Hopefully by now you have written a specific goal, chosen a measurement tool, and created a plan of action. If not, I encourage you to go back and read the first three parts of this blog series (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).
Below is the final step in the goal setting process, along with a few roadblocks to be aware of on your journey.
Step 5: Commit and believe.
I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, “I’ve got to see it to believe it”? Well, with regard to goal setting, it works in reverse. In other words, when setting a goal you must adopt a motto of “I’ve got to believe it to see it”. Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can, you will. If you think you can’t, you won’t.” While this seems like such a trivial statement, he is referring to the tremendous power of belief. Remember, our beliefs (lenses) determine our actions. If you believe that your goal is possible, then your actions will follow suit.
My favorite definition for the word commitment is to do what you said you would do, long after the feeling you had when you said it is gone. You may feel ecstatic and full of confidence when you finish steps 1-4, but after a week or two, this confidence may turn to doubt or fear. Instead of lettings these feelings prevent you from achieving your goal, honor your word and move beyond these temporary feelings.
Beware of GPS roadblocks
While our GPS provides us with the opportunity to establish vision and direction with regard to our goals, there are still going to be roadblocks along the way. The good news is that each of these roadblocks is temporary and can easily be overcome with proper awareness.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common roadblocks.
Whether it’s fear of failure, rejection, unmet expectations, or embarrassment, the presence of fear itself can have a debilitating effect on us. As is the case with worry, most of our fears are only imagined. In fact, some would say that FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. For example, if I have a belief such as “I can’t do this”, what do you think my subsequent actions are going to be? That’s right, probably no action at all. Fear often freezes you for this very reason.
Perhaps you have a fear of goal setting in general because every time you have tried in the past, you have failed. Your belief might sound something like this – I’m a failure. Obviously this limiting belief has a huge impact on what you are able to accomplish. What if I asked you to completely change your belief to the following – Because I’m failing, I’m achieving. “Wait a minute,” you’re probably saying. “Failure is a bad thing.” Is it? Thomas Edison failed to create a functional light bulb well over 1,000 times. Instead of succumbing to the traditional belief that failure is bad, he simply saw his failures as taking him one step closer to success. If you change your beliefs, your actions change. Why not choose an empowering belief? It doesn’t cost you a dime.
#2 – Lack of confidence or belief
When we lack confidence, we tend to be bombarded with what Dr. Daniel Amen, author of the best-selling book Making a Good Brain Great, calls ANTs or Automatic Negative Thoughts. As a result of these ANTs, our confidence levels plummet and a goal that once seemed reachable is now impossible. What happened? The goal itself didn’t change. The only thing that changed was the belief about the goal. If your confidence is low, rather than waiting for it to return, go back to your action plan in Part 3 and your goal will once more seem achievable.
#3 – Procrastination
The following phrase is synonymous with the art of procrastination. I’ll get to it SOMEDAY, NOT NOW, MAYBE LATER. Remember Step 2 of the goal setting process? I asked you to choose a deadline for your goal. This deadline was designed to help you plan your action and break it into subsequent parts. If you are a procrastinator, you may disregard your action plan and wait to accomplish your goal days before the deadline. Ever happen to you? While it certainly creates a lot of free time between the time you established the goal and its deadline, those two or three days can prove to be some of the most stressful of your life. Is it worth it?
Remember, these roadblocks are only temporary. They will only derail your journey if you allow them to. I believe in you and wish you luck with regard to your goal. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.