In a perfect world success and personal progress would be more than enough to fully characterize us. The story is different though and abandoning our objectives is painfully known to anyone. It’s a staggering number – 94% of people give up within only 2 weeks after they’ve started.
Today’s topic reveals why this happens. But it also outlines 5 easily employable and effective strategies how to take up again with your dreams till you realize them.
What is it like to disconnect from your goals?
Perhaps you know how it goes – you set your mind on something, you are ramped up with energy and in high spirits, you work on it in a focused and disciplined manner. And then, after a while and often without even realizing it, you have pushed it further and further down your to-do list.
You “drop out of goals” when you gradually stop working on them.
We don’t mean here the act of quitting when you stop believing in them or you no longer want them. Our intent is to discuss the reasons for this temporary (could be short or longer) pause.
Why is this happening?
The answer often lies not so much in will-power or the level of motivation as in the way people manage their days. When you get overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks you can barely squeeze anything extra in your calendar.
The naked truth is that it is precisely your own growth which fails to get top priority.
Goals tend to slip your mind since they are under the column of “important but not that urgent”. Little but pressing things take precedence. You need a system to insulate your objectives from both the expedient and urgent nature of everyday life.
Here are some of the most common scenarios.
Are you among those lucky ones who go on vacation for couple of weeks to a beach or exploring far-away places? Guess what!
When you come back home you probably won’t feel like dealing with goals. There are those other things to catch up with – a pile of work, a list of social engagements, emails, etc. They all will be prioritized highly on your to-do list. As you struggle to get into your usual rhythm you’ll probably down-size some parts of your calendar.
Or things could be quite the opposite.
Too much work
There will always be major projects at work as well as home. An illustration from our own experience is moving to a new house.
After the long and exhausting renovation and all the weekends spent on choosing paint, tiles, furnishings and what not finally comes the moment to move in your new place.
And yet, it isn’t a moment at all. It’s a whole week of packing, moving, unpacking and organizing, new school enrollment and a whole bunch of other chores typical for relocating.
Be honest! Don’t you prefer the over-extended holiday to an over-taxing work load?
Everyone has to go through family matters like serious illness, problems of private matter or any other type of troubles. These just happen all on their own and can turn your world upside down.
There is no room for second-guessing what you do in times like that when you turn you back to your dreams and the only thing you care about is first to put the fire out.
But that’s enough about the factors behind neglecting your aspirations. Now it’s time for a dose of hopeful reassurance:
And help “lurks” just around the corner
You know, it’s not the end of the world when our plans get knocked off schedule!
It’s not about how many times you fall but rather that you get back up as many times and then keep going.
Even the most successful people have their difficulties, weaknesses and failures from time to time. Their “superpower” is not to be flawless. It’s something else – they are simply resilient. It takes them no time to get back to what’s important for them and move on.
Here’s how you can do it too. We make these five proven approaches available to you.
# 1: Call your Goal Buddy!
Our lives have changed only for good once we realized how effective such a relationship is. Our own system’s fundamentals are laid upon this friendship.
Your Buddy is number one strategy to avoid dropping out of your goals. But if this happens, the first thing to do is to call them and only then you can get back in the game with their help.
Let’s have a quick review here. This is the person next to you all the way till an objective is reached. They often assist you in finding your way especially when you don’t even realize that you got lost. We went through this and we know for sure that without helping each other we would have been way off course and behind in all of our plans.
The principle here is very simple:
You report to your Buddy all the commitments you’ve made to yourself.
That’s very much like your fitness instructor except that it’s the fitness of your responsibility bone that’s been taken care of.
Your gym coach is the “higher authority” that you report to and listen to their advice and guidance. Think of your Goal Buddy as the navigator on the journey towards your objectives.
One tip, if we may – if you don’t have a Buddy yet set a goal to find one!
# 2 Join a club or a group of interest
Whenever you feel unsure how and where to start the wise approach is to get yourself into the right set of circumstances.
Let’s say you are working towards financial independence but you don’t feel like dealing with cost allocation systems and budgeting. The best way to “whip yourself into shape” is to communicate on a regular basis with people who operate on the same wave-length. You can join an investor club, take a personal finances course, or find another option that suits you.
A matter of focus
The trick is to put yourself in the orbit of people who live and breathe the subject. Even if you just sit on your hands and do nothing your subconscious absorbs all that you witness.
Do this one exercise:
Close your eyes and try to guess the number of anything red in the room. How did you do? Two or three, 5 tops. Then look around and you’ll see all of them – many more than you think because you never paid any attention before.
The same applies to opportunities.
Be on the watch for them by instructing your mind to actively search and you will see that they have always been around you. Interest groups and similar options have plenty to offer in that respect – you should keep an open mind about it.
# 3 Review your long-term dream
Your third “rescue” plan is in fact the starting point of all, namely your 25-year vision.
That’s your stimulus and strife that kicks you out of bed in the morning full of determination to make it happen. And you do make it happen by following the 90-day goals working for them step-by-step with an action every single week.
There could be, however, sometimes a stumble and tumble:
These small and seemingly insignificant things you do for your ultimate prize aren’t always as grand as it is. Plus, there is always the risk that your drive gets afflicted while you are toiling in the “salt mines” at home or at the office.
It’s obvious – don’t forget the answer to your big “why”.
Different ways to remind yourself
If you have an amazing vision then try to make the process of reviewing it as exciting as it is. Here are some suggestions:
- Put some sticky notes on your desktop with inspirational quotes of your choice. For example, an aspiration mantra of sorts or words of wisdom that can lift your spirits up and help you see your life in the best possible light.
- Keep in front of you a list of dates that remind you of an important event awaiting you – such as presenting your project to an audience, launching your new product, etc.
- Hang on the wall a vision board with images that stimulate and steer your imagination in the right direction. These could be anything you passionately desire – travel, exploration or a charity mission.
If it happens that you have abandoned your goals for a while and these tricks can’t work then spare a couple of hours to do whatever you think is needed to recharge your motivation battery. Then you can speed up down the highway towards your final destination.
This metaphor will give you a clue what the next section is about.
# 4 A change of scene
A longer hiatus from your goals requires a deeper study of the causes. A few days can make a huge difference. You don’t have to move to the tropics – a long weekend out of town will do fine. And why not a day at our workshop!
While being completely swamped by the burden of your daily routine you can hardly have a good look at things. And when you change the stage with a slower one you get the time to give it a thought or two and then be able to go back to your old ways. Things around us may surprise us when we have the chance to look at them with a fresh and rested set of eyes.
Maybe you have the wrong approach or you need to reboot yourself anew, or your dreams aren’t the same anymore. Time invested in self-analysis and awareness of inner self is well spent!
# 5 Immediately take one step no matter how small
We left the best for last.
There is this very simple solution which is ready for use right now. It works flawlessly and has the power to put you back on track.
Have you been relaxing and not doing much lately? Well, if so then… Come on! Hurry up! Do something now and today. It could be something small, almost a little bit of nothing, but it can turn the wheel and inject you with some confidence that things aren’t completely out of control and everything is in your hands.
Of men and their mistakes
We are fully aware that the path isn’t always as straight and well paved. There is plenty that can go wrong and the mere fact that the end of your trip is so far away can be disheartening. You’d better look at how far you got instead of what’s ahead of you. Patience isn’t a forte of human nature and you want everything quickly and easy way, and in a spectacular way no less. Still, don’t forget:
Great success is achieved with small but steadfast steps – every single day, one after another.
It’s an act of your own doing – nothing frees up more of the energy that propels you all the way across the finish line. It may start with a small stride but it’s a forward one nevertheless!
The choice is yours
You can set your mind on one or integrate several of these five strategies to get back up and go on again after a disconnect from your goals.
Tell us which one you like most? Do you know another that can be of use to the rest of us? Please, share and put in a comment!
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