Achieving Goals: What Gets In Your Way?


You are clear about your goal. Crystal clear. You’ve got the vision, the tall order that will take you where no man, woman, department, or business has gone before. Your goal may not be audacious or sound that lofty, but it is your goal. Own it. Whether it is opening a new business unit, advancing within your company, or rolling out a new product, you’ve decided that this is the right path. You’ve vetted it and you are committed to it.

What’s next? Give it teeth. What are the specific, measurable, and actionable things you can do to make it happen? Research has long supported that writing down your goals makes it more likely that you’ll achieve them.

What are the potential obstacles you’ll face? What is likely to get in your way?

Start With Yourself

  • Why are you doing this?
  • Are you the right person to accomplish this goal?
  • What kind of a support system do you need?
  • What are your strengths and vulnerabilities?
  • Is this the best use of your expertise and talent?
  • Does it align with your values and needs?
  • A thorough assessment of yourself can prevent problems down the road. You can be your own worst enemy.

Your Team

  • Do you have a team?
  • How will this opportunity or goal impact your team members and others in your life?
  • How will it affect family, staff, or the community?
  • Does your team have the desire and capacity to help?
  • What duties will be shifted?
  • Do you need buy-in from others to ensure that you succeed?
  • Does your support system include thought partners, a support group, or a colleague who will give you candid feedback?
  • Who will serve as your mentor and coach?

Your Environment

Having just returned from the annual international Career Partners International meeting, I’m reminded how global we are. We can think locally, but we should always think globally. The business or job you are pursuing may have competition or alliances that change how you should approach the situation. If you are thinking of starting a new business in your town or pursuing a job in another market, consider the globe.

  • What are the best practices, trends, ideas, legislative, and regulatory issues that may impact your work and are important to you?

Your Industry

Most of the time industry knowledge can be helpful. It can also blind you. You may benefit from an outside industry perspective.

As an example, if you have worked in manufacturing and are now considering a change to consulting, what can you learn from other industries?

At this point, I’ve raised more questions than answers. That was my intent.

If your goal is crystal clear, ask yourself why? Then ask what will get in your way.


Gerriann Fagan, SPHR founded Career Partners International – Birmingham in 2001. She provides career, coaching and leadership development solutions throughout AL and MS. She holds an M.A. from Univ. of MN and a B.S. from U of I. She is certified in several assessments including Birkman, Hogan, Lominger and MBTI. She has a passion for helping clients achieve individual and organizational success at every age and business stage.

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