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The #1 thing hindering you from accomplishing your goals

July 16, 20205 min read

The #1 thing hindering you from accomplishing your goals

Do you know what the #1 thing is that’s hindering you from accomplishing your goals?

I would tell you right now, except that it’s different for everyone. We all have our unique achilles heel, because we have different personalities and different backgrounds. That’s the bad news. But the good news is that you can find out what your biggest hindrances are to achieving what you set out to achieve. More good news is also that there are hindrances fairly common to a lot of us {and yes, I’ll be listing them in this post :)}

For you, it could be lack of clarity, distractions, too much TV watching, friends who discourage you or just a lack of planning. But until you know and become aware of your hindrances, you’ll keep making the same mistakes over and over again, and get no closer to your goals.

I’ve found a tool that is very helpful to working out how to optimise my goal progress, and how to eliminate those time-suckers, energy drainers and stumbling blocks that get in the way. It’s a very simple tool and you can start using it yourself today.

It’s called the ‘Helps and Hinders’ model, and I learnt it from author Helen Whitten, in her book on Cognitive Behavioural Coaching. Here’s a 5 step process to making it work : –

1. Find a journal to jot down your observations about your productivity and goal progress.
2. Spend the next week observing when you’re at your most productive and when you’re not at all.
3. Ask yourself, ‘What triggered this productivity?’ ‘What led to me having an incredibly productive day?’ or ‘Why did I feel so demotivated today? What happened the day before, or earlier, to influence my mood?’
4. With your findings, compile a list of your own ‘Helps’ and ‘Hinders’. Under the heading ‘Helps’, write down everything that contributes to you having a very productive day. This could include anything that enables you to get your goals accomplished, from listening to something inspiring, to having a really good night’s sleep, or being rejuvenated by coffee with a friend
Under the heading ‘Hinders’, again compile a list, but this time with all those things that you noticed slowed you down. Write down everything that caused you to miss a goal. It could include factors such as watching too much TV, spending too much time on Facebook or not planning your day the night before.


As promised, here’s my list {which also corresponds to the list of ‘Helps’ and ‘Hinders’ that are most common to all of us} :

Helps my goal progress

1. Blocking out time for key goals/tasks that work toward goals
2. Creating a weekly schedule
3. Rewarding myself for effort, not just results
4. Using an app like ‘GoalTracker’ to watch my progress {very motivating for me!}
5. Having an accountability partner who checks in regularly with me
6. Reading/watching inspiring material
7. Focussing primarily on only 3 big goals at once
8. Tracking my habits
9. Having time for fun
10. Confidence/belief that I can do it
11. Enthusiasm
12. A positive mental attitude
13. Reminding myself of past successes
14. Going to bed on time
15. Breaking goals down into smaller pieces
16. Catching up with a friend who is positive and encouraging
17. Self-discipline
18. Having an ordered environment around me

Hinders my goal progress

1. Doing too many things at once
2. Being around draining people
3. Trying to change too many habits at once
4. Tiredness {too many late nights}
5. Too much coffee
6. Creating a too-long to-do list {it’s demoralising as you never feel like you’ve done enough}
7. Allowing housework to get behind and having too much to catch up on {rather than doing more regular, smaller amounts}
8. Feeling sick/run down
9. Over-packing my weekly schedule {with no downtime in it} and then wearing myself out, getting overwhelmed or feeling like I’m falling behind
10. Watching too many movies
11. Too many commitments to others aka difficulty saying ‘no’ to people
12. Lack of skill
13. Self-doubt
14. Anxiety
15. Lack of proper planning
16. Comparison with others
17. Too much time on social media

5. Now, once you have your list, tackle the 2 biggest hindrances for you. Then develop a system that will help you overcome this hindrance. For example, if it involves spending too much time on social media, maybe you need to turn off your phone/laptop or other digital devices for a chunk of the day when you have important things you need to get done. If it’s lack of skill, look for a course or books to help you learn the skill that will get you to your goals. Whatever the hindrance, come up with a system to beat it.

Don’t try and change everything at once! You’ll just fail at it again…take just 1 or 2 of the things that are most holding you back and work out how you can remove their ability to hinder you.

6. And finally, look at your ‘Helps’ list and ask yourself if there is any way you can take advantage of the list and put a rocket booster under an item on that list. If reading or watching inspiring material helps you, can you make it a regular daily habit? If seeing your goals in front of you really helps you, have you thought about where else you could put those goals up so that you see them even more often? There’s no formula – it’s what works for you and most motivates you. Think about how you can use the knowledge of your ‘Helps’ list to accelerate your progress on your goals.

I hope this helped and that you find out what works for you! To your progress!

Would you like a FREE, beautifully designed “Helps and Hinders” worksheet to help you implement this strategy? I’ve put one together specifically for this. Get yours free here.


Sue Sundstrom

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