Are You Your Own Problem?
I promised you truth and authenticity. Here it goes. When you miss the mark on your goals, don’t get caught up in the “it wasn’t me” trap. Yes, there are going to be external factors that get in the way, but more often than not, the goal blockers start with you.
What’s a Goal Blocker Nicole?
Goal blockers are our habits, mindsets or defeating behaviors that get in the way of achieving our goals.
At one point of another, we’re all impacted by a goal blocker. That’s normal and expected. The trouble starts when you don’t have a plan for attacking the goal blocker and they start piling up. Goal blockers tend to collect momentum and can really get in the way of you being your best you.
Habits are fixed ways of doing things. They are actions, thoughts or behaviors that we repeat. They are pretty hard to give up because our brains create them as automatic short-cuts to save energy.
Habits can be good or bad. The good ones (brushing our teeth, exercising, being good at time management) keep you productive and on track. The bad ones (procrastination, eating junk food, micro-managing) can really get in the way.
Bad habits are goal blockers and breaking them take hard work and practice.
Here are some of the bad habits and goal blockers my clients have struggled with:
Negative Self-Talk– every time you question your ability, say you can’t do something, or predict your failure, you’re throwing a goal blocker in your way. The way you talk in your head about yourself can impact your ability to reach your goal. Being negative and being your own worst critic creates self-doubt and can lead to a self-fulfilling prophesy about failure. Watch your self-talk.
Procrastination-purposely putting off doing something that will help you make progress even though you know it will set you back is a goal blocker. Edward Young, a 17th century poet said that “procrastination is the thief of time.” How much time are you stealing from yourself by procrastinating on your important projects?
Shiny New Object Syndrome-there will always be a cool new gadget, awesome app, or interesting opportunity waiting in the wings to distract you. Giving in to every new object is a goal blocker. It’s easy to fall into the trap that something else is going to be the thing that
Fear-fear can be healthy if you use it wisely. Find the courage to push past your fear. Acknowledge it and invite it to leave so you can get on with reaching your goal. Try to work through whatever is stopping you.
Perfectionism-done is better than none. Setting high standards is one thing but waiting for perfect will keep you stranded. Let go of the illusion of being perfect-you’ll never be happy otherwise.
Over-Complicating Things–learn to keep it simple. We can complicate the heck out of things and then wonder why they don’t work out. Break things down into small steps and take it slow.
I Already Tried-Jack Hayes has a great quote, “success is on the same road as failure; success is just a little further down the road.” If you tried something before, but failed, evaluate what went wrong and come up with a strategy for handling it this time.
Breaking a Habit
There are different techniques and considerations for breaking habits. There is no single answer for changing habits.
It depends on your experiences, how willing and committed you are to making change and how deeply rooted the habit is—among others.
A few things to try:
- Build on a good habit. If you already have a habit that’s working for you, try to attach the new “desired” behavior to it. For me, I was great at giving my son his vitamins, but kept forgetting to take mine. Now when he gets his vitamins, I take mine.
- Try to break the habit loop. Chares Duhigg in is awesome book “The Power of a Habit” teaches about the habit loop: A cue or the trigger that starts an automatic response followed by the routine or behavior in response to the cue, that leads to the reward for doing the routine. If you can switch up or break the loop by changing one these things, it can lead to a new, healthier habit.
- Give it time. Most people think that you should be able to start a new habit in 21 days, but it can take up to 63 days for a new habit to be formed if you are consistent. Don’t give up too soon!
- Give it attention. The more you think about a new habit and give it attention, the more your brain gets used to it.
Remember, habits form because our brains are lazy and try to automate and create routines to conserve energy.
In order to change a habit, it takes positive feedback, attention to the habit and repetition.
Looking to make changes? Don’t do it alone. Request a Discovery Session to see how we can work together.