7 Obstacles to achieving your Goals with Solutions for overcoming them
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.” — Henry Ford.
What prevents us from meeting our Goals
Let us look at some reasons for not being able to achieve our goals as well as the solutions for working around the same
1. We would have heard this saying often that if we fail to plan, we plan to fail, which applies to Goals too.
· Knowing exactly what you want to achieve and by when. Having a clear vision of what you want to achieve and by when is the first thing required for planning. This may sound obvious but unless you know exactly what you want, how can you think of achieving the same?
· Writing down your goal. This is one technique which differentiates the people who succeed and the people who fail. We are constantly reminded of how important it is to write down our goals with target dates, but very few of us do it. According to research we are 95% more likely to achieve our goals, if it is written down and declared.
· Breaking down into bite size chunks. The only way we can become big is to think big. So, if you have really big goals then it is great. However, we may need to break it down into smaller intermediate goals to make it easier for us to believe that it’s possible.
· Having an action plan. It will help you to organize yourself, and the goals to be accomplished on a short, medium and long term basis. Scheduling the tasks to be accomplished in a Planner (software or a diary), on daily, weekly and monthly basis, will help you to take it out of your mind and list them on paper to be struck of when completed.
· Start taking Action on the Plan
2. The second reason for not accomplishing our Goal is being unrealistic and becoming over confident about our Goals/ Subject/ Project/ Task/ Skills/ Knowledge. It is likely that we underestimate the time required to complete, as we may not have planned for obstacles or hurdles we may face, or scheduled for other priorities and commitments that we have already made before deciding on the Goal
·Setting realistic goals. Set realistic goals taking into consideration all other priorities in your life, and commitments you have already made and estimating the time required for completing each one of the tasks.
· Planning for the unknowns and uncertainties. Another important step that can be taken is carefully planning for the unknowns and uncertainties. List down all the what ifs that is bothering you, including backup plans for all those little “what ifs” to make your plan fool proof and fail proof.
3. The next show stopper is being bogged down by negative thoughts which are known as the internal barriers. They include our personal fears, motivation, self-esteem, and paradigms, including the thoughts that we have about our goals, success, and ourselves, that keep us away from being successful. For example, my Goal to write a book would have gone into cold storage, if I was to be swayed by negative thoughts like,” What if I am unable to write properly, what if readers don’t like it? Aren’t these fundamentals not already written somewhere or other” and so on. This is the case with many of us who give in to the negative thoughts and quit.
a) Staying positive at all times. Ultimately the only person who can stop you from achieving your goals is YOU. Fear and self-doubt are common enemies which are created only in our minds. Staying positive and focusing to achieve our goal will help us to beat this invisible internal enemy.
b) You must also make sure that you are concentrating on what you really want, and not what you don’t want.
c) Read motivational books and listen to inspiring talks to get self-motivated
4. Another barrier for fulfilling our Goals are being surrounded by naysayers, or dream stealers who may demotivate, criticize, discourage or ridicule us. They will ask questions about future unknowns and give suggestions to do this, instead of that. It may be worthwhile to note that Ford remained committed to his Goal and tirelessly pursued his dream even when he was discouraged on his fledgling idea of a motorcar. Although his first attempt resulted in a vehicle without reverse gear, Ford knew he could make it happen. And, of course, he did.
a) Be passionate about your goal. You’re far more likely to achieve your goal if it excites you. Think about all the benefits to you once you have achieved your goal. Imagine how you would feel and how your life would be different once you realize your goals.
b) It is wiser to realize that, if we start listening to them, we are bound to fail, as they are going to plant seeds of self-doubt in us. The best way is to stay away from them as soon as we realize this.
5. Another reason for not achieving our goals is facing unexpected external barriers. External barriers include barriers such as money, time, other people’s reactions, resources, and results. We are not in direct control of them. So we’re unsure of dealing with them. We become discouraged and start making excuses, and we allow ourselves to back off from our original plan. While this is a human and natural tendency, it’s not conducive to success.
a) Even though, these can affect us as well as how we work, we can still plan around them, by thinking out of the box. Ask yourself, why you need to accomplish this goal. Having a strong why will help you to get back on track and try for other possibilities and avenues.
b) Start believing that you will be able to overcome: If you try and achieve a goal that you don’t truly believe in, your subconscious mind will not allow you to achieve it. You’ll only succeed in tearing yourself up inside. As Napoleon Hill said, “Whatever the mind of a man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”
c) Remind yourself constantly of the goal: The more you repeat it to your subconscious mind, the more it will be programmed in. There are a variety of techniques you can use including repeating affirmations about having succeeded in accomplishing your goal.
d) You can start displaying written Goals everywhere so that you are reminded of it constantly, like keeping it on your desk, a copy in your pockets, flashing it on your screen, such that the subconscious can pick up and universe will conspire to help you achieve it.
e) Practice these techniques with even your small, short-term goals. It feels great to know that when a brick wall appears in your path, you have the perfect solution for getting around it and getting back on the road to achievement!
6. Another Self-defeating Obstacle for not achieving a Goal is when the goal is thrust on us, and we have no desire or willingness to do it, or when we feel that we are incapable of carrying it out or when we find ourselves procrastinating and not doing it.
a) Unless ownership is taken and interest is shown to accomplish the goal, it becomes a nonstarter.
b) Start owning and acting on it. Once you start small, you will start getting the motivation to complete it.
c) Commit to working on it for at least 25 minutes. Then take a break and come back to it later. This is known as the Pomodoro technique developed by Francisco Cirillo. According to this you work for 25-minutes, take a break of 5 minutes, and continue again like this for the duration set aside for the task . This will also help us to focus and carry out our high priority jobs.
d) Work on your goal first thing in the morning to get it done and over with.
e) Ask a friend or a well-wisher to be your Accountability Partner and ask him to call you every day to remind you to spend a little time on your goal.
f) Reward yourself along the way. Every time you have some success make sure you reward yourself. It will help keep the desire and enthusiasm burning. It will also tell your subconscious mind you’re achieving your goals.
g) However, all this will work only if you have decided to work on yourself to accomplish the goal.
7. Finally, we fail to hit our Goal when we have no control on the happenings. Few examples like the death of a near one, an accident, natural calamities such as earthquakes, pandemics, floods, or storm could come in the way of our reaching our goal.
Remember that the only way you will fail is if you give up. So rely on Providence to help you sail through.
These are all Obstacles that keep us from realizing our life dreams and our Goals. By planning for them, we can greatly improve our chances of succeeding and experiencing the power of being unstoppable.
“Let not hardships break your will,
Are they not pebbles on your route uphill?
Be upbeat and upgrade your skills,
Breakthrough isn’t far, if you don’t quit. “
For more on setting Goals , overcoming Procrastination and other tips to succeed from first hand experience, refer book authored by me “Skyrocket To New Heights” and available at https://geni.us/Of6VS
Follow me on https://gitaramachandran.com/