Summertime is almost over and we are feeling its effects. With the sunny hot weather comes any excuse to be outdoors: travelling up north to beautiful lakefront cottages, swimming at the neighbor’s pool, bbq’ing at the beach or catching up with friends at the local patio. While these summer activities bring great fun and enjoyment into our lives in the moment, they can act as distractions from the bigger picture, making staying on track with your goals challenging. Whether it is weight loss, financial gains or that goal you had to run that Labour Day marathon, the following is an inside look at the top 5 hidden obstacles that I saw preventing YOU from reaching your most important outcomes this summer.
- Lack of Clarity-There is a very famous saying in the personal development world that says when trying to achieve any goal, it is imperative that you start with the end in mind. As a Performance Coach, I meet people every day who mess this ‘golden rule of goal-setting and getting’ up. When they come through my door with complaints of not being able to achieve some personal or professional result, the first thing I do is get them to describe exactly what they are trying to achieve. Nine times out of ten, they will have trouble specifically defining the outcome they desire, which presents a problem you see because the brain LOVES specifics. Think of it like doing a Google search with a very vague description of what it is you are looking for. Vague description equals vague results.
- Lack of Purpose-As human beings, we don’t do anything without a good reason for doing so. In fact, the whole drive behind human behavior comes from two very simple yet powerful forces: the avoidance of pain and the pursuit of pleasure. That’s right, we won’t get out of bed or off the couch without the motivation of either one or both of these factors and lacking a purpose that states WHY achieving your goal is so important means that you haven’t made the right connections in your brain to warrant significant action.
- Lack of a Roadmap-You wouldn’t go on any road trip without one would you? Failing to map out a plan for how to get to any destination, by car, train, plane or brain, is simply foolish. You will most certainly get lost somewhere along the way. Those who fail to plan are really just planning to fail folks, so when setting out on any journey to personal or professional change, it is CRUCIAL that you set the stage for success by laying out some very clear plans for how you will achieve your goal.
- Lack of Action-Ever heard of ‘analysis-paralysis’? It is quite common that the average person gets stuck somewhere between best intentions and execution. They start out strong, with great intentions to change or improve in some way and they even do the important first stages of planning ahead, getting nice and clear and pumped on what they want to achieve, but then….they fail to implement and execute the plan. All the knowledge in the world doesn’t amount to a single shift or improvement. It is ACTING on that knowledge that produces great results.
- Lack of Support-How many of you out there have tried to achieve something difficult on your own? And how did that work out for you? As a former professional athlete, I learned first-hand how important a factor having a strong support system around me played in my success. Any athlete or high-performer in business and life knows what I am talking about here. It is the most challenging aspect of trying to improve anything we do really; having to push ourselves outside of our comfort-zone each and every day. You see, the brain is fundamentally designed to keep us safe by keeping us in that comfort-zone, which literally translates into running on as few conscious resources as possible. On average, 95% of what we do on a daily basis is run on auto-pilot or what we call a habit. Therefore, having a team of professionals around you whose job it is to push and challenge outside of that comfort-zone is KEY to ensuring you not only have the proper resources and tools to succeed but most importantly, the accountability to ensure you follow through with using them in a consistent and effective way.
Remember to make every performance count!