Your Goal… What’s Holding You Back?

When it’s time to knuckle down and focus on what needs to be achieved, we tend to either overrate or take lightly, our effectiveness in defining exactly what our specific mission and subsequent goals/objectives are. In many respects, we grossly overestimate our ability to define our goals, but equally, underestimate our ability to lose focus on actually executing these goals. Do we conclude based on this that we are good “talkers” but terrible “doers”…or being plain old “lazy”?

In many cases, yes…we do love to hear ourselves talk a lot more than we actually love executing…once we’ve finished talking that is. This said, I’d suggest that something else is also at play here, which absolutely paralyzes the Business Owner/CEO’s brain in defining and executing on his/her business objectives.

So what is this “something else” that could well be at play here? FEAR…fear of actually being able to articulate what needs to be achieve and fear of having to physically execute and achieve every aspect that makes up the goal. In many respects, the business owner becomes infatuated with the euphoric picture he/she creates in their mind and stays with that picture as opposed to being able to gear into “execution mode” after the dream has ended.

At this stage, the overall goal is somewhat abandoned with the notion of reality (i.e. the hard work that needs to be placed into achieving the goal) which leads to the objective either being superficially executed or not being executed at all leading to a lot of discussion and very little…If any execution.

Let’s start with defining the Business owner’s goal/objective. Being only focussed on the goal mentally because of the euphoric benefits the completion of the goal/objective might bring, is where the challenge starts to surface. People “fall in love” with the notion of what this might bring and stop at this point.

Let’s say the business owner managed to get over the mental euphoria in and was able to define what needed to be achieved. At this stage, the amount of work that has to be done in achieve this goal becomes overwhelming. Before we know it, we start to procrastinate due to the once “exiting goal” being brought down to reality and the bubble being burst.

The issue here is not always a case of being lazy, but in many cases, the fear and subsequent paralysis that is generated by the overwhelming feeling of getting started with achieving/executing the goal. This state unfortunately leaves a goal that is not actioned upon.

The key to overcoming this state of non-action, is to simplify and in certain respects, present practical yet rewarding milestones to the ones brain. In doing so, the objectives that make up the overall goal is seen as actionable and not overwhelming which now leads to action.

Convincing oneself that the goal and related objectives are very practical and achievable, moves the business owner into a state of conscientious action, not because of stress but because of being “juiced up” and seeing a real fruits of success in achieving the goal.

In summary, if you are finding yourself not executing at the level you want to be executing at, or just plainly not being able to achieve those critical business goals, don’t start off by labeling yourself lazy, but stay the course and follow these 4 steps:

  1. Enjoy the notion of achieving your goal mentally i.e. grab a drink and dream a little!
  2. Grab a piece of paper and divide it into 4 columns.
    • Label Column 1 as Actions: Write down all the actions that you must take in order to achieve your goal.
    • Label Column 2 as Obstacles: Next to each of actions you wrote down in the Actions Column, list any obstacle (s) if applicable, that might get in your way of achieving these actions.
    • Label Column 3 as Solutions: Next to each perceived obstacle, write down your solution to this obstacle and with a red pen, cross out the obstacle. This is where you release the stress chains around your brain and start to allow yourself to move into action i.e. start to rationalize your fears created about your perceived obstacles.
  3. After the Solution exercise is completed, change the Solutions Column label to Plan of action i.e. an activity that needs to be completed. Break down these activities from the highest level e.g. a month, down to a week, down to what activity needs to be done each day and watch the magic begin!
  4. Go back and enjoying another drink and reward yourself for breaking this all down and giving your brain a break for a change!