Have you ever said in January, ‘This year will be different‘?
Let me guess: you said you’re going to lose weight and get fit, get organized, spend less money, work on your business and spend more time with your family.
I have… on many occasions. And sometimes three to six months down the track I couldn’t even remember which goal I was supposed to work on!
The reality is that you have good intentions for the week or day, but then you get to the office, the phone rings and…
- an angry customer didn’t receive their order
- a team member misunderstood the priorities so a project deadline won’t be reached
- a key supplier is off sick
- a piece of equipment broke down or
- a family emergency pops up.
On a scale of 1-10*, how happy are you with the progress you’ve made towards your business goals?
If you scored yourself a 5 or below, you’re not alone.
Studies in both Australia and the US have found that on average close to 60% of people have given up on the goals they set 6 months later. And only a mere 8% of us achieve our goals in a year.
Let’s look at the three main reasons why nearly 60% of people don’t reach their goals and what you can do differently so you don’t become a statistic.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as who you become by achieving your goals.”
~ ZIG ZIGLAR
3 REASONS WE DON’T REACH OUR GOALS
HAVING TOO MANY GOALS TO FOCUS ON
According to Finders’ research, one of the top reasons people don’t reach their goals is because they have too many goals.
In this diagram we can see the main categories of goals Australians set for themselves. At 54% the biggest category by far is Health + Fitness.
The problem is that in January we feel refreshed and make a large wish list for the year including extreme improvements in both our work and personal lives.
We underestimate the various everyday competing priorities we’ll have to deal with and overestimate our available time, energy and willpower in a day.
We also don’t put enough thought into planning exactly how we’ll make the goal a reality.
So we take on more than we can handle, feel despondent after the first month or so when we fail to keep up and quit before we even really got started.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
#1 KEEP FOCUSED
Choose one life goal and one business goal that will make the biggest impact in your life and business over the next 90 days while moving you closer to your annual goal.
Focus all your actions and resources on that area for a full quarter. Set specific milestones that will indicate progress and tweak the results as you go.
#2 KEEP IT SIMPLE
Whether you’re looking to boost your fitness or grow your profits, look at small simple changes you can implement in your daily and weekly routine that can easily become habits over the next three months.
Small daily increments will quickly add up to big transformations.
#3 DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Whether your goal is to save money towards a vacation, to refresh your brand, try out a new marketing tactic or simply to cut costs in your business, it’s important to take time to brainstorm ideas and compare products or services before making a final decision.
Hire a professional to look with fresh eyes at your situation and identify any gaps in your plan to ensure you don’t waste time or money on something that’s not right for your business.
FORGETTING ABOUT THE GOAL
It’s easy to be enthusiastic about our goals when we start out but everyday challenges quickly erode that inspiration and six months down the line 15% of people reported that they forgot about their goal.
The main reason is a lack of visibility and accountability, so experts recommend keeping your goals front of mind.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
#1 Keep your goal list in a prominent place like the fridge or bathroom mirror, or use a more visual representation like a vision board.
#2 Share your goals with friends, family and on social media. Research shows that those who keep their goals to themselves are 64% more likely to fail than people who share their goals.
There’s a saying, ‘It’s not official till it’s on Facebook‘, so start posting.
People like Anna Newell Jones even took it a step further by starting a blog to help her get out of debt. It took her 18 months to go from shopaholic to paying off all her debt.
If social media feels too daunting, consider a fitness group, running club, weight loss group, individual coaching or business groups as the group dynamic helps to keep you engaged, motivated, on track and accountable.
NOT KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR PROGRESS
Achieving our goals takes more than good intentions. You have to take action and systematically track your progress.
One quarter of goals are abandoned because people fail to track their ongoing progress. According to the Finders study this is the #1 reason why people aren’t reaching their goals.
Setting a goal and writing it down, significantly increases your chances of achieving a goal.
The best way to keep your momentum as you start hitting bumps in the road is to track your progress on paper or electronically.
It’s important to choose a method that works well with your personality and lifestyle.
The last thing you want is for your goal tracking method to become another distraction standing in the way of achieving your goals.
A trend is to use apps that serve as reminders, track your goals progress and habits, and record your wins consistently.
Goal setting apps include GoalsOnTrack (paid) and LifeTick (free + paid). Habit tracking apps include Strides (free) and HabitList.
It’s not easy to change behavior and to make your goals a reality.
If you fell of the wagon, acknowledge yourself for trying in the first place, dust yourself off and try once more.
Remember, goals can be set any time of the year not just in January, so never wait for a new week, a new month or a new year to start over. Do it today because life is too short to not be everything you can be every day!
Which of these three reasons is the main culprit standing in your way of achieving your goals? Leave your comment below.
Author: ALICIA MENKVELD Creator of: BUSINESS CONFIDENCE ACADEMY Alicia Menkveld, an award-winning entrepreneur for the last 16 years, loves to travel and lived on three continents to date. She is an international speaker, author and a trusted adviser to successful business owners and leaders. Alicia is an authority on business strategy, mindset and effectiveness for individuals and teams. Design your business to live the life YOU want.
ON A SCALE OF 1-10* HOW HAPPY ARE YOU WITH YOUR BUSINESS RESULTS?
(* 1 = lowest, 10 = highest)
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