Common Factors That Prevent You From Reaching Your Goals

your goalsPhoto by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

Every year you set goals for yourself. You want to be a better person, have the things you want, and live a meaningful life. Yet, more than halfway through the year you find yourself in the same place (or worse). Unfortunately, you’re no closer to accomplishing your goals. Is it an impossible goal to accomplish? Perhaps it’s just not in the cards for you? All you know is in your mind you want to change but your actions aren’t matching.

Achieving your goals involves a lot more than just wanting them to come to fruition. To reach any level of success in your life you have to have both the right mindset and behaviors. You must stop old habits and develop new ones, eliminate unproductive activities and replace them with actionable steps towards your visions.

This can all be hard to accomplish when you have so many distractions in the way. The first step towards achieving your goals is to identify those factors and remove them:

Fear of Failure

Fear is a natural emotion but it can be very crippling to success. The feeling that you’re not going to succeed in your efforts could essentially keep you from trying at all. Why go out for that promotion if it’s just going to get passed to someone else? What if you start a business and it fails?

It’s not uncommon to get trapped in the land of “what if” when going after something you really want but have never accomplished before. There is also the possibility that you won’t succeed. While this could hurt a bit, it’s not the end of the world.

To overcome your fear of failure you have to start looking at it from a different point of view. When you make mistakes or don’t succeed, perhaps there are valuable lessons that you can take away from it all. If these lessons help you to progress in the future, wasn’t the previous failure then worth it? At the end of the day, even if you failed – at least you tried.


If you suffer from substance abuse or addiction but are trying to set goals, the chances of reaching them are slim. That is, at least while you’re still abusing substances. Whether it’s prescription drugs, alcohol, illicit street drugs, or gambling an addiction keeps you trapped. Your life becomes consumed with achieving your next high making it difficult to focus on anything else.

If you struggle with substance abuse or addiction get help now. You can get help for prescription drugs, alcohol, or gambling from rehab centers. Once you’ve completely detoxed and gotten the counseling and support you need to remain sober, you can begin setting goals and accomplishing them.


It would be really awesome if you could set a goal and accomplish it the next day but most things don’t happen that way. It takes time and patience. Unfortunately, sometimes even more than you anticipated. When it’s not going according to plan it can be easy to throw in the towel, hence, preventing you from reaching your goal.

It’s true, waiting is hard. However, not everything in life happens exactly when and how you want it to. It is, therefore, important to learn how to simply enjoy the journey of getting to the finish line. Be happy with every step that you take towards your goals and before you know it you’ll see them come to fruition.

Dreaming Too Big

There is certainly nothing wrong with having big dreams. However, when trying to reach those dreams you must set realistic goals. Realistically, you can’t expect to earn $1 million in the next 6 months. When you set the bar too high you’re setting yourself up for failure.

In order to make your dreams come true, you have to break them down into smaller steps. Instead of trying to become a millionaire in 6 months you give yourself six years. Then, create a plan for what you’ll do over the next 6 years to make that happen. For instance, you might start a business, reduce your spending habits, increase your savings, or start investing.

Then, break those steps down even smaller to daily tasks like assessing the costs of a startup, collecting receipts and statements to review spending habits, increasing your savings by an increment of $50 each month, or investing $100 a month into stocks of your choosing. As you’re checking each of these tasks off the list it puts you a step closer to your bigger goal.

Setting goals is one thing. Achieving them is another. If you find that year after year you set goals only to end up in the same predicament the following year, perhaps there’s something holding you back. Whether it be the fear of failing, an addiction, impatience, or simply dreaming too big and biting off more than you can chew, you can turn things around. Start by discerning what’s hindering you then make a plan of action such as the advice provided above to overcome it. Once you’ve removed the problem you can begin taking action every day towards making those goals come true.