Hello, and welcome to the Leadership Done Right Podcast, Episode 31: 10 Reasons Goals Fail And 5 Steps to Make Goals Successful.
First, I want to wish each of you a very happy New Year! 2018 is going to be the best year yet!
With the new year upon us, now is the best time to set and/or refresh your goals, but regardless of when you listen to this episode it is always a good time to set and work towards completing your goals.
In last week’s episode, I talked about setting goals using SMART goals. I also talked about creating a plan and 5 Keys to creating an effective plan. In this episode, I am going to discuss 10 reasons why people fail to complete their goals and 5 steps to ensure your goals are successful.
10 Reasons People Fail To Complete their Goals
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’s10 reasons why people fail to complete their goals.
1. Not a Strong Enough Why
People fail to complete their goals when 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.” Goals fail when 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.
10 Reasons Goals Fail — Wrap-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.
Before we move on to the 5 steps to ensure your goals are successful, we’re going to take a quick break for our sponsors.
5 Steps to Ensure Your Goals are Successful
Now that we have discussed 10 Reasons People Fail To Complete their Goals we’re going to look at five additional steps you can take to ensure your goals are successful.
1. Communicate Your Goals to Others
Tell people about your goals so they know what you expect to accomplish and the time commitment required. They will be much more likely to support and encourage you when they have a good understanding of what you are trying to accomplish. When you share your goals with the right people, they will likely help you and won’t become an obstacle for your to complete your goals.
One important consideration when sharing your goals is that you must be selective on who you share your goals with. There are some people that are natural naysayers. They constantly want to point out why things won’t work and why all ideas are bad ideas. When sharing your goals, don’t share them with these people. They will put you or your goals down and do their best to make you think that your ideas are bad. Instead, select people that will help and encourage you on your pursuit to complete your goals.
2. Select an Accountability Partner
Find someone that will regularly check in with you and hold you accountable for completing your goals. When selecting an accountability partner, you’ll want someone that will push you in the way that you need to be pushed.
For example, you will likely want someone that can empathize with you on your setbacks, but has a similar temperament to push you in a way that is effective for you when you are starting to feel lazy.
3. Post Your Goals in a Visible Place
Make sure you see your goals every day. They can be posted in your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, office, or any other place that will make them visible every day. By seeing your goals everyday, you will have a constant reminder to work hard to accomplish them.
Just seeing them is not enough though. Do your best to read them each time you see them. Then think about your goals. Think about your progress so far and what you still need to do to accomplish what’s left of the goal.
4. Enlist Supporters
Although similar to the first point of communicating your goals to others, enlisting supporters is a little different. When you communicate your goals to others, you are letting them know WHAT you are doing with the purpose of making sure they don’t become a roadblock.
Enlisting supporters, on the other hand, is much more. When enlisting supporters, find people to be your cheer leaders. Their sole purpose is to encourage you when you go through rough times. They lift you up and help you continue to follow through.
When selecting supporters, be sure to exclude people that will tear you down and tell you that you can’t do it. Only select people that will encourage you and lift you up.
5. Block out the Resistance
Whenever you want to stretch, improve, or become better, there is always resistance fighting against you.
That resistance comes in many forms and always attacks when you are tired, discouraged, and in your weakest mental and physical state. It comes in the form of other pressing responsibilities, people pushing their problems and responsibilities onto you, things not going as planned, good rather than great opportunities, and many other things.
What’s important to know is that the resistance will come, so create your plan to withstand it. Focus on steps you can take to move your goals forward in the face of the resistance. Also, you can create positive affirmation statements to say when the resistance is hitting you the hardest.
By following these steps and working hard, you put yourself in best position to successfully complete your goals.
I want to invite each of you to share your thoughts on goal setting with me. You can do that in the comments section below or at the Leadership Done Right Facebook page, or Leadership Done Right LinkedIn Group.
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Leadership Done Right Podcast. If you would like to listen to the next episode of this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or whatever other podcast platform you use. You can also check out the full list of episodes and platforms with this podcast at LeadershipDoneRight.com/LDRPodcast.
Thanks again for listening! My goal is to help you become a great leader, now go be the best leader you can be!