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Why You’re Not Achieving Your Goals

Over the last couple of years, since I’ve been blogging and working on my self-development, I’ve seen myself sabotage my goals and stand in the way of my success. Sometimes the self-sabotage is obvious but sometimes it takes a while to pull me up on it. I actually find it really interesting as I think many of us will undermine our own success and unknowingly stop ourselves from achieving our goals.

Before we get into the reason why you might not be achieving your goals, have to think about a specific goal which you want to achieve but you’re currently struggling with. Then keep that goal in mind throughout this post, so that you can relate all of these reasons back to that specific goal. Maybe that goal is related to your health or your business, maybe it’s to create a habit or to develop a skill.

With these 8 reasons why you’re not achieving your goals, there are also ways we can fix these self-sabotaging habits and stop standing in the way of our own success.

Your goals are too vague

The first reason why you might not be achieving your goals is that your goals are too vague. Think about what it is that you want to achieve, have you actually set a goal to achieve it or are your goals super vague? For example “I want to grow my business” might seem like a goal in your mind, but it’s actually very vague. Have you set a date when you want to achieve it? Have you created a plan for how you will grow your business? How will you know once you’ve grown your business, have you done the maths?

The same can be said with the goal “I want to get out of debt”, have you sat down and worked out how much you would need to pay off each month? Have you set a date when you want the debt paid off? Have you created a plan of how you can save money or earn more money to help pay off your debt?

I used to get disheartened and discouraged by my goals especially those goals towards my blog. Until I released that the reason why I was discouraged was that I kept moving my goal to something more challenging. I had set such a vague goal of “wanting to grow my blog” and “wanting to earn a part-time income from blogging” that as I was growing I was unknowingly moving my goal to something more challenging, therefore every step I took towards my “vague goal” never felt like an achievement, because I couldn’t see how far along I had come. Sound familiar?

You’re not taking action towards your goals

The second reason why you might not be achieving your goals is that you’re not taking action towards your goal. You may have set yourself a “SMART” goal but if you’re not taking any action to achieve it then you’re going to get very far. It might seem like you’re working towards your goal because you’re using a lot of mental energy thinking about it, step back and ask yourself, what action have I taken to achieve this goal?

A good way to pull yourself up on this is to think about what goals you keep sharing with other people but haven’t yet achieved. For example, the other day I caught myself telling a friend an idea to create an online course,  I then released that I had told another person about this idea at the start of 2018!

You don’t actually want to achieve your goals

Do you actually want to achieve your goal? Does your goal inspire you and motivate you? Or have you only set this goal because you think it’s the “right” thing to do or because it will make your parents or your family happy?

Have you created a goal based on what the world says will make you happy or what is the “norm” but not necessarily because you want to achieve it? A good example is going to university, I know that the only reason I applied for university after school was that all of my friends were applying and because the teachers at school were encouraging it, so it seemed like the “normal” thing to do. I decided last minute that it was not what I want and I went into the world of work instead. Have a think about your goal and ask yourself, do I actually want to achieve this or am I only doing it to make someone else happy?

You don’t know how to achieve your goals

The fourth reason why you might not be achieving your goals is that you’re telling yourself that you don’t know how to achieve your goal. Let’s be realistic here, even if you can’t see the exact step-by-step method on how to achieve your goal, you know what the first step or two is. You would Google it of course! There will be thousands of blogs online telling you how they achieved their (similar) goal, or you could purchase a book on the subject. You might not know how to go from where you are now to the end result, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the first move.

If a friend came to you for advice on how to achieve this goal, what would you tell them? What advice would you give? If you didn’t know the answer what would you tell them to do? Would you tell them to look online? Buy a book? Invest in a course?

Stop using the “I don’t know how to achieve my goal” as an excuse, because you’re blocking yourself from success.

You haven’t set a deadline

The fifth reason why you might not be achieving your goals is that you haven’t set a deadline. Without a deadline, it’s easy to use excuses such as “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I don’t know enough information to do that now”. Think about your goal and work out how long it would take you to achieve this goal, then set yourself a deadline.

You don’t believe you will achieve your goals

The sixth reason why you might not be achieving your goals is that you don’t believe in yourself. The thing is, if you don’t believe that you’ll achieve your goal then you’re not going to make the necessary steps to achieve it. I’m not saying that you need to set goals which aren’t challenging, in fact, I encourage you to set goals which the past you would have believed to be impossible.

You’re not following through with your plans

Not following through with your plans means you’ve created a plan and you’ve set a deadline but you’re not following through with what you’ve set out to do. This habit can negatively affect your self-esteem because it can be really discouraging when you can’t really on yourself to do what you’ve planned to do. Think about why you might not be following through with your plans. Is it from fear of failure? Shame? Procrastination?

You have a habit of NOT achieving your goals

The final reason is, you have a habit of not achieving your goals. It can be hard to break bad habits, especially when they are ones which we’ve had for a long time. Long-term habits not only become part of our lifestyle but they become part of who we are. For example, if you say that you’re not a morning person, you convince yourself that you can’t wake up early. Because this is how we’ve acted in the past, this is how we continue to act. Yet, there is no reason why you can’t change your habits right now!

Have you told yourself that you’re not the type of person to achieve your goals? Are you focusing on your past experiences which back up this theory? If this sounds about right, I want you to think about reasons which prove that you ARE the type of person to achieve their goals. Even if you can only find one or two reasons, that is enough. Now use these experiences to create a new habit and a new belief that you ARE the type of person to achieve their goals.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful and can use this to figure out why you’re not achieving your goals!

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The Comments

  • Clara Killion

    Thank you so much for this post. Just reading it has helped. I feel that I have too many goals to focus enough time to move forward in a timely manner. And I really enjoy variety but your post made me realize I need to prioritize and work on the most important ones first and foremost.

  • Giorgia

    Great post! I find the biggest obstacle is not believing in yourself and that you can reach your goals. When you do, somehow you always find a way. 🙂

  • Fab

    Fantastic post! My case: I don’t put deadlines…🙄