We are halfway through 2018! Did you set goals for this year? How would you rate your progress towards reaching them?

At the beginning of the year, most of us set goals for what we want to accomplish, but that’s not enough. To be sure we meet our goals, it is important to check in on our progress. Whether you have plans to lose weight, start or grow a business, pay off a debt or purchase a big ticket item, there is still more than enough time to make sure you end this year successfully.

The Problem with Goals

Some individuals start out on a sincere mission to accomplish their goals by working hard for the first few weeks, only to fizzle out just as fast as they started. Some press through obstacles and opposition for a month or two, but soon give up because of the many distractions of life. Then you have others who don’t set any goals because they have failed in the past.

I was the king of goal setting, but did not achieve most of them. I spent quality time writing my list of goals on goal planning sheets. I set in-depth goals that would impress the experts. I did not have a problem with setting goals – my problem was achieving them.

It was not until I sat down and did a personal analysis that I discovered several reasons why I was not achieving my goals. I also asked other individuals what struggles they faced with achieving their goals.

During my brief survey, I heard every imaginable excuse as to why these individuals could not achieve their goals. They said things like, ‘I don’t have time,’ ‘I don’t know how,’ ‘I might fail,’ ‘I don’t like goal setting,’ ‘I am too old’, and the list goes on. Not only have I heard these excuses from others, but I have made many of them myself.

My brief analysis led me to approach goals differently. Do not get me wrong, I still do not achieve every goal I set, but changing my approach made the process less stressful and more enjoyable and significantly increased my success rate.

If you struggle with setting and achieving your goals, one or more of these ten reasons may be the culprit.

10 Reasons Why People Don’t Achieve Their Goals (Don’t let them stop you from achieving what is possible)

1.   Living in a comfort zone.

The desire to remain in your comfort zone is natural and because of that instinctive need, we jump on the someday bandwagon and push our goals and dreams to the side. Unfortunately, nothing ever happens. Tomorrow becomes next week. Next week turns into next month. Next month leads to next year. Then next year leads to five, ten and even twenty years of no action. Eventually, the life you desired to live becomes a distant memory. You can’t afford to fall into the trap of “someday” because that day may never come.

You cannot afford to exhaust precious time and energy living in a comfort zone. Don’t let the enemy of fear, complacency or worry keep you locked in a comfort zone. You have to break free and do life differently!

It doesn’t take a special five step process or a magical formula. I discovered most of the time it only takes a slight adjustment in your daily life to see progress. The adjustments can be so small and minor that you miss them thinking you have to do something big and spectacular.

2. Negative mindset.

The way you think towards achieving your goals plays a major role. If you possess a negative mindset, you probably won’t make it. If you expect failure, it makes it easy to not try. If you live with fear, it is hard to overcome setbacks.

Negativity is like a weed, it will sprout up when you least expect it. If you don’t kill negativity from the root, it will keep coming back. It will come from people who you thought had your back. It will creep into your mind unexpectedly trying to infiltrate your thoughts with doubt and discouragement. At the end of the day, negativity will block your focus and sabotage your efforts.

When you catch yourself speaking negative words or thinking negative thoughts, immediately replace them with positive words and empowering thoughts. If you don’t, your negative thoughts and words will overshadow any attempt for a progressive mindset.

To overcome a negative mindset, you must refuse to think the same way. Renew your mind. Refocus your thoughts. Recalibrate your approach. When you make these changes watch your energy explode and your enthusiasm become contagious.

3. Failure to take consistent action.

If you want to accomplish your goals for the year, you must take action. You can have a powerful vision and a well-written goals plan, but none of that matters if you do not take consistent action.

Consistent action is a reliable, dependable and coherent approach to daily living that aligns us with our life goals. This daily approach is not only a system of habits, but a progressive attitude in pursuing our goals even when adjustments and changes are necessary.

If you have spent months or even years reading, researching and restructuring for the perfect plan and have not taken action, you have wasted time. You can reclaim your time now by choosing an effective action plan today that will move you closer to reaching your goals.

Remember, consistency can take time to cultivate. It will not happen overnight. Don’t get frustrated and quit when it takes longer than you anticipate.

4. Lack of focus.

Lacking focus is like driving in your car to an unfamiliar destination without proper directions. You are in motion, but not getting to where you need to be. You have an idea where you need to go, but a lack of focused directions will cause you to only waste gas and time.

We can all admit that sometimes in our life’s journey we have lacked focus. You want to reach a goal, but you keep getting interrupted by life’s distractions. You implement steps to move forward, but the distractions keep pushing you back.

To eliminate hindering distractions, you must first decide to refocus your efforts on exactly what is important. Next, you must weed out everyone and everything that will not assist you in achieving your goals, including those things that look good to the eyes. Finally, prioritize your goals, take action and finish one goal before moving to another.

If you find yourself getting off target, stop, refocus your mind and remind yourself what you are trying to achieve and why.

5. Trying to do too much.

Trying to achieve too many goals can overwhelm you to the point of giving up. You make long lists of goals that you want to achieve. It looks impressive in the beginning, but soon fizzles out because the list of goals becomes impossible for you to achieve.

When this happens, you walk away disappointed and conclude that goal setting does not work. Understand, though, that your time is limited. You cannot do everything. Keep it simple. Keep it targeted. Focus on one to three major goals at a time.

Also, make sure your goals are aligned with your purpose, values and vision. When you set large goals, break them down into smaller manageable action steps and start taking those steps right away.

Photo Credit: Jeff Sheldon/Unsplash

6. Succumbing to fear.

If you have set your goals and you are ready to take action, you will encounter situations that will fill you with fear and make you feel uncomfortable. Before you can overcome fear, you must figure out exactly what you are afraid of.

Fear is a strong force that will handicap your potential. It will convince you to play it safe. It will tell you to stay where you are because if you try something different, you will fail. Fear comes in different disguises and forms to hinder your success.

If your goals are bigger than anything you’ve done before, fear will tell you that you are not capable or worthy to accomplish them. Fear will attack you with an all-out assault to make you give up and walk away from attempting your goals.

Take a bold stand against fear. Tell fear to get out of your way and move towards achieving your goals.

7. Reliving the past.

Yesterday is gone and will never come back. It is a part of your life that you will never get back. The only thing you can do about yesterday is to use it to help improve your today so you can live a better

Your moment is right now to do what you need to do. If you don’t do it, then today will eventually become yesterday and you would have missed yet another chance. Don’t miss your chance. Don’t forfeit the time you have remaining trying to relive yesterday. Change your focus to the present, live your best today and tomorrow will take care of itself.

8. Listening to pessimistic people.

Pessimistic people can drain your energy and kill your enthusiasm. They will constantly speak into your life, telling you what can and cannot be done. They will consistently see the negative side of life and let you know all about it.

Do not allow pessimistic people to make more withdrawals than deposits in your life. If you do, you will find yourself living in the negative. It does not take long for negative conversations from discontented people to dissuade your life’s progress.

You do not have control over what others say, but you do have control over whether or not you allow them to speak into your life. You have the power to walk away and reject their poisonous words from infiltrating your mind.

9. Making excuses.

Too many people have a habit of making excuses for their circumstances. They blame everything and everyone for where they are in life. They say their parents let them down; the company did not treat them fairly; the government was at fault; there are no jobs, etc. The list of excuses goes on and on.

Excuses are self-built roadblocks that keep you from achieving what is possible. Until you stop making excuses, your goals are just stagnant dreams. Stagnant dreams do not produce results. When you become serious about making a real commitment to achieve goals, you will eliminate the excuses and get the job done.

If you want to grow to your full potential, you must learn to take full responsibility for your life. Accept where you are, learn from your past, make any necessary changes and take immediate action. It’s up to you to make your move and stop making excuses. No one can do it for you.

10. Procrastination.

Procrastination will lead to laziness, causing you to relax or comply with no will to get anything done. Do not fool yourself, your actions and inactions tell you what you truly value.

Procrastination is simply putting off doing what you need to do today for tomorrow. The sad thing with most people is that tomorrow never comes. Procrastination is the enemy of progress and the friend of complacency. It will leave you with no drive, motivation or excitement in challenging yourself to move forward in achieving your goals.

When you procrastinate, you put your goals on hold. You put things off under the illusion that you will get to them another day or when you have more time. You make layers of excuses. You constantly postpone taking action. You end up always waiting for tomorrow.

Please be encouraged, you can overcome the hindering grip of procrastination. It will take a concentrated effort and an uncompromising commitment to transform from a procrastinator to a person of action, but it can be done.

One motto that helps me keep life moving forward and meet my goals is this: “A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.” Harvey Mackay

Let’s move forward together and make 2018 a phenomenal year of action and success.