Why is it that So Many People Set Goals but Never Achieve Them?

Why is it that So Many People Set Goals but Never Achieve Them?

We all know the feeling.  We get a spark of motivation to get something done, get locked in mentally and maybe even mention it to our spouse or friends and then what happens? We never actually accomplish anything.  Unfortunately, we repeat this process repeatedly and create a vicious cycle of failed goals and wasted dreams.  Not to mention the time wasted formulating plans that will never come into existence. It’s just the way a vast majority of the population operates.

A small select few do better at following through, but often we don’t take the time to analyze the real reasons behind success and failures.  We never honestly know what caused that brief spark to fizzle out before anything was accomplished. I’m personally fascinated by goal setting and the twist the human mind tends to put on all our ideas and aspirations. 

I took the time to go over some of the biggest reasons I believe people often fail traveling down the road to success and goals accomplished and compiled some interesting information. Here are some of my personal beliefs as well as data I’ve gathered.

So, Why Do So Many People Set Goals to Ultimately Never Achieve Them?

When it comes to the question, “Why do so many people set goals and never achieve them,” I believe the answer is straightforward and easy to explain.  It simply doesn’t matter enough.  It doesn’t carry enough weight to make the goals and daydreaming of aspirations turn into “Action.” When your goal, and desires turn into a MUST, everything changes.

In the early stages of goals, it’s always the same.  You get an idea, and you think you know the correct path from A-Z, but you haven’t thought for 2 minutes on what these goals mean for you or the people who matter most to you.

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What do you want? What do you need?  What will change in your life if you follow through with your goals? You must break things down 1 step further and then, again and again, to really get to the root of what you’re searching for.  It doesn’t always have to do with money.  It could be other goals you’re setting such as

•    Spiritual Goals

•    Becoming a Better Father

•    Becoming a Better Spouse

•    Contributing to Your Community or Charity More

•    Weight Loss and Physical Fitness

•    Mental Fitness

•    Traveling More Often

The list could go on and on but for the sake of keeping this short and sweet, let’s break down a bit further on why a majority of the time, these goals never come to fruition.

Surrounded by Negativity- Who You’re Around is Who You Become

We have all heard this famous saying before.  Who you are around is who you become.  Depending on your goals, most people will always be jealous and find a way to spread negativity from themselves to you.  Unfortunately for many of us, this becomes about as infectious as the Flu. 

If you're constantly around people who shoot down your dreams and aspirations, you’re also going to slowly believe that your goals are not obtainable and slowly give up.  Sometimes you won’t even give up slowly.  It can happen in the blink of an eye if you’re not careful who you surround yourself with.

Choose people to be around that encourage you and give you positive reinforcement.  Not the nay Sayers.

Too Many Distractions- Laser Focus is the Key

We all have kids, spouses, jobs, and bills to pay.  The world is continuously after you and looking to rip you down any chance it can.  It’s your responsibility to limit the distractions and stay laser focused.  It’s easy to become forced off your path.  If you can’t learn to re-focus and realize what’s important, then ultimately the goal will fail.

Limit distractions and keep the most important things at the top of the list, always. You would be surprised at the silly things people waste time on that limit success in a hurry. I’ll give you a big hint at the first and probably most substantial distraction.  It has about a 4.6-inch LCD display and comes in two options that we all know. Apple or Android.

Memory Instead of Paper and Pen

Dreams without goals are merely dreams. They will never develop into anything, and your memory quickly erases items to move the next important thing to the front of your to-do list.  Write your goals down. Stare at them, write them twice. Whatever you have to do, just DO IT. The idea here is to stop just daydreaming and pick up a pen.

Writing goals down helps the visualization process and begins bringing the target to reality.  Don’t just keep it locked away in your brain or it will slowly disappear.  Trust me.  I’ve been there and made that mistake countless times.

Discipline and Consistency- Hard Work…Works

To achieve goals, you need two things that most people lack.  Discipline and consistency.  In today’s generation, this is something that’s sadly lacking in significant ways.  Sure, some of us have it but believe me when I say the percentage is extremely small. 

You must plan every day.  You must work at it, every day. Not just Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday because you’re off work.  Eventually no matter how small the results seem, doing so will yield results that can make a huge difference toward the end product you are after.  Change your mindset into laying the best foundation for your goals day in and day out and far fewer people would be failing at goals on a consistent basis. Small wins are enormous when it comes to goal setting.

Accountability- If Nobody Knows, Failure Can’t Be All That Bad?

If nobody knows about your goals, it’s tough for you to know what happens when you fail or how it might feel. No embarrassment, no one breathing down your neck.  It doesn’t have the same feeling as when people do know.   Failing is much easier when no one is on your case for giving up or yielding small results.  Tell someone you're close to about your goals.  Be detailed.  Find someone who is positive and doesn’t tear your goals down.

Accountability is a huge reason many people fail at goals each time they set out to achieve something.  Even go as far as telling the other person to hold you accountable.  It doesn’t matter how big or small the goal is, just try this method and see what happens. I ensure you it will create better results this time around for you.

Stop Shooting for The Stars- At Least 100% Of The Time

Am I saying that you shouldn’t have big goals? No, not at all.  You should.  Anything you want in life, you can have. Claim it. The key is finding a way to navigate to the end path effectively.  It doesn’t matter if it’s giving up caffeine or starting a fortune 500 company.  Keep a decent pace.  I’ve made this mistake and got burned.  Did I learn a lot from it? Of course. Did it cost me something either financially, time wise or in my relationships? Yep, it sure did.

It’s the price of admission, and sadly people fail at goals because they believe that price tag is too high. Well, I’ve got news for you.  The price tag for not trying is much higher.  You just haven’t reached the checkout line yet, so you don’t know. It is coming, however, so don’t let the little things hold you back.

Does anything really make failure any more bearable? Nope, it sure doesn’t.  If you're giving up caffeine, start by winging off it instead of dropping it altogether. People get this vast misconception that goals must be accomplished tomorrow, or they fail.  The complete opposite is true.  Goals take time, and if they don’t, they weren’t worthy goals, to begin with.

We aren’t trying to win the lottery with goal setting, we are trying to make a difference in our lives at a slow and steady pace. Take the small victories on the path to the big wins.

Stop Being a Victim and Stop Beating Yourself Up

If you’re after something, you must take it. Taking it requires getting tossed around a substantial amount of the time.  Especially in the beginning.  Many people give up on goals and fail because they just can’t handle the little beat downs you are going to take along the way.  Sometimes it’s not about how hard you can hit, but how hard you can get hit, and get back up.

When you stop being a victim and become a predator is when things can shift mentally, and you can change the game.  Take the beatings, learn from them and move on.  I like to call this failing fast.  A great example of this for me is this blog you’re reading. 

When it began, I didn’t know a thing about writing or using the online marketplace to talk to millions of people.  Has it been all rainbows and butterflies along the way? Nope.

It’s been the complete opposite.  You must fail fast, learn from it, apply it to the next journey and move on.  You won’t stop failing, but you will stop failing at the same thing.  If you learn, you are progressing.

Keep moving, keep pushing forward and keep failing.  Eventually, your goals will slowly become reality.

What are you Going to Do to Stop Being the Failure Statistic?

So, let’s recap, why is that so many people set goals but never achieve them?  Sadly, this is just a small piece of the puzzle.  We have only given a tiny piece of the meat and potatoes of why people fail at goals.  There are way more reasons people fail at goals compared to why they achieve them. 

Just keep in mind that the naturally easy things in life are usually the things with the smallest rewards.  The hard things in life are the things that can indeed make a difference in your life, your family’s life and others surrounding you in a big way.  How big of a beating are you willing to take to make these improvements?  If you have anything to add, be sure to drop a comment below.  We would love to hear your successes or what you believe is holding you back.

About the author

Weston I. Nash

Weston I. Nash was born on the 3rd of July. He is a grandson, son, husband, father and visionary. He has lived around the world, the U.S.A, Asia, and The Middle East. He is the creator of the website UndeniableVision.com. You may be asking, what is the significance of his birthdate and the reason for it being the first line of his bio? This is the day the positive energy that makes up his existence was collected and harnessed. And it is the most important day of his life just like the day you were born is the most important day of yours.

  • […] Now that you have set your aim by setting realistic goals you have many things that you want to accomplish in many areas. But, now you have a problem becasue you only have a fixed amount of time and energy. So if you have too many goals that you are trying to focus on at once then you won't be able to give the individual goals the attention they need and deserve.This is when you need to use a rule setting that is called the "quality, not quantity" rule. You need to set an order of importance to everything that you have now planned to accompolish over the next year. Then break that down into chucks, each quater (or every 3 months) and then pick three goals to focus on.Remember, the success of your work towards a goal rests on focusing on just a few things at a time. If you limit the number of goals you're working on, you'll have the time and energy you need to do things really well!At the end of the day your success rests on your ability to focus on those three goals. So by limiting the number of goals you're working on at any given time, that will ensure you have the time and energy you need to do to achieve your goals. The last thing you want to do is be one of the many people that create a new problem, by setting a ton of goals but then end up asking themselves, "Why can I never achieve any of the goals I have set?" […]

  • […] Now that you have set your aim by setting realistic goals you have many things that you want to accomplish in many areas. But, now you have a problem becasue you only have a fixed amount of time and energy. So if you have too many goals that you are trying to focus on at once then you won't be able to give the individual goals the attention they need and deserve.This is when you need to use a rule setting that is called the "quality, not quantity" rule. You need to set an order of importance to everything that you have now planned to accompolish over the next year. Then break that down into chucks, each quater (or every 3 months) and then pick three goals to focus on.Remember, the success of your work towards a goal rests on focusing on just a few things at a time. If you limit the number of goals you're working on, you'll have the time and energy you need to do things really well!At the end of the day your success rests on your ability to focus on those three goals. So by limiting the number of goals you're working on at any given time, that will ensure you have the time and energy you need to do to achieve your goals. The last thing you want to do is be one of the many people that create a new problem, by setting a ton of goals but then end up asking themselves, "Why can I never achieve any of the goals I have set?" […]


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