Why You’re Not Reaching Your Goals (And How to Succeed)Posted: May 9, 2019 in Lifestyle by Craig Primack MD FACP
You want to be your best self, so why would you sabotage your plans for improvement? Well, you don’t on purpose. Unhelpful behavior often ruins people’s attempts to reach their goals, and it’s likely you hurt your chances of meeting success. Here’s how to recognize what you do that holds you back so you can push forward.
How you sabotage your goals. Your goals may be clear in your mind, but do your behaviors support them? People often act in ways that push their dreams away instead of pulling them closer. For instance, if a guy wants to lose weight but eats a candy bar each evening, despite regular sessions at the gym he will fail. His actions are out of sync with his needs. Likewise, the woman who says she wants a loving relationship but always dates men who don’t respect her ruins the odds of finding happiness.
How you might spoil your plans. You lessen your chances of success when the actions you take don’t align with your aims. If you want to know how you’re damaging your efforts to succeed, consider three changes you wish to see in life. Ask yourself what you are doing to reach your goals. Now think about what you do the rest of the time when you aren’t striving to meet your aims. Things you do that aren’t directed at achieving your dreams might wreck your plans. Imagine you want to earn and save more money, for example. To reach your goal, you may work long hours or take a second job, but your efforts won’t help if you empty your wage packet at the bar each week. The idea may seem obvious when you read an example of how someone else sabotages their success, but people often don’t see how they ruin their own. They are blind to their behavior and make matters worse by telling themselves unhelpful stories. Let’s say you wish to lose weight, for instance, and you go to a celebration where you binge on the buffet. The next day, you might tell yourself you’ve already failed and may as well carry on eating forbidden foods. Had you stopped overeating unhealthy foods after the buffet, you could have returned to your original plan without facing too much damage. A few days of overindulgence, though, will result in weight gain that’s hard to shift.
Increase mindfulness. Are you ready to succeed? Go back to your three goals and write them on sticky notes to put in prominent places. You need to remember them during decision-making. Consider whether your actions help or hinder your objectives over the next two days. Most likely, there will be times when previously you would have strayed from the path, but because you are mindful of your behavior, you stick to your plans. Steer your actions toward happiness. You’ll gain self-awareness, which will stop you making mistakes or giving in to the wish for instant gratification. Also, listen to the tales you tell yourself. Are you talking yourself into sabotaging your efforts? If so, change your story; make it fit your goals. Create success with positive self-talk.
You don’t want to sabotage your goals, but sometimes your behaviors don’t match your aims. You tell yourself unhelpful stories that encourage you to fail. Self-awareness will help you because you’ll recognize where you could go wrong before mistakes occur. As a result, reaching your objectives won’t be so hard.