Why do so many people continue to fail at acheiving their goals?

Take a look at the below list of the most popular goals on 43things.com.

The world’s most popular goals

1. lose weight 38956 people
2. stop procrastinating 28451 people
3. write a book 28253 people
4. Fall in love 26116 people
5. be happy 23463 people
6. Get a tattoo 21682 people
7. get married 20162 people
8. drink more water 20126 people
9. travel the world 19883 people
10. go on a road trip with no predetermined destination 19840 people
11. see the northern lights 18135 people
12. Learn Spanish 16632 people
13. Save money 15568 people
14. Kiss in the rain 15330 people
15. Take more pictures 14927 people
16. Make new friends 13624 people
17. Learn to play the guitar 13483 people
18. Buy a House 13378 people
19. get a job 11787 people
20. get out of debt 11683 people
21. Read more books 11612 people
22. run a marathon 11597 people
23. To live instead of exist 11566 people
24. learn french 11529 people
25. Skydive 11060 people
26. exercise regularly 10990 people
27. be more confident 10976 people
28. eat healthier 10780 people
29. write a novel 10304 people
30. Learn Japanese 10255 people
31. get in shape 9902 people
32. Quit Smoking 9143 people
33. Start my own business 9073 people
34. Learn to cook 8835 people
35. Read more 8319 people
36. learn sign language 8194 people
37. have better posture 8146 people
38. travel 8137 people
39. Learn to play the piano 7986 people
40. Swim with dolphins 7876 people
41. identify 100 things that make me happy (besides money) 7853 people
42. Learn to surf 7830 people
43. wake up when my alarm clock goes off 7698 people
44. visit all 50 states 7606 people
45. stop biting my nails 7431 people
46. decide what the hell I would like to do with the rest of my life 7334 people
47. Go skydiving 7286 people
48. make a difference 7056 people
49. Lose 20 pounds 6993 people
50. learn to dance 6933 people
51. learn to drive 6690 people
52. graduate from college 6448 people
53. Get organized 6369 people
54. Lose 10 pounds 6246 people
55. Be a better friend 6240 people
56. learn italian 6117 people
57. Have a baby 6116 people
58. Visit Japan 5818 people
59. create my own website 5713 people
60. Become Financially Independent 5712 people
61. live passionately 5705 people
62. Spend less time fooling around on the net and more time actually working 5651 people
63. Lose 30 pounds 5423 people
64. exercise more 5419 people
65. make more friends 5400 people
66. get my driver’s license 5384 people
67. be more social 5383 people
68. Volunteer 5292 people
69. backpack through Europe 5176 people
70. travel around the world 4923 people
71. learn german 4879 people
72. love myself 4856 people
73. Worry less. 4774 people
74. design my own tattoo 4772 people
75. write a song 4744 people
76. learn to play guitar 4615 people
77. learn how to drive stick-shift 4573 people
78. go on a cruise 4472 people
79. meet new people 4353 people
80. go to college 4311 people
81. Practice Yoga 4276 people
82. Get more sleep 4258 people
83. Stop caring what other people think of me 4188 people
84. meditate daily 4188 people
85. Never stop learning 4082 people
86. get a dog 4068 people
87. sleep under the stars 4061 people
88. Finish what I start 4042 people
89. Learn another language 4019 people
90. Send a message in a bottle 4005 people
91. win the lottery 3952 people
92. create my own tattoo 3906 people
93. design my own clothes 3892 people
94. learn to sew 3889 people
95. figure out what i want to do with my life 3838 people
96. grow my hair long 3814 people
97. be a better person 3813 people
98. Go on a road trip 3751 people
99. stop wasting time 3737 people
100. watch Grey’s Anatomy 3732 people

I’m not sure if you can spot a theme, but I can see one that emerges, most all of these top 100 goals can be summarized into just a handful; People want to lose weight, be happy, make more and save more money, get out of debt, find a lover, and make more friends. But why? Why do people want to lose weight? My guess is they want to look better to be more attractive to others and or to live longer, they could really care less about losing weight. Why do people want to find a lover? The facts are, even if you do find someone to fall in love with, chances are it won’t work out with them, so in the end you’ll end up worse off. The same thing with marriage. Why do people want to make and save more money or get out of debt? They want to be free from money and its constraints. They could really give a shit less about making more money or even saving more, they simply want to not have to worry about it at all. Why more friends? People have a desire to have more influence and a higher social standing among their peers, not necessarily friends.

Why am I saying this? Why am I saying that every one of these goals listed above is really an ulterior motive for something else? Because most all of these people could really care less about achieving their goal, and thus never will. They just want the results. If the activity it takes to achieve the final result is not fun or enjoyable, chances are they will quit. Most everyone would love to have a solid body, but almost nobody wants to do the work for months to attain it. We all want the quick fix to attain results. That’s why diet pills continue to fly off the shelves, loads of worthless exercise equipment is sold and goes unused after a few days, and so on.

The same thing is true for personal finance and making more money and saving it. If your true goal is to be free from the worries of money, not necessarily making or saving more, because you know that actually requires work, you need to figure out how to best free yourself from having money control you and your happiness. The reality is, even if you had more money, you would simply spend more and always want more and more. That’s a never ending cycle that will most likely end in being unhappy, versus what you really want, to not worry about money.

It’s time to change your goals and be realistic. Instead of wanting to make and save more money, be real, just say you don’t want to be constrained by money. You want to be free to spend what you want when you want on the things that make you happy. For me, that would be being able to vacation several times a year and have a big house with a big backyard for my family. When you really decide what it is that makes you happy, you will have an easier time in seeing the point in earning more, saving more, and getting out of debt. Otherwise, you won’t stick to achieving your goal for very long.

After you’ve decided what’s really important to you, then it’s time to take the next steps to figure out how to get there. Besides changing the way you think about things, I will show you how to change your spending habits so you can be free from money constraints so you can buy the things you really want, help you to attack your debt and eliminate it, automate a savings plan, and set a date to quit working for good. Over the next few weeks I will take you on this journey and help you become free.

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