Is This the Reason Why You’re Not Achieving Your Goals?

One conversation with Danielle LaPorte, and we’re reevaluating everything.

By: Samantha Sutton
Photography: Weston Wells

Before you pick up Danielle Laporte’s new book, know this: you run the risk of having a Kanye West song stuck in your head. At least, that’s what happened to us, once we realized White Hot Truth touched on the world’s weird obsession with self-improvement—and how that might not be such a good thing. While “Stronger” still sums up how our culture approaches success (“Now that that dont kill me, can only make me stronger”), the author and guru definitely disagrees with this idea.

“I’m asking people to question their quest,” she told us, referring to her book. “The conclusion is that the best self-help is self-compassion. I think we’re doing a lot of healthy things to take care of ourselves and be better people, but we might not be doing them for the best reasons. It’s about discernment—why are you seeking?”

Of course, that explanation led to a conversation about the *right* way to make goals—and how to achieve them without feeling stressed and overworked. Danielle’s answers are definitely eye-opening, so if you’re interested, just keep on scrolling.


First, you’re going about your goals the wrong way:

“I don’t necessarily think you have to keep on track to achieve your goals. You have to have the right goals—a lot of us have goals that aren’t connected to our hearts, to our soul, and that’s problematic. We’re pushing and enduring and forcing ourselves to meet goals that don’t even fit who we really are. That’s when you end up burned out and divorced and all the things you don’t want to be. First, I think it’s about creating what I call goals with soul, that are connected to how you want to feel. Then you go about achieving those goals in ways that feel good. And if you change your mind, you change your mind. God is not keeping score. It’s your life, and that’s part of being creative—midcourse corrections, all the time.”

There’s a key to staying motivated:

“Doing what feels good is great motivation. I don’t do things that I don’t want to do. I mean what I say—when I say yes, I mean yes; when I say no, I mean no. It feels good to be of service. I just really want to be useful, and that’s how I stay motivated.”


Combat overworking with self-respect: 

“The more you respect yourself and treat yourself kindly—get enough sleep, go out of your way to eat clean, hang out with people where there’s lots of mutual adoration and inappropriate laughs—it just creates more grace and more ease. You’re programming your nervous system for ease, and it’s kind of miraculous. There are fewer urgent things to take care of, and things seem to get done because you’re creating fluidity instead of the grind. No grinding. Words I don’t say anymore in relationship to my work? There’s no grinding, there’s no cranking, there’s no pushing, there’s no deadlines. I now replace that whole overworked vocabulary with ease, finish lines, good times, and ‘Is this fun?’ If it’s not fun, don’t do it. Enthusiasm is fuel for sure.”

What to do if you’re not enjoying the path that you’re on:

“Stop. Stop, stop, stop it. Why would you keep going? Do something new, make a change. Just have the courage to go for fulfillment. What’s the option—misery or joy? Your choice. I don’t have any advice. I’m just pointing out your options [laughs].”


Know that money really *isn’t* everything:

“There are dozens of people in your own life who’ve taken the risk for joy and there has been financial payoff. Or there hasn’t been financial payoff, but they still got the joy. Your values will shift when it’s about fulfillment, and I’m all for having it all. You can be creative and free and be prosperous. Your money or your life?”

Expect some naysayers—and then ignore them:

“Here’s the thing that nobody talks about in terms of self-love and self-respect: you’re going to piss some people off. In the whole self-help space, there’s so much messaging about harmony and balance, but when you respect yourself, you’re actual going to create a lot of imbalances in your life. Some people aren’t going to be down with you doing things your own way for yourself. Just expect that there’s going to be resistance, and the payoff is you love yourself at the end of the day.”