Are you smart and highly motivated? Are you quite successful but somehow you feel you could achieve more? Are you frustrated because you don’t know how you will ultimately get where you want to be? Here is why you might not utilize your full potential – yet – and how you can turn this around.
As an Executive Coach I work with successful managers who want to achieve even more. A larger part of the coaching journey is spent on identifying the client’s desired outcomes and specific goals. Over time I have identified the four main reasons why even smart, bright, and highly motivated people like you do not achieve their goals.
1. You Don’t Know Your Goals
It is obvious that if you don’t know where you want to go it will be difficult to get there. It reminds me of the picture of the manager on the hamster wheel: no matter how fast he or she spins the wheel, they are not getting anywhere. This may sound amusing, but you’d be surprised how many people seriously struggle with the most important step of setting goals. Recently a man in his fifties called me and said: “financially I am doing well, I could retire if I wanted to. Now I want to know what I want to be when I grow up.”
Unfortunately today’s achievement-oriented society misguides us: we are all supposed to be successful in our careers, earn a lot of money, have a big house with the corresponding car, a happy marriage and intelligent children, exercise regularly, and have deep insights into politics. Oh, I forgot that we also have to look gorgeous like supermodels.
One day you may find yourself running after all these carrots only to figure out they have a very bitter taste.
2. Your Goal is Blur
I guide new coaching clients through a process of identifying their goals. One of the first and perhaps most crucial questions is “what are your expected outcomes of the coaching?”
Among the top answers are: being more successful, improved career, more money, happier relationship.
“Hmmm… How will you know if at the end of the coaching process you got there?” I wonder.
If you have been too long in the corporate world like me, you may have become tired of the acronym S.M.A.R.T. But we simply have to admit that setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals makes it so much easier to achieve them.
3. You Have Conflicting Goals
Conflicting goals exists on various levels. One issue that almost all of my clients deal with is procrastination. Procrastination is related to the conflicting goals of longterm rewards versus instant gratification. Do you get your rewards from accomplishing this one year project or from surfing Facebook and Youtube? Do you derive joy from a 5-times-one-hour-per-week workout or is it more enjoyable to be a couch potato with a bottle of beer after a long working day?
Or you may face conflicts on a higher level. For instance if your goal of being a successful company director consumes so much time that you no more resources left to pursue the goal if being a great husband.
4. You Don’t Seize the Day
Many “success coaches” will ask you where you want to be in three or five years. The problem with that is that it makes people start working hard with the idea of allowing themselves to be happy in three or five years. And on the way of getting there they are very unhappy.
Do you want to be unhappy for the next 3-5 years, not even having the guarantee of finding true happiness then? (Anthony Robbins once said that the happiness of having made his first million dollars didn’t last long.) Being regularly in a state of unhappiness does not support you in achieving your goals
Four “Get Where You Want To Be”-Tips to Achieve Your Goals
1. Know your carrots. Ensure that you have identified what is important to you, what really matters in your life. Do not blindly run after the goals that other people have for you.
2. Be specific about your desired outcomes. What concrete evidence will you have to know you have achieved a goal? How will it look like, taste like, feel like? Paint a picture of your future and see yourself in this picture with contentment.
3. Get clear on your priorities. As my grandmother said: you cannot have everything. How are you going to spent the 24 hours that each of us is given?
4. Keep the great movie Dead Poets Society in mind and carpe diem – seize the day. Maybe you want to adapt one of my goals: to enjoy every single day in my life as much as I can!
Gerrit Pelzer is a Leadership Advisor & Executive Coach who helps leaders create better results through people. If you would like a personal consultation on how you can achieve your goals, please contact him now:
phone: +66-2 107 2025