Achieving goals isn’t always easy. If it were, no one would really need to set them. They’d just come naturally.
When you set a goal, you provide yourself something to work towards. It gives us a boost of that much-needed confidence each time we see one through. But many of us are guilty of failing to meet each goal we set for ourselves, and there’s often a reason. The most common include:
- Lack of self-belief. Lack of self-belief is the silent killer. It’s that inner voice that tells you, “I’m not sure I can do that.” Understand that the language you use feeds upon your beliefs. If you approach situations saying, “I can’t, I don’t know how, I don’t think I can, I’ve tried that already, etc.,” you actually drive wedges in your progress. These wedges eventually grow so big that they create impasses. Work toward getting rid of these types of words and phrases from your vocabulary.
- Circle of influence. We all have a circle of influence coming from our family, friends, and colleagues. Most of the time, it’s a positive force that supports us in our endeavors. On occasion, however, negative energy seeps in and can limit our growth toward a goal. Those who tell you that something isn’t possible or that you’re wasting your time will inevitably impede your progress. Take what they say lightly and don’t let it deter you from achieving what’s rightfully yours.
- Time. It would be wonderful if we could set a goal and see it come to fruition in a matter of days. But that’s not always possible. In fact, it’s a rarity. Goals can take a great deal of time to achieve, and expecting things to move faster than possible becomes discouraging. That’s why it’s so important to be realistic when setting a timeframe for your goals. It can also be beneficial to set milestones along the way, so you can celebrate your progress toward a long-term objective.
- Distractions. We live in a world filled with distractions. They range from social media to television programs to people. Giving way to interruptions during times you’ve set aside to work on a goal really gets in the way of its progress. If it’s on your schedule, stick to it. Otherwise, you’ll get in the habit of letting distractions fill your day as opposed to actions that lead to achieving a goal.
- Procrastination. It’s easy to tell yourself that now’s not the right time to get started on a goal. The same can be said for not having the resources. Excuse after excuse leads to no action. Once you’ve set a date to start working toward a goal, pull everything together so there’s no excuse to put it off for another day. Make procrastination not an option.
- No tracking of progress. Tracking your progress toward a goal is just as important as the activities necessary to reach it. If you don’t track your progress, you essentially show the mind that what you’re doing isn’t important. It also doesn’t allow you to change course when necessary, given there are no measurements to look at. Note your progress to keep you on task and allow you to make adjustments as needed.
- Lack of consistency and intention. Using the start-stop mentality is just like turning a light switch on and off. Perhaps you’re on for a few days and then off for another few, but these gaps will eventually widen until that switch remains off. Try to be as consistent as possible with your activities around reaching your goals.
- Lack of discipline. Discipline isn’t a characteristic; it’s a learned practice, and it connects to your habits. If you have no discipline, your habits will show it. Try visualizing the long-term rewards of a particular goal to help you forgo temptations and ignore distractions that inevitably pepper the path along the way.
- No burning desire. Like Les Brown says, “You must be HUNGRY.” You may have a desire for something, but it’s not a raging fire of DESIRE. Take on the attitude of, “I will persist UNTIL.” This mantra isn’t in the framework of those who lack a burning desire. If you don’t possess a burning desire, you accept excuses. Priorities aren’t defined and thus the internal fire goes out.
By understanding what can get in the way of us achieving our goals, we’re better able to avoid them. We can put processes in place to overcome these obstacles and even squash them altogether before they can rear their ugly heads. Setting a goal is just the first step in achieving it; the second is doing everything in your power to remove any resistance.