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Many of us make New Year’s resolutions. But before you set new goals for yourself, you may want to take a moment to look backwards to see what has stopped you from achieving previous goals. Here are 10 things that may be getting in your way:
FEAR: Fear often scares us out of pursuing goals — fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, and in some cases, fear of success (which is fear of change). Avoid too much psychology and go for what you want. Failure is never that bad, and success is only better.
EVALUATION: Sometimes we lose focus on the work and stop too soon to evaluate ourselves. You’re always going to find some kind of shortcoming or flaw with yourself. Fortunately, you don’t have to be perfect in order to be excellent. Just do the work, and let the end result be your evaluation.
COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS: It’s tempting to evaluate yourself based on what your peers are achieving. You can always find someone more successful. Your path toward success is unique to you. So keep your eyes to yourself.
TAKING ON TOO MUCH RESPONSIBILITY: Many people spread themselves thin and get frustrated that they can’t excel at anything. Anyone can do a million things at once. You’re better off with fewer commitments and more focus.
POOR TIME MANAGEMENT: Time can be your friend or enemy. Set aside sacred, uninterruptable time devoted to achieving your goal. Learn when your best hours are (morning, late night, etc.) and set your daily agenda accordingly.
INDECISIVENESS: The more time you spend trying to decide what to do, the more time you spend doing nothing. Make a choice, go with it, and don’t look back. Every positive action will lead to a positive result. You can always make adjustments later.
SETTING UNREALISTIC GOALS: Sometimes we set goals that are so unreasonably high we set ourselves up for frustration. If that happens one too many times, we give up altogether. So be realistic. At the same time, remember that most of us can achieve a bit more than we think possible. So shoot a little bit higher than what feels realistic. Talk to positive people in your life to hear their thoughts. Often people who know and believe in us can better assess what we can achieve.
HANGING AROUND NEGATIVE PEOPLE: Do your peers encourage you or discourage you? Does having them in your life focus you or distract you? Keep yourself surrounded with people who help you move onward and upward, rather than hold you back.
IMPATIENCE: In an age of overnight millionaires and high speed Internet access, it’s easy to expect immediate results. Don’t give up if you aren’t getting the payoff you want as soon as you want it. Anything worthwhile is worth waiting for.
PROCRASTINATION: The reason why tomorrow is never more convenient than today is that by the time it arrives, it IS today. If you can do it now, do it. Don’t wait.
For tips on how to set yourself up for success, check out the Jump Start Leadership Workbooks or The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.
To read more motivation, check the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
Scott Greenberg, Speaker, Author, Leadership Consultant
Providing motivation, team building and leadership training for groups and individuals looking for optimum performance.