The real reason you can’t stick to your goals

Have you ever gotten yourself so worked up and excited about a goal but failed to achieve it despite wanting it so badly?

Then you spend the next few months beating yourself up over not being able to stick to anything.

You feel hopeless, consoling yourself that you will never be able to reach any of your goals and that you’re a big, fat failure.

Sound familiar?

This scenario is extremely common.

I’ve been there and I’m guessing you have too.

And no, it’s not you. Or me.

It’s the goals we’re setting for ourselves. Or rather, the goals our ego is setting for us.

When we set goals that are not aligned with our Why, failure is often the result.

Believe it or not, this is a good thing. Here’s why:

Many people don’t have a clue what their Why is, or they’ve got it wrong completely.

They have no idea that this conflict is what’s stopping them from moving forward with goals that will give them a sense of achievement, and in all likelihood, happiness.

Failure in this instance is the circuit-breaker.

A safety mechanism in the system to signal something’s not right. If we can heed the warning we can stop, listen and re-calibrate our goal. Or abandon it altogether for something that is aligned with our Why.

When your goals and Why are aligned, achieving them should be straightforward.

True goals shouldn’t feel like a huge burden in your life.

Incompatible goals will weigh you down and exhaust you.

You should feel no shame or guilt in not achieving incompatible goals – you’re set up to fail after all, and you should happily send them to the scrap heap without a second thought.

I want to share an example from my life as this idea has helped me immensely over the past few years.

It had always been my dream (or so I thought) to be an entrepreneur and build a successful business from the ground up. I insatiably read business books, blogs and researched and planned the kind of business I wanted to build.

I was thinking big and spent lots of time and money setting up a business that I ultimately realised I didn’t want.

I spent so. much. time. and. money.

If only I’d known my Why I could have saved years worth of blood, sweat and tears.

As soon as I launched the business things started going well, yet I knew something was seriously wrong. Instead of being elated and proud all I felt was exhausted and deflated.

I wanted to hide under a rock.

These are not the kinds of emotions one would associate with a successful business launch, so it sent me into a tailspin for months.

That is, until I made this important realisation:

The real reason you can’t stick to your goals is that they weren’t your goals in the first place.

They were your ego’s.

To see your goals through over the long term you need to do the deep work of uncovering your Why and figuring out your values. Then, the goals will take care of themselves.

I’d gotten so caught up in the hype of entrepreneurship that my ego took over.

Back then I hadn’t even thought about my Why or values. I thought success was important to me, but it turns out not as much as looking after myself and working on things I love in-between being an engaged parent.

I thought I was self-aware but I had no idea what I truly wanted.

It wasn’t until I stopped forcing myself to do something I didn’t want and started listening to my intuition that I was able to move forward in a sustainable way.

Yes, we can force these goals on ourselves for a certain period of time but sooner or later we will crash.

This is not a healthy nor sustainable strategy for long term happiness or success.

The smarter strategy is silencing your ‘shoulds’ and listening to the real you.

That’s the key to living an amazing life and ironically the success that the ego craves.

When we do the things we love and would spend time doing anyway – even if we didn’t get paid for them or have a goal attached to them – we’re tapping into true passion that can’t be forced by ego driven pursuits.

Whats the takeaway from this?

Next time you jot down your goals or think about what you’d like to achieve over the next year, ask yourself an important question – is this aligned with my Why?

And if not, why not?

Taking the time to do this work will likely be the best investment you’ll ever make, and might be the missing link in living the life of your dreams. Just remember to leave your ego at the door when you do so.

If you can do that, who know’s whats possible.

At the very least, not being able to stick to your goals will be a thing of the past in your very bright future.