When it comes to achieving the things you want in life and in your career, there are a number of factors that can have a huge impact on whether you succeed or not.

If you’ve been trying to start a new venture and you’re struggling to make progress, whether that’s changing careers, starting an online business, losing weight, or anything else for that matter, you may have fallen into one or more of these common pitfalls.

1. Spending time with the wrong people

The number one action you can take that will greatly increase your chances of success at anything is to start spending time with the right people. As said by the motivational speaker Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with” So it’s important to choose wisely.

Your current circle of friends, while great, may not always have the ambitions, experiences, or answers you need to help you move forward in the new direction you want to go in, so it’s important to actively build new relationships with those who have similar goals or who have achieved the things that you would like to achieve.

Unfortunately, we’re also surrounded by negativity and the bigger your ambitions are the more naysayers you’ll encounter, so it’s critical to seek out positive people who will encourage and support you on your ventures regardless of how audacious your goals might be.

2. Failing to plan and set goals

Benjamin Franklin once said, “To fail to plan is to plan to fail,” yet many of us miss this all-important step in so many aspects of our lives.

Spending time planning will greatly increase your chances of success.

Putting in the time upfront to plan and set goals means you’ll be clear on exactly where you are now, and what needs to happen in order to get to where you want to go.

Planning and goal setting are critical activities that keep us focused and on track. It also ensures that we reach our desired destination and achieve our desired outcomes faster because we’re more likely to focus on the right things instead of busying ourselves with unimportant tasks.

Planning ahead will give you the opportunity to identify potential obstacles and notice where you’re likely to need additional resources or support so you can factor them in early on.

3. Not regularly checking in

Often, we get started on projects only to find that other things have taken over and that we’ve veered off course. Checking in on a regular basis, reviewing the goals, and tracking your progress is the best way to make sure this doesn’t happen. If you do go off course, you’ll catch yourself early before you wind up in a mess of confusion and frustration over lost time.

4. Not being clear on WHY


In his famous TED Talk, Simon Sinek spoke about great leaders inspiring action by starting with the question “why?”

Whatever your new venture, whether you’re starting a business, trying to lose a few pounds, or writing a book, you need to be clear on why you’re doing it.

Getting clear on why something is important to you from the outset means you’ll be more deeply connected to it and when things do inevitably get tough, you’re more likely to stick with it.

Ask yourself why is this important? Why now? and what will success mean to you?

Getting crystal clear on this can be the anchor that keeps you motivated long-term.

5. Not being true to yourself ( lack of authenticity)

We’re constantly surrounded and bombarded by other people’s thoughts and opinions and it can be hard to separate what we really think and want from what we think we should think and want.

While asking yourself why you want something it’s important to really be honest with yourself.

Just because something is the next big thing, it doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Just because you’ll earn more money doing something, it doesn’t mean that it’s the right career path for you.

Ultimately, if what you do doesn’t align with who you really are, you will always feel incongruent with the actions you need to take in order to make it a success. And that alone will make it harder for you to succeed because you’ll question yourself at every turn.