7 Reasons you are not achieving your goals
Many reasons can hinder us from achieving our goals.
I have divided them into three groups:
Mindset – self-sabotage
Information – too little, too much, or incorrect information
Action – inaction or improper actions There is an overlap among these groups.
For example, if we believe that the only way to improve performance is by losing weight, we might focus solely on weight loss and ignore other potentially more important factors like rest, training, or proper energy supply.
If we keep failing and say to ourselves, “nothing works for me,” it indicates a problem with our mindset and improper actions based on incorrect information.
Here are 7 reasons why you might not be achieving your goals:
1: You’re waiting:
- For the right time
- For motivation
- Until you know more
- And so on…
The remedy for procrastination is action.
The right moment never comes, and when you realize it, it’s often too late. People start caring about what they eat when they already have health problems, when they are obese, or when they have tried everything else. Motivation is fickle; one day you have it, the next day you don’t.
Actions come before motivation. You eat every day, even without motivation. Waiting to know more about nutrition is tempting for those who enjoy learning. You might think that acquiring new information is doing something, but information without actions won’t help you.
Don’t wait, start. Take small steps, and progress slowly.
2: Your identity is conflicting with your goals:
- I’m lazy…
- I’m unsuccessful…
- I’m an amateur/elite athlete…
Identity encompasses what we believe, our values, and how we behave in different situations. We have multiple identities that we switch between. The problem arises when your identity contradicts your goals.
People say, “I want to eat better, but I AM lazy/busy/stressed-undisciplined.”
What to do about it?
Is your identity aligned with your goals? If not, the first step is to change your identity – how you see yourself and how you talk about yourself.
“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”
Clothing reflects identity. When you put on running shoes in the morning, you become a runner. Your mind focuses on running even before you start. In your mind, you are already a runner, even if it’s your first run ever.
Arnold Schwarzenegger became Mr. Universe at 18. He won the title two years later. Before winning, he saw himself as a winner. He had to sacrifice a significant amount of time and energy for bodybuilding, and he had to believe that he could achieve it. Become who you want to be today, and then work towards those goals.
I am healthy, confident, and an athlete.
A healthy, confident athlete knows when to push and when to rest. They are patient. They understand that small setbacks can lead to significant victories. They aim for daily improvement, not perfection. They can ask for help.
3: Wrong goals:
It’s good to have goals, but if they are wrong, you’ll struggle with discipline, spin in circles, and experience frustration. People often approach me because they want to lose weight or build muscles, but they struggle to do so.
During our conversation, they realize that what they really want is to:
- Feel good and avoid health problems
- Have higher self-confidence
- Enjoy life
- Improve athletic performance
- Avoid stress about food
Young athletes who attend sports schools love sports. Most of them won’t make it to professional sports because they start hating the sport.
Why? When they start succeeding, they attract sponsors and scholarships. They focus on the benefits, external motivation, and forget why they started. They play for results, not from the heart. The best athletes are fulfilled by their sport, and that’s why they can train long-term. Excellent results are a by-product.
Reflect on your goals more deeply. You’ll discover what you truly want, and achieving them will become much easier.
4: Focusing on trivialities:
- Exercising 6 times a week (but only sleeping 4 hours)
- Searching for the best ab exercise (but only exercising once a week)
- Counting calories (from Monday to Friday)
- Stressing over whether fresh, frozen, or organic vegetables are better (and not eating any)
- Having a shelf full of supplements (but an empty fridge)
- Trying to find the optimal calorie intake (and eating emotionally)
- Trying the latest recovery tools (and neglecting rest and proper nutrition)
- Reading every new nutrition study (but lacking a clear plan of action)
When you focus on trivialities, you may feel like you’re doing something. But it’s like digging a hole with a spoon. You do a lot of work with minimal results.
The important thing to remember is that people don’t fail because they miss the details. They don’t achieve their goals because they can’t consistently perform basic practices. Basics are simple. Doing more doesn’t always lead to better results.
5: All or nothing approach:
“I can only succeed with an all-or-nothing approach.” – A participant in a 30-day challenge.
The all-in mentality is often seen in people who constantly fluctuate between losing and gaining weight and struggle to maintain a stable weight. When they exercise, they are strict with their diet. When they slack in exercise, they slack in diet as well. And they always start from scratch.
Working out six times a week and counting every gram of food gives you a sense of control and ensures quick results. This approach might last for a few days to a few months. But when you fall out of this routine due to injury or lack of time, you fall out for a more extended period. You might think it’s your fault, but in reality, it was an unsustainable approach.
Long-term results are based on sustainability and habits. You need to know how to adjust your nutrition and exercise to your life situation, even when it changes.
If you want long-term results:
- Replace intensity with sustainability.
- Quick results with patience.
- Motivation with discipline.
- Willpower with habits.
- Go all in within your capabilities.
Example: Imagine you want to clean up your house. If you don’t throw away trash and don’t clean for a whole year, cleaning the house will take you the whole day. Just the thought of it discourages you. However, if you clean up for five minutes every day, it’s more effective than cleaning for a whole day once a year.
6: Your Environment:
When Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to become the best bodybuilder, he knew he had to go to the USA. Back home in Austria, his parents and friends limited him, and after a while, he had no one to train with – he won every competition with ease. When he finally came to the USA and competed, he got second place, which felt like the end of the world for him. He realized that he had moved to another level. If he wanted to win, he had to be better than ever. He needed to train and live with the best.
Your environment has a huge impact on lifestyle changes. If you have sweets at home, you’re likely to eat them. If you have fruits and vegetables at home, you’re more likely to eat those.
The environment is not just about things but also about people. You might notice that when you meet up with your old friends, you have nothing to talk about, or they even bring you down. Sometimes, even your family can do that.
The easiest way to change your life is to move to a new place. New place, new people, new beginning. Nowadays, you don’t even have to move – you can choose who to spend time with online.
7: Doing the same thing over and over:
Routines are essential because they save time and energy. If you want to move forward, you need to start changing things.
If you want to build strength, you need to lift heavier weights. If you want to build endurance, you need to train with more volume. If you want to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit.
Our brains like to conserve energy, and that’s when routines can become a problem.
You exercise every day but don’t increase the weights. You run the same distance at the same pace. You want to lose weight but don’t create a calorie deficit. You desire change, but you keep doing the same thing.
Changes require energy, and beginnings can be tough. It’s easier to maintain muscles than to build them. Eating healthily is easier than starting to eat healthily.
If you want to move forward, you need to make changes. But to maintain those changes, you need habits and a solid routine.
In coaching, I recap every week with clients – what worked, what didn’t, and how to proceed. It allows clients to make small changes while building strong habits and routines.
DON’T KEEP STARTING AGAIN AND AGAIN
To get different results, you need to find a way that works for you and that takes time. The problem is a lack of consistency when form habits. This is a problem for everyone, but especially if you have a lot of stress in your life. If you have a business and a kid and you want to get better at sports and lose weight, you can’t approach diet and exercise as a single person who only has time for themselves. But moving forward is possible.