Does Life Get in the Way of Goals? Here's the Answer!
Life has a way of getting in the way of our goal achievement, and it does it in different ways. How do you deal with life's distractions when you are trying to reach your goal? How can you keep yourself on track? Well, as you might expect, your reaction will have to depend on the distraction. Different distractions require different reactions.
Copyright (c) 2008 Dale Stuemke
You've carefully thought out your goals, you've written them down, you've developed a good plan of action, but you just can't keep yourself focused on following the plan. Is life getting in the way of your goal achievement?
Situation One: Life Throws You a Curve Ball
This really isn't unusual, but it can certainly stop our progress. It can also cause doubts about whether we can really complete the plan and reach our goal. Let's look at this, I have a suggestion or two for you to use to defeat the distractions of life.
Have you ever had life really can get in the way of your goal achievement? I've experienced it many times. In fact, life seems to really go after me after I've set goals!
Sometimes we set work plans that turn out to be a bit too ambitious. Other times we will experience something that is just totally unexpected. Often something happens that disrupts more than just our goal plan. There can be health issues that pop up and require our total attention. There also can be other emergencies that throw themselves into our lives at the most inopportune time.
My wife and I had one of those inopportune events. We came home after being gone for a long weekend to find that a water pipe had broken and had run water into our home for three days! All of a sudden we were living in a hotel and dealing with the insurance company, contractors, and all sorts of problems we hadn't planned on. Life really did get in the way!
If this kind of thing happens, you have no choice but to accept the fact that your priorities have to be changed. Once you understand what the new priority requirements are you can make some adjustments to your work plan. This is really no different than when you find something in your work plan that doesn't produce the results you expected. You adjust the plan to fit the situation.
But remember, you are not throwing your goal out! The reason you are adjusting your plan is to keep the goal in place, even if its achievement is somewhat delayed.
Situation Two: No Curve Ball, Just Life
It's pretty easy to understand how you need to adjust to dramatic events in your life. But, what about life just taking its normal course and still distracting you from your goal? What about the more "normal" distractions? How do we deal with them? That's a little different topic and can require different tactics!
We need to learn to use specific techniques to hold our focus and overcome "daily life" distractions.
There are at least two different types of distractions. The first is where you've established your work plan, but, after diligently trying to follow it, you just can't fit it and the rest of your life into the 24 hours you get each day. You find yourself letting things that should be lower priority take time from your work plan. The second case occurs when your work plan is just too aggressive.
You need to carefully examine the situation to see which of these is the case. If lower-priority activities are the problem, you'll need to push those into their proper place. If your work plan is truly too aggressive, you'll need to carefully rework your plan so it fits into your life properly.
That sounds like an over simplification, but it really is that simple. We can try to find all kinds of reasons why our problems are different, but they probably fit into those two categories...unless...
How about when you're just struggling to maintain your focus. I'll bet you know what that's like. Maybe you find yourself procrastinating instead of taking the actions you know are needed. Maybe you're starting to doubt whether you can really do it. You might be thinking "Yeah, those others did it, but can I?"
I'm going to suggest that you learn how to talk to yourself. Really!
Start by writing your goal statement onto an index card. Be sure it's a positive statement of your goal. Now, carry that card with you all the time. Read your goal statement aloud, with excitement and energy.
Do this at least three times a day. The best times will be early in the morning, mid-day while you're in the middle of your routine, then at the end of the day. (If you really want to add power, read it seven times at each of those three times!) When you do this, you will be helping your brain keep its focus.
You will literally reprogram your brain to believe that you can achieve that goal. Your subconscious mind will be listening. It will hear your goal, and it will hear your excitement. Do this every day, and your subconscious mind will gradually keep you focused.
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