benefits of achieving it, and the more likely you’ll be to make an effort to pursue it.
You see your goal as something unattainable
Finally, this is the factor that could make or break you, when it comes to reaching your goals. It’s well known that the mind is a super powerful weapon. And if you know, right to your very core, that you’re able to do something, you’ll do it, no matter what. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. If you’re convinced that you’ll never lose the 10 pounds, or finish your language course, you won’t do it. Make your goals more manageable by breaking them down into smaller pieces, and work on them every day, no matter for how long. Every little bit counts. The strategy here is consistency, not speed. Just know that little by little you’ll reach your long awaited objective. Believe you can, and you will.
In order to achieve your goals, you need to increase your energy, sharpen your focus and work on your resilience every day. Goal setting is easy, anyone can do it. Proof of this can be found around New Year’s Eve tables all around the world, when lots of people start wishing and dreaming about all the things they’ll accomplish in the New Year. But goal accomplishment is hard work, and only those who really want to achieve them, will get to the finish line. Do you want to be one of them?