One thing that is inevitable when it comes to goals is obstacles. We all experience them at one time or another. Overcoming obstacles is the key if we want to see our goals through to the finish.
What are some of the typical obstacles when it comes to goal setting? First there’s fear. We suddenly get a chill when we think about starting our own business or training to run a marathon.
Next, there’s procrastination. Everybody knows what that is.
Remember Wimpey’s favorite saying in the Popeye cartoon? “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” You put off what you could do today because there is always tomorrow. Unfortunately, you know that tomorrow never comes if you are a procrastinator.
Don’t forget to add the dying ember syndrome to the list of obstacles in the way of reaching your goals. You just lose interest in the goal. It could be because you have changed your mind about its worth or because too may nay-sayers have finally taken their toll.
Lastly, there is negative self-talk. You may not even realize that you are doing it. Every time you look at the goal sheet or visual boards, your mind conjures up thoughts of failure, doom and gloom, and crowds of people saying, “I told you so.”
Now that we’ve identified a few of the obstacles, let’s go back and look at how to overcome each of them.
1. First is the fear factor. Not the reality show, but our own reality. Fear can initially get you going because you don’t want to fail, but it won’t keep us going.
Courage has been defined by many as pushing forward in spite of fear. Post huge signs with COURAGE written on them all over the house and at work. Soon, the fear will disappear and courage will be met by a growing determination to reach your goal.
2. Procrastination requires effort to overcome. Enlist the aid of family members and trusted friends who will keep you honest but not rag on you if you slip up along the way. Support lets a goal setter know that good people are behind them through it all.
3. What do you do when the thrill is gone? Diagnose the problem. Is it that you have truly lost interest or is someone pushing you towards that end?
Sometimes we do lose interest, but don’t give up on the entire goal. Maybe a new direction on the same goal is in order. If you had decided to pursue a law degree to combat crime, consider teaching instead of going into the courtroom.
4. Negative self-talk deserves to be squashed. It requires effort on our part to notice when we are thinking in this way and to say out loud, if necessary, a positive thought to counter it. Write positive responses down on a piece of paper if you have to.
Overcoming obstacles to your goals is not easy, but well worth it when you reach the goal. As you work to combat failure, you also learn a thing or two about yourself and your resiliency.