Updated: May 30
Many of my clients visit me because they are not moving toward their goals. Some wonder if they are lazy—some firmly believe they are.
Lazy people don't exist.
Everyone is motivated to do something. It may be that you are motivated to sit on the couch and watch Netflix, or eat a box of cookies, or avoid paying a bill.
Whatever it is that you are doing, it is serving you in some way.
Goal Achievement requires three ingredients: desire, skills, and a conducive environment.
Desires are formed from our values and are rooted in our beliefs about ourselves and the world.
For example, if I value health and vitality and I believe that walking will increase health and vitality in my life, then I will want to take a walk. Sometimes we have different values that conflict with one another. I may value health and vitality, but I may also value my own comfort. If I value my comfort over my health and vitality, the walk will not occur, and I'll end up watching the next episode instead.
Beliefs can conflict as well. If I value health and vitality (even more than I value comfort and Netflix) but I don't think walking will give me those benefits, I will not want to walk.
In order for my walk to happen, I need to hold a value AND a belief that will support my making the choice to walk.
In order for my walk to happen, I must be capable of walking. My legs must be strong enough to hold my weight, and I must be capable of using them for walking. If not, there will be no walk.
That seems a bit obvious for something like walking, but what about schoolwork?
If a student lacks the intrinsic skills needed for learning (such as those involved in executive function, attention/focusing, time management, etc.), then often they will not try to learn. This is can be true if a person has dyslexia, a learning disorder, or even if a child has trouble seeing the white board.
Sometimes the skills needed may seem obvious or silly. When young adults fail to make appointments for themselves, such as for the doctor, many times it is not from lack of desire. Sometimes it is that they lack the skills to know how to handle the social interactions of making the appointment. Social interactions are skills.
It's important to look deeply into a situation and make sure that all skills needed for a task or goal are available.
Back to the walk. If I desire to walk and I have the skills, but it is flooding outside or the road is on fire, I will not walk. If I want to go to the gym, but it's closed, then I will not work out there.
The environment must be conducive for goal completion.
If a student wants to learn and has the skills to learn, but does not have wifi access for their learning platform, then they will not achieve their learning goals. If the environment is loud (or too quiet) or filled with toys and other distractions, then they may not be able to complete their tasks, either.
Sometimes the environment is critical (such as with wifi). Sometimes it helps us make better choices.
If I want to eat fewer cookies, but my kitchen is full of them, I'm going to have a bad time. If it's full of healthy options, then I'll probably make better choices.
If I want to remember to pay the bills, then placing notifications on my phone can help me remember.
What goals do you have?
Why do you want to achieve those goals?
How do your beliefs affect your choices?
Do you have the necessary skills?
How does environment affect your choices?
Would you like help with your goals?
Drop me a note.