How to Reach Goals

3 Things that Keep You From Reaching Your Goals

As the new year begins, things kick into high gear. Gyms are full, budgets are set, fridges are stocked with fruits and veggies and plans are made.

Some of us love the idea of resolutions, while others have grown cynical and see right through the falsity in these vows.

There have been many years where I’ve come up with my own overachieving list, and there have been other years where I’ve decided to abstain from the disappointment.

These New Year’s Resolutions symbolize something very important that so many of us chase after.

How to Reach Goals

They symbolize newness, a fresh start. Maybe you can relate to me when I say that a fresh start in anything feels good.

A new job, a new car, a new space, when given the chance to forget our messes, we experience a freedom in starting over.

This can be paralleled to our spiritual lives. God allows us a fresh start, over and over. And yet we continue to mess it up, it’s in our nature.

So what is it that keeps us from reaching these goals that we set? What keeps us from following through?


The first thing that is crucial to keeping in step with the goals that you set is your focus. Oftentimes, the new year begins and our focus is on what we want to change. But as time goes on, we become burdened with the tasks that fill our everyday and we lose sight of the very goals we set out to accomplish.

Keeping your focus on what is important to you is essential to following through with your goals.

So how do you keep your focus in a time where life begs you to focus on everything around you?

Simplify. First, you must decide what is important. Many people do this at the start of a new year or at the beginning of a new life phase. We all have goals when we go into something new, but in order to attain these goals, they must not be too complex and far reaching.

Decide what  is actually achievable for you and choose that.

Remove Distractions. It is hard to reach your goals when you are looking at everything and everyone else around you. If you set a goal to be healthier and more active, get rid of junk food, Netflix and join a gym. If you set a goal to spend more time reading the Bible, set up a distraction free time, find a reading plan and set your Bible out before you go to bed so you see it first thing in the morning.

Don’t let distractions dictate your focus. Be proactive in removing them and placing your goals right in front of you.

[bctt tweet="Don’t let distractions dictate your focus." username="NicoleAKauffman"]


Maintaining motivation can be one of the most difficult things in following through with a goal. When you set out to achieve something, your motivation will likely naturally be high. But don’t let that fool you.

The feeling of motivation will fade, it will wax and wane and sometimes even disappear completely.

Motivation to achieve your goals needs to be cultivated and nurtured. You can do this by discovering what keeps you motivated.

I know that for me, writing down a to-do list everyday keeps me motivated. I like to see things crossed off and it helps me to stay focused on my priorities. I write to-do lists for my month with my biggest goals and to-do lists for my days with the smaller, achievable tasks.

[bctt tweet="Find what keeps you motivated and do it." username="NicoleAKauffman"]

Find what keeps you motivated and do it. Motivation will fade, but when it does, don’t give up. Rediscover your goals and seek to nurture the desire to attain them.


Finally, when you set out to achieve a goal, you must find some sort of accountability.

Our minds have a way of watering down the things we set out to achieve. If you decide to read your Bible everyday, soon your busy schedule will threaten this goal. And your mind will follow. You’ll start to think things like “I don’t need to do it everyday to grow closer to God” or “If I skip this one day, I’ll get back on track tomorrow”. These thoughts are sparks to a flame that will slowly devour your focus and your motivation.

In order to fight these thoughts, you need accountability.

You can find ways to keep yourself accountable. Sometimes, I’ll post my goals on my bathroom mirror or write them in my journal. This helps. Sometimes I’ll set reminders for the next week or month to check in on whether or not I’m staying strong.

But ultimately, accountability from others is one of the strongest fighters against losing focus and motivation.

When you tell another your goal, it becomes real and sparks the motivation to follow through. They can follow up with you and check in occasionally. When you start to think up an excuse, they can call you out and fight the lies your mind creates to distract you.

[bctt tweet="Accountability from others is one of the strongest fighters against losing focus and motivation." username="NicoleAKauffman"]

I encourage you to find accountability in your goals. You can find a friend, mentor, family member or online group.

There are so many resources out there to help you fight for your goals.


When you decide to set goals for this year or if you already have goals that you have been trying to reach, be sure to stay strong in your focus and your motivation. Find accountability and you will find a way to follow through.

I have several resources in my Free Resources Library to help you follow through in areas such as spiritual discipline, finding your calling, prayer and more. Subscribe below to get access or if you are already a subscriber, you can find them in the tab above.

What has helped you to stay focused and attain your goals?

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  1. Love this! I completely agree with all your tips! Especially with cultivating our motivation. We definitely need to keep ourself in the mindset of motivation by creating habits that can remind us to keep motivated. You are a beautiful writer Nicole!!

  2. Such wise words here, Nicole. I don’t make resolutions at the beginning of the year, but I do try to set some goals that I focus on through the year. Sometimes they are not much different than the year before, but often if I don’t allow the LORD to lead me in those goals I will set some pretty unrealistic ones.
    And other times, for me, it is the actual goal-setting that makes it possible for me to be motivated to do anything. 🙂

    This year, my goal is to simplify life a little more. Practically, I am starting in my home picking one place to declutter and clean and reorganize so that it isn’t so overwhelming to keep up with. 🙂
    Great post! Thanks for sharing at the #GraceMoments Link up, I am so glad you joined the community.

  3. I find focus is one of my weaknesses. I have sooo many things that I want to do, but I don’t have enough time to get all of them done. This year I got the Brilliant Life Planner and it talks about making 5 areas that you are passionate about and then only using the goals that fit under those passions. it has made goal setting so much easier for me and I feel like I am getting more done.

  4. It was so funny, I went to the tanning bed next to the gym on Jan 2nd. Parking lot was full. It dipped down to 10 overnight and snowed I went to the tanning bed two days later the gym parking lot was empty! People were hibernating! I had to laugh when I saw the desolate parking lot. Staying focused is sometimes harder in the cold!

  5. Accountability is huge! All three things are important, though. I just wrote about something similar-how we keep disappointing ourselves and keep losing our spiritual battles. As long as we go to God through all of these things – we can succeed! He even tells us so in the Bible 🙂 Thank you for this post as another great reminder! Your sister in Christ visiting from Fresh Market Friday!

  6. Focus is my current struggle! I did really well on my goals/new habits for the first few days but woke up really tired and completely unable to focus. Removing distractions works well for me, I always put my phone in a different room when I need to get something done.

  7. Hi, Nicole! Thanks for linking up at #ThoughtProvokingThursday. It was so lovely to “meet you” through your blog today. Your words here are right along the lines of where I am this week with planning and goal setting. I really need a swift kick in the pants to get going with 2017 goals… I am still dragging a bit in 2016. Thanks for nudging me in the right direction.


  8. “What has helped you to stay focused and attain your goals?”

    Thinking about my “why”. Why I it’s important I achieve my goals, why I am setting them in the first place. The more I go back to “why”, the more I stay focussed and on track.

  9. Great message for all of us right now. I’m so excited to be starting a new year with many goals >> mostly with the end result of setting my new blog up for success and nurturing a new and consistent writing routine. Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. Nicole, I’m a big-time list maker too! Lists, lists, everywhere. I’ve even been known to write down something I forgot to add after I already did it just so I can cross it off!
    Glad I stopped by from #ChasingCommunity
    Have a beautifully organized motivated day.

  11. Such a great post to read at the onset of this new year. For me, I know I need to remove distractions so that I stay focused each day. It is easy for me to let non-essentials detract from the essential. Thank you for this much needed reminder. So glad our paths crossed today!

  12. That accountability makes all the difference, doesn’t it? Once someone else is involved it’s hard to hide from your goals. 🙂 Great tips, Nicole. Perfect reminders for this brand new year. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 And, thanks for linking up at the #ChasingCommunity launch! So glad to have you along for the ride! 🙂 Happy New Year.

    1. Motivation can be so hard! But I’m glad you are discovering what will help you with your writing! That’s SO important! 🙂

  13. These are great earmarks for setting resolutions. I have grown to look forward to setting them each year, because I’ve learned how to set a process in place that works for the personality God blessed me with.
    Happy Thursday, from the #livefree Thursday linkup.

    1. Learning and setting a process that works for you can be the hardest but most important part! Thanks, Megs!

  14. Very nice post. From my previous corporate life I´ve learned that my goals have to be SMART. For the first time in my life, I´m setting my blogging goals so I hope I´ll keep my focus and won´t be distracted by anything 🙂

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