Sometimes, we set big lofty goals for ourselves, right? At the outset, we’re motivated and inspired to push our way through the tough times and achieve those goals. But somewhere along the way, things go south. You go off track and start moving away from your target.
Then, one day, you look back and realize that you’re no closer to your goal than when you started. And instead of achieving your goal, you’re further away from it than when you began. It’s a pretty frustrating feeling, right? But it’s also something that happens all the time.
The truth is this. 92% of people who set goals never achieve them. Yes. That’s right. Ninety-two percent. Let that number sink in for a few moments. Now here’s the question. What are the reasons why we don’t achieve our goals? What truly happens along the way?
1. Your Bad Habits Are Holding You Back
To understand what’s going on, you have to take a peek beneath the hood. I’m talking about non-conscious behavior. Not the conscious decisions you’re making every day. 95% of everything you think, say and do are driven by non-conscious behavior. Meaning, it’s all habit-driven.
Your life, and everything about it, is the product of habits you’ve had for years, sometimes even decades. The problem? Most of those habits are not serving you. They’re leading you down a dark and twisted path, one that’s resulting in stress, anxiety and failure.
Since habits are at the core of who we are, and habits are very hard to make or break, we struggle to achieve big goals. Instead of doing what’s supposed to be done, we do what’s comfortable and easy. This is the first major roadblock to goal achievement.
Breaking or building habits is hard. One of the strategies that I discuss in the 7-day discipline challenge that truly actually works in this department is called the micro-changes approach. With the micro-changes approach, you’re first building self-awareness to your behavior.
Once you’re self-aware, you can make changes slowly. We’re not talking about cold turkey here. We’re talking about slowly moving the needle, little by little. This single hack can transform your life in monumental ways that are unheard of.
2. You’re Setting Goals The Wrong Way
Another question you need to ask yourself if you’re feeling frustrated with your progress towards your goals is this. Are you setting goals the right way? Yes, there is a right way to set goals and a wrong way. Here’s the thing. Most people set goals in their mind. And it stays in the abstract. That’s the wrong way to set them.
When you don’t write down your goals, they don’t materialize into reality because they’re not specific. They’re just in your mind and nowhere else. You cannot create concrete goals if you just think about them. You have to write them down and set them properly.
Here’s how this works. Grab a pen and paper, or just a screen. Then, sit down and set SMARTER goals. Get very specific about your goals. Envision them deeply and make sure they’re meaningful to you. If your goals lack specificity and meaning, you will never do what it takes to achieve them.
However, when you create real clarity here, everything changes. You can actually see your goals in your mind by envisioning them clearly enough. This is so powerful because whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve. The problem is that not enough people are conceiving their dream lives.
3. You Don’t Truly Believe You Can Do It
Ask yourself this question. Do you really believe you can achieve your goals? Or are you just setting goals because you think that’s what you’re supposed to be doing? The problem is that most people, deep down inside, do not believe they can do it.
This creates an enormous amount of friction. When we don’t believe we’re capable of doing something, we don’t take the actions towards making it our reality. Instead, we avoid it and go back to our default settings. That’s when bad habits come back into play and we fail to make any progress at all.
Once you start reverting back to your bad habits, life becomes cyclical again. As a result, you feel trapped. Ever start making progress towards a goal like losing weight or making more money? In the beginning, it’s easy. You’re motivated to get results, and you do it for a short period.
But that motivation wears off. And then, somewhere along the way, you switch back to old behaviors. Something throws you off and a mental objection blocks you from going forward. Then, the mind reverts back to what’s comfortable.
However, if you’ve ever looked at someone who’s just crushing it in life, understand this. They believe. It’s at the core of who we are and it’s what lights a real fire beneath us. If you believe you can do something, you can achieve anything. The sky is literally the limit and nothing can stand in your way.
How To Create Belief
There is no magic formula for creating belief. The unfortunate truth is this. You’re either a believer or you’re not. There’s no middle ground there. But there are ways to adjust your level of belief. You do this by surrounding yourself with the right people.
The problem is that we usually surround ourselves with the wrong people. Not the right people. We hang out with people we know we shouldn’t be spending our time with. As a result, they drag us down, leaving us feeling uninspired or disengaged with our goals.
To create true belief, you have to believe you can do something. That happens by surrounding yourself with examples of other high achievers. I’m not talking about people who are rich here. Sure, if money is your objective, then joining a mastermind with successful business owners might be the ticket.
i’m talking about people who’ve been through the wringer and have overcome similar obstacles that you might be facing right now. This is the fastest way to adjust your level of belief. But seeking out and finding these people isn’t always easy. That much is certain. Yet, if you want to believe, you must try to find as many examples as possible.
4. You’re Not Managing Your Time Effectively
Most people who fail to achieve their goals don’t fail from a lack of trying. Sure, they default to bad habits and might not believe wholeheartedly in their abilities. However, one underlying problem is poor time management. When we don’t manage your time effectively, it’s easy to see why we fail to make progress.
Keep in mind that time is not on your side. You might think that it is. But it’s not. You only have 24 hours in a day. That’s it. But time is also the greatest equalizer. Meaning, we all have the same amount of it. It’s not like money. sex, religion, or gender. It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone has the same amount of time.
The biggest difference between those who achieve their goals and those who do not is effective time management. Successful people are stewards of their time. They don’t waste a single shred of it. They protect it and keep watch over it.
If you’re the type of person who loves taking on new obligations, you might find this difficult. If you love saying yes to everything and are unable to decline invites and solicitations, you will always wonder why you don’t have enough time in the day to get things done.
5. You’re Giving Up Too Soon
Most people who are outlandish enough to go after big, lofty goals, usually end up failing. But it’s not about the failures. It’s about standing up after you fail. There’s an old Japanese Proverb that states, fall down seven times, stand up eight.
But how many times do we stand up after we fall? Often, we stay down, right? We give up or throw in the towel when we should just be persisting through the pain and failure. As hard as it might be to endure the hardships, if you’re serious about achieving a big goal, you have to push through.
Some of the most famous and successful people had to endure numerous failures in order to succeed. In fact, that’s the top of one of my books. Failure is tough and it can teach you many lessons. But the biggest difference between those who succeed and those who fail is their persistence.
Do you persist? Or do you give up and throw in the proverbial towel? Ask yourself that question. Because, it’s easy to give up. But it’s not easy to keep going. That’s why there’s such a disparity in this world between the haves and the have-nots. When you do actually make it, the spoils are far-reaching.
6. You Lack Discipline
At the end of the day, there are many reasons why we fail to achieve our goals. If any of these resonate with you, it’s important to become more self-aware and work on the problem instead of avoiding it or hiding from it. This won’t be easy, but it is necessary if you’re serious about succeeding at anything.
All of these things are important, but at the end of the day, if you lack discipline, you’ll find it hard to go from self-aware to persistent implementation. You can’t achieve goals without real discipline. You simply won’t do what it takes.
If you lack discipline, it’s important to work on creating it. I know it’s not easy. I get that. But it is a vital part of the process. If you find yourself jumping ship often, switching from one thing to the next, you have a lack of discipline.
Don’t sugarcoat it. Just be honest with yourself. Then, do something to change it. Create rock solid discipline in your life by getting honest and taking sincere action. It won’t happen overnight. But it will eventually happen over time.