The reason you’re not achieving your goals is not because of the semantics of the word you use to describe them (goal, milestone, result, outcome, etc).

It’s because you’re not doing what it takes, and not creating the structures sufficient to your resistance to doing what it takes to move you forward.

I’ve seen a video that’s getting a lot of airtime, and people love it, because it’s giving them another “reason” to explain why goals/results/outcomes are hard to achieve.

“Oh, I’ve been calling a ‘result’ a ‘goal’ this whole time. That’s why I’m not achieving it.”

Nope. Sorry. That’s not why.

Now, I love any work in this world that moves people closer to the life of their dreams. 100%. And a distinction about the definition you’re using can be powerful.

But, we’re missing the point.

The distinction is powerful because of what you do with it, not just what you understand with it (using it to “get” why you’re not in action isn’t the same as getting into action, which is what will move you forward). Awareness, or insight, without action, is merely interesting. It doesn’t, on its own, change anything.

Look, maybe you really “just can’t” get up early to work out/write your book/do yoga/enjoy a relaxing cup of coffee. But I don’t buy it: if you had a flight to catch, you’d be up and at ’em. Because the destination (needing to be at a board meeting for work, or a white sand beach for pleasure) compels you into the required action. That, or the price you paid for your ticket was enough structure to have you listen to your alarm.

Here’s where semantics matter: It’s not that you CAN’T. It’s that you WON’T or HAVEN’T. It’s that you have chosen doing something else (that’s what “not doing” is) over the doing of what it would take to move you closer to what you desire.

I know this because I’m a human, choosing to do some things over doing other things, too. I know this because I’ve spent thousands of hours working with people to create visions of what they want, maps for how to get there, and structures sufficient to their resistance to taking the required action, while dismantling the stories and beliefs that hold them stuck where they are.

Call it what you will; a goal, a result, a milestone, or a dream, a wish, an outcome, or whatever you want. But finding another reason to explain why you’re not doing it (“oh, I’ve been calling my desired result a ‘goal’ all this time; no wonder I haven’t done it!”) isn’t moving you closer to change.

The video also says not to celebrate results, because you can’t control them. I say life is short: celebrate every damn thing you want to. Milestones, actions, results, birthdays, friend-iversaries, getting up when your alarm goes off, flossing, eating veggies: celebrate all of it. Because that’s life.