When it comes to achieving your goals, do you struggle? How many times have you set a goal to eat healthier, exercise regularly, get out of debt, spend more quality time with your family, or be more positive?
If you're like me and just about everybody else in the world, I'm sure you have goals that you seem to never get around to achieving. While you might think about them frequently, for whatever reason, you just can't harness the energy to get started.
For the longest time, my goal was to write. I told myself I wanted to start a blog and write a book. But the years went by, and nothing happened. Instead of achieving my goal, I was all talk and no action.
So how what was holding me back from writing? Why was I struggling to achieve the goals I had set for myself?
3 Reasons You're Not Achieving Your Goals
1. You Don't Really Want to Achieve Your Goal
When it came to writing, I knew I really wanted to have a published book. Something tangible that I could hold in my hand and tell others I had accomplished.
But the sad truth was that I didn’t really want to do what it takes to be a writer. If I had, I would have sat down and started putting words on paper. Instead of being honest with myself, I disillusioned myself into believing my excuses.
- I don’t know what to write about.
- I don’t have the time.
- I’ll do it tomorrow.
In the end, all those excuses did was leave me feeling frustrated and guilty about not having taken action.
Finally, one day I decided to get real with myself. So I went for a walk and asked myself if I really wanted to sit down and write.
Surprisingly, my answer was "NO."
I was finally honest with myself, and what a relief. And the best part was that I was now able to finally relax and focus on achieving other goals that I had in my life.
Reigniting the Dream
Recently though I began getting the itch to write again, and once again, I asked myself if I really wanted to do the work. Was I willing to put in the time?
This time I answered with a confident "YES!"
However, a month later I still wasn't writing. Every time I thought about going to my desk to write I would get a feeling of complete drudgery and tell myself that I didn’t feel like writing right now. I will do it later.
Again, I was stumped. I knew I really really wanted to write, so why wasn’t I?
When I wasn’t writing, I felt motivated to write, but thinking about actually doing it led to feeling exhausted. After researching why this might be, I discovered the culprit, deleted willpower.
2. Depleted Willpower
Psychology studies reveal that willpower is a mental energy. And like all energy reserves, your willpower can be used up throughout the day. I was trying to write after I was mentally exhausted from teaching all day. And no matter how much I wanted to write, sitting down when I was tired only led to writer's block.
So when do you have the most willpower? When is your brain the most energized? It turns out that in most cases, it's first thing in the morning.
In my book, Intentional Mornings, I talk about the importance of tackling your most important goal first thing in the morning. Not your most urgent goal, but your most important goal. You must do this before you open your email, talk to clients or any other energy sucking task. For most people, this probably means getting up an hour or more earlier.
I can hear your thoughts, “Get up an hour earlier, you must be out of your mind!”
I felt the same way. I was already getting up at 6 just to be at work on time, how could I possibly get up at 5?
Well, the truth is I really really wanted to become a writer. I also now knew that deleted willpower was holding me back and that if I were going to succeed I would need to get up earlier.
3. Overcome Poor Habits to Achieving Your Goals
Even when I began getting up early to start writing, I still had poor habits that kept me from using my time wisely.
At first, I would get up, grab some breakfast, pick up my phone, and start scanning the internet. I would tell myself how I needed to catch up on the news or the latest sports scores. Before I knew it, I had used up 45 minutes of my extra hour.
To correct this, I decided that if was going to succeed at writing in the mornings, I would have to replace reading the news with reading a book on how to write a book.
I searched Amazon and found a great little book called The 90 Minute Book Outline. What’s great about this book is it has action steps that helped me to progress towards my achieving my goal.
Making that one simple change from reading about the news to reading about writing led me to create the change I was seeking in my life. Within just a few months I had written my first book, and created my website.
If you would like to learn more, I suggest you download Intentional Mornings today. In it, I provide you with a step-by-step plan of how to achieve your goals and transform your life one morning at a time.
As someone once said, "If you want to change some things in your life, you've got to change some things in your life."
If you have goals that you are struggling to accomplish it's time to stop hoping your circumstances will change and begin today making the changes that will change your circumstances.