9 reasons why goal setting doesn't work

goal setting Jun 06, 2022
Setting goals - why setting goals doesn't work

A lot of people set goals, and not many people achieve them.

While there are a lot of reasons for this, I will outline some of the ones I have come across.

1. Your goal isn't sexy enough. 
Paying down the credit card is uninspiring.  You don't really care.  It's a "Have to" rather than a "want to" so you just pay what you can and don't have a real plan for it.

2. Your goal isn't important or urgent enough.
You don't aspire to fix the dripping tap because it's only a couple of drips every minute.  But if the drips turn to gushing, then you will certainly find the time for it, because it is both important and urgent.

3. You don't know where to start.
You have an amazing project to do (let's call it a research project that you have to prepare a report for school).  You love the topic, and love looking stuff up on the internet, and sharing what you have learned, but you have no idea how to prepare the report.  So you delay, because how are you going to capture the information once you have found it?

4. You have forgotten to check in along the way to make sure it is working for you.
Just because you set a goal doesn't mean it is still real for you now.  That new car you were saving up for is now impractical because you have moved house, and no longer need that type of vehicle.  

5. Your past experiences.
You set goals before, and they never worked for you, so why would they work now?

6. Your negative self talk.
Your thoughts have all the power. Most of your thoughts are subconscious thoughts, hiding until they pop out and you are aware of them.  Once you are aware you can make a change, but they can be really hard to identify when they are happening.  Believe you can or believe you can't - you are right. 

7.  Negative comments from others.
Did you ever have a teacher, uncle or aunt, or parent tell you that you couldn't do something?  For some people, this is a red flag to a bull - and their personality says immediately "I will show you!" and off they go and do that thing (as an 8 year old I ate a whole family tin of spaghetti because of this).  But for most of us, this negativity sticks like glue, and even if they said it as a joke, or a throw-away comment it can stick around for decades, stopping us from trying.

8. You haven't allowed for everything else going on in your life.
If you are a single parent with 3 kids under 3, then it's unlikely that signing up for a full time university degree will be achievable.  Just because you have best intentions doesn't mean that the time you think you can dedicate and the time that you actually can dedicate will align.

9. It's not your area of expertise.
Some people are great at building and fixing things, and others are great at writing, and others are great at standing in front of crowds and presenting. It's not a failure on your part if you are not suited to particular things, but don't let fear of doing a non-perfect job hold you back.

All of these reasons can seem pretty dismal.  In fact, if you have come across several of these you might say that this is why you can't set goals, and why it doesn't work for you.
My advice is to start again.  
A goal is something that inspires you, that you want to accomplish, and you have a clear plan for.  
in the next blog, look for ways you can make goal setting easier.

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