By Lisa Jeffs
Have you ever wanted something so bad but know you keep getting in your own way of achieving it?
Here’s the thing. Most people don’t achieve their goals because they don’t, set any.There is a staggering number of only about 3% of North American’s that have set goals and had clear, concrete plans of achieving them. My guess is, if you’re reading this you are probably one of the 3%.
But this brings us to another issue. Why is it that out of this small amount of people that even a smaller amount achieves them?
Well, there are a number of reasons, but I’m going to share 5 top reasons with you below…
1. LACK OF CLARITY
Having unclear, vague goals. What this does is…
Imagine your friend invited you to a party. She tells you it’s over a hill, across a couple of fields, around a corner somewhere and on level 5, 6, 8 or 11 of a building. If you want to go to this party, you have to head out and find it with those directions. So what’s going to happen… you will head out and maybe find the hill, maybe not. But it won’t take very long until you get completely lost. And might just stop in the middle of the road and not want to move. We call this being stuck.
Your brain won’t be able to guide you because it doesn’t know where it’s going. This is the same thing that happens when you have unclear, vague goals. It’s like trying to get to an endpoint with shotty directions and a broken GPS. You’re not going to get very far and will most likely get stuck. Get as clear and specific as you can with your goals. When you do, it allows the brain to develop a perfect map of how to get there.
Clear goals, clear direction = greater chance of goals achieved.
2. LACK OF PATIENCE
Lack of patience is a big one and one that often challenges me.
As a society, we are programmed for instant gratification. If a goal takes longer than a few weeks or even a few days to achieve it, we can become impatient and give up. Often choosing something that will give us that instant gratification instead. Have you ever been on a weight loss program and after seven days found yourself getting impatient you haven’t lost that 15 pounds yet? Or set an income goal for yourself and after two weeks threw in the towel because it was ‘taking too long’.
The fact is some goals take longer than others. And unless you give up completely you are more than likely going to achieve them.Think about traveling to your party again. Maybe you get stuck in rush hour traffic. Maybe there is an accident blocking the way. Maybe a dog jumps out of a car window and stops traffic on the highway, (yes this actually happened to me.) But as long as you are clear where the party is and that you’re going and not turning back, you will get there, even if it takes longer than you would like.
3. LACK OF RESILIENCE
Back to the map we spoke about in #1. Resilience steps in when detours or roadblocks appear on the journey towards our goals.
Think… injuring yourself at the gym when you just start a new weight loss routine. Or completely losing a stream of income when you set a big money goal for yourself. How do you react to situations like this? Do you let them completely throw you off course and give up on your goal? Or do you put your thinking cap on and think of ways to move around the roadblock, so you still get to ‘the party’. I’ll say it again. Unless you give up completely, there is always a way. Even if you have to adjust your goal in some way.
Having strong resiliency will allow you to overcome any obstacle and come out on top.
4 LACK OF FOCUS
This is a common one, especially in this day and age. With something trying to get our attention every 30 seconds it’s easy to go down side road after side road admiring every pretty thing we see. But what happens then, is our energy gets scattered.
Back to our party example. Instead of driving straight to the party, you’ve now stopped at Starbucks for a tall chai latte. Then you’ve gone to the park and fed the birds. Now you’ve stopped for a car detailing. And before you know it, you’re so exhausted from making the detours. All you want to do is go to bed instead of going to ‘the party’.
Being laser focused on your goal allows the majority of your energy to go towards achieving them.
Now if you’re used to multitasking and flipping from one thing to the next, you may find it hard to focus on anything for longer than a few minutes. However, with constant practice and making an effort to focus a little longer each time, you will be able to experience laser focus and be shocked at how much you can accomplish.
5 LACK OF BELIEF
Last but not least, in fact, this is arguably the most important factor of all. If you don’t believe you can do it, if you don’t believe you can achieve the goal, you will not take the actions needed to do so.
Let’s go back to our party journey. If you don’t believe you will ever get to that party, you will not take the actions you need to get there. If you don’t think you are going to be able to leave your house and find your way there, you most likely won’t leave your house, to begin with. Or you may leave, but then right after finding something else to distract you. Human’s are great at creating distractions not to go after their goals.
How many times have you heard someone say… “I’ll start tomorrow.” Or the oh so popular… “I’ll start on Monday.” And by Wednesday they have given up if they even started at all. This is to do with a lack of belief that they can make it happen. The belief is quite often wrapped up in self-worth and self-confidence. Lack of belief is the #1 reason I see people not achieve their goals or even set goals at all.
Believe me; I know all these well. I’ve experienced every single one of them. I also know with some perseverance and commitment you can move through all of them and ‘get to that party’.