Why most people fail at goals

Why most people fail at goals

Setting goals is great; it gives you direction, a purpose and a sense of satisfaction and achievement. This time of year we see a lot of New Year’s resolutions and goals popping up, the gyms are full and fridges are full of veggies but come February most people have fallen off the wagon and given up. Generally the reason they have given up comes down to the fact that they didn’t truly identify their deepest, authentic reason why achieving their goal was important to them. They don’t connect to their goal emotionally.

There are two halves to your brain; the rational and the emotional. The rational half of your brain helps to reason logically and creates great arguments (for and against) but ultimately the emotional side of your brain is the true control. If you don’t feel good about something, the chances are you will naturally move away from it – and towards the thing that does feel good. So it’s important that we get our emotional brain on-board with our goal by connecting with why it is important to you and feeling good about the achievement of that goal.

In the fitness industry, the most common goal we hear is; ‘I want to lose x amount of weight’. And that’s fine, it’s an easy metric to track and measure and you can put a date on when you want to have achieved that weight. What will keep you motivated to get up early for that morning workout when hitting the snooze button would feel so good; is the underlying reason WHY you want to achieve that goal in the first place.

The person that says they are going to lose weight to get back to their previous weight but doesn’t think too much more about it is very likely going to be one of the people that have given up by February. They haven’t got a reason to care about the outcome, they have no emotional investment to keep them going when they lack the motivation.

To find your reason why, you need to ask yourself; why is this goal important to me, why do I really want to do this? Keep digging into the reason why, ask it 3 – 5 times and you will start to see your reasoning become more meaningful.

  • The reason you might want to get back to your previous weight is because your clothes will fit better.
  • If your clothes fit better, you will feel more confident.
  • If you feel more confident you will ask for that more fulfilling position at work, or go out more to meet new people – maybe the love of your life!

Your reason why is unique to you, it should be important to you, it should be authentic. It needs to be for YOU! Not anyone else, although other people may benefit too, it is after all your goal and it isn’t selfish to want something for yourself.

While you don’t necessarily need to tell everyone the personal reason behind your goal, it is important that you acknowledge it because when things get hard and your motivation drops down – why you started in the first place will help push you through. It’s also helpful to tell someone close to you or your coach the real reason why so they have a better picture of why this goal is so important to you so they can help to motivate you and hold you accountable to your why.

The next step is to visualise how you will feel when you achieve your goal. Visualisation will create real feelings that your emotional brain will connect with and want more of! Remember the emotional side of your brain wants you to feel good so if you are associating positive feels with that goal, your emotional brain is less likely to convince your rational brain to hit the snooze button if the feeling of achieving your goal is more powerful.

Do you need some help setting up your goals so that you succeed? Here’s a package we created with a video, a workbook and a goal template.

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