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Today we’ll be going through the Barrier to Change: Lacking the right resources and/or external support for habit change.
When identifying what your barriers may be to your goals, it’s important to be in tune with your feelings. The feelings associated with the barriers act as a signal that a change or analysis is necessary. It acts as a signal to recognize the barrier in play. The feeling associated with lack of the right resources or external support is usually frustration.
One of the simplest examples of lack of the right resources is when you’re trying to begin a new habit, such as consistent exercise but the gym is far away from where you live, or simply inconvenient to get to.
You may start out really strong with this new plan to work out often, but as time goes on you realize how much of an imposition getting to the gym is, and how it impacts your already busy life. The distance becomes your reason for not reaching your fitness goal. This is an example of lack of resources, as a closer fitness outlet may not be available, and thus creates a barrier between you and your goal.
Along a similar vein, say you are trying to change your diet, be it the Ketogenic diet, or some other form of dietary change. With that example, if you are a parent or living with someone where you share meals, the process of changing the types of meals you or your food partner create can create conflict where a lack of support could act as a barrier to your goal. For example, if your meal partner, or your child does not want to eat the same healthier meals as you, the result would be you having to cook two separate meals. If those in your house aren’t willing to support you in your goal, that lack of support can make your goal more challenging and further out of reach. Similarly to our first example, the time necessary for creating additional separate meals may be too inconvenient to fit into your busy life.
Now, how do we overcome these barriers?
The first step is bringing awareness to the barriers. You are the scientist and the subject of your study. The subject, in that you are analyzing yourself and those around you, and the scientist in your process of identifying somewhat objectively what is happening to influence the results. Mindfulness can be a part of this process, in helping you pause and reflect.
In beginning to build awareness, there are two areas you will want to analyze.
Your Support Systems
Your Support Systems:
As you begin taking stock of the support systems you have in place within your life, you’ll need to make sure they align with the person you want to be going forward, as well as your self image. It may be hard to navigate these conversations or thoughts as they may require life changes that may be difficult or complicated. We talk about this in our Aspirational vs Accountable Goal Setting and the impact of Self image blog.
In your journey for building awareness, you will begin to identify the alignment necessary for your support. How will other people fit into your understanding of the support you need? Identifying the type of support that you need is important for expressing your needs to others. There is a difference between needing emotional support, financial support, or time support. If you just need the people around you to root for you in your journey then that will help you shape your ask from those around you. If your need is for your partner to watch the kids while you go to the gym, then that support will require more teamwork and mutual investment in your goal. If you discover that this is a solo journey, but that your “how” is different and very unique compared to those around you, the support you may need is a lack of judgement from those around you. This will look different for each individual when doing the self analysis.
This process is essential for moving forward. You can’t fix a problem that you can’t contextualize or identify. Addressing the root cause is the first step towards creating an accommodation for your needs. It provides you with the context and verbiage necessary to convey that need to the people around you. With that in mind, you deserve accommodation if that is a need. Sometimes it can be hard to accept help from others, if you consider yourself extremely independent. It can also be hard to advocate for yourself to receive accommodations because of the stigma placed upon that idea societally, but it does not change the fact that you deserve accommodation for your needs if an accommodation is necessary for you to reach your goal.
In analyzing your resources, you’ll do research on what you have available and how that will impact your goal setting. Depending on your goal, identifying your resource needs will help you in building your path to success, and recognizing the areas where you may need support.
If your goal is fitness, identify what fitness resources are in your neighborhood. Is there a space close to home or work that would make that goal more attainable and realistic? If there is not a location that is convenient or practical for long term use, try to identify other ways you can incorporate fitness into your daily life. Can you incorporate fitness activities into tasks you already have to complete daily? Are there subtle changes that can stack daily that can push you closer to your goal? Starting to identify areas that you can work around, or be creative around will provide opportunities for change and also help you in addressing your needs. In addition to identifying resources that already exist for you to use, it is also important to recognize areas where resources are lacking. If you know time is a resource you lack, seeking out external support may be essential in you finding success for your goals. If you lack financial resources, budgeting may be a part of your analysis process, so that you can express these needs to your employer, your loved ones, or make changes in your spending.
Identifying what resources you have and lack will help you recognize and plan around the barriers they create. It is often that these two barriers overlap, which is why we are addressing them in the same webinar, and the same blog.
Want to see this in action? Check out our demo from our webinar. https://youtu.be/KnDrxf5LFhM?t=1405