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Why Goal Setting Doesn't Work: Learn How to Make Real, Lasting Changes

16 January 2020


Even if you don't set new year's resolutions, with each earthly trip around the sun, chances are you took stock of your life and thought about things you’d like to change.

At least one thing.

You may have even tried to a set goal, but then remembered how well goal setting went in the past. Even when you did everything the experts tell you to do—like identifying small, measurable objectives and checking in on your development regularly—you still lost sight and momentum.

It happens to many of us. Our goals turn to garbage.

Steve Johnston

Why Goal Setting Doesn’t Work

The reason why goal setting doesn’t work often boils down to one simple but crucial oversight: we don’t know why we really want what we want.

Finding Your 'WHY'

Uncovering the fundamental reason behind why you want something is critical behind achieving any goal.

We think we understand our motivations, but the truth is we've only scratched the surface.

Take, for instance, losing weight. You want to lose weight and you tell yourself it's because you want to feel good about yourself in a bathing suit or shorts or an amazing dress, and this is part of the reason—but it’s not the real reason you want to make changes.

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You can look great in a bikini or an LBD at any weight. The real reason you want to lose weight is that you want to FEEL better about yourself.

The way you feel energized from the inside-out after eating wholesome foods and working out is what will drive you to keep making these positive changes. The fact you can crush a few rounds of tennis, complete a 10 km hike or play with your kids or grandchildren, no sweat, will motivate you more than looking like a goddess in a backless cocktail dress.

Because we don't live in skin-tight dresses and string bikinis. Being confident in these accoutrements is not enough. We live in our bodies and minds and souls and need to feel good about existing in these every day. Not just on special occasions.

I'm not saying goal setting is not important or that goal setting doesn’t work at all—simply that goal-setting alone rarely gets us the results we desire.


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If we take some of the basic tenets of goal-setting strategy and combine them with a more tangible incarnation of your goals, then this, in my experience, is a recipe for success.

Here's how I do it.

Perspective is Everything: Try a Vision Board

Vision boards can really help to achieve your goals. For me personally, I create a board at the end of the year with what I wish to create for the following year and I make three copies and even laminate them, placing them around my home and workspace so I can see and feel these visions throughout the day and night. I also have a picture of the vision board on my phone.

I'm constantly immersed in my visions and surrounded by my goals. It's hard to lose sight of them this way. It is the feeling that is what will help manifest your desires so if there is something you wanting to attract into your life, you better feel good when you think about it and even believe you have it right now (even though you can’t see it on your radar screen just yet…)

Making a vision board is a personal experience, and there is no right or wrong way to do this.

How to Make a Vision Board

A vision board is essentially a huge collage. Most of us made these in school. You take poster board or cork board and then glue or pin images and words that resonate with you which you feel will help motivate you toward your goals.

Or if you have a graphic design app like Canva, you can find images or upload them into a poster and arrange them digitally with powerful words such as ‘Freedom’, ‘Love’, ‘Peace’, ‘Limitless’, ‘Joy’ or whatever it is you are trying to create.

Remember, anything we are seeking in life is because of a certain way we wish to feel. Humans are emotional creatures and we are driven by our feelings, it’s really that simple.

Where to Hang Up Your Vision Board?

Keep it where you will see it regularly and let the manifestation of your goals begin.

The truth is, you don't have to beat yourself up about your goals: you don't have to force yourself into them. If it feels forced, it's not authentic and the changes you want to see won't happen or won't stick.

A vision board allows your psyche to gradually and gently absorb your motivations—call it the power of suggestion—and eventually, often without thinking (or over-thinking), you'll come to act on making the changes you've laid out on your vision board.

It’s called the law of attraction. And it works.

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You'll begin to make sure you get to bed so you can get the 7-9 hours of sleep you need to be healthy and vital.

You'll begin to remember to drink water and lemon juice in the morning to invigorate your system and get your metabolism fired up.

Suddenly, leaving the cream and sugar out of your coffee and drinking it black or with some stevia, won't seem like such a drag.

Because the changes you're making on the day-to-day are small, but all the power of your big-picture vision is driving you.

How many of you use vision boards? I'd love to see them and/or hear about them! Leave a comment here, or tag me in a picture of your vision board on Instagram: @perfect_supplements_australia.


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