Karin Freeland

Motivational Speaker ~ Author ~ Life Coach

Karin Freeland • May 27, 2021

Why Can’t I Stick to My Goals?

Updated: March 29, 2022

Have you ever had a goal that you really wanted to achieve, but for whatever reason you couldn’t actually make it happen? Maybe it was that 20 lbs. you wanted to lose or the business you’ve always wanted to start. Maybe it was organizing your office space or learning piano? Regardless of what the goal is, it can be super frustrating to constantly have an unachieved goal hanging over your head.

But the question remains, why? Why can’t I get this goal completed? There’s a good chance, one (or several) of the reasons below are the culprit. Let’s break them down and see what we can do instead to finally get your goal off the to-do list.

Photo cred: Yan Krukov

Remember why you wanted to achieve this goal in the first place. Let that fuel you in the tough times!

4 Things You’re Doing that Prevent You From Achieving Your Goals:

1) You’re Only Making To-Do Lists: I know, I know. I just said above we need to get this off your to-do list…and we do. We need to get it on to your top life goals list! The biggest problem with not achieving a goal is because you’re treating it like your to-dos. Your goal to get healthy is not the same as needing to pick up a new stick of eyeliner or remember to drop off your dry cleaning.

Your big goals need a list all of their own, that way they get the focus they deserve. Also, our goals normally require a lot of effort and time, which means they won’t just get crossed off the to-do list quickly. How many times have you written the goal over and over on a new to-do list? Energetically that simple act is draining you and teaching your brain that it’s not important enough, since it keeps getting moved forward each week/month. Hence why getting it off your to-do list and onto your life goals list is a must!

2) You’re Procrastinating: I have a client that constantly tells me she’s a procrastinator. But here’s the thing, she’s said this for so long that she’s now given herself permission to continue being a procrastinator. It’s part of her D.N.A. Her brain just reinforces that narrative and makes sure she procrastinates more. Yikes!

The bigger question is why are you procrastinating? Let’s address that issue and start to rewrite your story. Are you scared about the changes you’ll have to make as a result of achieving this goal? Are you lacking confidence and telling yourself you probably won’t achieve it, so no point in trying and failing? It’s time to get honest. What is really holding you back? Procrastination is a conscious choice! I challenge you to declare you’re now a former procrastinator and take a small step towards completing something you’ve been putting off. Your brain will quickly get the picture and start following through more regularly.

3) You Don’t Really Want It: Say what?! Yep, you heard me. You have tricked yourself into thinking this is what you want, but in reality it’s not! Best course of action here is an honest gut check.

Hear me out. When I was in corporate, someone I admired told me I should aim to be Chief Marketing Officer. They told me how great I’d be at that and how I’d spent so much time in Marketing that would be my track (as if I had no choice about pivoting out). I latched on to that idea and made it my story. For years, I tricked myself into thinking this was my idea by parroting to anyone that would listen, “I want to be a CMO.” Years passed and still I wasn’t CMO. Well, no wonder it wasn’t happening. I would literally self-sabotage anytime I had a chance to prove why I should be promoted. Deep down, I didn’t really want it. However, I couldn’t articulate that yet so I subconsciously self-sabotaged. Could this be what’s derailing your from reaching your goal? Only you can answer that question.

4) You Have Too Many Goals: Are you trying to do more than 5 things at a time? No wonder you can’t achieve your goals, you have 20 things you want to do and only 24 hours in a day. The first thing I do with all of my clients is to get really clear on their top 3-5 goals. If I’m coaching a client for 6 months, I want to ensure results fast. Therefore, we only focus on their top 3 goals. If I have a client for a full year, then I’ll expand to their top 5 goals and we’ll prioritize them over the course of the year. The brain can only handle so many goals at a time.

Plus, you won’t burn out so easily by focusing on your top priorities. A lot of my clients describe feelings of overwhelm and exhaustion when we first meet. That’s usually a result of trying to “do it all” and focus on too many things all at once.

Here’s where a bucket list can come in handy. If you’ve got things you’ve always wanted to do, like travel to Spain or bungee jump, but you have no intention on working towards either of those in the next 6-12 months, take it off your goals list! It’s not gone for good, just off your plate for now. Once you whittle your list down to the top 3-5 goals, you’re ready to rock! With clarity comes freedom. You now have the freedom and permission to ignore anything that isn’t on the list. How exciting is that?

When someone approaches you and asks you to join the PTA, you can look at your top goals and very quickly decided if you want to do that or not. Does it help you achieve one or more of your goals? If yes, then do it. If not, then don’t. It’s really that simple! It just requires focus and a little courage.

Now that you’re aware of these pitfalls you can overcome them and make steps towards achieving your goals. If you want support and hands on accountability to achieve results faster, schedule a one-on-one EDIT Your Life™ Jumpstart call today! Let’s get you fast-tracked to reaching your goals and living a life you love.

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