4 reasons why we don’t achieve our goals

[A repost from Sep 2010] I have wondered about these questions for many years: Why most people can’t fulfill their dreams? Why most goals are not achieved? Why most plans don’t work out? Why so much action doesn’t produce the desired results?

Working with thousands of salespeople and sales managers for over 20 years, I have learnt that there are only four reasons. Whether it’s about your career, health, money, relationships or any other goals that we fall short of, it is because:

  1. We don’t really want it. Whatever ‘it’ is that we are after. Are we having sleepless nights thinking and planning for it? What if we don’t get it? Will we settle without it? Do we have a specific time frame in mind? These questions can help us determine if we really want something badly enough. Otherwise, it’s not even a goal – just one of those wishes which may or may not be fulfilled. And we will be OK either way.
  2. We don’t believe it’s possible. It’s an inner voice that tells us, we can’t do it. ‘I can never lose so much weight.’ ‘I don’t think I am made for this.’ ‘It’s just not worth it.’ We believe we don’t have what it takes – the talent or opportunity or whatever.
  3. We don’t know how. We don’t have the knowledge or the skills required to achieve the goal, and worse still, we don’t even know that. Like the salesperson who doesn’t put in the time and effort to learn the product or the skills. Or like someone who spends an hour working out every day without knowing the basics of fitness or nutrition.
  4. We aren’t willing to pay the price. In other words, we don’t take any action towards our goal. We get lazy; we procrastinate. As someone said, ‘If you are only interested, you will do what’s convenient. If you are committed, you will do whatever it takes!’

Do you know of any other reasons? Knowing what’s holding us back is a big first step towards achievement of our goals.

[Photo taken recently of a seagull searching for fish]

What Does it Take to Achieve Your Goals?

I have wondered about these questions for many years: Why most people can’t fulfill their dreams? Why most goals are not achieved? Why most plans don’t work out? Why so much action doesn’t produce the desired results?

Working with thousands of salespeople and sales managers for over 20 years, I have learnt that there are only four reasons. Whether it’s about your career, health, money, relationships or any other goals that you fall short of, it is because:

  1. You don’t really want it. Whatever ‘it’ is that you are after. Are you having sleepless nights thinking and planning for it? What if you don’t get it? Will you settle without it? Do you have a specific time frame in mind? These questions can help you determine if you really want something badly enough. Otherwise, it’s not even a goal – just one of those wishes which may or may not be fulfilled. And you will be OK either way.
  2. You don’t believe it’s possible. It’s an inner voice that tells you, you can’t do it. ‘I can never lose so much weight.’ ‘I don’t think I am made for this.’ ‘It’s just not worth it.’ You believe you don’t have what it takes – the talent, opportunity, looks or whatever. 
  3. You don’t know how. You don’t have the knowledge or the skills required to achieve the goal, and worse still, you don’t know that. Like the salesperson who doesn’t put in the time and effort to learn the product or the skills. Or like someone who spends an hour working out every day without knowing the basics of fitness or nutrition.
  4. You aren’t willing to pay the price. In other words, you don’t take any action towards your goal. You are lazy; you procrastinate. As someone said, ‘If you are only interested, you will do what’s convenient. If you are committed, you will do whatever it takes!’

Do you know of any other reasons? Knowing what’s holding you back is a big first step towards achievement of your goals – unless you are #4.

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