This post was originally published on 3oth July 2019 and updated on 9th January 2020
Did you set goals at the start of the year or make a resolution that you plan to keep? Many people set goals and resolutions at the start of each year and then fail to achieve them. I know I have set goals and failed at them. Just as I have set goals and achieved them. Looking back over goals I can see many reasons why I have succeeded or failed at the goals I set myself.
When I was asked ‘what is a big failure in life that I have had?’ I had to really think. As I have had many goals that I could say I failed at. Even now some goals I am aiming for, I could say I’m failing at. Sometimes progress is hard to see. Being asked ‘what is one thing you have failed at in life?’ is hard to answer. Especially when you believe you learn by doing. For there are no failures in life only lessons.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.Winston Churchill
It is Ok to change your goals. Not every goal you set will stay your goal.
I like to always try different things, I always have done. So often as a child I remember saying to my parents that I wanted to learn by doing. I’d question that they experienced it and I believe I could learn from my own mistakes. Mistakes there have been plenty.
As an adult, I’ve failed many times. I learnt that a particular goal is not for me or not for me at that current time. Or, just not a goal for me.
I set goals every year and some I accomplish and so I don’t. For the past few years, I’ve been saying I’ll walk ‘The great north walk”. This is a goal I set in 2017 and again in 2019. In 2019 I finally started it only to have a setback that stopped me accomplish the goal. The challenge this year is on with me to walk as much of the Great North Walk that I can.
Related post: 7 Simple ways to walk 10000 steps each day.
Another goal I set was to go to university and do a degree. Have I failed by not completing this goal? I don’t think so. Doing a degree while working takes a lot of time and is one big juggling act. And, I like living a balanced life not a stressful life.
While studying I discovered that I was doing a degree for the wrong reasons. It is expensive to study and if I was paying either now or as a government debt I wanted to know I’d use the degree I took. Therefore, halfway through the course, I decided to pause and take time out.
I was studying and thinking where am I going with the university course? I want to work from home, but when I started the degree I thought I’d create a career as an employee. This was the safe option after all. Deep down though I knew I wanted to build a business. I had a business before and wanted to be self-employed again. So, I stopped studying, putting the goal of achieving a degree on hold for a while. I needed to work out why I set myself a goal to go to university and study as a mature aged student.
7 Reasons why you may be failing at achieving your goals.
One thing for sure, when you have goals you need to focus and be committed to the goals. Yes, life often gets in the way and comes between you and your goals. Sometimes it is possible to continue working towards the goals, other times goals are replaced. One of the key things I learnt was you need to know where you are going.
Have a clear destination.
Part of the reason for failing at goals is the lack of a clear destination. Not knowing what you really want. Sometimes it is only by working on a goal that you realize that it is the wrong goal for you and not in alignment with what you really want.
Take time to discover what you really want. When you discover what you really want in life it is so much easier to map out a path to get there and set both big and mini-goals up to help you achieve your goal.
If you’re unsure about how to set goals and really discover what you want uncover your core goal with the goal setting 101 course.
Map Out Your Path.
Once you know where you are heading, map out your path. Create your blueprint on how to get there. It is OK to say ‘I would like to work from home’, but do you know what you would like to do or even what options you have.
At university, you are given a plan that guides you on what courses to take as a full time or part-time student. This helps with the planning progress.
Plan out your path. However, remember that there are many options and sometimes you need to try one option before ruling it out and moving to another option. Learning by doing.
If it is achieving goals you are stuck on, map out your goals using a goal planner. A goal planner will guide you with what goals to set and how many. Plan out your goals with the slay your goals planner.
Fail to plan, plan to fail.Jim Rohn
Focusing on too many goals at once.
It is important not to focus on too many goals at once. I believe in having be, do and have goals in the different spheres of your life; health, wealth, relationships, but focusing on too many at once can lead to failure in all the goals.
Working on too many goals at once is a core reason I was failing to achieve the goals I set myself. That is why I started to research and learn more on goals and habits to become clearer on how to set and achieve life goals.
By really taking time to work out what you really want, you can narrow down your focus. Focusing on one goal at a time certainly helps with achievement and satisfaction.
I’ve even found that by having a key focus word for the year helps too.
Have you heard of the Irish Proverb ‘A jack of all trades is a master of none?’ When you focus on too many goals at once it is difficult to master any.
Become clear on what you would like to achieve and break the goal down into manageable steps. Example image below form article ‘creating new habits to make life changes‘ on breaking down a weight loss goal into daily, weekly and monthly habits.
Know why you want to achieve the goal.
One of the big things that lead to success is having something that drives you. Your reason behind why you would like to achieve a goal.
A study goal may help you get a better job or help with self-employment. That is only one reason. There is often a deeper reason behind what you achieve and don’t achieve. This is linked to your core values. Keep asking yourself why you want to do something to drill down to the deeper why.
Related post: Life goals example guide with core value list.
Not taking action towards your goal.
When you have a goal, it is great to write it down and map it out but you need to take action too. Some action is better than no action.
Some action is better than no action. A small action step can be writing out the meal plan with healthy meals you plan to eat this week.
Procrastination stops dreams from being achieved. Also the longer you stop and think about the goal the harder it is to get going and get momentum.
When life gets in the way it can be difficult to stay persistent and push through obstacles. Yet, if the goal is strong enough you will find a way to get back on track as soon as you can. Or, you may find that you can take action for 10 minutes that day. A small step is better than no step at all.
Related post: 9 Actions to take when creating new positive habits.
Fail to achieve goals because the goals are overwhelming.
Sometimes you stop aiming for a goal because you become overwhelmed at the sheer size of it. Not knowing the actions steps to take or not knowing how to break the goal down. The goal simply appears too big or too far in the distance. Many times you become overwhelmed because of what you need to learn or change to achieve it. You revert back to your old ways. However, going back to mapping out your goal can help you here. Even creating a vision board can help you stay focused on your goals.
When you plan the steps needed to achieve your goal work backwards with the end in mind. Plan out the months, the weeks and then finally put in daily actions that will help you achieve your goal.
Quite often, you don’t need to know the full picture, you just need to know the next step to take. When you take daily action you slowly develop the skills needed. One day the big goal you dreamed off is the one you will help others to achieve.
Fail to achieve goals due to self-sabotage.
Self-sabotage is a popular reason not to achieve a goal. With weight loss, for example, you may have a habit of snacking in the evenings. You eat fantastic all day but the night snacking is pulling you towards a negative result. To change this around you need to slowly eliminate the bad automated habits. Naturally, this is much easier said than done.
To eliminate bad habits, work towards replacing the habit with another habit. Taking the night snacking example, I know a lady who replaced her eating habit with snacking on carrots at night. She realized the crunchy texture is what she enjoyed. Another person I know replaced the habit slowly by using stress balls to exercise the hands instead of munching on snacks.
Sometimes the self-sabotage comes from feeling unworthy of the goal. I know this as I’ve been down this road where I felt this way. Working through confidence and worthiness helps to proceed with a goal when you feel this way. Again, easier said than done. With self-esteem, I first sought help from a professional. Next, I read positive quotes daily from Pinterest as that was what was recommended. Here’s a link to my Pinterest, I often share positive quotes. Being part of a support group and having a few friends to discuss things over with helped too. Just remember you are worth it.
Believe in yourself and your goals.
If the goal is something you want to achieve you will find a way to map it out. You will find a way to focus on your goal and stop allowing the excuses to stop you from achieving them. You can stop failing at goals. It is possible to step through setbacks, learn from failures and work out strategies to help you achieve your goals. It is all possible. As Marie Forleo says “It’s all figureoutable.“
Sometimes you just need a little help along the way to learn and grow.
Make this year the year you achieve your goals. Join the email list for positive motivation that helps you achieve your goals.
Angie blogs about setting goals and mastering habits as well as productivity and living abroad. She started blogging while learning the skills to start an online business. Her goal to work online came about due to wanting to see overseas family and travel around Australia. Her mission is to help others succeed with their goals. Angie often shares tips and tricks while walking the beaches or near the lake on the Central Coast NSW Australia.