Why Some People Find Personal Goal Setting Difficult

by ryan on January 19, 2018


Why Some People Find Personal Goal Setting Difficult


  • Why Some People Find Personal Goal Setting Difficult…
  • Why You May Be Sabotaging Yourself

Self-Help Techniques Help Clear Your Subconscious Mind of the Negative Stuff

“Personal goal setting is like climbing a ladder. To achieve your major goals, you need to accomplish many smaller tasks, just like climbing the rungs of a ladder enable you to reach the top.”
– Scott Lee

I used to subscribe to several newsletters and at the start of each new year, they’d all be telling me to start making resolutions and personal goal setting for the new year.

And every year, I’d tell myself that this year would be different and that I would really set some personal goals down and see them through. However, without fail, I never could get started on my personal goal setting.

There was this one year where one of the daily newsletters that I subscribe to suggested making one resolution each day for the first 14 days of the new year, to avoid being overwhelmed by the whole personal goal setting thing. I’m not proud to say that I never even read beyond the 3rd day.

Somehow, I just seemed to switch off when it came to making resolutions and personal goal setting. And it’s not just new year’s resolutions. It was every single goal setting session that I ever thought of doing.

I was perfectly happy to bum around, floating wherever life took me. I refused and didn’t want to be tied down with commitments and responsibilities at all. I just wanted to live life as I pleased and not have to discipline myself to do anything at all.

Fortunately, those days are over. Otherwise, I’d never have gotten anywhere in life. Frankly, I’m still amazed at the excuses I came up with to persuade myself not to do anything at all…

Why You May Be Sabotaging Yourself

Sometimes, the reason why some people (myself included!) find it difficult to begin personal goal setting is because it essentially means making a commitment to improve some part of their lives.
Intuitively, they know that the goal setting part is just the first (and easiest) step, and that it’s going to involve some degree of work, effort and change in their lives if they’re to achieve their goals, more than what they’re prepared to do.

Consciously, everyone agrees that setting goals is a good practice (whether they do anything about it is another matter…).

However, their subconscious mind may not agree that personal goal setting is the best thing for them to do.

This happens because, frequently (and without their realizing it), their subconscious mind may actually believe in some other contradictory, negative beliefs and thoughts. You cannot think both positive and negative thoughts at the same time. One or the other must dominate.

To really get started in your personal goal setting and, more importantly, follow-through and sustain the momentum, both your conscious and subconscious mind must be in sync with each other.

However, if your conscious and subconscious mind have conflicting, different beliefs, then chances are that you’re going to find it hard to even get started, much less follow-through and sustain the momentum.

It’s like running a three-legged race. Can you imagine what would happen if both partners tried to go in different directions? You’d never go anywhere at all!

Think about all those people who attend those self-help courses, seminars and motivational talks, only to fall back on their old habits after a short while. I’m sure you know someone who’s tried to lose weight, stop smoking or stop procrastinating, but just can’t seem to make the change last.

It’s quite likely that their subconscious mind believes in negative, self-defeating thoughts such as “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t have the time / money / knowledge” or “I’ll never succeed so why even try”, “People like me never do well, so why bother”, etc.

As a result, everytime they start to think about setting goals, their subconscious mind will always be able to come up with a “good reason” to put things off & not get started.

“There’s lots of time to do it tomorrow”, “The game’s coming on now. I’ll do it later…”, “I’ve worked hard the whole day. I deserve to be resting”, “One last chocolate-chip cookie can’t hurt, right?”, blah, blah, blah.

Now, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do if your subconscious mind believes in all these negative, disempowering thoughts. The subconscious mind can be influenced to release all these conflicting thoughts and to “install“ new empowering, motivating beliefs.

Personally, I’ve found that some of the self-help techniques such as subliminal messages, affirmations and hypnosis are some of the ways to positively influence your subconscious mind. Not only that, my experience is that they’re also pretty good at clearing out all the negative, self-defeating thoughts that I used to have.

“The day you take complete responsibility for yourself, the day you stop making any excuses, that’s the day you start to the top.”
– Anonymous

Self-Help Techniques Help Clear Your Subconscious Mind of the Negative Stuff

For a great part of my life, I had the same problem. Even as a kid, I was extremely negative on most things, and personal goal setting to improve the quality of my life was something that never even entered my head.

It took me a while to get rid of these negative thoughts and “re-install” a more positive consciousness into my subconscious mind. And even after I thought I had cleared these negative thoughts from my subconscious, they used to turn up from time to time, having been buried deep in my subconscious.

It’s a bit like clearing weeds, you’ve got to get rid of every little bit of weed or root in the ground otherwise they’ll just sprout again one day without you realizing it.

So, if you’re finding it hard to get started on your personal goal setting, it’s not because personal goal setting doesn’t work. It may actually be your subconscious mind who’s sabotaging all your efforts…



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