Do you feel as though you’d accomplish so much more in your life if it wasn’t for all the obstacles in your way? Perhaps you’ve started on the journey towards numerous goals over the past few years … only to get knocked off course by all sorts of things.
If you’ve ever been on a diet, you might have faced obstacles like a vacation, Thanksgiving dinner, a box of chocolates, a busy or draining week…
If you’ve tried to write a book, your obstacles might have been social obligations, a lack of time or space to sit down and concentrate, no feedback or support…
If you’ve never managed to save up as much money as you’d like, you may have come up against obstacles like your car breaking down, invitations to pricy events, the irresistible impulse buy, or the expenses of Christmas…
Perhaps you feel as though you did your best. You had good intentions, you made plans – and then all sorts of things came up to derail these. Deep down, though, you know that people do succeed in dieting, writing books or saving up money … and that they sometimes hurdle seemingly insurmountable obstacles in order to do so.
How can you storm past the obstacles in your path? Imagine you’re driving a bumper car around an obstacle course. If you barely put your foot on the gas, and just coasted along, you’d lose almost all your momentum every time you hit an obstacle. And if the course was just one big circle, you might end up drifting around aimlessly.
To get to your goals without being knocked off-course, you need to do two things:
- Increase Your Drive
- Know Your Destination
Increase Your Drive
How can you put your foot down on the gas and race towards your goals? Well, Pick the Brain is chock-full of tips about getting and staying motivated, so you might want to have a browse through the other articles here! Here’s a couple of quick tips from me:
Don’t Run On Empty
You know what happens when your car runs out of gas. Just like a car, you’re not able to run on empty. Take time on a daily and weekly basis to rest and recharge. That might mean having an hour of “me time” each day, or making sure that you always finish work at 5pm on Fridays so that you can enjoy the weekend.
Keep Up Your Momentum
You use a lot more energy in your car by going from 0 – 70 than by staying at a constant 60. It’s often the same when you’re working towards a goal: it’s much easier to keep going steadily than to keep slackening off and ramping back up again.
When you’re working towards a long-term goal, like losing weight or saving up money, try to ensure that your efforts are consistent. Cutting your food intake or cutting your spending by just a little each day will pay real dividends – but it’s hard to get back on track if you let things slide for several weeks.
Know Your Destination
If you know where you’re heading and you keep your goal in mind, it’s easy to bounce off or ride straight over those obstacles in your path. You’ll want to know exactly where you’re aiming to be … and how far along the road you are.
This is why writing your goals down is so powerful: it makes them concrete. “I want to lose weight” is a vague goal, and you’ll never really know when you’ve succeeded. Try setting goals like “I want to lose 40 lbs” or “I want to have $5,000 in savings”.
You’ll have heard this recommended before, but I think it’s especially handy when you’re faced with obstacles or stumbling blocks on your path towards your goal. Spend some time, ideally a few minutes each day, visualising your destination. Imagine how it will feel to reach that goal: build a picture in your mind.
Just as your daydreams of the sparkling blue sea and golden sand can keep you going on a hot, long summer car journey, your visualisation of your feelings of health and pride in your new figure can help you lose weight – or your picture of security and no anxieties about money can help you stay disciplined with putting money into savings.
What obstacles are you facing at the moment? How will you gather the drive and direction to overcome them?
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