The Real Reason You Can’t Reach a Goal

by | Jan 2, 2020 | Understanding ADHD | 0 comments

If you’re thinking of setting some goals for 2020, please tread gently. Goal setting with ADHD can be tricky. You know this if you’ve tried but can’t reach a goal.

Don’t avoid setting goals. Goals are good. Goals move you forward in life. You need goals.

But, pick your goals with care. Impulsivity and goal setting are a toxic mix. Otherwise, you can’t reach your goal and risk failure and disappointment.

To Reach a Goal…

Make sure your goal is realistic. No matter how good or noble a goal appears, if it isn’t realistic, you risk failure.  

What makes a goal realistic? Your goal has to be sustainable. One you will work towards day after day.

Deciding if a goal is realistic can be tricky. I find with my ADHD coaching clients we often have to dig below the surface to discover why they can’t reach a goal.

Why You Can’t Reach a Goal

There are often two reasons you can’t reach a goal – the surface reason and the real reason.

The surface reason seems obvious but it often isn’t the show stopper.

The real reason isn’t as obvious but it’s what’s keeping your goal out of reach. You may have to dig to find the real reason.

Let’s look at an example of sussing out an unrealistic goal in my own life.

Look! An Example From My Life!

Recently, I made a goal to walk our dogs, Carly and Buddy, every day. Sounds realistic, right? Except I’ve only walked the dogs twice since making the goal, so it’s not realistic.

(Don’t worry, Carly and Buddy have a fenced acre to cavort in. They get lots of happy exercise protecting their territory from deer and squirrels and cats. They do like their walks, though. Gotta check the mail and keep tabs on the neighborhood.)

Walking the dogs in daylight this time of year means I have to leave the office by 4 PM. That’s tricky. Often, I’m still on a coaching call. Or, I’m focused on finishing a project.

So what if it’s dark or cold? Cowgirl Up, Dana! Get out there and walk those dogs!

But, the weather and the time of day to take a walk are the surface reasons this goal won’t stick. We have to dig deeper to find the real reason why I’m not reaching my goal.

The real reason? I hate walking the dogs alone. The only time I’ve consistently walked the dogs is when I’ve had a neighbor to walk with.

So, I now have a new, more realistic goal. Find a neighbor who wants to walk most evenings after work.

See how it works? If you can’t reach a goal you’ve set dig deeper. Past the surface reason. Make sure your goal is realistic.


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