Your success in achieving your goals will be greatly enhanced by intentionally setting up a three branched support system. Very simply, people change their behavior if they can answer two questions with a “yes!” in each of three categories, personal, social and structural.

So what stopped you from achieving your goals in the past? Probably a myriad of things. You are human, after all and life sometimes just gets in the way of what we want. Other things get our attention and focus, and before we know it, what happened to that intention about exercising three times a week???? Or what happened to that intention of participating at a higher level in your department’s weekly meetings?

If I could give you a way of thinking that actually shows you how successful people analyze the reality of really accomplishing their goals, would that would be of value to you? Ok, here it is, short and simple.

Very simply, people change their behavior if they can answer two questions with a “yes!”. The first question is “Is this worth it?”, and the second question is simply “Do I have the ability to it?”

I tell my clients that success comes from a system like a three legged stool. You all know that metaphor – 3 points to make a plane, 3 legs on a stool to be stable. If one leg gets weak, you still have the other two to help balance you.

The first leg of the stool is personal, or inside you. And I think this is the foundational leg. Without this leg, no goal is going to be accomplished. Or if it is accomplished, it won’t be sustained. And sustaining the changed behavior is what it’s all about. So the question here is, “do I think the work and effort to achieve this goal is worth it?”, and then, “do I really think I can do this?”.

The second leg that supports the foundational leg is social, or in relationship with others. So the question here is “will my family and friends support me in this goal” and “do I think my current social support is sufficient?” If the answer is no, don’t stop there. It’s your responsibility to succeed, not theirs! So, who could you enlist to support you and hold you accountable? This is going to be different people for different goals, depending on what their strengths are. One friend might be the social support for weight loss, and it may be your spouse that is the support for your financial goal or to help you get that promotion you so badly want. Find the right social support. There is a reason for the rise in personal and professional coaches in our society.

The third leg is the structural leg, or the organization, or the actual physical properties in your environment. The questions here are “Do I have all the exercise equipment at home that I need, or will I join a gym? If so, which gym, how far am I willing to drive or bus to that, and at what membership cost?” Or, do I need to hire a bookkeeper, CPA, get software for my computer? What do I need in my structure to support me attaining my goal? And then, Can I really do this? Can I learn QuickBooks; learn to use the Bowflex, etc? Can I put aside the budget to get this in my structure? In business you will need to evaluate the corporate culture and past precedence.

That’s it. Picture a 3 legged stool. You are on the seat – achieving your goal. The main leg is labeled personal with the questions do I want to (motivation), and can I (ability)?

The second leg is labeled social support. Do they want to (motivation), and can they (ability)?

The third leg is labeled structural. Are there systems in place to help me sustain my motivation, and which of these systems will do it for me?

Author's Bio: 

Denise Pederson, Coach Companion, presents an exciting new model of personal development. We empower busy professionals to experience their life and work to the fullest potential through coaching and training with an emphasis on self perception and goal setting to achieve rapid results. Get your success tips at