Reaching your goals isn’t easy as you may already know. Mistakes are part of your life, but you must be more careful and learn from them.

As we set our goals in life, we have to plot out a course to reach them. We work hard in school in hopes of getting into the educational programs that we need, and then we work hard there in pursuit of the best jobs. Once we land a good job, we spend the remainder of our working days trying to make the most of the opportunities that come along the way.

In that process, there is a mix of things that are within our control and things that are outside our control. Some people make the mistake of letting the latter overtake the former; that is, they let outside forces impede their ability to reach their goals. Others make choices that undermine their own success. Their self-destructive actions are the biggest roadblock to their success.

Either situation is destructive, and they both involve choices. When you catch bad breaks, you have the choice of letting them derail you permanently or letting them be learning experiences that you push through, becoming a better person.

When you make mistakes, you’ve chosen to do the wrong things, and you’ve paid a price. But you still have the opportunity to gather yourself and move forward, if you choose that instead of letting the mistakes defeat you.

There are several areas where you make mistakes that may be keeping you from reaching your goals. Let’s look at some common ones:

Reckless Behavior

In a country where addiction rates are high, many people find themselves caught up in a destructive lifestyle in which vices of some type take priority over their life’s goals. It could be because these behaviors offer immediate gratification, as opposed to the years-long process of career and personal success. It could also be a simple matter of lack of self-discipline.

Whatever the reason, many people let alcohol, drugs, gambling, and other addictions take over their lives and keep them from exercising the good habits they need to reach their goals.

A good way to avoid these problems is never to indulge in the first place, of course. Drug abuse is illegal, and excessive alcohol consumption can lead to drunk driving charges or public intoxication violations.

But even when the behavior remains legal, it can be problematic if done to excess. This is when it’s important to have family and friends to hold you accountable and make sure you don’t get carried away with social drinking or the occasional hand of poker.

Lack of Discipline

Many people find themselves let go from good jobs over a simple thing like punctuality. Enough violations of your employer’s policies on the start time and end time can land you in the unemployment line.

If you are a chronically late person, you should address this issue immediately. Do whatever tricks it takes to succeed. If you hit the snooze button too much, get a specialized clock that requires more effort and increases your chances of staying up after the first alarm.

The same goes for workplace requirements. Get reports done on time. Follow procedures. Force yourself to be compliant with rules, and if you don’t like rules, work your way up the ladder so that you can be the one to change them. Use your weaknesses against themselves!

Wrong Career Paths

A big part of being capable of reaching your goals and succeeding on the job is your level of enthusiasm for what you do. If you don’t like interacting with people, don’t get a job in retail. If you hate crunching numbers, don’t get into an office setting. Introverts should work with things and ideas, and extroverts should work with people.

That’s not to say you can’t succeed in a job that doesn’t seem like a good fit for you. You can learn a lot about who you are in such a position, for one thing, but you can also demonstrate the ability to provide good work for your employer despite your lack of enthusiasm.

But ultimately, the goal should be to get into work that really means something to you, and once you do that, you’re no longer working. You’ve got a career.

In the meantime, avoid these mistakes and increase your chances of reaching your goals and being successful in whatever you do.

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