Along the way, you WILL encounter obstacles that will challenge your determination to fulfill your goals for the year. NOW is the time to decide what you’re going to do if and when you encounter a road block or setback. Are you going to COMMIT to your goals—even when the road gets tough? Or, are you going to allow yourself to bail out or be “willy-nilly” about your dreams like the following people:
- QUITTERS: People who let setbacks derail their momentum toward a goal. They get disappointed and discouraged and give up.
- HOPE-ERS: People who leave reaching their goals up to chance. They create a vision, affirm positive intentions and then “see how things go,” believing their goals will magically fall into place.
Why do quitters quit? Because they had the false expectation that everything would go perfectly! In reality there will ALWAYS be road blocks. Always. So, it’s better to acknowledge this ahead of time and be prepared.
And why do hope-ers fail? Because they don’t turn their dream into actionable steps. They don’t take responsibility for their own goals.
If you’re ready to COMMIT to your goals and you want to be able to get through any road blocks or setbacks without losing your focus and drive, here are 4 ABSOLUTE MUSTS:
- SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: Be a realistic optimist. By all means think positively about your goal, write and recite affirmations, believe in your ability to succeed. But whatever you do, don’t expect everything to go perfectly or even easily. Most goals worth achieving require time, effort, and perseverance. Aim high but always know that a setback is NOT the end of the world. There is ALWAYS a way to get where you want to go from where you are. Don’t get disappointed, get motivated!
- PLAN IN ADVANCE: Knowing road blocks will come is helpful, but being prepared in advance increases your chances of quickly and easily taking the detour around it. Consider what obstacles could hold you back and plan for them now. Imagine it’s new year’s eve NEXT year and you’re looking back at the year and realizing that you FAILED to reach your goal. Why? What happened? What held you back? What else could it have been? What are you going to do to make sure this does not happen?
- BE FLEXIBLE: Recognize the limits of planning. Sometimes emergencies happen or new priorities pop up. Life happens. Since you KNOW that obstacles WILL happen, enter this journey with a willingness to be flexible. We’ve already discussed how research shows that plans further than 60 days in the future will most certainly change. It’s okay if you don’t get all of your daily or weekly tasks done or don’t reach your milestones on time. You’re just guessing, after all, when making this plan. Give yourself the freedom to follow inspired action—those moments when you feel a strong pull to work on a particular project, even if it’s not what you had planned. “Go with the flow” means going with that feeling of FLOW—when you get drawn to an activity and get lost in it, like you could do it for hours and time would stop. These are the MOST productive (and enjoyable) of all activities. Planning is great, but flow is better. Allow yourself to do what follow your bliss. At the least, always know that a setback is NOT the end of the world. There is always a way to re-route to your goal from where you are.
- BE OPEN TO LESSONS (AND BLESSINGS): There is a saying that goes “when humans make plans, God laughs.” Even if you’re not religious, this phrase has an important point. It’s not that someone else has a plan for you that supersedes your own, it’s that what you want comes to you in a way you did NOT expect. Sometimes you get re-routed to your dream in a way that turns out to be even better than you expected. Recognize that sometimes the road block is EXACTLY what you need. It may be showing you a weakness in your plan or giving you an opportunity to improve. Sometimes it even inspires a new dream! Remember times in your past when setbacks actually lead you to something great. Often our curses turn out to be blessings—if we choose to take that perspective.