The next step in achieving your goals after you define your obstacles is to find solutions. If you have defined the possible obstacles to your goal, your mind will suddenly perceive solutions where none existed before.

This is because as humans are instinctive problem-solvers. Most people make the mistake of not listing their obstacles on paper; maybe because we are afraid to acknowledge they exist. But once you do your perspective usually changes.

Don’t make the mistake of not thinking of solutions. For each obstacle you defined brainstorm one or more possible solutions and write them down. If you find that you are unable to define all your solutions on the first try, don’t worry. Just keep coming back to your list, and eventually solutions will become apparent to you.

Remember, problem solving is ingrained in our nature as human beings!

I have used as an example for outlining the steps to achieve your goals, my audacious goal to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. I set a clear time frame to reach this goal in 1.5 years. My measurement of success was to get to the top of the mountain without endangering my life or those in the group. I defined 10 compelling reasons why I was undertaking the climb and printed these out to review whenever my resolve waivered. I defined the key benefits I would gain by reaching my goal. I then defined and listed the consequences of not achieving my goals. I wrote down the many obstacles there were many in my path.

Now here are the solutions for the obstacles I listed in the previous step:

  1. For the problem of not enough time to train, my solution was to trained as best as I could during weekdays, cutting down on sleep, and then training intensively on weekends
  2. For the problem of too high a cost just when our family was trying to recover our financial footing, my solution was I scrimped and saved and borrowed some equipment.
  3. For the problem of health challenges including Achilles tendinitis my solution was an army of supportive health care practitioners.
  4. For the problem of my daily lay priest role my solution was I took17 days off and others were honored to fill in. All I had to do was ask.
  5. For the problem of all my time off work just as we were re-establishing our company my solution was my partner took on my role during the missed time. As an added bonus I truly found out what a friend he was.
  6. For the problem of my spouse not approving (quietly of course) I acknowledged her fears that I might hurt myself or die on the mountain and my solution was to reassure her as best I could.

Your next step: To achieve your goals look again at the obstacles that you listed in the previous step and brainstorm possible solutions. Write them down in as much detail as possible. Remember the more details you write down the more your mind will address the problem.