Why do New Year’s Resolutions fail? Mainly, because they are only a statement, or what we wish for in the coming year. There are usually no action plans, no deadlines, no backup plans. Sometimes they are unrealistic resolutions, with no other thought or plans beside the statement.Catherine Pulsifer
Many resolutions and goals are merely statements or wishes.
We make declarations, but by the time it’s March, we fall back to the same patterns and habits we had the year before.
In this post, I’m going to tell you why most people never meet their goals and how to break out of the rut that keeps you from reaching yours. By the end, you’ll know how to reach your goals with commitment, ownership, and grit!
Why Most People Never Meet Their Goals
I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I think if you want to change something, change it today and don’t wait until the New Year.Georgina Bloomberg
There are 3 factors that prevent anyone from reaching their goals:
- Lack of focus
- Lack of clarity, and
- Lack of desire
It’s not that we completely lack focus, clarity, or desire, but we lack the discipline of directing it towards our goals.
The challenge is that we spend most of our time on what we’re fearful of. We worry about what we don’t want to happen, failure, and what others will think. But when you direct your focus, clarity, and desire towards your goals consistently, the fear of failure slowly dissipates and becomes irrelevant. It no longer aligns with your goals and becomes unimportant.
Your focus, clarity, and desire is something you must train and refine constantly.
Instead of coming up with Plan B’s through Z’s, identify what it is you actually want. Be clear and specific about your outcome and train your mind to focus on what’s important.
The thing is, you’ll focus on things which seem relevant to you. If your goal isn’t important, then you’ll constantly get distracted (lack of focus). If your goal is vague, you won’t have a plan for it (lack of clarity). And if you’re still not reaching your goals, how badly do you want it? (lack of desire).
There will always be an opportunity to make an excuse. The antidote is to recognize that nobody is forcing you. You don’t have to set goals, make resolutions, and improve yourself if you don’t care enough. Because at the end of the day, you’re going to sleep with you.
How To Actually Reach Your Goals
Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.Lao Tzu
When you constantly put something off, you chisel away your motivation (reason for doing something). The longer you wait, the less likely you’ll do it.
Most people don’t realize that achieving goals and creating bigger ones involves your mind. Because where you direct your thoughts, behavior will result. If you constantly make excuses and put things off, you’ll continue doing so. If you train your mind to focus, clearly envision what you want, and get fed up with excuses, you’ll reach your goal in no time.
To actually reach your goals, you must realize that if you can make excuses and put things off, you can also do the opposite, because your mind has a lot to do with it. With that, I’d like to introduce 3 practices to help you reach your goals:
- Train your mind
- Envision what you want
- Flip the script
Train Your Mind
When you find yourself distracted and lacking focus towards your goal, understand that you can re-train your focus. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not that you lack focus, your focus is just directed towards things opposite or irrelevant to your goal. Your mind has been tricked into thinking that your goal is irrelevant, which then causes you to act off emotion and what your body craves.
But when you train your mind and direct your focus on your goal, you basically convince it that there’s no way out of it. By directing your thoughts toward your goal, you set yourself up to behave in a way to make you achieve it.
When you train your mind, you discipline yourself to have the focus you need. You direct your thoughts consistently and create the habit of not giving in to excuses.
So first, get clear on the specific outcome you want. What IS your goal and why is it important to you? Once this is clear, train your mind to focus. As soon as you find yourself making excuses, redirect your thoughts and remind yourself what your goal is and why it’s important.
Envision What You Want
We often lack clarity in our goals, which forces us to procrastinate. We don’t really know what to do, how to start, or why we’re doing it. This can deviate you from staying motivated to achieve your goals.
Lacking clarity creates feelings of being unsettled. This often appears as unrest, anxiety, scatteredness, overwhelm, and even confusion. More often than not, it’s because our attention is divided between various mundane tasks and events.
When you train your mind to focus on the specific outcome, the next step is to really envision what you want. What is the end-goal? How do you want to look and feel after you reach your goal? Envisioning what you want will help create the how-to-get-there steps after you know what you want and why you want it.
Not only does this help you create a plan but also prioritizes what’s most effective in the moment. With this clarity, you’ll be able to see a clearer path to reach your goal. Minus the distractions and feelings of unsettlement, you’ll subconsciously discipline yourself because you have the “end in mind.”
Once you know what your goal is and the why, envision what you want out of it, and the how-to will come about.
Flip The Script
Training your mind and envisioning what you want will help identify your goals.
But one question remains: How badly do you want it?
We can lack focus and clarity all day long, and granted, because we’re human and not robots, we’ll have our days. But if we lack the desire to make any changes in our lives, it will only get harder to reach those goals.
When you want something badly enough, you’ll do anything to get it. This means that if you want to go to the gym but lack motivation, you don’t want it badly enough. Or further, you don’t need it badly enough.
When you flip the script and decide to do whatever it takes to reach your goal, you’ll get there. You’ll convince yourself that it’s not just a want, but a need. You’ll get fed up with your current state and do whatever it takes to get there.
It’s not a matter of willpower, motivation, focus, or clarity anymore, but really asking yourself: do I want this? Is this actually a goal I’m willing to work towards? Do I really want to reach this?
Sometimes the answer to these questions will be no, but you have got to think further and ask yourself again: will it be worth it?
Because if it’s worth it, you’ll do it, no questions asked.
If it’s worth it, you’ll train your mind and direct your focus; you’ll envision what you want and where you want to be and ultimately get there. If it’s worth it, you’ll get fed up with your current state and pursue growth unlike anyone you know.
Most people don’t reach their goals because they haven’t trained their minds to focus on the goal. They let distractions get in between, which clutters their view of how to get there. This lack of clarity gets them unsettled and not knowing what they desire, so they fall back in the rut of not reaching their goals again.
If you want to change this for yourself and reach your current goal, do this:
- identify what the goal is, and why it’s important
- envision the outcome (as if it’s already happened)
- intensify your desire to make it happen (is it worth it?)
Then, do this:
- train your mind to focus on the what and why of your goal
- write out your envisioned outcome and look at it every day
- take one small step that will help you get closer to it