Why You’re Not Getting What you REALLY Want

Hands and golden keyWe are kept from our goal, not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.” (Robert Brault)

Day in and day out, people talk about what they want to achieve in life.  We want to lose weight, write a book, find a passionate relationship, travel the world, or save money for a house.  The list goes on.

And, many of us are talking about the same goals year after year (I’ve been talking about writing a book forever and have some fabulous excuses for anyone who cares to listen).

The reason we aren’t achieving these goals is because we are making them SECONDARY to a primary goal by the daily choices we make.   The truth is hard to swallow, but when we look at our actions, we can’t deny that we are always acting in service to our primary goal.

Here is an example.  You have a goal to lose 20 pounds and you set out to make healthy choices every day.  When the alarm rings at 5am, you rationalize that skipping one workout won’t hurt. You deserve to sleep in.   In this case, you are making short-term comfort the primary goal, thereby pushing weight loss to a secondary goal through your choices.

Here’s another example.  You want to save money to buy a home, but continue to give in to BOGO shoe sales and dine out most nights instead of preparing meals at home.   Through these choices, you are making saving for a home the secondary goal even though you believe it is the primary goal.  When in doubt about which goal you are serving, just look at your actions.

So, what are those goals we subconsciously make primary that get in the way of what we REALLY want?  It is different for everyone. Common examples include immediate gratification, comfort, putting others’ needs before our own,  and a fear of success.

When I think about why I haven’t made writing a book a primary goal, it comes down to the fact that I have been serving the goal of short-term gratification.   Instead of taking actions that move me closer to publishing a book like carving out chunks of time to write, I have chosen to travel, workout, nap, socialize, and distract myself with other projects.  I chose to make these actions more important in the moment, thereby unintentionally making my book a secondary goal.

Although hard to accept, once we understand what is getting in the way of achieving what we really want, we have the power to change it.  Each time we face a choice, we can ask ourselves if the action we are about to choose will take us closer to what we REALLY want or move us away.

Humans are great at rationalizing ANY decision.  However, when we slow down and ask ourselves if a decision is moving us in the direction we REALLY want to go, it is hard to rationalize how eating a Krispy Kreme is taking us one step closer to fitting into our skinny jeans.

Try it out and leave a comment on the blog.

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