This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full Disclosure Policy. Click here.
Setting a goal is one thing, but actually reaching it is a whole other story. And if you’re one of those people that always seems to be on the struggle bus in the goal department, there are likely a few things at play. Check out these 5 reasons you’re not killin’ your goals.
1) You Listen to Your Inner Critic
Take a second and think about how you would talk to a friend who wanted to get out of debt but vented to you about how she can’t seem to stay on track with her budget. How would you respond? Would you tell her:
- It’s pointless to try. You’ve failed before so you might as well give up now.
- You’re not good enough.
- You can’t do it.
- You can’t change.
- If you can’t do it perfectly, don’t do it at all.
If you’re a good friend, there isn’t a chance that those words would come out of your mouth. Instead, you would encourage her to keep trying.
But I bet that you’ve told yourself at least one of those things…and worse you probably actually believed it. The truth is we are so much harder on ourselves than we would ever be towards anyone we love.
By listening to your negative self-talk, you’re giving power to your limiting beliefs. These are false beliefs that you hold about yourself which cause you to underestimate the things you can accomplish in life.
To help you flip the narrative, take 20 minutes to scribble down all of the negative (and untrue) things you tell yourself and for each statement, write a statement that is actually true and realistic.
Using the above examples, here’s how you can do it:
- No one who has experienced success has escaped failure. Failure is a part of the process. I will embrace failure because it means I’m trying.
- I am good enough.
- I can do this if I keep going.
- I am constantly changing and evolving. I can change what I choose to change.
- I’m human. Perfection is impossible. I can make imperfect progress.
2) You Listen To Outer Critics
(If “outer critic” wasn’t a term before, it is now. #youhearditherefirst)
Here’s the thing. Whenever you are trying to better yourself. There is always going to be that person who wants you to fail. Most of the time, they’ll keep that fact to themselves, but in case you’re especially lucky and have a more vocal hater…you’ve likely heard things that might make you want to quit pursuing your goal.
If that’s you, I’m here to tell you to stop listening. Seriously, tune ‘em out. Because the thing is, their negativity towards you is really not about you at all.
It’s about them.
If they see that you’re making positive changes while they are living a life they are less than thrilled with, it’s gonna cause them some discomfort. For some of those people, it’s easier to bring you down than it is to make their own changes, and that’s just what they’re going to try to do.
Don’t let them. Don’t take their negativity personally. Be kind to them, stay focused on your goal, and move on.
When you say “no” to the haters, you’re saying “yes” to yourself.
3) Your Focus Is Misdirected
If you feel like you’re not making any progress, it could be because you haven’t figured out your “best yes” to get you there. In the book “The One Thing” author Gary Keller writes about how to break down your goal into actionable steps in a way that builds momentum by focusing on the exact right thing at any given moment.
Without the proper focus, it’s easy to feel like you aren’t making headway on your goal. In the book, Keller offers what he calls The Focusing Question to help you determine your next best step towards pursuing your goal.
Ask yourself: “What’s the ONE THING I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will seem easier or unnecessary?”
The only thing you need to add to the question is the time (year, month, week, day) and topic (health, relationships, career, home improvement, etc) of your focus.
Ex. “What’s the ONE THING I can do this year (time) for my health (topic), such that by doing it, everything else will seem easier or unnecessary?
When you ask the Focusing Question, you’ll be able to figure out your top priority task in that moment that will help you reach your goal.
4) You Make Excuses
You know how you feel super revved up as you’re making your goals list, ready to tackle them and knock them out of the park? You’re so optimistic and you can visualize the changes you’re going to make and how awesome it’s going to be once they happen! Only to have that optimism come crashing down once you’re actually doing the work and realizing, “This change stuff is hard, damn it!”
What usually happens next?
Your creativity sparks and you begin to find a million and one excuses for why the goal isn’t worth it anymore.
Don’t even try to deny it.
I don’t have enough time. It’s not the right time. I’m a mom of young kids. I’m afraid of failing. It will take too long.
Don’t let your excuses become the reason that you give up and instead remember the reasons why your goal is important to you. Create a vision board of your ideal life and put it somewhere you will see it every day to help motivate you to keep going.
5) You Compare Yourself To Others
Let’s say one of your goals is to run a 5k. You’ve never been able to run for more than a half a mile so being able to reach this goal would mean the world to you. You’ve just finished your run for the day and you are ecstatic because you ran your first mile without stopping. You’re on top of the world!
You stop to cool down and decide to scroll through Instagram and the first post you see is about how a friend just killed her PR for a marathon.
Talk about a buzzkill. All of a sudden, you go from feeling super proud of yourself to feeling like a total loser. You fell into the comparison trap and let the success of someone else minimize your own.
That may not be your exact story but I bet you can think of a similar situation where you felt this way, am I right?
But instead of letting the success of others bring you down and make you feel as though you’ll never get there yourself, look to them as proof that you can be successful too! Appreciate them because they have gone before you to show you that what you want is possible. They started at the beginning and worked hard to get to where they are.
Author Jon Acuff said “Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. The comparison is poison.”
So if you struggle with seeing the success of others and it tempts you to give up, I encourage you to stop looking. Put your blinders on and stay focused on your goal.
Just Keep Swimming
Here’s the thing, setting goals is easy, but achieving them? Not so much. In fact, it’s just plain hard to do! That’s why I think it’s important to look at your mindset and behavior to see if they align with and encourage success. If they don’t, change your game.
If you have limiting beliefs
Refuse to let them limit your potential. Challenge them and flip the narrative. You’re capable of more than you think.
If there are haters in your life
Reduce your interactions with them, if possible, and recognize that it’s not about you, but about them.
If you feel like you’re not making progress
Shift your focus to the thing that will have the biggest impact where you are right now. Figure out your ONE THING.
If you’re making excuses
Go back to your “why”. Don’t give up when you’re at a low. If you must throw in the towel, only allow yourself to go out when you’ve had a small win (I bet you won’t want to, and that’s the point;)).
If you compare and despair
Stop looking. Put your blinders on and focus on your own journey.
When it comes to reaching your goal, there will be roadblocks that will make you question whether or not it’s worth it to continue. And while sometimes it IS okay to give up because a goal is no longer important to you, I encourage you to keep going if you think even a small part of your future you will regret it. Just keep going. You will get there eventually. I promise.