5 Reasons People Don’t Make Progress on Their Goals

I have a sign hanging in my home office that reminds me every day how to stay focused on what I want in life.

Here’s the sign:

I don’t remember the source of this advice, but I obviously thought it was important enough to turn into a poster.  I do remember posting it in my cubicle at a job I left in 2008, so it’s at least that old.

I’ve been guilty of all five of those reasons at different points in my life, and I can think of specific examples related to each one.

I remember graduating from college and taking a temp job because of #1 (not being clear on what I wanted).

Was that you, too?

I remember going into the final round of a major competition guilty of #2 and #3 (not being clear on why I wanted to win, and not wanting it enough).

I came in third … and felt lucky I got that.

I remember stumbling around trying to start my own business back in 2001/2002, and not making progress because of all five … and refusing to sit down and make a decision on anything.

How about you?

If you’ve ever found yourself feeling a bit indecisive about your life … or about the achievement of some goal … perhaps one of those reasons is at play.

So how do you make progress on your goals?  Here are 5 ways:

1.  Get clear on what you want.  Be specific.  Not just “a better paying job”.  Being specific means “a job that pays between $40,000 and $50,000, in the field of software engineering, where I have the opportunity to work on projects that end users find real value in using.”

2.  Get clear on why you want it.  Again, be specific.  What will having that job mean you for you?  What will more money mean you’ll be able to do?  And why would that be important to do in the first place?

3.  Want it.  When you get clear on what you want, and why you want it, you’ll actually start to feel a desire to make it happen … whatever “it” is for you.  The clearer you are in both areas, the stronger you’ll want it to happen.

4.  Just get started.  Take action in some direction.  Make a phone call to a friend and ask how they would get started.  Do research on the internet, and pick a starting point.

If you start at the “wrong” place … no worries … you’ll simply find out what is the right place to start.  Just do something and you’ll find out what to do next.

5.  Create urgency.  Even if you get crystal clear on what you want and why you want it, and even if you build the desire that you MUST have it, and figured out what to do, if you don’t feel any urgency about making it happen, you won’t take action.

Urgency comes about through challenge dates or deadlines.  For example, once a person is confronted with a heart attack … or a cancer diagnosis … the person usually feels a sudden urgency to turn his or her life in a new direction.  However, You don’t need a serious health issue to create urgency in your life.

One way you can manufacture a sense of urgency by choosing significant days on the calendar such as a birthday, an anniversary date, or some other date of significance.

So to wrap up …

Review the list of reasons why you’re not making progress on your goals (the ones in the picture) …

… and think about which ones apply to your current circumstances in life where you’re feeling unclear, unhappy, or unfulfilled.

Then set about fixing the situation.

Maybe choose new goals.

Carve out a few minutes today to get clear on what you want and why you want it.  That will get you started towards building desire, urgency, and picking a place to start.

Until next time,

P.s.:  If you’re not sure how to get clear on what you want and why you want it, start here.

And …

I welcome your comments below.

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To your continued success!

David Caban
Contact me here

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