a) Got a detailed understanding of what their goal actually is, and,
b) Achieved the same goal that they’re trying to reach.
Maybe so, and I’m not here to negate that.
I actually don’t think people need guidance on the actual steps they need to take to reach their goals– those tend to be fairly self-explanatory. I think that what most people need is tips on how to overcome the inevitable barriers they’ll face while taking their steps. That’s the tricky part.
So the question becomes, “How do I achieve my goal when [blank] is in my way?”
Interesting! And while it may still seem broad, I was actually able to narrow down the number of “[blank]” possibilities into four buckets. That means that, if I haven’t missed anything, there are only four barriers that can get in the way of any one of us achieving our goals. WOW! That is not a lot at all – chances of achieving your goal are already looking favorable!
So what are these four barrier buckets, and how do we tackle them?
Below are just a few examples of how a person or group of people in your life can end up as goal achievement barriers.
“I can’t do this without X.”
“I’m going to miss X.”
“X won’t be supportive.”
“I afraid of what X will say.”
Now you’ll notice I used two different colours. The green font represents how YOU are making people a barrier and the red font represents how THEY are being a barrier. This difference is important to distinguish.
My first advice – based on personal experience – is if you’re feeling a lot of the red examples (or similar), forget that person/people and eliminate the barrier altogether. These kinds of comments are indicating that this is not the kind of person/people you need in your life. But just remember there is a difference between being unsupportive and not-liking the idea – make sure you’re reading the other person correctly. You don’t have to like something to be supportive.
Now for those of you who are feeling more green examples (or similar), this can be difficult. You obviously care about this person or these people and your goal is going to affect them in some way. But based on the fact that you’re using this type of language (even if only in your brain), I’d suspect you have a great relationship with them. So my advice: sit down with them, tell them about your goal, be prepared for lots of questions and tell them you want to come up with a plan together.
Make them a part of the entire planning and goal setting process. The more they are a part of it, the less they will be a barrier to your achievement. Instead, they will just be an important aspect to consider a long the way. Remember, they don’t have to like the idea, but if it is very important to you and you are very important to them, then they will support it.
Oh yes – the green stuff! Of coarse this is a barrier. People want to travel, start their own business, move across the globe, or buy a fancy car but, uh oh! They don’t have the money. I can’t sit here and tell you how to make a fortune – if I could, I’d be a millionaire myself! But I can reassure you by telling you that this is probably the easiest barrier to overcome. Unlike the other ones, money as a barrier is pretty straightforward because the fix is simple…get more. And, truth be told, if you want it badly enough you’ll be willing to sacrifice some other things in order to help you save faster and budget better to reach your goal. Consider hiring an Accountant, using budgeting software or, if you’re a risk taker, investing. There are ways around this one, but it may take a time…oh look at that, nice segue into the next barrier!
This barrier is, unfortunately, not one you can ‘eliminate’. But we can change how we choose to view it and how we prepare for it. For this barrier, all you can do is choose to stop stressing over it (since it can’t be changed) and develop a clear plan to stay on target before time ‘runs out’. Let’s say you’re trying to shed 5lbs before your high school reunion but you’ve only got four weeks. Step 1: Stop complaining and worrying that you only have four weeks (it’s unproductive). Step 2: Devise a four-week training schedule and diet plan, and then get moving!
Perhaps one of the most common barriers is the barrier of our own minds. By this I mean, that little voice in your head that says one of, if not all of these sorts of things:
“You can’t do it.”
“It’s too scary.”
“It’s too hard.”
“What if you fail?”
Notice a trend? They pretty much all boil down to fear. And fear is one of the toughest barriers to overcome.
Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut way to combat the mind. But, unlike people and time, your mind is completely controllable – remember that! Here are a few tips and tricks on how to combat your mind barrier:
- Visualization: Whether to music or during your own quiet time, visualize yourself succeeding as often as possible. Visualization is an extremely powerful tool that should not be under-estimated.
- Reflection: Spend some time remembering yourself achieving something in the past. Remember that feel you had when you worked so hard for something and then made it real! You can do that again!
- Affirmations: Practice reciting affirmations to yourself regularly to help boost your self-confidence. Again, there is so much power behind affirmations…do not under-estimate them!
- Inspirational Quotes & Stories: To give yourself a motivational boost and remind yourself that if others can, you can too, read inspirational stories and quotes.
There are many other methods you can use to combat your mind barriers, but one thing I strongly suggest is finding peace in, “What’s the worst that could happen?”
Take this as an example: I moved from Toronto to St. Lucia by myself. It was a goal of mine to move here, find a job and be successful, but it was terrifying. What if I didn’t succeed? After much thought and consideration I asked myself, what’s the worst that could happen? And I eventually found peace in my potential failure. Who cares if I didn’t succeed? I’d move back home and have an awesome story to tell for it. The same went for competing in my first ever bodybuilding competition. I finally figured, who cares if I placed last? I would still have achieved something amazing and have a rockin’ body to show for it (thankfully I placed 2nd!)
Goals allow us to expand and grow as individuals. They are the first step towards experiencing something amazing, something exhilarating and something potentially life-changing. You know what you have to do to reach your goal, now use these tools to help you combat the inevitable barriers that are coming your way.
I can’t guarantee you it’s going to be easy, but I can guarantee you that you’re going to experience one of the highest levels of satisfaction you’ll ever encounter once you set a goal, bust through it’s barriers and achieve it.
Inspirational Quotes Of The Day
"Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination." - Fitzhugh Dodson
More quotes here.