Why we fail in Goal Setting: My shameless story!

It’s been hard to keep my mind still lately, I can’t recall the last time I stopped to immerse myself in mindful meditation or even take time out to sit quietly and write in my journal. I have been reading the same book for the last four weeks, stuck on the same page, page 100 of 181. My mind is always rushing at a 100mph and the only time it seems to stop is when I inevitably have to sleep, only to wake up and go through the same vicious cycle week on week. The “stuff” that occupies my mind is urgent but not important, they are things beyond my control that I am desperately trying to fix and control, and sometimes it’s just downright lack of motivation that leaves me desperately filling my mind with all the junk that can keep me occupied (especially social media). Deep down I know that I must give the important things a priority in my life or I will not accomplish my goals. My biggest fear, however, is that I will miss out on enjoying everyday life, the kind of life that is peaceful and only comes from within me, from the one who dwells deep within my soul. The only way to attune myself to this life is by purposefully allowing my mind to stop and stay still for a certain period of time every day, connecting my mind to the soul, charging it up with its source of strength. It is my most important goal for this year and yet I am slacking already.

“It’s only February and I am already slacking on my goals” – Mary Iro

Allow me to shamelessly share with you some of the reasons why I have failed in my goal setting. My hope is that you discover something that opens your eyes, mind, and heart and impacts your life for the better; something worth passing along to another.

Reasons I have failed in Goal Setting:

1.  Prolonged “Time to Recovery”

Two runners, both running the same race at the same pace hit the same obstacle and fall to the ground. Despite this setback, one of them forces himself back on his feet and keeps on running while the other opts to stay on the ground and wait for someone to come to his rescue and help him to his feet, once back up, he decides to quit the race entirely.

Those who succeed and those who fail both face obstacles. One difference that sets them both apart is that those who succeed choose not to allow obstacles to keep them on the ground for too long, neither do they just stay still waiting for someone else to rescue them instead they keep moving forward one step at a time. On the other hand, those who inevitably fail are seen to take too long to recover from a setback choosing to wait on someone for help or entirely quitting on their goals.

In the third week of January, I hit a major obstacle, and it took me a whole week to allow my mind to get over it even though it was something that I had no control over. During this time, it is all I thought about first thing when I woke up and the last thing when I went to bed. It took a lot of my mental energy that would have been used in accomplishing some of my goals during the week. Looking back, I realize that I spent too much time on the ground.

“Obstacles are placed in our way to see if what we want is really worth fighting for”

2. Poor Time Management.

“Your success will be in direct proportion to how you spend your free time”- Mike Dunlap

For the past few weeks, I have let my days run me, I mean this literally. I don’t have a fixed morning or night routine especially for my weekdays, neither do I have a time schedule to help me better manage my free time. My sleep and wake up times are erratic; on one day, I will go to bed at 10 pm, the next day I will go to bed at 2 am, this affects the time I wake up between both days. I accomplish each day’s tasks based on what needs to be done and this has led to some successful days but with poor time management that leaves me with no free time outside of work to pursue the things I am passionate about. I must admit, however, that this is one area I have tremendously improved on, but I can still do better by coming up with a daily schedule (especially for my weekdays) to better manage my time and be more productive with the free minutes I have.

“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else” – Peter F. Drucker

3. Lack of Consistency

When I  begin working towards a goal, I start off very committed, however along the way, I fail to maintain the consistency that is needed to get me to the finish line, I fail to keep pressing through, especially during the low points. Take my blog for example; it’s been heartbreaking to realize that in about five days it will be exactly one month since I last posted a blog entry, it is quite saddening (I must admit). I have not pushed myself to maintain a consistent posting schedule even though I know that I can publish one each week. Instead, I have a maintained a plethora of excuses to justify why I have not had a chance to post an entry in the last few weeks. Deep down, I know they are all just excuses.

It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, it’s what we do consistently”

A lack of consistency can bring about a lack of interest. I must strive to work on this across all my goals. As for my blog, expect to see a post each week going forward, stick around and lets both discover what consistency will bring about to this platform.

“Without Commitment you will not start, without Consistency, you will not finish” – Denzel Washington

4. Lack of a specific, well-thought, written plan to achieve my goals

At the beginning of the year, I wrote down my goals in my journal and had a rough loose idea in my mind how I would like to accomplish each goal. What is shameful to admit is that I do not have a detailed written plan on how I would like to execute on my goals, my idea how I plan to do so is all “up in my head”.

When you don’t have a plan, you don’t know how you will reach your destination. Sure, you know what your destination is and you have a general idea about how you can reach it, but it’s not something that will lead you there for sure.”

So I plan to clear my schedule for the next two weeks and spend a good chunk of my free time going back to the very basics and develop a framework on how I would like to accomplish my goals, I encourage you to do the same if you haven’t already.

 “A goal without a plan is just a wish”- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

5. Frequency of reviewing goals 

How often do you review your goals versus your accomplishments?

I took a meditative run on February 3rd and used the session to evaluate my goals versus my accomplishments for the month of January. Right away, I could see the staggering gaps between where I was, versus where I wanted to be. Looking back, I truly believe that if I had taken the time to review my goals weekly, I would have been able to see the gaps that were increasingly evident and refocused myself much sooner. I look forward to curving time at least once a week to review my goals.

 “Review your goals twice every day in order to be focused on achieving them” – Les Brown

As you carry on through the remainder of the year, I hope this post allows to you re-evaluate your goal setting techniques for the better. I hope to write a follow-up post at a later date to share with you my progress on the same. Feel free to share with your families and friends so that we can all strive to help one another achieve our goals. Until next time lovelies….

With Lots of Love, Iro

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