5 Things That Keep You From Achieving Your Goals

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You’ve Got to Have a Dream.  If you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?

–Rodgers and Hammerstein, South Pacific

There’s nothing like the magic of a dream coming true.  Everyone loves a Cinderella story.  Everyone loves seeing the longed-for dream come to fruition.

On the other hand, there’s nothing quite like the misery of another goal set…and unfulfilled.

Oh, the heartache of investing all your energy into dreaming a new dream only to find, its doomed to failure.

Friend, we gotta stop this madness.  Before you set another goal or dream another dream, you need to know these

5 things that will keep you from achieving your goals.It's not your fault you aren't achieving your goals. You just haven't learned to avoid these 5 pitfalls! Read this now, and pin it for others!

Going Against Your Personality

If you are chosing a path or attempting a goal that goes against your God-given nature, you will struggle!

Working within your gifts allows you to bloom into your own beautiful self!   A daisy will never be a successful rose, and a rose will always fail at being a tulip.  But the world needs daisies and roses and tulips.

Discover your strength, your unique talents and abilities, and work within that gifting.

If you’ve never taken a personality assessment, I highly recommend doing it.  It can be very eye-opening.  Check out this free one at 16personalities.com.  Once you know your type, you can read through some of the reports on the site, or search in on Pinterest and giggle at the hilariously accurate portrayals of you. (My ENFP Life board is SO me.)

Limiting Beliefs

What you believe about yourself and the world can limit what you can do.

If you tell yourself you can’t go to the gym because the membership is too expensive but you’ve never called to find out what the rates are, you have a limiting belief.

If you believe that only hippy-dippy weirdos visit the homeless outreach and most of them do it to feel good about themselves, you’ll miss out on seeing the humanity behind the label “homeless.”

If you think that only people with innate talent ever become successful, you’ll reject the hard work and learning that it takes to grow in your business or craft.

The illustration that helped me understand this most clearly was in a blog post aimed at photographers, but applicable in almost any endeavor.  Read it here.  Understanding this could be the most important aspect to setting your goals, because the goals we set are shaped by the things we believe.

Lack of Wise Counsel

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.  Prov. 15:33 NIV

Wise counsel is something I often forget to include in my goal planning.

I may have a million ideas of what I can achieve, but I tend to lose sight of what is realistic or what the trade-offs for chasing that goal will be.  Talking to someone who knows and loves me can help me gain valuable insight.

For me, the best people to talk to are my mom and my husband.  They believe in me, they know my talents and abilities, and most importantly, they know my limitations.

Did you ever see that circus act where the lady spins plates on a pole?  She gets one going, and then she starts another plate to spinning.  Feeling pretty confident that those two are balanced and going good, she adds another…and another.  Then she quickly has to run back to the first plate and spin it some before it topples.  Oh, and the second plate.  Wait, now the fourth plate is too slow!  Before long, all her plates crash to the floor.

Have you been there?

When you get your act together in one area of your life, you’re feeling pretty good!  So you take on a bit more, and a bit more. It’s all doing good for a while, but before you know it, the dishes are piled high, you forgot the PTA meeting, someone left a sippy cup of milk in the car and it’s hiding under all the papers that you should have signed and sent back to school, and you’re sick in bed texting people desperately to get some help so your toddler doesn’t serve himself peanut butter and cheerios on the couch again.

Before you take on more than you can handle, talk to someone who sees how many plates you’re spinning and how many you’ve let fall.

Wise counsel is needed in the form of a friend, coach, adviser, or spiritual mentor before you take on big projects.  Let those who’ve traveled this path before you lead you down the clearer way.

Wrong Motivations

When we seek to walk closely with the Lord, he blesses that endeavor.  Only…that doesn’t always look like a blessing at the time.  The Lord may “bless” you by allowing your plans to fail if they are spurred by wrong motivations.

If I want to lose weight for vanity reasons, I may struggle with it.

(An aside, if you are planning to work on your weight or food choices, I highly recommend Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave.  It’s a fantastic look at the heart behind our food issues.)

If I want to achieve success to fulfill earthly lust for things or prestige, the success may be deterred.

Before you establish your goals, take a deep, hard look at your motivations.  Get your heart in the right place before you take on any new challenges.

That doesn’t mean you can’t lose weight or achieve success, but you should talk to God about the reasons for doing so.

A friend asked me about my goals earlier and as I explained to her my motivations, I thought, “wow, that sounds really vain.”  Then in the next sentence I said, “I just want to be able to show others how to get there.”  I realized that acheiving the success I wanted was more about bringing others with me.  Turns out it wasn’t as vain as I imagined.  (There’s that wise counsel coming up again!)


Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle, or your middle to someone else’s end.  –Tim Hiller

You gotta keep your eyes in your lane.  As soon as we start to compare our journey with others, we open ourselves up to feeling discouraged.

I recently got discouraged after hearing someone else’s success story.  “I’m just not doing enough!” I thought.  Then I happened to come across a note I had written last year about my dreams.  There, in my own handwriting was, “in my wildest dreams, I’d like to…”  and the words that followed were the goal I achieved last May!

When you’re always looking ahead to where you want to be, you forget how far you’ve come!

Keep your eyes on your own path.  Seek wisdom from others, but don’t compare.  You’ll get there in your own time.  Look how far you’ve already come!

Are any of these things keeping you back?

In what ways are you “getting in your own way”?

I’d love to hear which one of these is your biggest challenge, or what other issues you’ve struggled with. Reach out to me to let me know abour your goals!  Comment below, email [email protected], or JOIN the CONVERSATION in our Facebook group. 

Kitten whiskers and freshly painted toenails,

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