People have said to me over the years that my writing about goal achievement is too simplistic, that it makes it seem too easy. So, in this post I’m going to talk about hitting setbacks and giving up…
That’s what you should do when you hit a setback, right? Give up?
Maybe. Maybe not. Let’s start with the maybe nots!
If you’ve gone through the original goal setting process properly, you’ll have an end goal in mind which is as defined as possible. Then you will have worked out the steps backwards between that end point and the start point.
The next step was taking action, and I’ve written over many years that this can be the hardest step to take, and the hardest to continue, precisely because you do hit setbacks.
It may be possible that achieving your goal is fairly simple, and doesn’t have much potential for hurdles along the way.
Those goals are few and far between though – it’s more likely that setting out on your goal *will* have setbacks along the way.
When you hit an obstacle, you need to take a wide overview of the situation – are their alternative steps you can now take to move you closer to the goal? If so, then those alternative steps now become your next steps, and you can view the setback as nothing more than a detour.
In fact, getting your perspective of knocks and obstacles is crucial. It’s too easy to give up at the first problem, when in fact an alternative route was there all along. Sometimes the alternative may only come into view after you have ’failed’ with the original plan.
Go back to your research, look at how others before you achieved the same goal. Remind yourself of the end goal, ask yourself how much you want it, and what you are prepared to do to get it.
Ok, now let’s look at the giving up option…
It may be that there are no other routes to the goal, that anyone else who has ever achieved it has gone down that one and only route. Maybe your goal needs a physical requirement that you just don’t have, and never will have.
It’s possible that the obstacle you have hit is totally outside your control, and is a permanent barrier to progress. In other words, there are times when your progress has gone as far as it can – the goal is not going to happen, and all the goal achievement theory isn’t about to change that.
If that’s the situation, do I advise giving up? Well, I just wouldn’t call it giving up, that’s for sure. Trying to achieve something is something that so many people never do, they never even try.
If you have tried, and given it the best you can, then you are in a position to accept that fact that you went for it. You may not be happy about it, you may be disappointed, but you will never look back and wonder what would have happened.
Not every goal is achieved, that’s the difference between theorising about a goal and taking action to try to get it. That’s life.
If every goal came with a guarantee, everyone would be doing it! It’s precisely that lack of guarantee which stops so many people in the first place.
So, when you hit a setback, be it a small or a big one, don’t automatically hit the ‘give up’ button. Take a step back, do your analysis, and *then* make a decision about where you go from there.
Let me know what you think – do you agree or not?
‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. If you want to read more about my views on perspective, plus some stories of serious setbacks of my own(!), then grab my book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days! You can also read my free 8 step goal achievement formula