Connect with us





Why Goal Setting Fails

Goal-setting is serious business. In fact, it is one of the most important elements in achievement. Yet, oddly enough it is one of the areas that most people spend the least amount of time on in pursuit of their goals. In addition to this, how a person goes about setting up their goals, is one of the main reasons why goal setting often fails, but it is not the only reason.

No, there are actually a few other reasons why goal setting often fails, and we plan on addressing this issue for you today in this post. So, if you’ve been struggling with your goals lately, stick around, as we’ll be addressing some critical areas that could help you out significantly.

Now, the reason we rarely achieve the goals we set our for ourselves is not because we lack talent, the brains, or the drive. Nope, the reason many of us fail to reach our goals is due to goal setting failures, and there are four of them:

Why Goal Setting Often Fails

1. The Goal Was Not Structured Correctly

One of the most cited reasons for why goal-setting fails is due to the way the goals were set up from the beginning. Many people accidently structure their goals the wrong way.

What’s the wrong way? Setting goals that don’t align with the S.M.A.R.T. structure. If you haven’t heard of this structure, it is essentially a goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.

If your goals don’t include all five of these elements, then it isn’t a S.M.A.R.T. goal, and if it isn’t a smart goal, your chances of never reaching that goal decline dramatically.

2. The Goal Was Not Aligned With Your Values

The next most cited reason for goal setting failure, is creating goals that are not truly aligned with your values and sense of purpose. Goals that are set without paying homage to your values, will soon clash with even the best structured S.M.A.R.T. goal.

On top of this, when a goal is not aligned with your true purpose and your deepest values, you’ll typically throw in the towel when times get tough. In addition, when your goals align with your values, it reduces friction when actions steps are being taken. And the less friction and resistance you face on your journey towards achievement, the better your odds are of achieving the goal.

So, be sure to keep your values in mind when setting your goals.

3. The Goal Was Never Written Down

The last reason why goal-setting often fails is related to people’s failure to write down their goals. It seems like it wouldn’t be too big of a deal, but it is.

In fact, when you write down your goals a few things happen; you increase your motivation, you improve your ability to recall your aims – which lends to better monitoring and tracking, and writing down your goal also increases your odds of achieving the goal by 42%.

So, if you really want to achieve something, do yourself a favor the next time you are deciding on a goal, be sure to write it down.

4. Disciplined Wasn’t Applied

This last reason is why most of the first three reasons never get applied to goal-setting in the first place, and it has to do with applied discipline. Creating S.M.A.R.T. goals takes discipline. Taking the time to sort through what is valuable to you and your aims takes discipline, and taking the steps of writing down your goals in a way that will serve in the long-term requires discipline as well.

Self-discipline is critical to goal achievement and success, especially from the get go. So, if you lack self-discipline, don’t fret, know that you can build it up like a muscle. And you can remedy any shortcomings with determination and will power.

Final Thoughts

Goal Setting often fails, but it doesn’t have to. Now that you know why goal setting fails so often, you can better navigate the land mines that we all face when setting and pursuing our goals.

With that being said, here are a few additional resources to support you in both setting and achieve your goals:

Tips to Set and Achieve Your Goals

5 Keys to Accomplishing Your Goals

How to Set Goals to Achieve More

Till next time,


PS – If you enjoyed this post, you’ll love these excellent goal-setting quotes to inspire you to make a plan and shoot for the stars.

The Strive Team is made up of everyday people and experts from all sorts of different callings and professions, each contributing their best advice and unique insights to help you navigate the challenges of achievement, and support you as you strive to live your best life.