Did you know that 92% of the average person fails to achieve their New Year’s resolutions or any other goals they set for themselves within their lifetime? But truth be told; if goals were easy to reach we’d all be rock-stars, billionaires and rocket scientists. But having dreams isn’t enough; to make them come true, you’ve got to walk the walk.
That walk can be real tough. That’s why we set timelines and push ourselves with self-development programs such as our 52-day course, #Mission52.
Funny enough, more than half the time, people know what to do – the popular resolutions are all straightforward – but something holds them back from succeeding.
Have you experienced this since commencing this 52-day course? You had a goal when we began, you knew what had to be done but you haven’t managed to do any of it, so far. And now you feel stuck.
Don’t worry; you’re not alone.
In fact, a few common slip-ups keep most people from reaching their goals. Make them and you’ll sabotage your progress time and time again. Get a handle on them and achieve anything you set your sights on.
It’s easy to doubt yourself and consider changing course
Here’s how to understand – and deal with – the 7 reasons you’re not satisfied with your progress to date:
1. Expecting Too Much, Too Soon
As a generation used to instant gratification, we want it all and we want it now. There’s a reason marketers promise a flat belly in six weeks; a better life in 15 minutes; easy money in a few hours. They cash in on our laziness.
But the truth is, anything worth having takes time and effort. Whether you want to run a marathon or make a million dollars, think long-term. Be prepared for good days, bad days and a million setbacks on the long ride to success. Ready?
2. Burning Yourself Out
Every January, gyms fill up with New Year’s Resolutioners who want to get fit “this year”. They train for hours, use every machine and work themselves to half-death. No wonder they burn out in a few weeks and never return to the gym again.
Don’t make the same mistake. A moderate, sustained, consistent effort is better than an intense burst that leaves you exhausted and demotivated. Consistently pacing yourself is crucial to achieving your goals.
We often wait for the perfect moment, feeling or opportunity before we decide to take action. “I’m sleepy; if I start my essay now, it’ll probably be bad. Maybe tomorrow.”
But since life is inherently imperfect, waiting often turns into procrastination!
The right time might never come, but that’s no reason to do nothing. If there’s a goal to be achieved, don’t wait: the best time for action is always now.
What happens when we do the “wrong thing”? Drunk-dial an ex; eat 12 muffins three days into a diet; buy a pink flamingo with our rent money?
We punish ourselves. “Why did I do that? I’m an idiot. I’ll never amount to anything; I’m destined to fail.” And once you start thinking this way, it’s easy to make more bad decisions. “I’ll be fat forever; may as well eat 20 more muffins.”
Instead of punishing yourself for bad choices, remember that you’re only human. Everyone makes mistakes; successful people just don’t think about theirs too much. Never let a few screw-ups drive you into negative thinking and negative self-talk which in turn drives you to self-sabotage.
5. Relaxing Too Early
When you start making progress, it’s tempting to let go and relax. “I worked hard to get here; I should stop and enjoy the fruits of my labor for a bit.”
The problem with this line of thought is; it gives you an excuse to slack off. Your mind always wants you to make as little effort as necessary. Once you have a sense of accomplishment, there’s little motivation to keep going.
Always commit to keep going until you reach your desired success – and make an effort to maintain it once you have it. This will help you stay on your toes, build positive momentum through repeated effort and keep old habits away.
6. Seeking Validation
Humans are social beings; we want to be liked and accepted. That’s why being admired for your achievements is such a great feeling. But relying on the approval of others for motivation and direction is dangerous.
Other people might want you to do things that make you unhappy; they might disagree with your goals or methods. When that happens, it’s easy to doubt yourself and consider changing course.
But do you really want to let other people control your life?
No matter what your goals are, the only approval you ever need is your own. Enjoy compliments when you get them, but put your own needs first.
No matter how motivated and disciplined you are, you’ll have “off days”. When they come, the temptation is to stress out. “Why do I feel so tired today? I need to feel energetic right now. Man, oh man, what do I do? This sucks!”
That’s how resistance works – by refusing to accept events and situations, we make them worse. Before you know it, you’ve made yourself feel bad over nothing.
The solution is acceptance. No matter what happens, simply make the best of it. The next time you feel down, try saying: “Well, I feel tired today. I guess I’ll just do what I can and see what happens.” Remember: Your thoughts become your words and actions.
Now that you know the 7 reasons you haven’t reached your desired goals yet, stop making them. Apply these tools to your life and nothing will stop you from succeeding, no matter how wild and extravagant your dreams are. #YouArePossible