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Failure to reach goals

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Failure to reach goals

Postby Vynco » Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:18 pm


My life has been pretty much stagnant for the last ten years. I haven't achieved much and I still have the same goals I had ten years ago that I still didn't do.

There's been a little bit of progress, but mostly it's been 1 step forward, 2 steps backwards.

I've tried making schedules, weekly or daily goals, deadlines, To-do lists; I tried different apps or strategies (marking days on the calendar, setting daily reminders, visualization, break down the goals in smaller steps, etc.)

My walls are covered with motivational quotes and images, my library is full of books on efficiency and self-help, my phone is filled with motivational speeches and positive affirmations.

And yet, I don't do $#%^.

I've spent more time planning and trying to bring myself to do something than actually getting things done.

I know the theory: "Focus on the process rather than the results" "One day at the time" "Just show up and start, the momentum will follow" "We don't live to be comfortable" "Smart decisions lead to long term satisfaction while giving in to instant gratification may be more pleasurable now, but will hurt you later" etc.

I know exactly what specific actions I need to take for each goal, that is:

Finish a novel ...... Write
Lose weight ...... Exercise
Get over shyness and develop social skills ...... Talk to people
Improve mental health ...... Meditate
Learn new skills like spanish or guitar ...... Practice
Get my $#%^ together financially ...... Work and save money
Get my career started ...... Find a job in the movie industry or work on projects

And yet, I don't do $#%^.

Or I'd make another attempt to move my life in the right direction after another "Ok, now it's for real" moment and I'd have a couple of productive days and then I'd crash and give up or relapse into bad habits.

Two days ago I made myself a sheet to keep track of my daily word count, calories eaten and money spent. T figured that writing down specific numbers would hold me accountable, since it's a concrete and precise measure of my progress or regression.
That went well for 1 day. Yesterday I fell back into procrastination and dumb decisions and snowball effect of negativity and using alcohol to numb stress which only feeds an addiction and leads to more time wasting and counterproductive behavior.

That's a lot of rambling, but we're finally getting to the point of this post: I realized that I can't hold myself accountable and I'm too messed up to rely only on myself. I don't respect my own authority and I'm so used to disappointing myself that it has no effect anymore, so the self-discipline and self-imposed deadlines and self-motivation etc goes down the drain.

The thought came to me that I would never act like I do if someone else was watching. I'd be too ashamed to sit on my ass all day, drink too much, and then order pizza at 2 a.m. and use food as a soothing mechanism and ruin my calory count and waste more money.
That if someone was there to check on my progress, I wouldn't want to have nothing to show at the end of the day. If someone told me to sit down and write, I'd do it. I wouldn't stop working out after 5 minutes if someone was there to say "Really? You lazy #####&". If, in a social context, someone would dare me to go talk to someone, I'd probably do it. Just because I wouldn't want to fail or not try in front of someone.

Isn't that ###$ up? That we so don't want to look bad in front of someone else, but our own opinion about ourselves doesn't have as much weight. maybe that's why we have no problem showing up to work on time every day and stay there for 8 hours for a job we don't like, but we have trouble dedicating 30 minutes a day for our own passions and goals.
But maybe there's a way to use that, to use social pressure in a constructive way.

You know that quantum physics experiment that showed that a particule behaved differently in the presence of an observer? (There's actually a psychological equivalent to that called the Hawthorne effect)
Maybe just the fact that someone else would see your progress or lack thereof would be enough to influence your behavior into a more productive direction.

The actual point of this post:

I need an accountability partner. Someone to share my progress with.
We'd keep track of each other's goals, whether it's something we want to work on, habits we want to develop or stop, fear we need to get over, etc.
Maybe share statistics like calories or weight or words written or success stories or whatever, just to have something concrete to show.
Make sure there is progress and no relapse or giving up. Get some good old motivation, encouragement, maybe even some healthy competition.
On a weekly, maybe even daily basis.

The problem is, I have no one in my life I could do that with. So here I am. Maybe someone else is in a similar situation and needs this kind of motivation.

I think it's worth the try.
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Re: Failure to reach goals

Postby thegentlepath » Tue Nov 10, 2020 4:25 pm

Hi Vynco, Welcome to Psychforums. I’m finding the website SparkPeople helpful in working on my goals. Good luck.
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Re: Failure to reach goals

Postby daysgoby » Thu Nov 19, 2020 5:23 am

Hi Vynco,

You just perfectly described my situation and it sounds like we are a lot alike. I can relate to you in almost every way, other than being shy. I would love to be your accountability partner! Hopefully, we can help each other out. I hope you see my message since I know that you wrote this post over a week ago. Your post really resonated with me and we both struggle with follow through, mental illness, and stagnation.

Wishing you the best and hoping to hear from you,

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Re: Failure to reach goals

Postby arthur369 » Mon Mar 08, 2021 8:57 am

I had the same problem. I fixed in months.
Get into yourself, to the actual now. Not in the calendar, not the imagination, but in the now, where YOU do the job NOW, and you KEEP doing it, whatever comes to your mind, like ordering a pizza, you say to yourself, NO, I wont ruin the streak.

Any mistake you make, accept it. I learnt how to get my life around anything I want, I've got a system. Really, anything I can build up with patience and small steps, in the right way. Example, exercising after waking up, instantly. Studying for 6-8 hours after that without eating. Not eating keeps my mind clean, after that I start to procrastinate, my mind wanders around, but it's okay, cuz I did my job for that day.

But the most important thing is, don't lose yourself over your head. Be the person that DOES the job, that feels through the pain of it. You obviously should just start the most valuable thing on the list, comfortably do more of it every day. I use a trick to get back to exercise if I lose the momentum.

I just do the minimum rep. I do what I feel like, but I always do something. My mind recognizes that I am good at it, doing it at every day, and next days I feel like, I have started exercising, why stop doing so little, when I can more?
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