While there are many reasons why people fail – approximately 92% of individuals don’t succeed in their goals – I’ve noticed some key patterns over the years that seem to stop most people and workplace teams from seeing real success. These key factors include whether there is any accountability, the vision of the goal and how it is communicated, the level of resilience that allows a person/team to bounce back when detours and obstacles occur, and whether or not the vision is compelling enough to keep you on your feet and excited to see the goal through to the very end.
If I could name the number one reason why people don’t achieve their goals it would be accountability. Hands down. We get all fired up at a conference, while reading a book, in a conversation with friends, at a staff meeting, or by watching and listening to influential leaders in our industry. We are pumped and ready to take on the world and tackle our goals head-on. This is the easy part! But as we begin taking action things become challenging. The water gets murky. We get tired, burnt out, distracted by life, and feel defeated when obstacles continue popping up. These are the exact moments when we need to stay consistent and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Don’t give up, like most people do. The absolute best way to keep yourself on track is by being held accountable by another person. Whether you hire a professional coach, report to your mentor, answer to your boss, or report regularly at a team meeting for review and reflection, accountability is your best friend to help you see your ideas and desires through to success.
It’s one thing to have a vision for change, and it’s another to be able to communicate your vision clearly and concisely to others. Whether you are self-affirming what you’ll achieve in the mirror each day or sharing this vision with your teammates at work, being able to state what it is that you are working towards matters a lot. Goals need to be specific, clear, and to the point. You want your goal to show you the way. Vague goals give vague results.
Resilience and self-compassion. Your ability to rebound and push through all the junk that surfaces is a key component to seeing your goals through. Accountability with a coach, mentor, boss, or team helps here, but only if you can mentally get your act together and jump back in the game fast enough to not lose too much momentum. Time and time again I see people get so down on themselves when they’ve failed at a goal, specifically weight loss goals or goals revolving around ending a bad habit. It’s in these moments that you need to soften up a bit and appreciate all that you are and how far you’ve come. Then, get back in the game! Remember, it’s not about falling off the horse, because that’s bound to happen. It’s how long it takes you to get back on the horse that matters.
Do your goals light you up? Do they scare you? Are you passionate when speaking about them? Do they get you out of bed in the morning? Close your eyes and ask yourself these questions. Pay attention to how you feel and you’ll know if your goal is juicy enough to be worthy of your time and energy. There is one nonrenewable resource when it comes to living life and that is your time – you can never get more of it. Be conscious about how you spend it and that what you give your energy and attention to is something that is helping you grow and is lighting up your life. If your goal doesn’t have REAL “emotional juice” to it, then it’s likely that you won’t succeed.