Blocks to Сhange. What obstacles do you need to consider when setting a goals?
Last week we started discussing very important topic – obstacles to change and went through some of them – possible goals conflict, lack of motivation, ambivalence and laps. Why is it important to recognise what block may impede your progress and obstacle that prevent your personal growth? When a goal is set hopefully you feel committed to get into action and raring to go. You have a clear vision and feel super determined. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and sometimes, even though we have a very clear and specific goal, we still feel there’s something missing or perhaps that something is just not right. Sounds familiar?
Here are other blocks why we don’t achieve what we want, despite our best intentions and efforts.
Good old procrastination. To procrastinate is to put things off till tomorrow or next Monday even though your better judgement tells you have to do it today. By the way, how are your New Year’s resolutions doing?
According to the first ever in-depth report examining why and how we procrastinate, Britons spend nearly four hours every day delaying tasks they know they should be doing. The study, published by the lending company RateSetter and based on a YouGov survey of 2,000 adults, revealed that we spend, on average, 218 minutes procrastinating every day, which amounts to 55 days of lost time each year.
Here’s a cheeky 3 step model you can adapt to help you get out of procrastination circle:
- Write down what you need / want / have to do that you have been putting off.
- Write down the first step or few steps you will make to do what you need / want / have to do.
- Write down what obstacles you may come across with and what will you do about it.
The one and only solution to tackle procrastination is action. You just have to do it. Full stop.
You are too tired, stressed or overwhelmed. Or perhaps you have negative and highly demotivating self-talk (‘I’m a total loser’/ ‘It’s not going to work for me so why even bother’), lack of support or time both socially and work wise, resources are stretched, lack of certain skills, etc.
Possible solutions may include reviewing your time management, using relaxation technique such as Benson Relaxation, meditation, asking for help and support, practicing being kind to yourself to counteract negative self-talk, improving your skills via training, mentoring or coaching, etc.
Lack of feedback, communication or evidence. You feel like you are kept in the dark or not being listened to. This is especially relevant for work related goals. Possible solutions may include asking for feedback or evidence support, and making sure your goal is measurable so you can track success rate (i.e. go through your KPIs with your boss and write them down, this way you are both on the same page). Transparency is key and lack of it causes communication breakdown.
Last but not the least. You ‘Inner Critic’ is on full blast telling you ‘You are going to fail again so there is no point to waste your time again. Everyone would think you are a big loser. Blah-blah-blah.’
Rule number one – you hold the volume button. Rule number two – turn you ‘Inner Critic’ right down and start challenging those self-doubting beliefs, that’s rule number three. Limits exist only in your head. No one can upset you without your consent.
Have you ever noticed that if you think you’ll have a bad day in the morning, the whole day goes wrong? We tend to get what we focus on. If you fear failure or stress about stress before there’s even any stress to stress about, you focus all your attention on failure or stress and that’s exactly what you will get. So don’t get surprised afterwards.
Use TIC / TOC technique that is used on cognitive coaching. Your negative self-talk is like this trojan horse virus that is hard to stop and it’s highly destructive. TIC/TOC is an antivirus for your brain so keep it switched on 24/7. Here’s how it works:
- TIC stand for ‘task interfering cognition’ – your self-nagging & negative thoughts related to a particular task. Write them all down in one column.
2. TOC stands for ‘task oriented cognition’ – helpful, rational and functional thoughts that you will develop to challenge your TICs.
3. You should challenge your TICs via 4 ways that are most effective:
* Reality – Is it real? Where is the evidence that everyone will think I am a looser?
* Logic – Is it logical? Even if I failed once at a task, how does it logically make me a total loser? Happens to the best of us.
* Pragmatism – Is it helpful? OK, even if I am right, how does it help me to achieve my goal?
* Third party perspective – If I was a fly on the wall and witnessed the whole process, would I agree with me? What would I say to my best friend? Am I ready to take my own advice?
- Now challenge your TICs and write down helpful, rational, realistic TOCs in the column next to it.
- Keep on practicing it whether in writing or just in your head. It is very powerful stuff.
If you still think your self-nagging is overwhelming and you just can’t deal with it yourself, look for help. Cognitive behavioural coaching would be a very powerful and helpful option to consider here.
If you said yes to any of the above, this can be your block to change. Pause and think, what is the first step you can do now to overcome this challenge and move closer to your goal?
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me direct – firstname.lastname@example.org
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