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Sunday, 8 January 2017

Six Things That Are Stopping You Achieving Your Goals (And How To Overcome Them!)

It is, I'm pretty sure, prime Goal Setting Season; I can't currently move on Bloglovin' for posts about people's New Year's Resolutions. Don't get me wrong, I love reading them and I think it's great that people are evaluating their lives and thinking about what they'd like to achieve in the coming months - you can check out my goals for 2017 a couple of posts back! It's no big secret, though, that resolutions have a tendency to fall by the wayside by the end of January. If you're determined that 2017 will finally be your year, it's time to have a think about the things that could be holding you back - and how you might overcome them!
Six things that are stopping you achieving your goals (and how to overcome them!)
Aiming Too High.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for pushing yourself and aiming high - but sometimes, you have to be realistic. If you've never run in your life, aiming to run a marathon in March is probably in this category. If you're on a minimum-wage job in London, with no savings and no sudden windfalls, aiming to buy a house within a year is definitely in this category.
Instead: Think about what is realistically achievable; think about where you're at now, what you can afford to dedicate to your goal (in terms of time and energy as well as cold, hard cash!) and try to set a more realistic target - say, running a 5km Park Run in March, or putting a portion of your income aside each month to save for a deposit.

Taking On Too Much.
"This year I'm going to lose five stone AND save £5000 AND visit every continent AND join a netball team AND learn Italian AND read 100 books AND cook from scratch every day AND take up swimming AND..."
This kind of fits in with the above, but come on - you're one person, there's a limit to how much you can do! If you're trying to change everything about your life, I'd suggest there's something deeper that you need to think about - because even if you succeeded in every one of those goals, I suspect you still wouldn't be happy.
Instead: Again, think about what is realistically achievable. Think about what's most important to you, and prioritise. Sure, make a list of longer-term goals if that's your thing - maybe this year you'll take up swimming and start learning Italian, but spread out your continent-hopping over a little bit longer?
Achieving Your Goals
[Photo Credit: Turquoise & Palm.]
An 'All-Or-Nothing' Mindset.
This is the problem with resolutions such as "Give up chocolate" or "Go vegan"; sure, they're great goals, and they work for some people, but the black-and-white thinking can be very limiting, and I do think there needs to be some flexibility in there. Say you give up chocolate, but then on a bad day you eat a box of Maltesers - have you failed? If you decide you may as well go back to your old ways and then, will you feel you've achieved anything? Or will it just be another resolution that you've not kept?
Instead: Allow yourself to make mistakes - you're only human, after all! A box of Maltesers today doesn't mean you can't get back on the wagon tomorrow and have another go. Or what about stepping the goal back a little, and allowing yourself a small chocolatey treat one day per week, or starting off with one vegan day per week? Small changes can add up to big differences overtime, with less risk of overwhelming yourself!

Not Planning For Set-Backs.
We're all filled with New Year Optimism and planning to go to the gym every day seems like a great idea at the time - but what happens if you're ill, or have a family emergency? What happens if you don't have time or just don't feel like it one day? Having no back-up plan is a major pitfall for a lot of people; life happens, and it's helpful to have an idea of how you'll deal with it when it does.
Instead: Well, what if you can't make it to the gym one day? Could you go for a run instead? Do you have a workout DVD you can do? If you're just too tired, ill or busy - give yourself permission to take a few days' breathing space before you get back into it! Having a plan for what you'll do when things don't, well, go to plan, can be the difference between quitting when the going gets tough, or sticking with it.

Not Breaking Goals Down.
A year is a long time and you can achieve a lot in that amount of time, but a goal which is perfectly reasonable for a year won't achieve itself. Let's take saving £5000 - that's a lot of money, however you look at it! But let's say it's an achievable goal for the year. Where do we start!? Sadly, a lot of people would set this goal with the best of intentions and then find, this time next year, that they're no nearer their goal.
Instead: Think about your big goal, and then break it down into manageable chunks. £5000 over a year works out at just under £417 per month, or around £97 per week - and doesn't £97 sound a lot more manageable than £5000!? You can then set up your standing order for each payday, or think about where you're going to save that £97 each week. Maybe your goal is running a marathon - 26 miles is a long way. By starting small and slowly building up your fitness, though, it's totally achievable! Programs like the C25K are a brilliant place to start with goals like this.
What's stopping you achieving your goals
[Photo credit: #CGSCreative.]
Doing It For Other People.
At the end of the day, if you're expecting yourself to work at something for a whole year, it kind of needs to be something you want to do! If you've decided to lose a couple of stone because your partner said you should, or save up to buy a house because your Auntie Susan thinks your rented flat is too small - you'll probably find you struggle to motivate yourself (aside from the fact it's none of their bloomin' business!)
Instead: Pick something that matters to you. If you want to lose weight for your own health, fitness or self-confidence then brilliant, go for it! If you want to move house then fantastic, get saving! But when it gets tough, it's much easier to stick with it if it's something you wanted to achieve in the first place.

Have you ever fallen into any of these traps with your New Year's Resolutions? Are there any you'd add to the list? Do you have any secrets to achieving your goals?



  1. I'm terrible for all these kinds of things. I've recently started looking at life in a much simlier way and am hoping to be able to get things in shape sooner rather than later.

  2. Some real truth behind these. I definitely want to change my mind set this year to achieve my goals.

  3. I've been goal setting this year but I think i've given myself manageable aims and as they are goals it doesn't matter if they aren't met week 1. there are 51 weeks to go!

  4. I think I'm guilty of wanting to do all or nothing sometimes! These are some great insights, thank you!xx

    Lucy x | lucy-cole.co.uk

  5. Sometimes i think not believing in yourself can be the problem. And also lack of confidence x

  6. Thanks for sharing this tips.

  7. I'm guilty for most of those to be honest! I'm hoping to stick to my goals this year because I think they are very achievable and things I really want to do ox

  8. I am terrible at taking on too much. I don't like saying no to things but sometimes you just have to x

  9. Such an inspiring and grounding read - exactly what I needed just now! 2017 will be a year of change for me, but I need to be focused and make goals more manageable!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Leigh at Fashion Du Jour LDN x

  10. I always find that staying calm and setting goals is super helpful but nothing should ever stop you from achieving your dreams!

  11. Breaking goals down to sizeable chunks is the biggest help I find, though it can sometimes be a little tricky to figure out what those chunks are!

  12. I'm guilty of so many of these, there's nothing worse than setting yourself up for failure by being too perfectionist. One of my things for 2017 is to do less of that.

    http://fourcatsplusus.co.uk - Amy

  13. I loved how you talked about not doing it for other people and also how detrimental the 'all or nothing' mindset can be. I find I can get really discouraged if it looks like I'm not reaching my goals in the way I imagined but for this year I'm just trying to stick with things even through set backs and not be all or nothing!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

  14. Goals can definitely be quite scary to set, so being realistic is so important. I have a goal this year to travel more, which is so big and quite varied, so I've broken it down into smaller achievable goals, e.g saving a certain amount a month for travel, and how I can do them, e.g making my own lunches for work. I also plan for setbacks too, e.g knowing when I'll be spending more in a month and allowing for that so I don't get disheartened!


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