46| Goals: Why they fail and what to do

“Why can’t I achieve this goal?” There are a lot of reasons. For example, we don’t always set the right goals. And when we set them, we don’t always have a clear sense of what it will actually be like to achieve them. Also, we have a bunch of unspoken goals that we’re already working on consciously and unconsciously, and those can take priority without us even realizing it. So we may not even appreciate that we’re already working on many goals.

Think about what’s your approach to achieving a goal. If you’re like most of us, you’ve got a goal in mind, you sketch out the steps, and then you’re thinking, “OK, here’s the next thing to do. Here’s the first step, and I’m gonna just get started.” You might throw in a couple, “I got this.” 

That’s the instinctive go-to plan: to use some willpower, maybe with some affirmation thrown in there. Often it hasn’t worked out for us… New Year’s resolutions, anyone?? 

I think we don’t appreciate that we when think of “goals” we think about the external process to goal achievement, namely, I decide on the goal, and then I think about what I need to do to get there. And then I “motivate” myself to take action. Make a list of the steps, get pumped up, and get going. 

The internal has to come first. That’s why we talk about unconscious goals in this episode. See ya there! 

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