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25 Dec, 2019

Why you feel bad about not achieving your goals

Ronnie Oliech

Everyone, at some point in their lives, sets a goal they don’t achieve.

But how do you react when it happens to you?

If you’re in the majority, you may feel disappointed, angry, frustrated, guilty or regretful.

But your feelings about missing the mark are more to do with your attitude and approach to your goal, than not achieving what you set out to do.

Here are the main reasons why you may feel bad when you don’t achieve your goal.

Your goal wasn’t SMART

One reason you may feel disappointed in your efforts is because your original goal was vague or not realistic. The secret to setting goals is to make them SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. If you don’t specify what you want to achieve, you’re bound to feel disappointed because you won’t know if you reach it or not. Similarly, if you think you know what you want to achieve, but don’t get specific about it, you won’t take the right action steps to achieve that goal.

You focused on the result

Most people focus on the result instead of the steps or the process required to achieve that result. For example, when you only focus on the fact that you want to lose 10kg, you’ll be blinded to all the achievements you make along the way, that are necessary for you to achieve your goal. For instance, you’ll discount the fact that you have been consistent in your training for 12 months, or you’ll shrug off the fact that you’ve reduced your alcohol intake. These two accomplishments are worth celebrating and acknowledging, but if you only focus on the goal of weight loss, nothing else you achieve will seem important or worthwhile, and you’ll feel disappointed.

You tried to be perfect

A very common problem that most people struggle with when trying to lose weight is aiming to be perfect. Many people have the attitude ‘if I’m perfect and don’t eat anything bad, then I’ll lose weight’. This all-or-nothing approach is a classic sign of the diet-mindset, which will only impede your results. If you’re aiming for perfection, you’ll always be disappointed with your results, even if you achieve them, because in your mind, you made ‘mistakes’ along the way, and your journey wasn’t perfect. However, perfection is impossible. When you start focusing on the things you do get right, you’ll find that you won’t be disappointed with what you achieve.

You don’t celebrate your little wins

This follows on from the two points above. Weight loss is a journey that involves changing mindsets and habits. It’s not a linear process. The reality is, you’ll have ups and downs. You’ll have wins and losses. It’s important to take the time to acknowledge and celebrate the wins you have along the way — no matter how small they may seem. Not only do they help you keep going, but when you take stock of all the things you change and all the wins you have, you can’t possibly be disappointed.

For example, let’s say you set a goal to lose two dress sizes and go from a size 16 to a size 12, in 12 months. To achieve this, you need to master many different habits, and change your thought processes. You also need to start taking lots of action. If after 12 months, you have stopped drinking and binge eating, stopped people-pleasing, learned how to train consistently, developed consistent meal-prep habits, increased your confidence, consistently recorded data, and lost one dress size, isn’t that worth celebrating? Those who don’t focus on the wins along the way will be disappointed to only drop one dress size. Those who celebrate their wins will be incredibly proud of their progress and will know that if they have made that much progress already, then their ultimate weight loss goal is only a matter of time. Remember, in order for the BIG win at the end, you need to have the small wins along the way.

You didn’t do the work

Another reason you may feeling bad is because you simply didn’t do the work required. This might be because you started to make some progress and became complacent, or because you let fear take over which prevented you from taking the actions you needed to take. Either way, it’s important to acknowledge this and take responsibility for it, otherwise you’ll never be successful in reaching your goals. Enlisting the help of a coach to make you accountable will help you overcome your fears and do the work you need to do in order to succeed. Identifying your reason for changing — your WHY — will also help motivate you to do the work, even when you don’t want to.

How to feel proud about your progress even if you haven’t reached your goal

So now you know why you’re feeling disappointed, how can you ensure you’re proud of your efforts, even if you don’t reach your goal? Here are our top tips:

  • Identify a bigger reason — your WHY — for making a change and losing weight. When you take actions that are aligned with your WHY, you’ll be focusing on the bigger picture, and you’ll be proud of whatever progress you make.
  • Understand that your goal may take longer than you initially expect. This might be because you discover you have habits you need to master, that you weren’t initially aware of. It might also be because these habits take you longer to master than you hope.
  • Focus on the journey. Focus on the daily actions you need to take in order to succeed, and learn to let go of the result. When you see that you’re taking actions and working towards your goal, you’ll feel a sense of pride within yourself. Pride in your journey will go a long way to preventing disappointment.
  • Celebrate your progress, and acknowledge where you’ve come from. Sometimes we get so caught up in what’s ahead of us, and what we haven’t achieved, that we forget to look back and see just how far we’ve come.
  • Put in your best effort on a daily basis. Remember, your best will vary from day to day, depending upon your energy, your stress levels, whether you’re sick or injured, or how well you slept. But if you know in your heart that you gave all you could, and you don’t quite reach your goal, you can’t be disappointed.
  • Think of yourself as a winner, not a failure. Not achieving a goal that you set yourself doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It just means that you need to give yourself more time, or there are lessons you still need to learn. If you don’t reach your goal in the time you set yourself, don’t throw away the goal or give up on it. Just readjust your timeline.

Remember, if you’re working towards your goal and are making progress, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. As long as you keep working and giving your best effort, you’ll never feel disappointed in the progress you make, and you can take heart that eventually you’ll reach your goal.

Helping people achieve their goals

At Imani Tribe, we’re all about setting SMART weight loss goals and giving our best to make them a reality. If you’d like to be part of our community, and have the right support behind you as you work towards your goals, sign up to our FREE weight-loss eCourse by clicking the button below and entering your email. This eCourse, delivered straight to your inbox, will get you on the path to losing weight once and for all. Plus, you’ll get a SNEAK PEEK of our Confidence Avalanche Body & Lifestyle Program.



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Have you ever felt disappointed when you didn’t reach your goal? What did you do? Tell us in the comments below.


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