How to Avoid Goal Failure (and 3 Things That Are Causing It)

Setting goals is so incredibly important. Your goals drive you toward success and help you find fulfillment. But sometimes, things get in the way of accomplishing your goals. Learning how to avoid goal failure starts with understanding what causes it. No matter what your goals are, overcoming challenges and avoiding goal failure will help you achieve success. 

In today’s blog post, we’ll discuss what goal failure is, what causes it, and how to avoid it. With these things in mind, you’ll be able to face anything and accomplish all of your goals! Let’s get started. 

How to Avoid Goal Failure (and 3 Things That Are Causing It)
How to Avoid Goal Failure (and 3 Things That Are Causing It)

How Do Our Goals Affect Us? 

Most of us know that setting goals is incredibly important to finding fulfillment and achieving our dreams. But only 20% of us set goals for ourselves, and of that group, about 70% fail to achieve their goals. This negatively impacts our ability to consistently make progress towards the things we want. 

There are actually two different types of goals: “be” goals and “do” goals. 

Basically, this means that our goals usually either center around what we want to be or what we want to achieve. Whether you’re focusing on goals around your career, relationships, personal growth, or financial growth, avoiding goal failure should be a top priority. 

3 Causes of Goal Failure

To achieve your goals, you need to be aware of the main causes of goal failure. Here are three of the main things that cause us to fail at achieving our goals. 

Being Polite

This issue is a big one I see for a lot of women I work with. Being polite can often ruin the progress you’ve made on the goals you want to achieve. The overwhelming feeling of not wanting to offend someone can be a big hurdle, and that’s why it’s important to be prepared! 

Let people around you know that you are working to achieve a goal and prepare in advance for how people may react. This can happen in a number of ways. For example, maybe people are asking for you to commit your time to something, but you promised yourself that you’d set time aside to work on your goal. It’s okay to say no! Being prepared for that scenario will help you avoid the trap of “being polite” and saying yes even if it’s not what’s best for you. 

Show up for yourself first and then serve others from the overflow.

An All-Or-Nothing Mindset

Leading with an all or nothing mentality can cause goal failure, too. With this mindset, let’s say you do great for a week with a goal, like a new diet, but then fall off the rails over a holiday weekend. When you fall into the trap of all-or-nothing, instead of getting back on track, you see the situation as a total failure instead of just a short detour off the off-ramp.  

When you set goals, be smart about setting incremental goals, and go into each goal prioritizing progress over perfection. An all or nothing mindset only detracts from your progress. A goal is about so much more than the final result. Instead, you have to believe in small actions and the impact they create.

Only Prioritizing the Outcome

Focusing on the outcome and not the journey leads to goal failure. Worthwhile, impactful goals don’t happen overnight. Instead, goals are about taking consistent action. They are about accountability, progress, and learning to prioritize what matters. 

The journey we take on the way to those goals prepares us for reaching them! Without the journey, the goal doesn’t really matter. To avoid goal failure, you have to focus on the journey, instead of just the outcome. 

How to Achieve Your Goals

The main component to achieving your goals is commitment. Once you learn to avoid the pitfalls of goal failure, you have to commit and focus on making progress each and every day. Make your goals a priority in your daily life. 

  • How can you make time to focus on your goals every day? 
  • What do you need to work on consistently? 
  • Will you commit to taking those steps? 

When you think deeply about a goal and commit to it, you’re going to have to make sacrifices. That means you need to fully understand the why behind your goal. 

Why is this goal important to you? If you don’t know your reasoning inside and out, you won’t be as motivated to put in the work and achieve your goals. 

It takes self-awareness to fully develop meaningful goals, but taking the time to do so helps alleviate the chances of goal failure. You’re invested, and you know why it’s worth the work.  

Related: How to Be More Consistent and Achieve Your Goals


Learning to achieve your goals starts with understanding (and therefore avoiding) goal failure. The three main things that cause goal failure are much easier to avoid when you are prepared. 

Understanding your why will help you work towards your goals and find success—and remember, the journey of a goal matters just as much (and sometimes more than) as the outcome! 

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