OK, so meeting your goals should never be that easy….
Whether they’re related to your education, your career, or something a little more personal, failing to hit your targets can be incredibly frustrating. But although it’s easy to blame things on a number of factors outside of your control – understanding the roadblocks could be the key to hitting your objectives.
To help you get back on track, here are six reasons you haven’t met your goals – and what you can do to turn things around:
You’re only thinking long-term
When it comes to big goals, it’s easy to focus on the finished product.
For example, maybe you really want to pass your driving test this year – but you’re more focussed on planning road trips than practicing your parallel parking.
Where’s the light at the end of the tunnel? And, how are you actually going to stay motivated if you’ve got no real way of tracking your progress?
Setting measurable, short term targets is vital if you want to reach your long term ones. Not only will you be less overwhelmed, you’ll also get a sense of achievement each time you meet them.
Otherwise, you’ll only end up blinded by the bigger picture.
So you’re feeling good about your goals. You’re totally going to learn a new language, get a new job, and study a course by next month.
But other things keep getting in the way – and you keep convincing yourself that they’re far more important; even if they’re not. Because as much as you’d like to think it, using your free time to go to the pub will not help you learn a language. And no, watching the football in Spanish doesn’t count.
So although ignoring a big goal can seem like a good way to destress, it definitely won’t help you out in the long run.
Instead, stop procrastinating – and create clear step-by-step actions to align with your goals. Then, incentivise them with timeframes, consequences, and rewards. Trust us, it’s the only way.
‘Future you’ will be grateful.
You’re scared of failing
Many goals can seem hard to reach.
And what do we do when things seem unobtainable? Run away – possibly to a smaller, less challenging goal – like watching Netflix. And/or sleeping. After all, not trying means not failing.
Unfortunately, it also means not getting anything done.
And it’s not just a fear of failure that can cause a lack of motivation. Sometimes you might be scared of succeeding too. After all, that big promotion might be your dream, but it could also mean other parts of your life will change.
But instead of seeing the possibility of failure (or success) as a roadblock, see it as a part of your journey. And focus on small wins to give you the confidence to keep going.
After all, if you don’t fail – you’ll never learn.
You don’t know what you want
Goals are often influenced by ideologies.
In other words, what you think you want isn’t really what you want. And even if it is, it’s not well-defined enough to be a real possibility.
For example, maybe one of your goals is to ‘get a good job’. Aside from being an unrealistic aim without additional sub-goals (e.g. get qualified, apply for jobs, prepare for the interview) to help you reach it – it’s also extremely vague.
To give you some real direction – ask yourself; what defines a ‘good job’ for you? Is it that you want a better salary? An easier commute? Flexible working hours? Whatever it is you’re looking for, use each factor to build a more specific goal.
Because when you know exactly what you’re working towards, you’ll be far more likely to pursue it.
You’re trying to do too much at once
Newsflash: you can’t do everything.
In other words, trying to tackle all of your goals at once will never end well. It might feel like you’re being productive – but eventually, you’ll probably just get overwhelmed and/or discouraged by the heavy workload.
So to make sure you’re working towards the bigger picture (instead of lots of little ones) – it’s vital to prioritise your goals (based on importance and timescale), and do them one by one.
Then, regularly track your progress. Many goals fall of a cliff purely because you forget about them after a week – so creating your own personal development/career plan is a great way to keep yourself in line.
You gave up too soon
Learning something new can take its toll on your patience – and if you’re not seeing results straight away, giving up can seem like the easy way out.
But before you head for the door (see also: throw in the towel, call it quits, insert other metaphor here) – it’s vital to re-evaluate your aims.
Are your goals realistic? Are they measurable? Are you tracking your progress? If you haven’t considered any of these things, you might find that you’ve given up before you had a chance to achieve anything.
After all, nothing’s going to happen overnight.
And if you’re still struggling? Maybe you don’t really want to do it. Sometimes goals are influenced by others, or what you think you should do – but they aren’t actually what you want to do.
Figure out what’ll make you happy, and you’ll be far more likely to succeed.
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