Setting goals is one thing and achieving them is another, it is not every goal that you set down that is always achieved but we always wish we could achieve them all. Wishing only is not only enough, but we need to go a step further and be realistic and practical if we are to achieve all our set goals. I am assuming that we would have set SMART goals but there are still many other factors that can prevent you from achieving your goals or stalling down your progress. Looking back in the past I have been setting down goals and some years back before I knew about SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound) many of my goals were not achieved and it got better when I later learnt about SMART goals but still many others factors still stopped or stalled my goals. In this writing I look at some of the factors that can prevent us from achieving our goals and remember that this list however is not exhaustive, there are many other reasons you can add on and on.
Lack of Action Plan
For goals to materialize there is a need to have an action plan, I learnt this lesson from my friend Emily when she was helping me with goals for African Pride Motivation. She always emphasized the action plan, how we were going to move from the goal to reality, from one step to another. We need to have actions and steps that we are going to take to achieve goals, unfortunately, many a time we end on just setting the goals without putting the proper plan of actions that we are going to take.
It can start with the simplest action, for example, you want to write a book, you can start with writing just a page a day or researching the topics and jotting down notes about the topics. There is a famous quote that goes like, ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’ and this goes also for your goals. Without a proper action plan, you are very likely not to achieve your goals.
Lack of Resources
Resources are a major enabler of goal achieving, you can have the smartest goals and action plan but without adequate or even proper resources you are mostly bound to fail. The main resources that we need include money, human capital and time and these assuming you would have set smart goals you would have taken care of them. Still, resources will continue being a major enabler towards achieving your goals, and you have to make sure that you have the right resources to help you achieve your goals.
If there is one characteristic that often stops us from achieving our goals, that is laziness. Laziness means you don’t want to work on your goals or take the proper actions to see your goals into fruition. Instead of working on your goals we just choose to sleep or not even work on them. Achieving our goals demands us to move away from our comfort zone and work, it demands us to fight laziness and put some action towards achieving our goals. Many a time I was just too lazy to do the work, and take the appropriate action to see my goals through.
They say procrastination is the thief of time and indeed this is very true with achieving our goals. When you are always procrastinating you are usually surprised when you find that time has already elapsed but you haven’t yet achieved or even started working on your goals. Laziness and procrastination usually work hand in hand, if you do not fight these two most of your goals will just end as wishes. Fight and stop procrastinating on your goals because soon you will realize that time is not on your side and with most goals, time is an important factor.
Lack of Commitment & Focus
Successful people have one set of attribute that is usually not possessed by many other people, they are usually committed. They are committed to everything they do and usually remain focused on anything they will be doing. I like this acronym of FOCUS that I saw on one picture quote, it says Focus On One Course Until Success. To achieve your goals, you need to be committed to them, how much energy or time are you spending on them? Be committed to your goals and you will see them through. Another great attribute that some goal setters do not possess is that they are not focused, their attention is so divided. I have seen this many a time especially when you have many daily or weekly goals and you want to do them all at once, or you start diverting your attention to many other places. At the end of the day, I am often disappointed because not even or only a few of my goals would have been achieved. I later learnt with focus and doing one thing at a time, I often achieved more, you too can still try it this way; following one course until success.
Time & Chance
Sometimes it is not just your time, you can set all the SMART goals, have the proper action plan and all but still, you won’t achieve the goals. This might be a bit controversial but I believe that sometimes time and chance will not be on your side, when it’s your time usually things will fall in place and it becomes easy to achieve them, not saying you won’t put in the effort or other strategies but with all the effort the goals become achievable. I believe that in our goal setting and achieving we should always do it with God for he is the one that establishes them.
Lack of Proper Support Systems
Setting goals, whether they are SMART or not does not automatically mean we will achieve them, failure will be there, the unexpected will happen, results do not sometimes tally with the input. With this and many others, you become dejected, you want to give up, all hope seems lost as the goals now seem unachievable. You have set them and time has elapsed but still, you haven’t achieved it, you have tried everything and taken care of various setbacks but still, there is zero or unpleasing results. This I guess you can relate to, hence the need to have appropriate and proper support systems.
Accountability partners often play a very critical role in your goal achieving journey, it’s having someone whom you can keep track of each other’s progress and goals. The partner is holding you accountable to your goals and you can agree to set timelines, e.g. weekly, monthly or quarterly. With an accountability partner, you can have someone helping you stay on track and even act as a support system with motivation, encouragement, feedback etc. when you want to give up.
Friends and family also play a very important role in achieving your goals, remember we don’t exist in isolation but we live with our friends, partners, family, workmates, team members and many others who can be part of our family. Are they supporting you or not? These can make goal-achieving goals interesting or miserable so for some of those who can be part of your family, like friends you need to be intentional of them Choose that company wisely because they can be a major drawback or springboard towards achieving your goals.
Coaches and mentors often make the journey attainable but giving you tools, advice, guidance and mentorship and offering the right needed support system. Everyone needs a life coach and today if you do not have one, I strongly advocate that you go and get yourself one. Mentors also work best especially on some goals because usually, a mentor is someone who has been there before, so they can easily guide you through highlighting also areas that you need to avoid, traps and pitfalls that you need to be on the lookout for as you achieve your goals.
Your source and faith also play a major and astounding role in goal achieving. If you put all and let God be your major support system, then the journey becomes bearable and when you have faith and believe that He can make them come to pass then you already covered. It is important that you put Him as your major support system and never exclude Him in your goals.
It is important that as you set down your goals and live your life, we always do it with God, he is the one who establishes our……………… Our goals should be in sync with his purpose and plans for our lives and this can be benefited from having a proper relationship with Him. This doesn’t downplay our efforts and role in our goals. The other thing to note is that not all goals will be achieved or attained 100% but we should do our level best and make sure that we get the best from our goal setting and achieving. In this article, I brought out the reasons, not as an excuse but to raise awareness and let us work on them to our best as we live our lives and achieve our goals.
Tinashe Bonde Founder & Director of MOTIMAGZ Magazine, Blogger, Personal Development Enthusiast, Content Marketer and Freelance Web Developer. Contact Details +263785413075