Nothing breaks my heart more than hearing about your goals, dreams and ambitions, just to find out later that you’ve had some setbacks and you haven’t moved the needle towards achieving your goals. If you’re struggling to achieve your goals, whether personal or professional, there could be some reasons behind why its taking you longer to gain momentum.
- The goals weren’t yours to begin with – perhaps someone else set the goals for you, likely a boss/supervisor, a spouse or family member, or a well-intentioned friend. If you don’t have buy-in from yourself on the goal, chances are you are delaying achievement because, well, you have better and more fun things to do.
- You didn’t schedule time to achieve them. Life gets in the way, I get it. A lot of goals must take the backseat to other priorities and before you know it, months and years have passed and the goal is still just a distant dream.
- Goal was too audacious, big and hairy. The Big Hairy Audacious Goal was termed by Jim Collins in his best-seller, “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies“, and perhaps your goal was SO big and hairy, you weren’t sure where to start! The term “bit off more than you can chew” could be used here to describe your BHAG.
- Set the wrong goals! Believe me, I’m the first person to tell you that whatever you set your mind to, you will achieve. But in all honesty, if that were the case, I’d probably still be on my quest to fulfill my childhood dream of being GM of the Calgary Flames Hockey Club (PS. I’ve never played a minute of hockey in my life, I just thought it would be fun to be the boss of idols like Al MacInnis, Joe Nieuwendyk and Lanny McDonald). Now, I’m much older (and wiser?) and have set goals that speak to my strengths, versus unrealistic pipe dreams. Matching your strengths and passions to your goals can help ensure both success and happiness in pursuit of your goals.
- Set too many goals – ah yes, all you overachievers! You’re my favourite peeps because you have so many great plans ahead of you! Problem is, there aren’t enough hours in the day to tend to your goals, your health, your sleep, your family commitments and friendships. If only each day had 50 hours in it, then you and I would be in better positions to achieve everything we want to achieve.
- No support system – sometimes the path to a goal is a lonely one, especially if you have some BHAG that no one thinks are achievable. This can demotivate you and create frustration really quickly when there is no one who has your back.
How to get back on the right track:
- Set time aside and be intentional – putting time aside in your calendar to tackle your goals (and sticking to your calendar!) will help you move the needle and put you closer to your goal, guaranteed!
- Break it down – Take that BHAG and break it down into smaller, digestible chunks. Especially now, in the age of bite-sized bits of information, and our days being broken up into 5-10 minute increments for each task, breaking your goal down into smaller chunks will help you achieve each small chunk on your way to achieving the whole ball of wax.
- Focus on a few goals at a time – trying to make headway on too many goals may have you spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere on any one goal. Instead, put some goals on the back-burner for the next few months, until you have a handle on the more pressing or desirable goals for right now.
- Define your strengths, lead with your passion – take a look at the goals you want to set, and coupled with your strengths you can now set a plan in motion. Instead of leading with what you don’t know or can’t do, trust in what you do know, and can do with your strengths to learn the rest.
- You’re not alone – you may think you’re all alone in your world when you’re struggling to achieve your goals, but you’re truly not. Look for communities of people that have similar goals and find support from others. Are you a budding female entrepreneur? Check out one of the support groups I belong to over at the Female Entrepreneur Association. Not a budding female entrepreneur? Check out Facebook or LinkedIn for communities, or hey, DROP ME A LINE! I love hearing about others goals’ journeys and I want to provide encouragement!