Most people are gung ho and set goals at the beginning of a new year. By the time we are 90 days into the new year, many of us have abandoned or can’t even remember the goals we’ve set. When setting goals you need to be aware of ten (10) reasons why most people do not achieve their goals. This article will address the first 5 reasons.
1. Unclear objective(s) for achieving the goal. At the drop of a dime, most people can quickly tell you what they do not want. It’s a lot harder to become crystal clear about what you really do want.
When deciding what you really want, don’t focus so much on situations or circumstances; focus more on what you want to feel when your goal is achieved. For example, let’s say you are a business coach and your goal is to increase the number of clients you are coaching thereby increasing your business income. Don’t focus on just acquiring a certain number of clients. Focus on acquiring a client base which reflects your ideal client – your target or niche market.
The Remedy: ask yourself: “How will I feel when I am coaching my ideal client?” Your actual goal is to experience the joy; excitement and freedom you will feel when you are on target living your purpose and serving your ideal clients.
By forcing yourself to focus only on acquiring your ideal client, you will better direct your marketing efforts and won’t waste your time trying to acquire clients that you really don’t want to sign on with you because you can’t really help them, they can’t or are not willing to pay for your product or services or they would be problematic in some other way.
2. Underestimating how hard it will be to achieve the goal. Most business owners set a goal with absolutely no idea how hard achieving that goal will be. Starting a business is the easy part (filing your business entity with your state, buying a computer, hiring a virtual assistant, etc.). The hard part is actually marketing the business, sending out a regular newsletter, building a website and keeping it updated, attending networking events while balancing other areas of your life.
In using this example of building and growing a business and for any other goal you set out to achieve, remember the best thing you can do is to break down your goal into small, achievable steps. Rome (or any other city for that matter) was not built in one day.
The Remedy: Write out the major actions that must be taken to achieve the goal. Break up each action into actual steps you must take to achieve the goal. Select a date by which you will complete this step. This is a contract with yourself; you are making a commitment to yourself. If you can’t keep a commitment with yourself, how can you expect to keep commitments with customers?
3. Unwilling to make sacrifices. If your goal is to lose weight, you are going to have to sacrifice eating as much of (if at all) things that taste oh so good and that you love. You are going to have to sacrifice a sedentary life so that you can get out there and exercise. If your goal is to build a profitable business, you are going to have to sacrifice recreational activities and using expendable income for entertainment. Unless you have a boat load of money or a huge business loan from a lending institution, you must target money to grow the business and you must carve out time to spend on product and service creation, marketing and administrative tasks.
The Remedy: Embrace and accept the fact that to achieve your goal, you will have to sacrifice something. Know that some sacrifices are temporary and some are permanent. A temporary sacrifice maybe time spent with family and friends as you build your business. A permanent sacrifice maybe sugar laden treats which if you don’t stop eating them, the doctor has told you will lead to diabetes or some other serious chronic illness.
4. Lack of belief in yourself. While you say you really want to achieve this goal, if you constantly hesitate or totally stop and never get going before taking concrete steps to achieve the goal, you probably don’t believe that you can do it. For the most part, if you don’t believe you can do something – I mean really deep down in your soul and mind believes it, then you probably won’t achieve it. This isn’t just a cliché.
The Remedy: The remedy is to just do it – just take the plunge and do whatever it is you’ve been hesitating doing. Many people report that they are angry or disappointed in themselves after they’ve taken the plunge and taking that plunge yielded great results. They are angry or disappointed because they realize they’ve wasted a lot of time hesitating and had they not hesitated they would be much further along on their journey. Take the plunge! What do you have to lose?
5. Obstacles. Have you ever heard the story of how baby elephants are tied to a stake in the ground as a means of controlling them? Even after they grow to adults weighing tons, they still see that small stake in the ground as an obstacle when in reality, they possess more than enough strength to pull up the stake and walk free. That’s how it is with most people regarding obstacles. They are so used to reacting to obstacles like a deer reacts to headlights – standing stuck and staring - they forget that usually there is a way around an obstacle and that obstacles can be a great opportunity for growth! Pull up the stake called an “obstacle” and walk free!
The Remedy: When you set out to achieve a goal, identify possible obstacles up front and this will allow you to prepare for how you will get around, over or through this obstacle should it ever present itself. Ask yourself that if a certain obstacle pops up, what are you going to do; in other words, what is your plan B? Granted, life throws us some pretty out of the ordinary obstacles sometimes that there is no way we could have seen them coming. To combat obstacles that just absolutely couldn’t have been predicted, decide that regardless of which obstacle is presented to you, you will not get off the path to your goal.
Warning: Some obstacles appear to force us to make a total directional change so you have to be able to discern whether the obstacle is “goal altering” event or merely a slight bump or hiccup on the way to your goal.
About Author: Carmin Wharton is a home-based business expert and the founder of www.e-BlackWomenNetwork.com, a membership community designed to take businesses owned by women of color from start-up to prosperity. Carmin’s mission is to help women earn what they’re worth and make it big in their home-based business on their own terms.