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    & effective!

Why do most people fail to reach their goals?

· 1088 words · 6 minute read


I’ve been coaching people for years to help them reach their goals, and I’ve seen a lot of them fail. They start out with enthusiasm and determination, but by the time they reach their objective they’re frustrated and disappointed. Why does this happen? There are several reasons why it’s hard to achieve your goals:

Goals are not S.M.A.R.T

Let’s start with the obvious: Goals are not S.M.A.R.T., a mnemonic device used to help people set goals.

The acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound; it’s a concept that has been around for decades and is often referred to as SMART goal setting. The idea is that you should break down your goal into smaller steps so you can take action towards reaching them in an organized way.

So what does all this mean? Well first of all, don’t get hung up on whether or not your goals are “smart” or not (because they probably won’t be). The point isn’t to make sure every aspect of your goal fits into each category perfectly; in fact that would probably cause more harm than good when it comes down to actually achieving them! The point is simply to identify some areas where improvement might need to happen before proceeding any further with reaching said goal — whether those be areas like clarity or actionable steps – so if something needs fixing then let’s fix it!

Misaligned with values and passion

To clarify, when we say values and passions, we mean the things that are most important to you. For example, your family may be a value while writing is a passion. Or perhaps you want to travel the world before you’re 30 and make sure no one ever forgets your name.

Whatever your goals are, they need to be aligned with these two things:

  • Your values: What do you believe in? What’s important to you? Your answers will determine what motivates or drives you forward when times get tough
  • Your passions: What do you enjoy doing? How can this help others? Your answers will determine what gives purpose and direction for the future

Being motivated by external factors

Let’s say you are trying to lose weight. You can be motivated by external factors like your reflection in the mirror or other people’s comments and opinions about your body. This is a common way that many people set and reach their goals, but there’s one major problem with this approach: if something happens that changes how you look or feel about yourself, then your motivation will shift as well.

The best way to avoid this is by focusing on internal motivation—motivation that comes from within rather than outside influences like social pressure or appearance-based judgments. The difference between “external” and “internal” motivations can be easy to understand when it comes to exercise routines: while being a part of a fitness group might be fun at first, after awhile it becomes more of an obligation than anything else because there are consequences if we don’t show up (people will think we’re lazy!). On the other hand, exercising because it feels good physically increases our chances of sticking with it over time because our bodies’ needs will always come first!

Not knowing their purpose in life

Maybe you’ve heard that the majority of Americans are unhappy with their jobs. Maybe it’s because they don’t know what their purpose in life is, or how to align their goals with it.

When you know your purpose and how to align your goals with it, everything gets easier. It’s like having a roadmap for what you want out of life and how to get there. It can be as simple as “I want to be happy” or as complex as “I want world peace.” But without knowing where we’re going, we end up lost in a maze of confusion and frustration—and most people never get out!

Lack of focus and discipline

If you’ve tried to achieve a goal before and failed, it’s likely that one of the following reasons applies:

  • You didn’t focus on the process, not just the outcome. If you’re constantly looking ahead at what your life will look like once you reach your goal, it’s easy to lose sight of what needs to happen in order for that end result to become reality. Instead of worrying about how much money is in your bank account or how much weight you’ve lost by next week—or even next month—set short-term goals that help lay down the groundwork for achieving bigger results over time.
  • You didn’t focus on things within your control. The only thing we can really control is ourselves—our thoughts, words and actions—so whenever we attempt something new or challenging (whether it’s losing weight or learning a language), we should always focus on doing whatever we can do better every day than yesterday. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in looking at what others are doing!

If you want to achieve your goals, you have to be disciplined and focused about them.

If you want to achieve your goals, you have to be disciplined and focused about them. You have to be willing to put in the hard work every day. It’s not easy. It means that sometimes it has to take second place when there are other things going on in your life—like a sick child or an emergency at work—but if you really want something, then this kind of discipline is required until it happens.

If you don’t believe me, just look at the statistics: only 3% of people succeed at reaching their fitness goals after joining a gym because they do not maintain focus over time (1). In another study of people trying to lose weight, those who did not exercise regularly were more likely than others who did so regularly were much less likely than others who did so regularly were much less likely than others who exercised with regularity (2). There are many reasons why this happens: some people simply don’t enjoy working out; others don’t see results fast enough; others get bored and stop doing it altogether before their goal is achieved; these all imply that focusing on one thing for long periods may not always lead directly into success but rather require patience and perseverance instead


I hope this article has helped you understand why most people fail to reach their goals. Now that you know what your goals are and how to make them work for you, it’s time to get started!