2 reasons why most goals fail

by Heather Thatcher

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I think we’ve all been there.

We have a goal in mind, create our plan and maybe even use the SMART goal strategy to figure it all out.

Then the day comes and we get started with our goal plan.

Maybe we do really well for a day, or two. Maybe we even make it to the end of the week, if we’re lucky.

But inevitably something comes up, we have to change our plans and then we start to fall down the slippery slope of going back to the way things were.

It doesn’t matter how good your intentions are when you start working towards a goal, if you don’t have these two things in mind – you’re going to stay stuck, falling back on old habits and always in the cycle of starting over from the beginning.

If you want to achieve those goals and reach success as fast as possible – these are the two things you need to consider because these are the top two reasons why most goals fail.

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Reason #1 – You’re adding new activities on top of your to-do list without making room in your hectic schedule for them

The truth is if you’re busy from the moment you open your eyes until the moment your head hits the pillow at the end of the day, your schedule is already pretty full isn’t it?

Often when we set up our plan to achieve a new goal, we just have the end goal in mind without thinking of what we need to get rid of in our life in order to make room for that new goal.

Let me explain.

Your day is already full with your daily routine and all of the normal activities you spend time on throughout the day.

Every hour in your schedule is already spoken for.

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Also, it’s very common for us to over-pack our schedule and just deprioritize our sleep hours to make room for everything else.

Everytime I post the question to a Facebook Group or my Instagram Feed, when I ask “what would you do with an extra 30 minutes in your day” hands down the most popular answer is “sleep.”

If we try to add on these new activities that will help us reach out goal, but do so without looking at another area in our life where something needs to go in order to make room for this – our stress response switch turns on.

This is a good thing! It’s our body trying to make us be successful and have the energy we need to push through and get everything done including these new activities related to our goal!

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But, like we’ve talked about before, our stress response isn’t meant to be on for a long time. 

It’s meant to turn on to get us away from a bear, and then turn off. 

But if we keep pushing ourselves to get all of our normal stuff done, and then also these new habits and behaviors – we’re going to keep that stress switch turned on and move through the three stages of stress until we hit the stage of exhaustion.

Our body is smart and wants to prevent us from hitting that final exhaustion stage. So it will keep making it harder and harder for us to find the willpower and energy we need to keep up with these new habits we’re trying to add on.

But, and you had to know there was a but coming, if we don’t try to pile on these new habits onto our already busy day, we lower the risk of that stress switch turning on.

You have a limited amount of time and energy in your day.

So what could you look at today to either (a) streamline and simplify so that you don’t have to spend as much time on it, or (b) let go of because it’s something that’s no longer serving you and your life vision?

If you want to set yourself up for success, and not have your body working against you, then you need to figure out where you can create room for this new activity habit or task. 

If the pot is already full of water, there’s nothing else you can add to it that will stay.

Figure out how to lower the water in the pot, so that you’ll have room for what you want to add.

Make sense?

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Reason #2 – You’re trying to change while still living in your old identity

Our body has grown accustomed to the current habits we live in and the chemical balance that we’ve created from living in our emotional patterns.

When we try and change our physical habits, without changing our internal chemical balance and perspective, our body doesn’t know what to do with it.

It’s different from the chemical balance that our body is used to, and so it will also ramp up the stress response to try and get you to stop doing these new things and go back to the way things were. We talked a bit about this in the Habit Ninja episode a few weeks back in episode eight.

If we’re trying to change our life, we have to start on the inside and change who we identify as.

Someone that’s trying to quit smoking, but still identifies as a smoker will struggle to quit.

But someone who’s trying to quit smoking and has done the inner work to change their identity to that of a non-smoker will find it much easier.

This is why hypnosis is such an effective supplemental treatment to help people quit smoking! It works on the subconscious level to help the person shift into the identity of a non-smoker.

Non-smokers don’t smoke and so they don’t need willpower to resist a cigarette.

Now what if you were to looking to achieve your goal of becoming a more physically healthy person. 

Typically we would set the goal by looking at how we want to change our diet and exercise levels.

But when we’re doing this, we’re coming at it from the angle of “who am I now and what do I need to do differently?”

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This is the most common way we set goals.

What do I do now, and what do I want to do differently?

In this scenario, you’re still identifying as the person who is currently living your life, following your existing habits and routines.

Instead, think about who you will become after you’ve already achieved this goal.

Imagine the future version of you who is already identifying as being physically healthy.

What are the habits of this future version of you that you follow naturally?

How does this future version of you act, think, feel? 

What do they say to themselves?

This is the key starting point to make all of your goals successful.

You have to shift your identity in order to become the person you were meant to be – and start living in that identity right now.

We spend two weeks on identity goals in the Mindset Reboot Program because you want to make sure you get it right.

Because when you do – your life starts to align itself at such a fast pace, you won’t even believe how quickly everything starts to shift!

My action step for you today is to look at one of your goals, and write down the things you need to do in order to make that goal a reality. 

Then, look at how much time those things are going to take each day, and figure out what you need to either streamline and simplify in your life, or what you need to let go of in order to make enough time in your daily schedule to prioritize these tasks (without cutting into your sleep time).


When you’re done, share your plan with me on social media by either sending me a message on my Facebook or Instagram accounts @TheUltimateLifeSurvivalGuide, or create your own post telling others about your plan and tag me in it @TheUltimateLifeSurvivalGuide so I can cheer you on!

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