A Goal is generally defined as the final objective of a person's effort; an aim or desired result. Businessdictionary.com defines it as “An observable and measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more or less fixed timeframe”.
Unless we are aimless creatures wandering about on this earth, all of us have goals. Some spell it out clearly, some write it down, a few plan it comprehensively and others carry it around in their head without crystallizing them.
Keep visiting this blog for more articles and insights about goals. In my nascent years as a life coach, which draws upon tools and techniques from psychology, neuroscience and counselling, the primary aim has been to help people identify and achieve personal goals. Business or Executive Coaching is no different, except that it more often than not, deals with professional goals – individually or as a team. In either case, I have realized how important it is for everyone to know the major pitfalls that arrest a person’s progress.
Given the requisite self-efficacy and persistence, the things I have listed below still have the ability to arrest your progress. Be aware and avoid these pitfalls. If you ever find yourself stuck at some point, come back and refer to this list.
“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up” - Babe Ruth
You either give up mid-way or you settle for less! Perhaps you are playing small and think its ok. Perhaps you think a lot and don’t act as much as you need to. Perhaps you are waiting for something to happen, after which you will start again. Perhaps you have found other people or events to blame. Perhaps you are just too tired.
Sit down in a quiet place all by yourself and re-connect with your innermost desires. What made you set this goal initially? If you knew you just cannot fail, what would you do? How was this particular goal linked to your vision of the future? How important was it in the overall scheme of things? Restore your vision and recognize this goal as the key to your success.
“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps” - Confucius
A goal is an endeavour to go from a place you are to a place you have never been. Since you have never been there, how would you know what it takes to get there? It is quite possible that you have underestimated the effort or resources you need or have set yourself a target that is more difficult than you thought it would be. Always over-commit your resources and set aside some time and energy for extra effort. At every stage of your journey towards your goal, review and re-assess. From your new position in the journey if you feel that there are obvious reasons why the current path will not work, re-draw your path. Determine afresh what steps you need to take from your present point to the goal. Ask people for suggestions when you feel lost. You don’t have to accept all the suggestions you receive – but hear them out with an open mind. Don’t argue with them to prove why their suggestion will not work – it is your goal, not theirs. For every minute you spend talking about your problem, spend thirty minutes brainstorming possible solutions.
“Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder” - Mason Cooley
If you never wish to make your progress more difficult than it actually is, never procrastinate. Never put things off till tomorrow. This is one deadly habit that has a heavy toll on success and achievement. Go for it now! To achieve your dream, every single step is as important as every other step. A delay in one inevitably leads to a delay in the other. Procrastination means waiting till the moment becomes so painful that you are forced to act. It is similar to people who refuse to adopt proper dietary habits or incorporate basic exercise into their daily routine until such time that their health takes a toll. Don’t wait till it gets worse or sometimes too late. Commit yourself to stick to your plan on time every time. Do not wait to strike when the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking!
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” - Albert Einstein If something isn’t working out the way it should, try something different. Repetitively doing what did not give results is not going to change the outcome. Step outside your own world. Give up the tendency to focus exclusively on a single or limited objective or view – that’s tunnel vision. Open up and let yourself explore new avenues, know more people, expand your network, get new perspectives, open up to new ideas, try new things, extend your horizons, increase your efficiency, enhance your speed, read new books, take fresh active steps. To change the result, change what you have been doing all along. Constantly endeavour to improve yourself – a little better every day.
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light” - Aristotle Onassis
Face your fears! You are probably doing quite a few things for the first time. You have never been this far before. Getting apprehensive or intimidated will hold you back. Avoidance will only draw you further away from the results you seek. Distractions will divert you from your goals. Prove to the universe just how serious you are about getting what you want. Do not over-complicate situations. Do not look far ahead into the future – just focus on the very next step that you have to take with nothing else on your retina. It is when distractions and fears darken the environment that you must focus on the spark of light!
I am always eager to hear from you and I am sure you will achieve all that you have set out to do! Carpe Diem!
The author, Rajesh Seshadri, is an internationally recognized Certified Leadership Coach, Certified Success Coach and Certified Life Coach. He is also a NLP Master Practitioner, facilitator and therapist. The basket of therapies is holistic and integrative adopting techniques from Psychotherapy, NLP, Silva, Gestalt, Hypnosis and Silva UltraMind. Additionally, he is a seasoned corporate professional who continues to serve as a whole-time Director and Board Member. You can contact him here.