Wednesday 28 January 2015

What's stopping you

So here's the thing - you've stated your SMART goal and used the well formed outcome process, you understand why its important, you often feel the pain of not having achieved it, you've identified incentives for milestones along the way but you're still not motivated to move towards your goal.

So what might be going on? Why the lack of motivation? 

Here's a list from personal experience (either my own, from personal or business clients or friends and family): 

Whilst the rest of list are all contributory factors it is our values (ie what is important to us) that determine what we are and are not motivated to do. 

For example a value of safety may restrict actions that might, to your unconscious anyway, undermine that security. So goals for adventurous holidays, or setting yourself up in business, or moving house may go unactioned until the value of security has been met or it's impact reduced.
More on values on Friday & Saturday. 

Being overly negative certainly isn't going to help us achieve our goals.  See 'my prescription for positivity' blog with links to other blogs - including one on keeping away from miserable mackerels. 
Other conflicting goals getting in the way
A common reason at work and one that requires conversations with others to assist in prioritising our goals and day to day to-do's. 

Remember just because people keep giving you more to do doesn't mean you can't say "no" or "enough".

So easy for adrenaline to be on "go go go" and for us not to notice we can't stop and take time to reflect, regroup and redirect our efforts. See my 'we love the challenge but is it good for you' blog for more on this.

If the thought of being away from your phone or emails for more than a few hours horrifies you then I'd suggest you might fit in this camp. My 'don't go cold turkey this Christmas' blog looked at all those 'smaller' addictions we might have that are negatively impacting our lives. Also see well being below.

Negative or unhelpful beliefs
Beliefs are such a huge area I'm going to dedicate next weeks blogs to exploring beliefs and the impact they can have.
For now just notice what beliefs you have about your ability to achieve the goal, or the worthwhileness of achieving it or even    whether you think you deserve the outcome. All factors that can seriously get in the way of us taking the necessary action to achieve our goals.

Fear is so closely linked to beliefs I'm going to cover it next week.

If you think fear might be what's stopping you just notice what beliefs you have that are linked to the fear. 

Well being
Water/ food/ exercise/ sleep/ connection/ meaning are all aspects to well being that often get forgotten and yet are hugely important on a daily basis for finding the energy, concentration and motivation we need.

If you need further evidence of their impact Arianna Huffington's book Thrive covers much on this topic.

The solutions whilst obvious are so often over looked.

It's not always age or just how things are that are contributing to a depressed energy and lethargy. I can't tell you how much more motivated I became once I realised my hormones needed a little support (herbal for me not HRT).

Unsupportive physical environment 
I hadn't realised how my desk chair was putting me off sitting at my desk at home until I bought a new one. (Don't also forget the ergonomics of your desk either - desk/ chair/ mouse/ footrest/ screen/ heating/ light are all factors).

Clutter and unhelpful visuals can also have a huge impact.

After all the unconscious is never asleep and is always picking up things from all around you - ie is it seeing things that metaphorically say "don't bother" or "lets do this".

Why not take a few moments to look around your normal work environment - what might your unconscious be picking up? What words do you notice and are they supportive or not? What about visuals (removing that dead plant from your desk might just make a difference)? Is it cluttered or tidy (for some seeing clutter just won't help them tidy their mind to keep to one task at a time). You get the picture.

Smell can also be very helpful or otherwise - I use a oil burner in my office at home and use uplifting oils (rosemary or bergamot are good for getting things done).   

Unsupportive emotional environment
It's often useful to have a cheerleader to support you in your goals - it's no use spending time with the "no wayers". You need to find some "horrayers" :-).

Bullying - from self or others
Action isn't necessarily going to come if you've had to convince yourself you do want the goal because you think you ought, should or must do it or if someone told you to. 

Goals aren't going to happen unless you really want them to - especially if it requires lots of time and energy.

Secondary gains
As I mentioned yesterday the positive things you're getting from not moving towards the goal do need to be addressed ie what is staying where you are giving you that you would lose if you achieved your goal. We're looking to find the positive by products of staying as you are. Once you've identified what these by products are you can decide whether they're worth keeping or ditching.

Hopefully one of the suggestions above might have triggered something for you about why the goal has yet to be achieved. Therefore enabling you to take the necessary action so that the goal is realised.

I would love any further suggestions on what can stop us achieving our goals. What's stopped you in the past and what did you to do to release its hold.

For the next couple of days I'm exploring the impact values has on achieving our goals.

Alison Smith
Inspiring change inside and out - when what you're doing isn't working

The coaching and facilitation I offer is specifically aimed at identifying what it holding you or your team back from achieving your objectives. The Frameworks for change coaching process identifies a number of potential setbacks as shown below:

More here on the type of coaching I offer, and more specifically when someone else might be the more ideal coach for you. Call me +44 (0)7770 538159 or email

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