Have you ever been discouraged when working on a goal? Have you ever failed to complete a goal? Or, have you started working on a goal and lost your way? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Many people lose their way on goals. In fact, here are 10 reasons why people fail to complete their goals.
1. Not a Strong Enough Why
First, people fail to complete their goals because they don’t have a strong enough WHY. When you set a goal, it must have a strong motivating WHY. Too often people set a goal because it sounds cool or fun, but they don’t have a reason why it is important. Michael Hyatt often says, “When you lose your WHY, you lose your way!” It is very easy for a goal to fall apart or be forgotten when you forget your WHY.
The WHY must be strong enough to motivate you through good times and bad. And, when you are busy and times are challenging. If the WHY will not keep you motivated, then don’t set the goal. Without a strong WHY, the goal will likely fail, which will lead to frustration and discouragement.
2. No Commitment
Second, goals fail when there’s no commitment. Many people begin goals with great intentions, but their commitment and progress quickly fades. How many of us have set a New Year’s resolution to wake up early and go to the gym just to quit a few weeks in when we realize the warm bed is much more inviting than the cold gym? That happens because we are not truly committed to the goal.
To be successful, we must be committed to our goals. Often goals seem simple or easy in the beginning, but as you get into them they are challenging and more complex than you thought. When that increased difficulty becomes visible, a high level of commitment is essential to complete the goal.
3. Lack of Direction
Third, goals fail due to a lack of direction. A strong WHY and a high level of commitment is not a guaranteed formula for success. Goals can still fail because of a lack of direction. When the pathway is unclear, it is easy to take a hiatus until it becomes clear again. That often leads to the goal being forgotten. As you work on the goal, plan time to clarify your direction as you reach hard times in the goal.
4. Goals Are Not Clear
Fourth, goals fail when they are not clear. An example would be to set the goal to “make the organization better this year.” What does that mean? Are you wanting to improve employee morale, increase profit, grow the company, or do something completely different? That goal is not clear. Each person can interpret the goal differently. For goals to be successful, they must be clear, easy to understand and follow.
5. Priorities Are Not Aligned with Goals
Fifth, goals fail when your priorities are not aligned with your goals or your goals are not aligned with your priorities. When that happens, the goals get pushed to the side and don’t get completed.
If you spend time watching TV, playing video games, mindlessly wandering the internet, or doing other activities that don’t create lasting value, you are making them a priority. They effectively become more important than your goals. In order to complete your goals, your goals and priorities must be aligned.
6. Fear Gets In the Way
Sixth, goals fail when fear gets in the way. Worthwhile goals stretch us beyond our comfort zone. That often causes fear. If that fear gets the best of us, it damages self-confidence, causes mental setbacks, and leads to frustration and discouragement. The fear then holds us back from reaching our goals.
Instead, we must anticipate that fear. Be confident in yourself and your abilities then let that carry you through the hard times when fear is greatest.
7. Too Many Goals At One Time
When you are driven to achieve, it is easy to accept many commitments and make many goals. That can actually be your worst enemy. The seventh reason goals fail is because we set too many goals at once. When you set too many goals at one time, you lose focus and experience very slow or no progress. Additionally, you can’t hone your skills on anything. Instead, you are stretched in many ways but are unable to develop your real talents. When you focus your skills and efforts on just a few goals, you can make real progress and success.
8. Give Up When It Gets Hard
The eighth reason goals fail is because we give up when it gets hard. Every goal worth setting is challenging and requires dedication. It requires your best effort and take time to complete. If you expect instant gratification, you will likely be disappointed. Long-term benefits of a worthwhile goal far outweigh the pleasures of short-term gratification from easy goals.
Every worthwhile goal will meet resistance at some point. It’s easy to give up when the going gets tough, but if you do you will only be frustrated and have regrets. Instead, push through the resistance. Work harder when the resistance gets stronger so you can complete your worthwhile goals.
9. No Deadline
The ninth reason goals fail is because there is no deadline. Have you ever had a goal to do something, and said let’s do this “sometime in the future?” Well, if your life is anything like mine, you are probably always busy. Family, work, church, and other activities always seem to take precedence over those “sometime in the future activities.”
Whether it is a trip, a weight-loss program, a big purchase, or some other goal, they are always evasive when they are “sometime in the future.” “Sometime in the future” never comes unless you set a goal, create a deadline, work hard, and make them happen. Let me say that again, goals must have deadlines! When you set deadlines, you will complete your goals. Occasionally, goals meet resistance and the deadline can change, but they will be completed. If you don’t set deadlines, the goals remain “sometime in the future” activities that will likely never be accomplished.
10. Insufficient or No Plan
There is an old saying that, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” The tenth reason why goals fail is because there is an insufficient or no plan. When you create a plan to complete your goals, the plan must be clear so it can guide you to complete your goals. The plan should outline the strategy and define how you will complete your goals.
Without an insufficient or plan, you drift aimlessly with limited or no direction.
Now to wrap things up. If you’ve ever failed to complete a goal, you are not alone and there’s no need to be discouraged. Make a change today. Take steps to become better and improve your goal setting strategy right now.
If you would like additional help setting achievable but challenging goals, check out my other videos in this “Goal Setting” series. Also, feel free to share your thoughts on how goal setting is going for you in the comments section below.
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