Why your goals don’t seem to get completed (and how to do it properly)

Spring cleaning goals

Have you ever felt that you rewrite a series of goals every few months? Only to find the notebook, workbook or piece of paper that you wrote them on, and realise you haven’t read it in six months.

This is a very common phenomena around this time of year. People during their spring cleaning stage, clear out their desks in offices, to find the workbooks and worksheets that they did at the start of the year.

Interestingly, it’s got nothing to do with motivation, ability or luck. There is actually a systemic reason why you aren’t achieving your goals.

It’s got nothing to do with belief. It’s got nothing to do with creativity, hard work or intelligence.

In this blog post we can explore why you don’t seem to reach your goals. And, what to do about it.

New year, new me!

The biggest problem that funnel builders face, when setting goals, this is the time of year that we set goals.

For some reason, the new year is when we decide to write out all our goals. Our workbooks and training calls, implore us to write out all of our fantasies and dreams for our entire life.

Because it’s a relatively quiet time of year, we find we can dedicate two or three hours to this task. We write out all our goals, and then we sit and wait.

However as soon as we get back into the swing of work, our goals immediately take a backseat.

This has got nothing to do with prioritisation, or obligations. It happens to all of us, and unless we take very specific steps, our goals will be forgotten.

I remember rereading workbooks from months and years previously, only to think “why was this even a goal?”

Writing them out is a start

While writing out your goals is a very important step. It’s not the ONLY step in achieving them.

Yes, this first step of writing goals, is often very difficult for many people. Exploring why you’re even on the planet, and what you want to get out of life, can be a big ask.

Whatever your goals might be, from losing weight, to earning more money, to developing a healthier habit. Writing them out is absolutely the first step.

But it’s not as simple as then jumping from writing them out, to actually doing them.

It obviously doesn’t happen by accident or magic. But there does seem to be a missing link in achieving your goals.

And I believe that missing link is how we remember our goals.

It’s not going to change

Usually during this part of the blog post I talk about things are changing in the world. Technology getting faster, money becoming easier to come by etc.

But in fact, when it comes to goals, the world isn’t changing. Whatever your goals are, you will experience the exact same roadblocks, problems and slow patches year in year out. No matter what your goals are, there will always be a reason and excuse not to achieve them.

So how do we get past those problems and roadblocks? It actually remarkably simple, but it does require commitment and developing a new habit.

The good news is that it’s incredibly easy to do. The bad news is that you have to do it twice a day.

Eventually, it will become the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night. And I guarantee you, that you will see a different eventually.

He turned up in a rented Ferrari

On top of all that, you’ve got the hyper reality of TV media, social media and good old-fashioned human exaggeration.

When you are setting your own goals to start, you are often overwhelmed by the amount of people “living the dream”.

This can seem extremely disheartening, particularly when you’re first starting out. When you first start doing these exercises to realise your goals, your realise just how much dedication it takes to truly achieve them.

But the interesting part, is that it actually isn’t that difficult. But when celebrities, online gurus and Internet personalities seem to achieve everything they want every year. It can be easy to start thinking small again.

Back in my early 20s I used to work for a car-rental company. And in my particular area of England, we had a lot of celebrity chefs, and movie stars who have a country home here.

Whenever you see a celebrity driving a very expensive car, I will bank 99/100 it’s a rental car. I rented sports and luxury cars to dozens of celebrities.

TV celebrity chefs, movie starlets, grizzled Hollywood actors, singers, rock stars and one pretentious TV baking wanker personality. They all like to promote that they are living the dream, and achieve their goals. But most of them rent their expensive habits.

Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, when working on your goals. Because I guarantee everyone that seems to “have it all”, is probably renting a big part of their lifestyle.

How to set goals properly

Stick to 4 priority goals for the year

He’s the biggest piece, having too many goals means you’ll achieve none of them. People vastly overestimate what they can achieve in a year, and vastly underestimate what they can do in a lifetime.

When I asked to see people’s goal lists, there will reel off 10, 20 or even more goals they want to achieve within a year.

All Dell write out every goal they want to achieve within their lifetime.

There seems to be a in a panic, but if they achieve those goals, they’ll run out of them.

If you focus on four priority goals for the year, you’ve got a far higher chance of achieving them. Rather than trying to accomplish 10 or more.

People who seem to accomplish a lot every year, are actually using the law of compounding.

Think about the difference of growing your income by 10%. To someone who is earning $100,000, that’s an extra $10,000.

To someone who is earning $15 million, that another $1.5 million. The law of compounding works for people who are already achieving big things. But it looks like they’re achieving so much more, within the same period a year, but they are also starting with more.

There are also starting with more, because they understand focusing on four goals at a time.

Prioritise your top four goals for the year, write them down, and ignore absolutely everything else.

Even if new opportunities arise, quick wins or new more exciting goals. Commit to the goals you wrote down at the beginning of the year, prioritise the top four and stick to them.

Rewrite your goals every morning and evening

He is the first major thing that successful people repeatedly do with their goals.

They rewrite their goals, in their notebook, every single morning and every single evening.

If I asked you to write outThat you are the funniest person in the universe. All the richest person on the planet. All the happiest person in your household. Eventually, after writing it twice a day every single day for the rest of your life, you would believe it.

This is what we call self-actualisation.

You can’t truly believe that you can achieve a goal, until you have really internally digestive. Sometimes this takes longer than you might think.

Just because you want a goal, and you understand the merits of achieving it. Does not mean you truly believe you’re capable of reaching it.

The biggest change I made to my life, when it came to writing out and executing goals, was rewriting them every single day.

The first thing I did when I woke up was to rewrite my goals. The last thing I did before going to bed, is rewrite my goals.

I’ll rewrite the same four goals over and over and over, until I’ve achieved them.

Not just into I believe them, but until I’ve achieved.

Interestingly, for the first week or two weeks, it looks like you are rewriting the same thing over and over. But eventually, you will make subtle changes to your goals. You will learn to write them in a more positive way, as you write them you’ll understand what is important about the goal and what you should focus on. Someone who rewrites their goals twice a day will have a very different perspective on that goal, six months after their first attempt at writing it.

It’s vital that you rewrite your goals twice a day, in order for you to truly internalise the goal.

It’s also the easiest way to remind yourself what to focus on every day.

Reread your goals every morning and evening

This might sound obvious, but you also need to re-read your goals every morning and evening.

After you’ve written them, don’t get into the habit of learning to write your goals by rote. Really read them over and even out loud as possible.

Anyone that you’re with, even if you think they’ll look at you strangely, you can just tell them you’re running a bit of an experiment.

Some people call this a mantra, some people call this meditation. Again this is just a very simple process of self-actualisation.

If you’ve learnt to rewrite your goals from a positive perspective, and in the perspective of someone whose already achieve the goals, you will eventually open your mind up to seeing the opportunities, for where you can achieve your goal.

For example, I’ve written before about how to write goals properly here.

So in this post, I’m going to explore the goals that I have for 2018, including paying off my mortgage, buying a new car, reaching $1million in sales and running a marathon.

Here’s the kicker. All these goals below are written in a VERY specific manner.

There is a HUGE difference between the goal of £100 000 a year income and I will easily generate £100 000 this year in personal income

Which one of those sounds more doable? It sounds like I’ve already got the £100 000 a year income on the second goal. So I just have to work out how to do it!

Writing goals like this helps me focus and understand what I need to do.

Reaching $1million in 2018 – how I’m going to do it. 2018 goals.

By changing the way that we write goals, and how often we read them, we begin to believe more in our own writing. You begin to indoctrinate yourself and your own culture and leadership. You begin to drink your own Kool-Aid.

It’s incredibly difficult to dissuade someone from achieving something, which they’ve truly internalised and believe is the truth.

Make sure you can understand and explain “why”

As you are rewriting your goals,And as you are rereading them and internalising them. Challenge yourself on the goals and ask yourself “why is this important to me?”

Jim Rohn says “the reason for the house, is stronger than the house”. The reason why you want to own a larger house is a stronger motivator, than just owning a nice house. The difference between wanting to impress your neighbours, or wanting to give an individual bedroom to your two new children, is a vastly different motivator.

If you can truly understand, explain and even justify your “why”, every single time you reread your goals, your motivation will be much stronger.

Challenge yourself and your goals and keep asking yourself why is this important?

Get through the trough of despair

Finally, this is going to happen with every single goal, new habit and objective.

Psychologists call it the trough of despair. The trough of despair is a natural dip in motivation, following initial excitement.

We’ve all experienced it, and will experience it for absolutely every goal.

Think about joining the gym. First you want to go every single day, you do so even if it hurts. First you almost enjoy the pain, you think to yourself “this means really changing”. But then very shortly you start to experience a lack of motivation.

You start to justify not going to the gym, and if you really need to lose that belly fat.

You start to reminisce on times you are happier before going to the gym. You find excuses and reasons not to go, and before long you haven’t been in three months.

This trough of despair happens with every single goal, and is a natural part of human psychology.

The way you get through that is by committing to discipline, working through it and saying to yourself “it doesn’t keep getting worse”.

Eventually, at some point it will get easier to go to the gym. It will get easier to save money. It will get easier to find customers.

You have to get through that trough of despair, knowing that the other side it becomes easier to achieve your goals every single time.

The mistake most people make is that during the trough of despair, when they’re no longer motivated, to give up and start working on a new opportunity. Mistakenly believing that this new opportunity will be easier. But that experienced the exact same trough of despair, no matter what opportunity they start to chase.

It can’t be this easy?

Honestly? It is. It’s very easy to do. The problem is that it’s easy to not do also. It’s hard to consistently read and write your goals. But it is worth it.

It literally takes 3 minutes a day to do. Eventually, you’ll wonder why EVERYONE doesn’t do it. Because it’ll become such an important part of your life, you’ll take for granted reading and writing your goals.

If you’re serious about getting more done every day (and enjoy doing it) without waking up at 5am, you might want to check out our audio workshop series.

Get More Done Every Day (And Enjoy Doing It) is a 3 part goals, productivity and motivation workshop. It’s a learn at home (or in the car) workshop that takes you through how to set goals, achieve them every day and work through that trough of despair.

Click here to learn more about Get More Done Every Day (And Enjoy Doing It).

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.