Top 5 Reasons People Do Not Follow Through on Their Goals

Goal Word - Arrow in TargetThere are many reasons why people do not complete tasks that lead them to achieve their goals, even goals that they were initially pumped about. External variables over which a person has no control can sometimes derail a goal (such as a lack of resources, for example, or changing priorities). If we’re honest though, there are many times when we simply lose interest in the goal and its associated rewards/benefits.  This is often on account of one or more of the following:

1. The goals are not SMART: Their goals are not specific, measurable, attainable, realistic or tangible or any combination of these. This sets the stage for a lack of commitment and follow-through.

2. Lack of Accountability: There is no accountability and no consequence for failing to follow through. Again, this begs the question – is this is smart goal and has the individual truly bought into it?

3. Behavioural trait: The habit of procrastination has become their ‘norm’. It’s their status quo and it’s become such an ingrained behaviour, it fails to register with the person.

4. Mental disorder: The individual may be suffering from anxiety, depression or other mental illness or disorder such as ADD and my not even be aware of it. This can explain the lack of sustained focus.

5. Overwhelmed:  The individual may have too much on their plate and they don’t know how to say ‘no’ (or don’t want to). A fear of rejection or fear of disappointing others can cause this.  When a person takes on too much, they end up disappointing themselves, and the familiar pattern of non-completion repeats itself.

If you observe someone in your team or your family failing to make progress on their goals, open up a dialogue with them to help uncover the reasons.  Or share this article with them to see if any of the bullets ring true for them. Early intervention might prevent them from developing a lifelong pattern of failing to complete things, a habit that gets harder to break as time goes on.

For coaching assistance, please contact Rebecca Heaslip, Executive Coach and President of Leadership Insight Inc. at or 888-878-5913.


Please give us your feedback!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s