Most of us have at least one thing in life we want to change. It may be something small, like going to bed slightly earlier or remembering to floss. Or it may be something larger, like finally launching that business that you’ve always dreamt about or improving your overall health and wellness.
People often think about the changes they want to make, but – for a variety of reasons – they don’t make them. Sometimes, it’s because those changes weren’t really that important to them. They were just a spur of the moment idea or a goal that they only cared about theoretically. But other times, there are specific practical and psychological reasons that we hold ourselves back.
Why Do We Fail to Reach Our Goals?
As with most issues that have to do with cognitions, feelings, and mental health, there is no one single answer that may explain why you are struggling to take action on the changes you’d like to make for yourself.
But what matters is taking that time for self exploration:
- Are you afraid?
- Is it just unfamiliar?
- Does it align with your life and values?
We have to take time to evaluate the goals and our resistance to it, focusing on what it will take to make the first step to the new direction, and also identifying what goes on that stops us – especially cognitively – from committing to it. Once we’ve identified that we can address it, and start taking at least a few steps towards progress.
All Major Life Change Takes Time and Effort
Many times when we struggle to reach our goals, we blame it on things like laziness. But “laziness” is often just a blanket excuse for more complicated emotions and feelings regarding making these changes. Remind yourself that change does often involve discomfort. It’s never easy to make changes – not just big changes but little changes – when the alternative is known and comfortable.
But the alternative is often worse. The alternative is to stay mired in the same feelings and situations that you are currently in now. Be honest with yourself, and if you are in therapy, make sure you are communicating these feelings, experiences, and progress with your therapist so that they can help you identify roadblocks and maintain personal accountability.
If these changes are truly important to you, the time you spend identifying what holds you back and finding ways to keep you moving forward will be worth it.