There are several things that can cause someone to fail at achieving their goals or to not even try. But there is one thing that will kill any chance of success before you even get started.
That is: not believing you can actually achieve the goal in the first place.
So often we have dreams for our lives that we want to achieve but at the same time we don’t think they will ever happen. We want these goals but we have doubts about our ability to achieve them.
For example, you might have the goal to be debt free by age 40. But every year you seem to end up in the same place financially so you don’t believe this goal is possible for you.
Or you may set the goal of losing a certain amount of weight but don’t think you could actual maintain that healthy lifestyle that would allow you to lose that weight.
It’s like Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
One of our biggest obstacles in achieving our goals is not thinking we can do it. Once we allow ourselves to doubt our ability, we are automatically limiting our success.
If you don’t think something is possible for you, it is very hard to put your all into achieving it. When we lack confidence in our ability to do something, we don’t put our all into it. We don’t tell other people about our goal so they won’t know if we fail.
When we don’t think our goal is achievable, we make excuses for ourselves for why we can’t or won’t be able to achieve it.
Too often we concentrate on past failures as evidence of our inability to do something instead of just part of the journey. We think that our lack of success was due to our inability instead of looking at changing the method or plan to achieve the goal.
When we set goals, it is so important to go into the process of achieving that goal with the correct mindset. If you want to be a winner you need to believe you already are one. You have to believe in your abilities to reach the goal, to learn what you need to know, and to make it happen. Only then will you be able to wholeheartedly launch into achieving that goal.
Below are some things you can do to put yourself into the goal achiever’s mindset.
Related Post: How to Set Smart Goals and Achieve Them
How to Achieve a Goal Successfully
Create a Success List
Take 5-10 minutes to brainstorm all of your achievements in life. These can be big things or little things. Anything that took effort and you are proud of doing. This can include things like:
Birthed a baby
Lost 20 lbs
Earned my Masters Degree
Ran a 5k
Got the whole house clean before company arrived
Said no to a cupcake
Made a speech in front of a group of people
List everything you can think of that you are proud of. This is your evidence. It is proof of your ability to do hard things. Your ability to do things you didn’t always know you could do. There was a time when you didn’t know if you would be able to do these things and now you know you can.
Keep this list available to you on your phone, in your planner or in a notebook. When you doubt your ability to achieve a goal, whip out this list and really look at it. This is concrete proof that you have done hard things and achieved hard things and you can do this hard thing too.
See Failures as Lessons
If you see failures as the end of the road, you will never achieve anything. Everything is trial and error. Life is trial and error. All those people who did great things failed a lot of times first. They just failed before anyone knew about them so no one talks about it.
When your first attempt at goal achievement doesn’t succeed, this is not evidence that you cannot achieve that goal. It is just evidence that you cannot achieve the goal in that exact way.
Take the time to really look at your process. What worked and what didn’t. If you were to try again (and you should try again) what should you keep and what should you do differently.
Goal achievers are flexible. They are willing to adapt when something doesn’t work. They create a plan only as a way to find direction, but as they learn and do, they change the plan based on the new information.
Plan for the Hard Parts
When you have a goal your brain tends to automatically focus on the hard parts; the things that may go wrong. You think about all the things you can’t do yet and think that this will never work.
Why do you think so many success stories start out with people who were naive as to how difficult it would be? Because if they knew all the hard parts, their brains would convince them to give up.
Now you may not be naive to the difficulties of your goal, but you can still fight back against your brain. Instead of letting the hard parts scare you, plan for them.
If your goal is to lose some weight and you know you do well eating healthy at home but are afraid about going out with friends, plan ahead. When you make plans for dinner, pick the restaurant, look at the menu and plan ahead what you will eat and drink so that you can stay healthy and the temptation of a burger and fries won’t be so distracting when you get there.
If you are trying to start a business and don’t know all of the nuances of how to do it, think about people you can ask or places where you can research the answers to your questions. If there is something you don’t know how to do find people or resources to help.
If you have plans for how you will overcome the hard or scary parts, you won’t allow your brain to trick you into believing you can’t do it.
What big goal do you want to achieve in 2019? Let me know in the comments.