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Breaking Down Barriers: Using Force Field Analysis to Move Towards Your Goals

Updated: May 8

Struggling to move forward with your life goals? Force Field Analysis, a strategy conceptualized by Kurt Lewin, offers a structured method to break down the barriers and harness the drivers towards achieving your objectives. This tool helps in mapping out the dynamics affecting a goal. Let's explore how to apply this technique to an example life goal.

Step One: Define Your Goal

The initial step in Force Field Analysis is clear goal setting. Consider a goal related to personal growth or enhancing aspects of your life. For illustrative purposes, we'll use "get a college degree in social services" as our example goal.

Step Two: Identify and Assess Restraining Forces

Here, we pinpoint key factors hindering your goal achievement. Regarding obtaining a law degree, these might include:

- Financial Constraints

- Time Commitment

- School Location and Commute

- Impact on Current Job

- Lack of Support Network

After identification of the restraining forces, assign a 'force level' to each, on a scale of 10-100% or 1-10, with 10 being the most formidable.

Step Three: Identify and Assess Driving Forces

Now, shift focus to the elements aiding your journey towards your goal. In the case of attaining a law degree, these could be:

- Desire to Assist Families

- Family Encouragement

- Existing Knowledge of Legal Matters

- Accessibility to Financial Aid

Assign a 'force level' to these supportive factors, similar to the opposing forces, using a percentage or 1-10 scale.

Step Four: Analyze Forces and Formulate a Strategy

With both restraining and driving forces and their respective levels identified, analyze their overall balance. Which are the most influential? Now, begin crafting an action plan. Start by addressing each restraining force, determining strategies to minimize or remove their impact. Then, for each driving force, consider how to strengthen or better utilize them to aid you in achieving your goal.


You've now conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the forces driving for and against the achievement of your goal. The action plan you've created will help in capitalizing on supportive forces while mitigating or eliminating opposing ones. Equipped with this insight, you're now better positioned to pursue your goal with a clear strategy and heightened awareness of the dynamics at play, enhancing your chances of success.

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