What's Holding You Back from Achieving Your Goals?

You’ve probably heard about positive psychology many times so far. Positive psychology looks into human thoughts, emotions, and behaviors to determine what makes life worth living. In other words, positive psychology focuses on personal development and all those positive things we can do to make our lives better.

Most of us know about the long-term effects of positive psychology and personal development strategies such as willpower training, SMART goal setting, or mental imagery. However, many of us still don’t take action to do what we can to be successful, although we have all the resources available to grow and succeed.

Happiness and success do not belong to a closed elite club, which only the chosen ones are entitled to. So, let’s delve on the reasons that are holding you back from achieving your goals and becoming a happier person.

Your Willpower Needs Some Boost

Many people don’t commit to their dreams because they lack the willpower to reach their goals and make changes. They complain about the lack of help, luck, or inspiration, settling for run-of-the-mill life, ambitions, and accomplishments.

However, research shows that self-control and willpower are essential if you want to have a happy and successful life. The longitudinal studies that analyzed young children’s self-control (such as the famous “Marshmallow Experiment”) showed that kids who were able to delay gratification achieved better health, greater academic success, and greater resilience against all kinds of challenges later in life.

In another survey about stress in the U.S., 27 percent of participants reported that lack of willpower is the major obstacle to change and success. However, the majority of respondents also believed that willpower is something that we can practice and learn.

How to Reinforce Your Willpower with Meditation

With the right practice, willpower can be learned and strengthened. One of the most effective strategies to boost your self-control involves mindfulness meditation.

Mindfulness exercises can boost your patience and help train your brain to focus and resist the urge to wander. Also, mindfulness mediation can help stop the automatic negative thoughts about failure, hopelessness, and inadequacy, allowing your mind to focus on positive thoughts. Studies show that regular mindfulness practice can raise your resilience, improve your mood, alleviate anxiety, and help you relax and feel more energized.

You Don’t Know How to Set SMART Goals

Lack of self-control isn’t the only reason you might fail to reach your goals and achieve happiness. Willpower studies identify other necessary components for achieving goals, such as motivation for change, the ability to set SMART goals and to monitor your behavior toward those goals.

Studies also show that successful people have one thing in common: they set realistic, clearly defined goals. Goals provide vision and motivation; people who know what they want from life and how to achieve that have a higher chance of success.

Each aspect of our lives requires the goal-setting strategies, from which school and profession we will choose and how we will manage relationships or handle life transitions.

“Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass.” - Paul J. Meyer

According to Paul J. Meyer, one of the most influential authors in the history of the personal achievement field, SMART goals are:




Realistic and


Specific. This means precisely outlining what you want to achieve and why the particular goal is important to you.

Measurable. Mean that you can identify what it is you will get or how you will feel when you reach your goal.

Actionable. You ask yourself how you can accomplish the specific goal and set an action plan that will help you reach the goal.

Realistic. Unrealistic goals generate frustration and stress and can impair your self-esteem and confidence. Make sure your goals are attainable. Also, ensure that reaching your goal is beneficial, too, not only the end result of achieving it.

Time-bound. Set your goals within a reasonable timeframe. Set deadlines and use time-management strategies to plan your activities and organize time. This will also help you set priorities and identify productivity patterns.

SMART Goals Visualization

When you set SMART goals, you are bringing your goals closer to reality. Use visualization strategy to make your goals tangible and concrete.

Visualization is a mental imagery technique in which we imagine ourselves performing a specific activity or achieving a particular goal. Mental rehearsal is known to be a powerful motivation tool that helps build self-confidence. SMART goals visualization can help you focus your efforts and increase motivation.

Your obstacles to personal growth, especially bolster when you try to set ambitious long-term goals. Consider breaking your big goals into interim small milestones and accomplishments that you will pursue short-time. This will keep you focused and motivated and help stay dedicated to growth and success.

Need help with setting up your goals? Schedule your one-on-one goal setting session today!

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