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  • Olga Roman

3 Reasons Why You Don’t Do What You Want and How to Change It

Photo by Rosalind Chang on Unsplash

Deep down, you know what you need to change to make your life better.

Maybe you want to exercise consistently.

Maybe you yearn to get back to the hobby you used to enjoy.

Or maybe you dream of opening your own business.

Despite knowing what you want and promising yourself multiple times that you will start doing it, you don’t take any steps towards your goals.

You continue thinking about possible changes in your life, but your dreams never turn into reality.

Why is it so hard to do what you want to do, even if you feel so passionate about it?

You don’t have enough time

Many people complain that they are too busy. They feel overwhelmed with work, family commitments, and social life.

When they finally get some free time, they want to veg out on the couch, watching TV or mindlessly scrolling social media.

You might feel that your plate is full, and adding more stuff to your busy life is impossible.

You never seem to have enough time in your schedule to do what you want to do.

However, it’s not about having time. It’s about making time.

You need to take responsibility for finding time instead of finding another excuse.

“If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”


You don’t need to look for big chunks of free time in your daily schedule to do what you want to do.

Just find 15 minutes.

Even if you commit 15 minutes a day to your goal, you will be surprised to find out how much you can accomplish in one month.

Self-reflections questions:

  • What do you do before your work, during lunch breaks, after your work, and on the weekends?

  • When can you spend at least 15 minutes on working towards your goal?

  • What stops you from making a 15 minute a day commitment to your dream?

You struggle with distractions and instant gratification

You’ve managed to find some time in your busy schedule. However, instead of working on your dream project, you find yourself distracted by checking emails or social media, surfing the web, craving for food, or doing some minor errands.

Many people struggle with the urges to give in to desires for easy and immediate pleasures.

If you always give in to your impulses, it can lead to poor habits and keep you from achieving your long-term aspirations.

If you always suppress your desires, it can result in resentment and dissatisfaction.

You want to find the balance between instant gratification and long-term satisfaction from staying on track with your goals, personal growth, and self-improvement.

Balance does not mean that you focus on your goals all the time and ignore all short-term pleasures. Those pleasures could be an essential part of your life, and you won’t feel fulfilled if all your short-term desires are restricted continuously.

Your goal is to improve your ability to choose how you want to respond to your impulses. It’s perfectly fine if you decide to give in to your impulses once in a while, as long as you do not follow every urge.

Making conscious choices instead of just trying to gratify your immediate wants will help you make better decisions and stay more focused.

Self-reflection questions:

  • How often do you experience urges to check email or social media, cravings for foods when you are not hungry, impulses to find distractions?

  • How do you generally respond to these impulses?

  • How would you like to manage your urges?

You are afraid

Fear is usually caused by a belief that something will cause you pain, and it’s dangerous.

You might be afraid of failure, uncertainty, discomfort, commitment, or disappointment.

Some people can also experience the fear of success.

Some fears seem to be rational and justified by your prior life experiences or trauma; others seem irrational and strange.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

As a result of fear, people may find themselves avoiding changes that could benefit them in the long run.

The first step is to recognize and create awareness of your fear. Fear is an emotional response caused by your thoughts and beliefs.

As you pay more attention to your emotions and the stories you tell yourself, you will gradually be able to identify the underlying reasons for your fear.

Developing an understanding of what you’re afraid of goes a long way toward accepting and releasing that fear.

If you are afraid to do something because it seems scary or complicated, take small steps towards your goals. Slowly building familiarity with a frightening subject makes it more manageable.

Self-reflections questions:

  • What are you afraid of?

  • What thoughts and beliefs are causing your fear?

  • What’s the worst that could happen if you act despite your fear?

Start bridging that gap

It’s always easy to find an excuse for not doing what you intend.

However, living a life of endless excuses will not get you to the place where you want to be.

Instead of coming up with another excuse, commit to finding at least 15 minutes a day to improve your life.

Make the conscious choice to control your urges and not get distracted during those 15 minutes.

Take small steps towards your goal even when you are afraid.

Remember that you have the choice every day to start bridging that gap between where you are now and where you want to be.


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