Overcome These to Achieve Your Health Goals

You set a new health goal? Wahoo! However, there’s one key to getting things done that you may be overlooking, and without it, your goals may be harder to achieve than you imaged.

That one thing? Identifying hidden barriers.

Hidden barriers

Let’s say you have decided you’ll get up and go to the gym before work three mornings a week. You go to bed Sunday night, but when you wake up in the morning, you realize you have to make lunches for yourself and your kids, flip a load of laundry, and send a quick email you forgot to send over the weekend.

Suddenly, your time is gone, your workout has been skipped, and your resolve for the rest of the week is feeling pretty shaky.

You didn’t do anything wrong here; you’re not lazy or unmotivated—hidden barriers just got in the way. In this case, the hidden barrier was probably that you didn’t think ahead.

And let’s say you decided to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day, but every morning when you check your fridge, you realize there’s not much to choose from.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with you—you just didn’t shop, probably because some almost unforeseen force (AKA:a hidden barrier) got in the way.

Everyone has different barriers. Maybe the one having the biggest impact on you is that you always put your family before yourself. You may not realize you’re doing it, or think you have to do it, but if it’s a big old road block in the way of you getting from here to there, you’re going to have to come up with a way around it.

A hidden barrier could be something that you do know about yourself, like that you really dislike grocery shopping, or it could be something that’s never occurred to you, like you’re actually afraid of what life would be like if you couldn’t eat the way you do now, so you’re subtly avoiding coming up with solutions to overcome it.

That’s what hidden barriers need, by the way. They need to be discovered and then you need a plan of action to hop right over ‘em.

Plan of action

Here’s what you do:

  • Come up with a goal. Any goal will do.
  • Make a list of all the reasons you haven’t followed through so far (or in the past), even if they sound out there (I’m afraid to lose weight, I don’t want to disappoint my family, I don’t have time, etc.)
  • Really look at the list and figure out what the real barriers are. Not having enough time isn’t a barrier, it’s an excuse. The barrier is probably something like “I watch TV too late at night, which causes me to want to sleep late the next morning. It’s my only time to unwind, and I don’t want to give it up.”
  • Plan around your barriers. In the previous example, perhaps your plan is to bring your tablet to the gym so you can watch a favorite show while you’re on the treadmill, or perhaps it’s deciding you’ll go to bed half an hour earlier each night, and to follow through you’ll set a timer on your phone so you know it’s time for shut eye.

Ultimately, your goals are as good as your planning. If you think ahead, look for what’s in your way, and come up with a plan to overcome whatever it is, you’re that much closer to getting what you want.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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