Why some people don’t set goals

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Setting goals and making great effort to achieve those goals can be meaningful, worthwhile, and satisfying. Your goal may be a financial one, a professional one, a personal development, or a familial one, setting goals and achieving them allow you to experience meaningful growth and greater happiness in life. Those who set goals and work diligently to achieve those set goals are abler to take control of their lives and solve their problems. The mere idea of achieving goals is the desire to solve problems in order to enhance the quality of your life. 

And while setting goals and achieving them can be so rewarding and enjoyable, why do some people act contrarily?​

Low self-confidence

When you believe you can achieve something, and you desire that thing, then you believe it is worth trying to achieve it. However, when you don’t believe you can achieve that thing, you won’t even make an effort to achieve it. Positive belief in your ability to accomplish set goals will inspire great actions. Negative beliefs, however, will inspire no action. People who set goals and strive to accomplish those goals actually believe that those goals can be accomplished by them. The belief in their ability then gives rise to the action.​

People who believe that having certain visions are merely pipe dreams will not set goals consistent with such visions because they believe those visions cannot come true, and by extension their set goals cannot be achieved. It is easier for such people to think that it is a waste of their time and energy to set out to accomplish ‘fantasies’ which would result in nothing more than making them worse off.​

For example, Peter and Mario were raised from a poor background. Peter grew up lacking self-confidence and didn’t set meaningful financial goals because he had a poverty mentality. He didn’t think he had control over his unfortunate circumstances. Mario, on the other hand, grew up with lots of confidence in his ability, believing he could change his circumstances and experience the great wealth he so intensely desired. Mario set financial goals and strived to accomplish those goals, while Peter became interested in other activities and did nothing about his unfortunate circumstance. ​

Societal orientation

The orientation of the people in your society can affect the way you perceive life in general. People who are raised in highly professional environment tend to reason like professionals, while people raised in dysfunctional societies, tend to reason dysfunctionally. Other people’s mentality can be highly infectious if you stay around them long enough; which is why the people you spend conversational time with can influence how you see life. ​

If you are surrounded by people who don’t set goals, and who do not understand the need to do so, you may begin to reason like them and not set goals. If you are raised in a society that is solely concerned about living the flamboyant life, and shows disinterest in producing meaningful technology or maximizing their brain power, chances are you may begin to reason and behave like them. Most people raised in a corrupt neighborhood often become corrupt, and those who are raised to set meaningful goals often set goals. ​


Whether indolence is a natural trait for some people or a cultivated habit is a discussion for another time, but indolence can deter some people from setting meaningful goals. Indolence is the case when you are disinterested in achieving meaningful goals, or working altogether. You may have a great vision, and even desire to turn that vision into reality. You may even plan to set a goal that will lead to the realization of this dream. But sheer indolence can make you procrastinate, thereby resulting in your not getting round to making significant effort to achieve that goal.