Consult Recruitment NZ > Career  > Why You Don’t Achieve Your Goals – And What To Do About It

Why You Don’t Achieve Your Goals – And What To Do About It

There are two forces at play if you want to achieve your goals, and they have to be working in partnership. This is powerful, simple and a total game changer. 

Look in the mirror and you will not only see your best friend but also your greatest enemy. When I see me in that mirror, I shake my head in dismay, wonderment, and bemusement at what an oddity I am. Strong, decisive, able in many ways but also weak, flawed, broken in so many others. This is the nature of being human. 

What baffles me most about me is how it is that I can be so goal driven, focused and able to achieve goals so often. And yet, at the same time, fail so miserably on others, even though I try multiple ways of tackling them.

Not anymore! I think I have the answer and I will share it with you today.
You see, goals are achieved when we have two forces at play: desire, and willpower. When properly combined, they make an irresistible pair.

Desire: You have to really, really want something.

Willpower: You have to have self-discipline. That is the key and self-discipline comes through self-control. You must first learn to control yourself and self-mastery is the hardest job you will ever tackle. What is the definition of self-discipline? Well, simply, it is doing what you need to do when you need to do it, even when you don’t want to. Pause, reflect and read that again. 

Self-discipline leads to habits.
Habits lead to persistence (persistence is a direct result of habit.)
Persistence leads to results!

Lack of persistence is one of the major causes of failure – usually the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.


I have always put my focus on the willpower bit. The self-discipline, built on self-control. In other words, the ‘how.’ But when I fail to achieve goals, I have just realised, it’s not because of the willpower. Your willpower fails but that’s a symptom, not the actual cause. The cause of failure in willpower is because of the lack of a powerful ‘why.’

It’s all about the desire!

I simply have not ‘wanted it enough.’ The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. We have to focus all our energies up front, on the intensity of the desire. Weak desires bring weak results.

It’s kind of as simple as that. If you want to achieve your goals, spend more time on the WHY….the DESIRE you have for achieving that goal. Make sure you have a very clear vision of what success looks like and feels like. And as you push hard along the path of willpower towards delivering on that goal, check in regularly on the DESIRE. Savour victory. Imagine it. Feel it. Taste it. Bathe in it. Suck it in. 

Then get back on the willpower trip…self-discipline delivering habits, delivering persistence, and then delivering results.

Print out this post. Laminate it. Stick it in your shower. Read it every day. DESIRE! It’s – quite simply- the starting point of all achievement. (And a big ‘thank you’ to Napoleon Hill – I got much of this theme from one of his books.)

We regularly feature great people and their thoughts on career, life, leadership, and health. If you would like to contribute and become a guest blogger with us then reach out to our marketing team today. 

About the author

Angela Cameron - CA, CPA

Executive Director

A chartered accountant by qualification, she is a recruitment leader by nature.

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