Goal Setting For Fun And Profit – Part 2
Do you set goals with the best intentions and then find, after a few months, that you are no nearer achieving them than when you set them! If so, you might take a step back from the goal-setting process and ask yourself what is holding you back.
There are two essential steps to setting effective goals – first, understand what you really want to achieve, and then see what can hold you back from achieving it. The previous article (Goal Setting For Fun And Profit) described the first step – how to go about finding what you really want. This article follows up with how to find and avoid the roadblocks that can stop your progress.
If you followed the first step, you now have a set of goals that are in alignment with your purpose.
What Is Your Purpose?
For a long time I found myself stuck at this point. In case you’re in the same boat, let me explain what I found out – there is nothing magical about discovering your purpose. If you went through the first exercise, you will recognize that it’s really just a fancy way of saying what you really want when you strip away all the feelings about what you believe you “should” want.
If you’re still not clear about this, go back and work some more on the first exercise (in the previous article). You are most likely still looking at what others expect from you rather than what you would like for yourself. Be honest with yourself, and dig deep – there is no right or wrong answer here, just what works best for you.
Now, finally, you are ready to tackle the second part – getting results. You have created a set of goals that fit your own true desires, but you still find some (or all) of them are not working well for you. You’re stuck.
This is the point at which you need to uncover the limiting beliefs that are holding you back. Once again, be completely honest with yourself. These are beliefs that have served you well in the past, because they have protected you from harm, but now they are preventing you from moving forward.
I have found this to be the most challenging aspect of goals. It’s the point when I know I have the “right” goal for me, but somehow I’m just not getting anywhere with it. Somewhere in my subconscious there is a limiting belief that is stopping me from moving forward on this goal.
Before I ran my first half marathon I didn’t really believe I could ever do it. The longest run I had done before was 10K – 6.2 miles, and now I was getting ready to run more than twice that distance. I did it by setting a series of small, achievable goals, adding 10% per week to my long run and alternating easy days with speedwork for the other runs.
Did I meet all my intermediate goals? No – sometimes I just didn’t feel up to that 10% increase. But, since I had a deadline to meet (race day), I left a little lagniappe in the schedule to allow for the fact that my progress would be uneven.
Most of all, I stayed focused on the goal and mentally pictured myself finishing the race and anticipated the feeling of achievement at the end. You’ll see it when you believe it!
The bad news about this is that until you can get past a limiting belief, you will never make consistent progress towards your goal. I had to really believe that it was possible for me to complete that half marathon, especially on those days when my running was really pathetic!
The good news is that once you can get past it, the sky’s the limit! You are NOT procrastinating because you are lazy; there is nothing wrong with you and everybody has this same experience – you’re just stuck because of a program your subconscious mind is running for you. It may help you to know that even the most successful people face this problem at times – none of us knows what we are capable of until we achieve it.
There are several tricks you can use to discover and overcome these limiting beliefs. You see, they were mostly created due to experiences you had in the first five or ten years of your life, when you were setting the patterns that defined you. Recognize that what served a ten-year-old no longer serves you: your needs and wants are totally different.
In this short article, I have only touched on how to overcome limiting beliefs. It’s a big subject, and represents the biggest stumbling block most people hit when working on the goals they really want to achieve. You took the first step when you got the right goals set: now take the second step and nothing can stop you!
This article was originally published in Ezine Articles.