Why Are You NOT Motivated Toward Your Goals? The 7 Reasons

Why Are You NOT Motivated Toward Your Goals The 7 Reasons

Motivation is important. You need the motivation to execute and take action. Without motivation, you will fail at your goals.

Some people say that motivation is not important because what is truly important is building habits. I agree, but only to a certain extent.

If you don’t have the motivation in the first place, it will be impossible to build up the habit.

Plus, if you set the wrong goals that don’t drive you, even if you’ve developed the habit, you will still find it extremely hard to follow through and work on your plan.

A lot of people fail to achieve their goals because they fail to discover how to maintain their motivation and stick to their plan.

I bet you have had the experience before. You set a goal or start a project. When you first started, you are absolutely motivated. But after a few days or weeks later, somewhere along the line, you started to lose steam.

Your motivation faded and you don’t seem to be as committed as when you first begin. Eventually, you will stop taking action and give up on your goals.

Or maybe you will get distracted by other “better opportunity” and jump to another project.

Never let this happen to you. You can achieve all your goals if you want to.

But first, you must learn what are the things that cause you to lose motivation. You must understand WHY are you NOT motivated toward your goals. Here are a couple of reasons…

1. Your goals are vague and lack specific action steps

One of the most common reasons people are not driven toward their goals is that their goals are vague, and they don’t have a specific action plan.

They thought that all they need to do is to write down something they want. But it didn’t work out because your mind doesn’t know what to do.

You see, if you want to achieve something, you must be absolutely clear about the results and you need to know what you need to do to get there.

It is like giving a set of specific instructions to your brain. If you are being vague and unclear, your mind doesn’t know what to do.

Imagine you want to shoot an arrow, but there is no target for you to aim. This is like knowing that you want to be successful, but you don’t know exactly success means to you.

It happens to most people. They know they want a better life and they want to achieve success in life, but they have no idea what that means.

Action Steps:

So, what can you do to overcome this problem? Be specific with what you want so that you can design a plan of attack. You want to give your mind specific instructions on what to do.

Know what you want and have clarity. If you want to learn how to set and achieve your goals, use my Goal Setting Formula here.

“It is a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.”

“It is a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.”

2. You focus on the far-fetched results

Should you think long-term or should to focus on the short-term? This is where most people get it wrong.

Yes, you want to think long-term when it comes to goal setting. You want to set big goals that motivate and drive you forward.

And yes, you want to focus on the short-term reward so that you will be motivated by the progress and results.

When it comes to taking action, you must focus on the progress.

Think about it, if you set a goal that is one year away from now and you focus on the result that is so far away, you will feel dejected when you don’t see yourself making progress to reaching it.

For instance, if your goal is to lose 10kg a year from now, after working hard in the gym for a day, you feel good, right? But when you step on the weighing machine, the scale shows no difference.

Even after exercising for a few weeks, the scale may not move. And this is when most people started to doubt themselves and lose the interest they had on their goals.

They then started to take less action because they think that they are not getting the results they want.

This is why you shouldn’t focus on the long-term reward. Instead, you must focus on your progress.

And yes, you want to set long-term goals, but when it comes to making progress, you want to focus on the immediate reward that makes you feel good.

Remember, success is a cycle. The more you succeed, the more you will succeed and the more you will find a way to succeed. On the other hand, when you fail, you will get into the downward spiral that creates more failures.

Action Steps:

Celebrate all your wins and victories no matter how small they are. You want to make yourself feel good about your progress.

Daydream about the future success you desire, but once you have made progress, praise yourself and feel good about it.

Here’s what you can do: Practice the Reverse-Gap Thinking.

3. Your standard of acceptance is too low

Another reason people are not motivated toward their goals is that they are easily satisfied. They prefer to lower their expectations rather than improving their realities.

First, you started off with a goal to earn $100,000 a month, but after going through the process and you find that this goal is too difficult, you decided you can accept with what you have now.

Thus, you lower your goals and your expectations. You accept your “reality” and start to play it small.

Rather than go all out, you lower your standard and get accustomed to what you have had. And eventually, you become so comfortable with your comfort zone and refuse to try new things.

Does this sound familiar?

Many people started with a big goal and a bold dream. But after a while, they discover that things may not be as easy as what they have expected.

And then they lower their standards and expectations. They begin to accept that maybe they are not meant to live their dream lifestyle and they don’t have what it takes to achieve the success they want.

When this happens, their motivation dies, and they will never do anything about their goals until they decided to start over again.

So, I’m telling you NOT to lower your standards. Instead, work on improving your realities and find ways to increase your skills and abilities.

Once you accepted something lower, you will start to do things that way. And every time when you face difficult times and challenges, you will accept something lower. Do you get it?

Action Steps:

Do not lower your goals and expectations, instead, work on improving your realities and your abilities.

Look at all the professional athletes out there, if they were to lower their standards, no records will be broken. And there will be no champions anymore.

Raise your standards. First, look at your current results. Are you where you are? If your answer is a no, then improve your standards so that things will change.

Next, set clear specific standards for what you will accept and what you will not be tolerating. Here’s a good article from IQmatrix.com that can help you raise your standards.

4. You are being too impatient and want results overnight

Why do you think people lose their motivation in their journey to their goals? Well, they expect to receive an immediate result, and when they don’t get it, they lose their motivation.

Things are going to happen overnight. Success takes time, my friend.

I like this quote from Lionel Messi:


“I start early, and I stay late, day after day after day, year after year. It took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success.”

It is not like you work hard today and tomorrow you will become successful. No, it doesn’t work that way.

Extraordinary results take time to develop. You must have the patience and persistence to work through the process, day and night, day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year.

Hence, you will ask yourself if you are willing to endure the long-term process and hustle until you get the results you want.

If your answer is a no, then perhaps your goals are not what you really want.

Action Steps:

You have to understand that things are not going to come to you immediately. You must learn to build your patience and be persistence with what you want.

Stop looking for the next big opportunity and keep your eyes on your goals.

In Goal Setting Formula, I shared how can leverage on the 6 pillars to maintain your momentum and keep yourself motivated throughout the journey. You should check it out.

5. Your “why” is not strong enough

Do you know that when you are 100% committed, you will do whatever it takes and go against all odds to achieve your goals?

Similarly, if you are only interested in your goals, you will do what is convenient. When things become difficult, you will give up.

I have seen a lot of people telling me that they want to be successful, they want to build a successful blog, they want to start an online business, they want to lose weight and have a fit body, etc., but they are not truly committed.

They say that they want to achieve their goals, but they are not committed.

Are you willing to wake up an hour early to work on your blog? Yes, you don’t have to do that, but if you set it as a goal and are truly committed to building a successful blog, you will do it.

If you want to go for a run but it is raining outside, are you going to let the rain stops you and go get a sleep? Or are you going to do whatever it takes, either you exercise at your home or you run indoor?

And one great way to raise your commitment is to know your “why”. Why do you want to achieve your goals? Why do you want to do what you do?

Your purpose is the driving force for your goals.

In other words, if you feel it difficult to take action or you don’t feel motivated to work on your goals, it is because your purpose for your goals is not strong enough.

Understand your purpose and why you want to achieve your goals. When your purpose is strong and emotional, your commitment will become higher.

Action Steps:

Know your “why” and understand your purpose. Why do you want to achieve your goals in the first place? Is the goal important to you? Why do you want to achieve it? Write down your reasons and make them interesting and emotional.

Review your goals and your purpose every day. If you want more help on this subject, read:

Why Clarity of Purpose is Important to Success and How to Get It

6. You are always distracted by other things

Some people find it difficult to stick to their goals because they are constantly being distracted.

For example, if you want to build an internet business, try to perform a search on Google and you will discover that there are so many methods you can follow.

You can sell your own products, you can sell other people’s products as an affiliate, you can do drop-shipping, you can do e-commerce, selling e-books and courses, earn from advertising, and much, much more.

The thing is that if you are not focused enough, you will be easily distracted by all the “golden opportunities” out there.

As a blogger and an internet marketer, I received a ton of promotional emails every day asking me to buy the so-called “secrets” to making money online.

Think about it, how can you stay motivated and stick to your goal when there is always something out there taking your attention away?

Plus, you may be tempted to check out other stuff when you started to doubt about yourself and your goals.


“The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it.”

Action Steps:

Focus on your goals and stick to your plan. Never deviate from your direction. Sometimes, you need to get rid of all the unnecessary things that will take your attention away.

The good news is that you can improve your focus by practicing it. Read this article and learn how you can do so:

10 Amazing Ways How to Improve Your Focus

7. Your goals are not what you really want

You try hard and you work hard, but still, you fail to sustain the motivation for your goals, why? One common reason is that the goal is not what you truly want.

Yes, we all have goals and dreams we want to achieve. But the problem is that most of the time, what we want is often influenced by others’ thinking.

We think that we want to be a doctor or a lawyer, only to discover that those are our parents’ dreams, not ours.

We think that it is good to drive a luxury car and to live in a big house or to live a lavish lifestyle, only to find out that we have been influenced by the media and society to believe that success means having a lot of money.

Therefore, if the goals you set are not what you truly desire, you will find it extremely difficult to come up with the motivation to maintain your action.

You have to connect with your hearts. Make your goals in alignment with your values and what you truly wanted to achieve deep within you.

If your goals are just an influence from someone else, then you will find it difficult to sustain your drive to achieve the goals.

Action Steps:

Align your goals with your values. Make sure your goals are yours and not someone else’s goals.

Want to know if your goals are what you truly want? Check out this article from TheEveryGirl.com:

Are Your Goals Truly What You Want? Here’s How to Tell


If you want to achieve your goals, you must make sure your goals are going to motivate you. Set something that will drive you instead of making you feel difficult or shrinking.

Of all the 7 reasons above, do any of them describe you?

When you know why you are not motivated toward your goals, do something about it. Make a change. And make sure you set the right goals and they are what you truly want to achieve in life.

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  1. Very nicely written Shawn. Point no 2 is so important. Focussing on immediate progress is more important than focussing on far fetched results. We need to see short term results to stay motivated and holding on to it will eventually give long term success. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hello Jamie, yep, that’s right. Most people lose their motivation on their goals because they only think about the far-fetched results and tend to ignore the small progress they have made. It makes them feel like they are not moving forward. And this actually makes them lose their drive. Cheers.. 🙂

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