4 Reasons Goals Aren't Met (and what to do about it)

April 12, 2010
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Last month we examined the “5 Steps to Reaching Your Goals.” This month, we’ll dig into four of the obstacles you’ll face in trying to achieve your goals, and discover how to overcome them.

While there may well be that “Well of course!” moment after you’ve successfully traversed these obstacles, ironically it’s while they sit firmly in your path that they are most difficult to recognize.

Reason No. 1: I Can't

In the movie “The Edge,” Anthony Hopkins’ deep-thinking billionaire insists that a deflated Alec Baldwin repeat, in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, “What one man can do, another can do!” over and over until he realized that, indeed, he could do it.

If you believe you can, you will. If you don’t you won’t. Take the phrase “I can’t” out of your vocabulary. Many people have been programmed from a very early age with an “I can’t” program. “You can’t do this, you can’t do that…” We must defeat the negative talk with the positive, “I can, and I will!”

Reason No. 2: Circumstances

Another convenient way of cheating ourselves out of success is blaming our woes on circumstances. There is way too much of this going on. People making excuses because of some event or some other person.

I have two words to rebut this stinkin’ thinkin’: Helen Keller. Helen Keller was deaf, dumb and blind, but managed to become a best-selling author and an American legend. She didn’t let her circumstances keep her from having a positive impact on the world.

Difficult circumstances can create success opportunities that could never be realized otherwise. None of us like the thought of “rejoicing in our tribulations,” but trials build patience and character.

Reason No. 3: People

The people who influence your life can encourage or discourage. Where do you get your worldview from? Are those that are most influential in your life helping or hurting?

Stay away from negative people that bring you down. If you have to be around them, rebuff their negativity with positive affirmations. Throw out the newspaper and pick up some inspirational materials.

Get yourself a good mentor. Everyone needs a mentor, someone who can see you and what you are doing from the outside rather than the inside. Someone who can encourage you.

If you have to be around people who are negative, don’t try to change them unless they want your help. Instead, take the position that you refuse to be changed by them if they don’t have your best interest at heart. Do not respond or try to convince them; just smile in your heart because you know what you can do.

Keep in mind that the reason some who are close to you do not want you to be successful is not because they are bad people or because they hate you. It’s because they know that if you are successful, they will have to perform. They will have to come out of their comfort zone. They have the “fear of success.”

The fear of success is the same as the fear of failure. You see, to be successful, you have to fail.

On the climb to success, you have the Success Zone on top, the Comfort Zone in the middle, and the Failure Zone at rock bottom. No one wants to fail but, if you play to win, you will fail at some things. But failure is not a person, it’s an event. But it’s an event that does not have to be repeated.

Reason No. 4: No Goals

Simply put, not having goals will decrease your chances for success in business. You must set goals for yourself and your business. End of story.

A final note: the word “growth” gets thrown about a lot, usually as a benchmark to success. Fine, but growth doesn’t always have to mean increasing your income or adding trucks. It could mean setting a goal to charge more and work less. Some goals have to do with growing in depth, not just size.

If you have employees, be sure to set goals for them as well. You may want to have sales goals, production goals, re-service goals, etc., but it’s vitally important that you establish goals for everyone involved in your company. Next month, we’ll look at how to do just that.

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