GET BACK ON TRACK
(This is an excerpt and adaptation of a book I recently co-authored with Carolyn Fields: “Procrastinators Unite! Tomorrow.”)
Well, here we are at the end of January. Have you already forgotten about your new year intentions? It’s happened to all of us before. We get excited about something, a new project or goal, like going to the gym, renovating the house, or something as simple as reading a book. We start making plans and start off well but then “life gets in the way” and it doesn’t take long before we get off track. That goal soon becomes forgotten until weeks or maybe months later when we are reminded once more.
So how do we get back on track?
The first thing to do when you’ve realized that you haven’t met your goal is to forgive yourself. There’s no sense in beating yourself up over it. Understand and recognize that life happens. Realize that setbacks are normal and are part of the learning process. Once you accept the circumstances, then you can do something about it.
Reflect and re-evaluate your priorities. Perhaps it’s true that your priorities have changed. Maybe renovating the house right now isn’t as imperative as, say, work or family obligations. Or maybe your finances have shifted and you’d rather spend the money on a new car. Whatever the case may be, be honest with yourself. Are you making excuses? Oftentimes, if something is truly important to you, you’ll make time for it, not excuses.
One way to evaluate this is to ask yourself: “How important is this goal to you?” “What would happen if you didn’t achieve it?” If you were to rate its importance on a scale of 0 to 10 (10 being “I can’t live without it” and 0 being “I may say that I want it but I don’t really care”), what would you rate it? If you find that your rating is 6 or under, then it’s no wonder that your goal has gone by the wayside. Perhaps it’d be better to set that goal aside and find a more meaningful one to invest in.
If you find that your rating is 7 or higher, then let’s take a deeper look. We’ve established that your goal is important to you. Now ask yourself WHY your goal is important to you. Continue to ask yourself WHY until you get to an authentic emotional connection. I understand that this may be difficult for some of you as your WHY may not be apparent or obvious. I suggest finding a solitary pocket of silence to reflect and connect to your purpose. Sometimes journaling can help you find the answer. It’s important that your goal resonate in line with you and your self and not be an expectation of family, friends, bosses, or society. Having a strong sense of your WHY and a personal connection to your goal is crucial in your success. Not only will it drive you to achieve your aspiration, when you do finally reach it, you’ll feel a more profound sense of accomplishment.
Once you have this foundation in place, we can explore the simpler questions: Where do you feel stuck? What interfered with your progress? Where do you need more support? If you’ve been procrastinating, then ask yourself: What scares you most? What’s the worst thing that could happen? How would you overcome it? Take time to write down the answers to these questions as having this insight will help you recognize and prepare for obstacles before they occur.
The rub comes when you realize that you’re the one who’s been self-sabotaging your own progress. If this is the case, rate on a scale of 0-10, how confident you are that you will succeed. Think about how your life would change if you reached your goal. What are the risks involved in reaching your goal? What would happen if you didn’t reach your goal? Reflect on a time when you’ve experienced success. What have you learned from that experience and how did it change you? Explore your fears, hesitation, and resistance. Don’t be afraid to seek out professional help to work through these issues. Only until you resolve your fears and doubts and move up on the confidence scale can you accomplish what you put your mind to!
Now that you’re back on track and know where your challenges lay, you can take action to stay on track. Perhaps you need to surround yourself with positive people who understand the process and will continue to support and encourage you. Perhaps you need to break down your goal into smaller, more attainable steps. Perhaps you need someone to hold you accountable. Maybe find a friend who shares the same passion and goals and with whom you can work together.
For more ideas to help you reach you goal and thrive, click here to get the book “Procrastinators Unite! Tomorrow.”
If you would like to set up a personal consultation to work through your road blocks, contact me here. Let’s get you on your way!