By Michael Sharp | June 28th, 2017
Goals; we all set them, however many of the goals we set are often left without achievement. Why is this?
To answer this question, I have made the topic of this blog post what is in my opinion, the top three reasons why those of us who set goals are unable to achieve them, and one simple and effective solution to this issue.
The First Reason: Our Goals Have Not Been Structured Properly
Setting a goal is like planning a trip; you plan every detail to the very end of your vacation including how to get to the airport and at what time, when and what will you have for lunch at the airport, what flight you are going to take, when you will arrive to the hotel to check in, and what activities you will take part in along the way. Our goals must be approached with the same concept in mind by planning exactly what needs to be done every step of the way until we achieve that goal. A plan might include what we will do each day to work towards the goal, setting an estimated time of how long it will take to achieve the goal, or thinking of what you will bring into your life or what you need to remove from it to support your goal. We should also speculate weather the goal we have set it realistic and attainable with the time and resources we have in our lives at the time we set our goal so we do not set ourselves up for failure. If we strive to reach a goal without a set plan of how to get to the finish line, then a majority of the time we may never get there.
The Second Reason: We Lose our Focus Along the Way
Focus is an essential part of achieving goals and without it, even the most well-structured goals may be left unachieved. Our focus may become skewed for several reasons: we have a handful of goals on the go at once and cannot focus on one specific task, our lives are just to busy to keep up with the goal that has been set, or we simply have too many unnecessary and unproductive distractions filling up our time such as watching to much TV, spending to much time on the phone, playing video games, or socializing excessively. Whatever the reason is for this skewed focus, the fact remains that without it our goals get placed on the back burner very quickly.
The Third Reason: We Don’t have the Right Support Around Us
Regardless of how strong or independent we may think we are, everybody needs a little support and assistance, especially when striving to reach a goal. Generally, we encounter a couple of setbacks along the way when attempting to achieve a goal, and it is in the face of these setbacks where supports play such an important role. With a strong support system behind you that has a positive influence on your success, you are more likely to conquer a setback without giving up on your goal. However, if our support system has a negative impact on our success or if we simply do not have a support system, we are much more likely to give up and fail. Let’s say your goal is to quit smoking but all your closest friends are chain smokers; This support system is more likely to influence you to start smoking again as they are not in the same mindset as you are. If we have a support system behind us that has similar ideals and believes in you, your chances of achieving a goal are greatly increased.
To avoid the above reasons for failure and to begin setting goals that you can achieve, following the S.M.A.R.T Goals technique is a great place to start. S.M.A.R.T goals were designed to provide individuals with a template to construct their goals from. It ensures that the goals you set are structured properly to increase your chances of achieving them instead of consistently failing to do so.
A S.M.A.R.T goal must be:
Specific: Being specific when setting a goal allows us to have a clear understanding of what we want and what exactly we need to focus on to get to the finish line. Goals that are vague and general leave us in a susceptible position to lose focus and fall off coarse.
Measurable: We want to make sure that the progress of our goal can be measured. A measurable goal can keep us on track by allowing us to view exactly where we sit between the goal and the finish line. Without being able to measure or track our goals, we may fall off coarse or lose focus as a result of not knowing where we stand. It is like driving to Florida from Toronto without a map, your bound to get lost at some point.
Achievable: Is our goal even possible? Setting a goal that is not even achievable within the realm of the skills and resources we have, the current mindset we are in, or within the available time we have in our lives can lead us to failure. It would be like saying your goal was “to be able to fly a plane by tomorrow” when you have no previous experience or knowledge of how to operate a plane or without having the money to buy/rent a plane to fly, it is simply unachievable. Making sure our goal is physically achievable sets us on a path for success rather than failure.
Realistic: Unrealistic goals are not goals to begin with, because we may be chasing something we cannot achieve. These goals are more like the fantasies that we dream about when we’re young, much like wanting to pilot a rocket to Mars, or wanting to own a race car. We can still have dreams of achieving these immaculate goals but it is more conducive to start with smaller, more realistic goals that will lead to achieving your dream. If your goal was to fly to Mars, beginning with a more realistic goal such as enrolling for a program in astrology is a much better start.
Time Bound: Making sure our goals are within the boundaries of a time frame allows us to have a deadline to work towards. Without a deadline, we may become a little lazy and feel as though we have all the time in the world to achieve our goal, and as a result, we end up falling off track. A little healthy pressure can be good as it continues to propel us forward and that’s exactly what a time bound goal does. We may feel ten times more responsible to reach our goal by the deadline so that we do not fail ourselves.
So, to ensure we can begin achieving the goals we set, remember to avoid these common reasons for failure and construct your goals using the S.M.A.R.T goals technique. Also, keep in mind that we are all human and as such, we are not perfect and sometimes, even if we have created the most well-structured goals, it may not work out. Just get back on the horse and keep trying!
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Keep on living holistic,
DISCLAIMER: The information listed above is for educational purposes and discussion of general health information only. The information, opinions, ideas, and suggestions listed above are in no way intended to diagnose disease/health issues or act as a treatment for disease/health issues and is not to act as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor. Before taking part in any natural or alternative approach to health, these approaches should be reviewed by your doctor for approval especially if there are existing health conditions and if prescribed and or pharmaceutical medication is being taken due to the potential for interactions between medications and any natural approaches to health.