How about those New Year’s Resolutions? What’s your track record of sticking to your commitments and achieving your goals? Well here’s why goals fail and what you can do about it:

What's as exciting as turning a new leaf, a clean slate, a fresh start? Motivated and hopeful, you get rolling on that weight loss program or job hunt or home maintenance or relationship mending. And you think” This is great”!

And soon, “Maybe overwhelmingly great”! And then not long after that you think, “Too great for me right now”! And from that moment all motivation is lost and your goal slips through your fingers.

Goals don’t work when what you’re attempting to accomplish by setting goals is not something that can be accomplished by goals, i.e. to avoid undesired mental and emotional states. Most people set goals which they think will help them to feel better about themselves, make them happier, fulfilled, excited or relaxed. The problem lies in that nothing outside ourselves can ever provide us with the internal mental and emotional states that we seek.

Often the goals we set up for ourselves are distractions from what we fear most in our lives!

So we keep moving away from what we don’t want (fear), and continue setting new goals to avoid experiencing the negative emotions which we drag along with us anyway.

Probably the greatest undercurrent of all fears is our fear of the unknown, of uncertainty. So we go about setting goals, planning and organizing our lives in a hopeless attempt to avoid the inevitable.

The solution: Become comfortable with uncertainty!

Look at your life - The UNKNOWN is always far greater than the KNOWN!
That’s why certainty will never be more than a little island in the infinite ocean of uncertainty.

And here’s an acceptable truth – if you want to grow, develop and thrive in this day and age, then uncertainty is necessary – it’s a natural order in life. It’s out of uncertainty that new possibilities, opportunities and creativity energy arise. Most people set goals to escape uncertainty, and in so doing deprive themselves of the very experience that they seek to have.

"Man can learn nothing except by going from the known to the unknown."
- Claude Bernard

Life unfolds on the outer edge of our comfort zones. Each time we step outside the synthetic border of our comfort zone, our awareness expands, we become familiar with the unfamiliar and we are able to harness a broader reality from where dreams turn into reality.

When one learns to embrace uncertainty, life takes on a new meaning and we begin to identify the purpose and value of each experience. Be curious about the gifts awaiting you on the other side of uncertainty. Accept the uncertainty - accept the gift.

If you want to achieve your goals, make sure they’re authentic. An authentic goal is one which only you are responsible for. It doesn’t depend on other people or external circumstances. It’s the desire and intention to experience yourself in a particular way. People and situations may point you in a certain direction, but these are only indicator goals along the way to the achievement of an authentic goal.

Think of an indicator goal as a road sign, rather than the destination you are trying to get to. The indicator goal is only the sign or map. It is NOT the territory. One of my teachers used to remind us to beware of driving into the sign!

Be aware that you’re not setting your goal to avoid the very experience that life might have in stall for you such that you can move in the direction of your desires. For only when you can be with your life exactly as it is do you have the choice to change its direction.

And changing direction is a mark of flexibility – one of the key ingredients in achieving your authentic goal. If, for example, happiness is your goal, then start by doing the things and changing your environment to how they will be when you are happy. And if that isn’t making you happier, then change the way you’re doing it until you’re being the person which you wish to become. Remain committed to achieving happiness and flexible as to how you go about it.

Remember the wisdom of the Chinese adage "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Quit focusing on the "thousand miles" part and shift your attention to the step you’re on. It’s only on this step, here and now, where you can experience your authentic goal. In any case an effective strategy to achieve more materialistic desires stems from the energy and focus which you’re cultivating on every step of your journey.

Each successive step along our way through life appears as a result of the thoughts, mental pictures and actions taken in our previous steps. Therefore we are constantly attracting the people and circumstances which are there for us to learn from in order for us to progress. If we refuse the learning and don’t take accountability, then similar situations continue to show up and nudge us along. We’re either successfully achieving the results that we want, or we’re successfully achieving the results that we don’t want!

Eventually we wake up, lock our focus on what we want (as opposed to what we don’t want), become flexible, begin behaving the part of that which we desire and therefore experience it!

It’s no wonder that Mahatma Gandhi said we must be the change that we want to see in the world. It’s the only chance the world has, and the only chance we have of achieving our authentic goals.

In my opinion our greatest opportunity for success in life is where we are each and every moment. It’s the Step we’re standing on! When we learn to take personal response-ability for how we deal with each experience as it unfolds, we’ll be well on our way to success mastery.

How are you going to bring about what you want to be, do and have right now?

Written by Jevon Dängeli – NLP / HNLP Trainer & Wellness Coach –

Author's Bio: 

Jevon is a Certified Trainer of NLP, HNLP (Humanistic Neuro-Linguistic Psychology) and Hypnotherapy as well as a Certified Coach. He is also the developer of The Authentic Self Empowerment™ Method.