We all have Financial Goals whether we take them seriously or not.
They may be officially set in stone or just a dream we have of what we want our future to look like. We all have an idea of where we’d like to be financially today, tomorrow, and in the future when we retire. It’s that path to get there where we start to run into problems. It’s easy to set financial goals, but that’s where easy stops.
In general, people are not highly financially disciplined. Most of us are just not built that way. And we don’t get trained in goal setting, and more importantly reaching our goals, when we’re young or often even as adults. Throw in a lack of education on credit and the use of debt and its no wonder we often miss the mark when it comes to reaching the goals we have for our finances and our future.
Here are 5 reasons that people fail to achieve these goals. There are other reasons too of course, but we’re going to stick to five that are common and easy to identify with.
Here we go.
1. They really don’t know why they want to achieve their financial goals
This is the most common reason people fail to achieve their financial goals. Do you really know why you want to achieve any of the financial goals you have set in your life?
Whatever you do in your life that really matters has a purpose. Consider this. Why are you reading this right now? Why do you eat? Why do watch what you eat? Why do choose to exercise or not to? Why do you read to further your career or build better relationships? Why are you reading about personal finance issues right now?
It is your reason (your WHY) that will motivate you and force you into taking action. Two people can have the same goal. Both may achieve the goal. One may achieve the goal. Or neither may achieve the goal. Your success is going to depend a lot on why you want to achieve it.
If your goal is to be rich, ask yourself why you want to be rich. What does it really mean to you. Do you want to buy a bigger house? Do you want to be able to save more for retirement? Do you really want the financial security that the money brings to you and your family?
If your goal is to lose weight, why do you want to lose weight? Do you want to look better? Are you trying to rid yourself of a weight related medical issue? Do you want to live longer to spend more time with your family? Do you want to watch your grandchildren grow up?
The reason you might think you want to do something is often just a reflection of the root desire and spending a little time to work down to what you really want can greatly improve your success in meeting it.
Figure out what your real reason is for wanting to reach the goal you are working towards. Otherwise you may never see that goal achieved. You really need to get that goal clear in your head. Let’s take this a little further.
When I ask you why you want to be rich, you can simply say “who doesn’t want to be rich?” This is why the majority of us are not rich! We must have a strong and specific reason. Everyone wants to be rich, but not everyone knows why they want to be rich.
They do not have a clear vision of what they could do with riches. They don’t know who they would be if they were rich. They don’t know how they would live their life if they were rich.
You have to have a compelling reason that will serve as the source of motivation for you. Some people lose weight because they don’t want to get ridiculed by others. Fear can be a powerful motivator.
Likewise, some people want to be rich because they want to get out of debt and they are about to lose their house.
Others want to improve their health. If your goal is to stop smoking, but you don’t have a strong “why”, you’ll never get rid of that habit. Then maybe one day the doctor will you that if you keep on smoking, you’re going to die from lung cancer. And from that moment on, you will never touch a cigarette again.
This is what I mean by a compelling reason. You have to find strong motivating reason that will push you to achieve your goal. Your motivating reason must be so strong that if you don’t achieve your goal, you’re going to suffer great pain.
If you have this kind of reason to achieve your goal, you have a far greater chance of making it come true, and changing who you are.
So you have to identify why you want to achieve your goal and understand what it really means to you.
2. They are not thinking about their financial goals
This is another huge mistake that most people will make. The main reason you set a goal is because you have something you want to achieve which is the goal. The goal is the end result of what you want. The goal gives you something to focus on so while you work your way toward it.
However, if you’re not thinking about your goal, how are you going to focus on it? Out of 100 people who set a goal, the majority of them are no longer thinking about their goal a day or two later. They will often just write down their goal and then do nothing about it.
What is another difference between a successful person and an ordinary person? The difference is the successful person thinks about what he or she wants to achieve consistently. They are thinking about it and focusing on their goals. They have something to work towards. The ordinary person does not consistently think about what he or she wants to achieve.
Think hard about this. Read it over again, and let it sink into your mind. What do you think about every day? Are you thinking about your goals and how to achieve them? If not, do you think you’re going to achieve those goals?
There is an old saying that has a lot of truth to it. It states that you will become what you think and believe. The truth is, that is actually what happens to most people. Your mindset changes over time based on what you think and believe.
If you’re poor, it is not because you’re financially incapable of having more. It is often because you’ve conditioned your mind to accept your financial status. Those who have become wealthy have usually conditioned their mined to think about that they want and how to get there. And they work towards their goal until they reach it. And then set a new goal.
What you think about most of the time will determine the result you’re likely to receive.
It is really simple. If you want to be rich, you have to think about your goal and focus on how to get there. Every day you should think about being rich and achieving financial security and the freedom that comes with it.
If you want to lose weight, think about how much better you will look and how much better you will feel. Picture yourself with more confidence and control over your appetite. Imagine the slimmer you. The more you think about your goal the closer you will get every day. You will start to attract what you want because your mind will subconsciously be on the look out for it. It’s not mumbo jumbo, it’s simply how our mind works. As you grow closer to your goal you will associate more with others that have or desire this attribute as you grow closer to achieving it.
3. They do not write down the goal they set and look at it every day.
Most people do not write down their financial goals and do not put a copy where they will see it every day. Studies have shown the actually writing down your goals alone will help a higher percentage of people to achieve them. It’s naturally going to be higher if you are looking at them every day too.
You need a daily visual reminder of what you desire. When you write down the goals that you want to accomplish in your life, you actually strengthen your commitment to achieving what it is that you want.
This is a very common mistake that people make. And then they go on to fail to accomplish their goal. If you are not committed to your goal, you will not take the actions or make the decisions needed to get there. If you are not committed, do you think you will get up an hour earlier in the morning to jog, bike, or even walk to get healthy? Will you even bother to watch what you’re eating? This is why you need to write it down and you need to see it every day.
Commitment is the key to every success in life. As long as you’re committed, you will do what it takes to make your goals a reality. Your mind will be on the lookout for how to move you closer to that goal.
Please make a decision right now to write down your goals and post them where you will see them every day. Make a commitment to yourself to consistently think about and move toward your goals every day. Small steps are OK. You just need to keep focused on the goal so write them down and look at them every day.
4. They set their financial goals too high and are unrealistic about what they can achieve in the short term.
Goal setting is not like having a magic wand in your hand that will give you everything you want in life. You cannot achieve what you want by just writing it down. It takes work to get to where you want to be. You must constantly think about the action that you’re going to take to produce the kind of results you want. You must also set a realistic goal with a realistic time frame. Look at the actions you need to take to achieve the goal and consider how much time it could take to perform the actions needed.
Ask yourself whether the actions you are going to take will be enough to get you to that next goal. For example, let’s say your goal is to become a millionaire in 3 years. Now after 3 months if you haven’t made some serious changes in your life, you need to review your goal and actions and ask yourself a serious question.
“Are the actions that I have taken in the last 90 days moving me forward toward my goal?”
Therefore, the key is to set a short term goal that is achievable. Then to find the specific steps needed to lead you to achieve this goal.
5. They are not really doing anything to achieve their financial goals
Are you really doing anything substantial to help you reach your goal? Did you just set your goal and then make a few or even no real changes in your life to achieve it?
If you’re not taking any action that moves you forward, or worse yet, no action at all, you will not reach your goal. It is going to be impossible to reach your goal if you aren’t really working toward achieving it.
Taking action sounds like something you would hear in a feel good seminar to help you boost your self esteem. It’s almost an overused term that sometimes sounds like an excuse waiting to be used when results do not happen. They can say later that you didn’t take enough action to achieve this or that. So that phrase taking action seems to be a double edged sword.
The truth is though that if you don’t take any action you cannot expect to receive any results. However, even a little action produces some level of results. The more action you take the higher your level of results should be. If you want to see results, you must take some action.
Remarkable things happen when you finally start taking action.
Please remember these simple reasons for failing to achieve your goals.
And more importantly understand that the only thing standing in the way of achieving your goals is you. Everything we do is based on a decision that we chose to make. Whether the choice was to get up and do something, take action on a specific item on your list, or to simply do nothing. It is always a choice and you are the one making that decision.
If you have goals that are proving to be too hard to achieve, then break them down further into smaller goals that are achievable.
To simplify this, if you want to build something you don’t just write down that your goal is to build something. Break down the steps into manageable pieces. Start with design what you want to build. Then go on to gather or buy the materials needed. Then you might move on to learning what skill information you may need that you might not have yet. Then if what you want to build is too large to do all at once build one section at a time until you have reached your goal.
I’m going to repeat this again. There is nothing standing in the way of meeting your goals except you.
- You need to clearly understand why you want to reach this goal.
- You need to consistently think about your goal and the results you will receive when you achieve it.
- Write down your goal and look at it every day.
- Set a realistic goal with a realistic time frame that you can achieve.
Take the action that you need to take to move forward toward your financial goals until you achieve them.