We didn’t read it in some book but instead, we experienced it ourselves how one can easily get off track with his dreams. It happened to us on numerous occasions and we are fully aware of the whole process. But we’ve learned how to get back on our feet.
It’s just part of life
What is it like to give up on an objective? There might be a breaking point but it might also go on over some period of time. The result is the same – you are not doing anything about your goals. And then comes the moment when you realized the sad fact that you’ve quit something so important to you.
Let’s have a look at some of the most typical scenarios:
# 1 Shortly after you start
Usually, it occurs within just a couple of weeks or, mid-January, in the case when a New Year’s resolution is involved.
There is always much excitement at the beginning when we finally take matters in our own hands.
But then the day will come when we don’t do what was planned. And we skip the whole week and then another one till we become part of the 94-96% of those who give up in just 2 weeks.
# 2 After a (long) vacation
We bet you know very well how it goes.
Everyone needs a break from their daily routine so that they can recharge physically, emotionally and then continue with renewed energy. Two or three weeks are perfect in that respect that – you can relax but also review your goals and visions.
It’s only normal that during vacation we might fail to do our weekly steps. One reason is that we can’t reach our Buddy and do the regular talk.
The post-vacation re-adjustment period (and Ivan knows this very well when he exercises without the personal trainer) looks like this:
In the first few days, you have a lot to catch up with work and other commitments. And then there is always some emergency that needs to be taken care of. After a few more days like that, working on your goals is completely forgotten. In a month or so you are asking yourself if it’s worth it at all.
# 3 Being extremely busy
There are those times when we know in advance that all of our time will be spent in one thing only. For example, a looming deadline for a project can force us to spend long hours at work.
In situations like that, all of our efforts are fully applied elsewhere and therefore we lose the momentum which was so hard to build in the previous months.
The most treacherous missteps are the following:
# 4 The gradual drop in our commitment
If someone told you that it’s very likely that you forget about your dreams you might simply dismiss it as a crazy idea. But that’s the reality of human nature.
It turns out that everyday life is “deadly” for our goals.
It all starts quite innocently and we begin to do less and less. We slow down a bit more every single week till we find ourselves not doing anything. We might not even be completely aware of this process and be under the impression it’s been only temporarily while it has been going like that for months.
Why do we talk about all of this?
It’s always good to know, i.e. get the warning about what those difficult times are. So, you will be ready and take the necessary steps to deal with it in the best possible way before it becomes a serious issue.
If we are careful we won’t have to be asking ourselves at the end of December “What happened? Didn’t I have some goals set?!”
We can easily list 10 things that can do it for you regardless of the specific circumstances. But there is this one single fix that has the power to get you back on track.
The most effective approach is to take one easy step today. That forces us to start immediately turning the wheel again in the direction of our dreams.
One small action
This can look like something insignificant.
Let’s say that you used to go to the gym 3 times a week but, for one reason or another, you don’t anymore. Then do this – for 5min make as many pushups or squats right now and here, on the floor.
Or if you’ve been thinking for a while of writing a book but you haven’t done a single page so far, sit down now and write just a couple of sentences.
This is quite sweet: you take one little bite just to get a taste of it. Then you do another one to define your next steps and that’s all needed to start working towards your objectives again. It’s simple and it works!
Of course, it seems so easy. And it comes with a… catch – it’s so simple that it can as easily slip your mind. So, don’t leave it for later but do it right now.
Some important questions
We have already looked at what the most critical periods are, as well as what to do now to get back into the game.
But if you want to go deep and understand what lies behind your slacking and hesitation about your dreams, a detailed analysis will be required.
To make it easier for you we would suggest the following checklist of several points.
First – do we really have a Buddy?
If you have difficulties staying on course and your levels of consistency and perseverance are going south then it’s very likely that you either don’t have a Buddy or the two of you are not communicating in the best possible way. For example, you don’t share everything and/or you fail to meet and do the review regularly.
Without being too dramatic we want to emphasize that this is the most crucial part of working out anything. Our whole system is built around its social element. Therefore, the name is “GoalBuddy” as well as the website, the workshop and the podcast. The only exception is the book which we titled “The 4 keys to inevitably achieving any goal.”
Second – do we have everything in writing?
If you don’t have your objectives put down “black on white” then you might as well don’t have any at all.
Many would view this as overdoing it since they believe such things are firmly imprinted in their brains.
And yet, only when you try hard to choose the right words you would reach a better and deeper understanding of what you want. That’s how important this step is.
A good and meaningful definition emerges only after a careful and thoughtful process of considering what you are striving for. That’s how you can reach crystal clear awareness which will give you much more control as well as the energy. You won’t be easily distracted or waste your time and effort and thus firmly stay the course of your chosen direction.
Question 3: Do we have a strong and valid answer to the “why” question?
For Niki, it is the main source of motivation.
Whatever dream we might have we will have the same two types of experiences. There will be times when everything goes our way as if the universe is on our side. But there will be also hard times. And if we don’t know why we are doing it all then trouble awaits us for sure.
We might get so discouraged that we start thinking that the whole thing is not for us. Everybody can have moments like that, including us.
Sometimes, though, it is a good thing to give up on a goal. If it wasn’t a true one of yours but something that was forced on you by the social environment then it was the right thing to quit. By answering the “Why” question you will be able to get to the bottom of it.
Fourth – have we done our definitions in the wrong way?
We can truly control only our actions and not the result. So, we must plan things in a way that our objective is towards what and how we do things.
It may not make much sense at first. We all are used to measuring success by the outcome. But while “losing 5 pounds” is not entirely under your control, “going to the gym three times a week” most definitely is.
If you fixate exclusively on the result only, you will put too much stress on yourself and start thinking that this is killing any joy of life.
And lastly – do we set unrealistic deadlines?
We all live in a culture of instant gratification and high pace when we need everything to happen right now and right here. But that doesn’t work out very well and often results in disappointment and frustration.
There is no such thing as unrealistic goals, there are only unrealistic deadlines.
So, the wise thing to do is to view your objectives in terms of how long they will take. Just make sure that something as overly ambitious as becoming a millionaire or a rock star cannot turn true overnight. Plus, it will stop you from seeing and appreciating your progress one step at a time within some normal pace. The best approach is based on the idea that the accumulation of small actions over time leads to some phenomenal results.
A little bit of a challenge at the end
At this point, you know what the potential pitfalls are and how to stay out of trouble.
And now it’s time for our little test:
After you read the last sentence of today’s article, take a small step towards a goal you gave up. Let it be an easy one but do it today. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Try to move the wheel a little bit and then more. You will be able to gain some more speed and momentum. That’s the way to achieve anything with less stress and effort.