10 Reasons You’re Not Achieving Your Goals (And How to Fix Them)

Why you are not achieving your goals

Stop me if this sounds familiar. You’ve been hitting the gym consistently and sticking to your budget like a pro. To your friends, it looks like you’re on the fast track to success, but the truth? You’re far from reaching your personal and professional goals. Frustrating, right? Feel like throwing in the towel or questioning why you started your journey in the first place?

Don’t burn it down… I promise it’s not the answer!

Hold up and read this article I’ll show you why those goals still feel out of reach and how to turn things around before you spiral into doubt and frustration. Do you want to achieve your goals but are frustrated at your lack of progress? Let’s find out the best way to achieve your goals. Get your favorite coffee and pen and let’s start exploring the importance of goal setting and reasons why you may not be following through on them.

In my 20+ years in business, I’ve seen firsthand why people struggle to reach their goals. Often, it’s down to a few key reasons. Understanding these can be your first step to living the life you’ve always wanted.

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What are some common reasons for not achieving your goals?

Common reasons for not achieving your goals include lack of clarity, procrastination, lack of motivation, fear of failure, and not having a plan or strategy in place. It’s important to identify these barriers and take actionable steps to overcome them in order to increase your chances of success.

These could be your Goal-missing Reasons

In the majority of situations, the following issues could be getting in the way of achieving your goals. Especially for those who are ADHD, it can be even more difficult to use the brain energy to motivate yourself to do something every day to achieve those goals. Those of you with neuro-divergence… I feel you (only too well some days). These may resonate even more with you. The good news is, there are tactics that can help us move forward.

Reason #1. You’re Setting Vague Goals

Ever heard “A goal without a plan is just a wish”? That’s what happens when your goals are as clear as mud. Set specific, measurable, and time-bound targets. Ever hear of “SMART goals”?. Well yes, there is a “corporate feel” to that, but there is a reason why they are so popular. It is because they are an easy way to create goals that are clear enough to allow you to achieve them.

Start small, only set 2-3 goals to start out using the SMART method. Remember that the goals themselves don’t ensure your success, but it is the imagined finish line that you use to create your habits and systems in order to achieve your desired outcome.

Need more guidance? Check out my blog on SMART goals.

Reason #2. Procrastination and distraction are Your Middle Names

Hey, friends, no judgment here. We’ve all been there, ignoring that to-do list in favor of taking the dog for a walk binging the latest Netflix “Working Moms” season or a number of other distractions.

It’s time to face those tasks head-on.

3 tips to help overcome procrastination.

  • Create a space where you can close the door, turn on ambient music, and leave your phone texts outside. Having a space that is specific for work helps your body and mind understand that it needs to focus.
  • Use the Pomodoro method. Set the timer for 25 minutes to work, then take a 5-minute break. I just set it with my Amazon Echo to help me get over the distraction hump
  • Eat the Frog – Do your most difficult or the task you are avoiding earlier in the day (or when you have more energy)

Reason #3. You’re Not Crystal Clear on Your Goals

To achieve success, clarity is key. What does success look like to you? Write it down, prioritize, and focus. Struggling with this? I help my clients, like Marissa Romero, who was once in your shoes, find her path through my Strategic Mapping.

I talk through this in my goal setting video you can find here from the beginning of 2023, but still relevant!

Planning for 2023 Digtally

Reason #4: You’re Working Hard, Not Smart

Friends, it’s not about the hours you put in but how you use them. I used to work round the clock with little to show for it. It wasn’t until I learned to work smarter that I saw real progress. Time to rethink your approach for a game-changing effect.

How do you work Smart? Let’s start with keeping things simple:

  • Create routines and habits about how and when you work.
  • Make your meetings productive by using an agenda
  • Work on the difficult tasks when your energy is the highest. Morning? Afternoon? From 1-3 AM?

Reason #5. You’re Going Solo When You Need Support

Still stubbornly doing things your way by yourself? I can relate. I am sometimes relentlessly independent, but sometimes, an outside perspective is what I really need to move forward. Hiring a coach or mentor or joining a group of like-minded women can transform your approach and fast-track your success. There are many ADHD business coaches out there as well as programs for women or business owners to help you get to that next step.

Two I recommend are Tara Wagners Breakthrough Boss or for Agency owners, Juliana Marulanda’s “ScaleTime” Program

Reason #6: Fear of Failure is Holding You Back

Fear of failure - goal-setting

Does the thought of failing make you want to run for the hills? Fear of failure is a massive roadblock. But remember, every successful person has failed (probably many many many times). The trick is to learn from these experiences and keep moving forward. Embrace your fears as part of the journey.

This is a mindset block that I only know too well. Fear of failure, Imposter syndrome, etc. Using mantras, meditation and planning are all helpful ways to reduce this. I am a fan of the “Calm” app as it helps me do a quick meditation whenever I feel the “imposter syndrome” peeking it’s head around the corner.

Reason #7: You’re Not Tracking Your Progress

It is essential to reflect on the progress you have made in life and acknowledge your achievements. Taking a moment to celebrate your accomplishments can help boost your confidence and motivate you to keep pushing forward. Remember that success is not just about achieving big goals but also about the small wins along the way. So, take some time to appreciate how far you’ve come.

Celebrating wins

ClickUp comes with a “progress” feature that’s really helpful to track how close you are to completing project or a task. Using this for goals is also helpful to measure how far you have to go.

ClickUp Progress Feature

Reason #8: Your Goals Don’t Align with Your Values

Here’s a thought: maybe your goals aren’t really what you want?

Sometimes, we chase goals that don’t align with our core values or intentions. Take time to reflect on what really matters to you. Align your goals with your values, and you’ll find the journey much more fulfilling.

Reviewing your values and your goals every 3 months or so helps make sure that you are being honest with how those goals truly fit in your life.

Reason #9: You Lack the Necessary Skills or Knowledge

This one is a hard one for me and some of my close entrepreneurial friends It’s okay not to have all the answers.

Maybe you need to upskill or learn something new to reach your goals. Embrace learning as part of your journey to success. There are plenty of online courses and resources to help you gain the skills you need.

lacking skills

I help my clients focus on their skills and personal upleveling experience as part of our Strategic Mapping and it’s helpful to make sure the goals are achievable.

Reason #10: You’re Not Adapting to Change

In a world that’s constantly changing, flexibility is key. If your strategies aren’t working, be open to adapting your approach. Sometimes, the path to our goals requires us to pivot and try new methods. Stay open to change and be ready to adjust your sails when needed.

As someone who is a huge fan of systems to get things done, this can be exceptionally hard for me and for others that are ADHD. Our lives literally depend on having systems in order to be fully functioning. If we don’t, then the amount of brain energy that it takes to focus and remember every little things can get overwhelming.

Reviewing your goals at a regular cadence will help adjust where needed, while still maintaining the systems you have in place. Think of how to adjust, rather than change course completely.

Establishing a growth mindset when it comes to your goals

It’s a bit of a shocker ⚡ to realize that the biggest obstacle to reaching goals is often ourselves, but not in the way that you would expect.. That’s right, self-sabotage is a real thing and a bit more prevalent than we’d like to admit. It’s a bit of a bitter pill to swallow, acknowledging that we might be our own worst enemies in the pursuit of our dreams.

growth mindset

Keep in mind, there’s also a silver lining in this realization. Knowing that you have the power to change your situation is incredibly empowering. As I like to say, “user error” is the best kind of error there is, because it’s the most easily fixed.

I’ve been exactly where you are now. There are times when I set a goal, get started, and then somehow find ways to trip myself up or be in situations where my life causes me to go another direction.

Whether it was procrastination, fear of failure, or just not planning effectively – I’ve experienced it all. It sometimes feels like a cycle I can’t break.

The game-changer for me was when I started to take intentional steps towards my goals. It wasn’t just about setting targets but also about understanding the patterns of my own behavior that held me back. Yes, seeking help was a big part of this transformation. I talked to coaches, joined support groups, and surrounded myself with people who had been through similar struggles, receiving their honest feedback. Their guidance and the sense of community are still invaluable.

Now, I’m in a place where I can share these insights with you. It’s not just about overcoming obstacles but transforming the way you approach your goals and your life. With the right mindset and willingness to adapt to change, you will give yourself the power to overcome any challenges that come your way.

I want to help you identify those self-sabotage traps and equip you with the tools to avoid them. Remember, understanding where the issue is, is the first step to overcoming your obstacle. Let’s turn those stumbling blocks into stepping stones on your journey to success.

Ready to break through those barriers? Contact me about my Simple Path to Success VIP day.

Not quite ready for that big of a commitment? Join my free newsletter for regular tips and support in a community of like-minded individuals.

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Stay connected for more insights and tips on achieving your goals. Follow me on social media – I share not just business advice but also my journey with ADHD with my family. You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I stay motivated when progress is slow?

Slow progress can be particularly challenging when you have ADHD. Remember, it’s normal for motivation to ebb and flow.

Celebrate Small Wins and revisit your “Why”. Both of these can keep you on track when you start falling off.

What should I do if I feel overwhelmed by my goals?

It always helps to repeat the phrase “What is the next best thing to do?”. In essence, break down your goals into manageable tasks (you can use ClickUp or Airtable to do this!) Also remember that self-care and guarding your energy is extremely helpful when dealing with overwhelm.

How important is it to set deadlines for my goals?

Goal deadlines help to “create a sense of urgency” as well as help prioritize tasks that you have on your plate and a specific time. Being able to understand the steps needed and the amount of time you have to complete them helps use that motivation to propel you forward.

Looking to learn more? 

Check out these blogs:

Mastering Client Communication: Tips for Success

The Ultimate Productivity System: ClickUp & Airtable

Airtable Goal Tracking Made Simple: Achieve your Goals


As always, Keep it Simple,

Anas Signature


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