Why do you keep finding yourself in the same position year after year? You have every intention of taking steps towards improving certain areas of your life but you barely make any progress. You set goals, yet you get nowhere. Perhaps you even make some progress but end up falling back into old habits. Whatever the case may be, you’re sick and tired of being where you are.  You wonder what is keeping you from accomplishing your goals.

Does that sound familiar? Chances are everyone has felt as if they’re stuck in a rut, unable to get things done, or incapable of accomplishing their goals. Often when you reach this point, you’re ready to throw in the towel. As frustrating as it is, however, you mustn’t give up on yourself just yet.

Several factors could be keeping you from accomplishing your goals. Identifying the underlying issue and developing a system or method to overcome the problem can, therefore, help get you back on track. Below, is a look at some of the most common reasons people miss the mark on their goals.

No Written Game Plan

Trying to accomplish goals without having some sort of vision, game plan, or template is a disaster waiting to happen. You can talk until you’re blue in the face and even come up with some great ideas in your mind but without a point of reference, your goals become out of sight and out of mind.

Taking notes and creating a visual is the best way to stay focused and get things done. You can use a note-taking app to store your ideas and create tasks or to-do lists. You can write out each of your goals and the steps to accomplishing them from start to finish. Also, you can even get more creative with it and use your notes and goals to create a vision board. Once you’ve got a game plan, put it somewhere that you’ll see it often to remain motivated.

Your Goals Are Too Vague/Broad

The more specific a goal is, the easier it is to accomplish. If a goal is too broad, it will seem impossible to achieve which can lower your motivation. For example, wanting to be wealthy is a common goal, but it’s too vague. When your goal is too broad, it makes it challenging to create a game plan to accomplish it.

Your goals need to be specific, measurable, actionable, and timely. So, instead of saying you want to be wealthy, first define what your idea of being wealthy is. Is it making a certain dollar amount each year? If so, how much is that and how far are you from that amount? What steps will you take to reach that annual salary? More importantly, how long are you giving yourself to accomplish this? I want to start a side business that generates $60,000 annually within the next five years to reach my goal of earning $150,000 a year would be a SMART goal that is much easier to create a game plan for.

Self-Doubt or Fear of Failure

Another common reason people fall short of reaching their goals is self-doubt and/or fear of failure. Though you have good intentions, that negative inner voice keeps telling you that you’ll never be able to do it. This is especially true when you’re stepping outside of your comfort zone. Daily, you tell yourself you can’t do it. It begins to resonate in your mind and manifest in your actions. On top of that, there’s this inner fear and anxiety about trying and failing. The fear is so paralyzing, that you give up wanting to try all together to avoid embarrassment or shame.

To accomplish your goals, you’re going to have to get out of your head. Every time you hear that negative voice telling you that you can’t, replace it with positive words of encouragement. Positive affirmations can be good for this. As you accomplish even the smallest thing, you should celebrate those victories to keep you motivated to press forward. As for fear of failure, unfortunately, everyone falls short in their lives. However, it is often through the mistakes that they learn how to come out stronger and succeed in the end. So, start finding the lesson in your failures and using this to motivate you.

If you’ve been setting goals for yourself but don’t seem to accomplish much, don’t be dismayed. As you can see from above, many factors could be holding you back from getting where you want to be. Figure out what’s keeping you from accomplishing your goals and then take steps to eliminate these issues so that you can continue working to become the best version of yourself.

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Anne started freelance writing and blogging in college while studying marketing and journalism and has since found something of a career writing about various business and professional topics around the internet. She’s experienced with both blog content and on-site copywriting, thanks for reading!