I have always believed people create goals with success in mind. Truly no one says I am going to set this goal or resolution and I’m going to do everything I can so I don’t succeed. Really, that so doesn’t make sense and no sane person does this.
Then why is it that so many resolutions or goals go unmet? As a mom, the last thing I want to teach my children, by example or words, is its okay to not succeed at the goals they set. Likewise, I don’t want them to learn to give up on their goals. They are not, nor am I, going to meet every goal every time. And that’s okay. After all, we teach more by how we handle our failures, or rather setbacks, than we teach by our successes. But I slightly digress because none of this answers my original question why so many goals go unmet?
Basically it comes down to five main reasons. We don’t all fall prey to each of these but most of us fall prey to at least one.
Not Enough Hours in the Day
I think at one point or another in our lives we all fall victim to this dream robber. My husband and I actually constantly debate about this being a valid excuse for not achieving a goal. Truth…we are both right. Most of the time there are things we can do to combat time from derailing our goals. But there are times when time does preclude us from achieving them. And I will talk later about what to do when this is a real robber in Friday’s post.
But for the most part, time as a reason for not hitting our goals is more a matter of poor self-management. We can fall prey to procrastination, feelings of being overwhelmed and not knowing where to start, even being unorganized. Many of us feel we don’t actually have the time.
We all have the same 24 hours. How we use them is different for each of us.
When I am at my busiest, I am always amazed at how much I can get done. Yet, when I have all the time in the world, I can’t seem to get anything done. Why? When I am at my busiest, I schedule my time. So when I have a goal I want to achieve, the first thing I do is schedule time for it. I want to get healthier – schedule doable exercise time and time to plan healthy meals.
Plus, I make small bench marks to breakdown larger goals and so I feel successes a long the way. For example, I’m not a morning person but want to be more productive. So I set a goal of getting up at 6:30am. I also set a benchmark of a week of getting up at 7:30, followed by the next of 7:15 and so on until I reach my goal of 6:30. Not only does this schedule me but it breaks it into manageable bites so I am less overwhelmed.
The Walls Come Tumbling Down…Lacking Boundaries
As women, I think we fall down when it comes to having boundaries and achieving goals. As moms, we often put the needs of our children and husbands before us. We, as women, are often caregivers and it doesn’t feel “right” or “easy” to say no to others. People pleasures often find it difficult to set reasonable boundaries.
Everyone needs healthy boundaries and not every need is a calling.
The best advice I was every given was that setting appropriate boundaries AND taking time for yourself is taking care of yourself. By doing both, you are putting others first. I am not going to say this is easy. But something else to remember is when we do for others when they are capable of doing for themselves, we rob them of their own victories and their own opportunities to grow. Learn to say no kindly.
False Evidence Appearing Real…Fear
Fear is a healthy thing and an innate survival response hardwired in to all of us. It is the little hairs on our neck that stand up and warn us of impending danger. However, it can also be a “halt us in our tracks” goal crusher. The unknown or moving from our comfort zone naturally creates fear.
Fear is something we all feel whenever we do something big!
If you are feeling fear, that’s a good thing! Get excited! Fear comes when our goals are big, I mean really BIG! Fear and excitement produce the same sensations internally. The only difference is perception of the predicted outcome. In other words, how we think the outcome will be cause our interpretation of our bodies physical response. If we think we will succeed, we feel excited. When we think we will fail, we feel fear. This knowledge is power. You are in control of how you feel! Rewrite your script with you succeeding. Keep saying it until you believe it. You know the old saying, “First you say it, then you do it.”
Why Am I Doing This? What’s My Purpose?
Sometimes we create goals because we think we should, but we do so without a lot of thought behind it. When we lack knowledge of our purpose, its really easy to let goals slip away.
We really don’t set just any goal. So there must be some internal reason we set the goal, even if we don’t recognize it.
Figure out the purpose behind the goal – the real purpose. Ask yourself some telling questions.
“Why am I doing this?”
“What will happen if I don’t?”
“What difference does it make in my life?”
“Is there a life changing reason?”
For example, I have struggled with weight previously in my life. When I thought the only reason I wanted to drop my weight was to look better in clothing, to be able to shop off the rack, etc. I’d succeed for a little while but it would always creep back up. But when I started to realize that the real reason I wanted to drop weight was because I wanted to be healthy, I wanted to be able to do more, I wanted to be in the best health position to avoid my family’s medical history, the motivation became real and the weight came off…160 pounds worth. I had to find the REAL reason.
Life Takes an Unexpected Tragic Turn
This would be the definition of my last year. There are a whole lot of things we can plan for but we can’t plan for everything. The loss of someone, someone ill, and so many other life altering unexpected events.
You can never prepare for these.
Let’s face it. There really are things that are legitimate reasons to not reach our goals in the time we initial set. This is most definitely one of them. The only fix is to work your way through it. On Friday, I am going to talk about reality versus expectations and this is one instance where reality should win. However, once you work your way through it, you get back on track with your goal. This is a delay and not a derail.
So where do you find yourself falling prey to when your goals get derailed? Is it time? Boundaries? Fear? Purpose? or have you been hit by a life event? See you next post!