As we enter the 4th and therefore final quarter of 2021 I’m sure there are a lot of people looking at their goal lists for the year for different reasons. Some will surely be looking in glee at the goals they have managed to achieve and salivating at the prospect of ending the year strong. Others will be looking at their goal list for 2021 if they haven’t already torn it up, wondering how it all went wrong. If you identify with the second group then you may find some or all of the reasons why you haven’t achieved your goals in this article.

Poor goals

This is one of the top reasons why people don’t achieve their goals. Having a goal is great and while I suppose there is no such thing as a poor goal you certainly have a poorly set or managed goal. There are a lot of things involved in setting a goal well including identifying the type of goal it is, what it means to have that goal and what you would have to let go of to achieve it. A poorly set goal doesn’t take these things into account and when one is faced with these obstacles they are demotivated or discouraged completely. So look at how you set and manage your goals, your problem may just be that you set a goal poorly.

Lack of detail

The second thing we need to discuss is the degree of detail involved in planning for goals. Detail is really important in planning for your goals. I’d go as far as to state that the likelihood of achieving your goals corresponds with the degree of detail to which you plan for achieving it. You can surely see examples in your own life where this is clear. Without detailed research and planning, the chances of achieving your goals are reduced. How much detail is needed? Well, I’d say there’s no such thing as too much detail in a plan but perhaps detail is a problem when it stops you from taking action.

Lack of measurement

This is a big one for me because it ties everything else that we are discussing here together. While goal measurement seems like a time-consuming administrative task, to say the least, it is the critical key to goal achievement. Your goal measurement system is the best tool you will have in your arsenal because it tells you the quality of your goals and how well you are progressing. It is the system that will identify gaps in your plans and knowledge as well as execution problems along the way. The system you use to track your goals will identify all these problems and more, so if you don’t have a goal tracking system that is likely the reason you are failing to achieve any of them.

Incomplete goals

What I call an incomplete is a poorly set goal. However, the degree and extent of the deficiency in the setting of this goal make it a different creature altogether. Say you intend to read 50 books in a year, that magical number that they say most CEOs read. So you realise that the year has 52 weeks, meaning a book a week. Great. You further break down that books in the area you are interested in have roughly 300 pages so it works out to 42 pages per day. You consider yourself a fast reader and estimate that 42 pages will take up 2 hours of your time at most. You see so far the goal is well set, planned in great detail and has a great measurement system that includes pages and books completed. To complete this goal you would need to make sure that you create an environment that gives you 2 hours per day. If you are active on weekends and know that you won’t have time for books on weekends that requirement becomes 3 hours per day (60 pages per day, 5 hours per week).

Whose goals are they anyway?

Last but not least is the reason behind the goals. This is not to say that goals cannot be inspired by other people. It is normal to be influenced and inspired by the world around us and that includes the people in it. However, sometimes we can take on goals that belong to other people. Or to put it in another way we chase goals that we have not fully taken ownership of. What’s the problem with that? Well, the energy and effort required to do all the things that are required to achieve goals come from the reason for chasing those goals. The “why”. The why behind the goal is important and you need to be clear on the why behind the goal from the very start. It is difficult to find the energy to follow through on goals you do not have deep and personal reasons for chasing.

Do you identify with any of the reasons highlighted here? Hopefully, where you do you will find the tips to fix your problems helpful. There are still 3 whole months to achieve some of your goals this year. These tips may just do it for you.