Today’s blog is for those of us who find ourselves cranking along towards our goals, and then, all of the sudden, we seem to struggle with achieving our goals. Not even struggling to achieve, but even waning in our drive to even bother going after our goals. This happens to most everyone at some point, particularly when going after some of those larger goals.
The reality is if you are trying to accomplish this goal while holding down a normal life, chances are you will have several distractions, disruptions, and disasters in pursuit to any worthwhile goal. You see, as we often discuss, achieving a goal often requires us to grow in ways that we were not necessarily prepared for. For instance, the discipline you need to lose weight, or change your body in some significant way is quite challenging. It is equally challenging to start your own business on the side while holding down your “day job”. Most all worthy goals will require a huge commitment of time, energy, and possibly money.
For these reasons, you are destined to have frustration while going after that large goal. The setbacks can take place in several ways; you may be struggling to set aside enough time to work on it. Maybe you need some training or a program to accelerate your growth and can’t afford the course at this time, or don’t have time to invest right now. You may even find yourself fighting with yourself to stop doing menial tasks as a way of procrastinating doing the work necessary to complete the goal.
This last scenario probably sounds like a silly one, however, it is a very real situation. This was one I struggled with while writing my first book. I was so determined to make it successful, that I changed the topic 4 times over 2 years. Then I changed my intended purpose for the book which changed how I wrote it as well as I was going to market it. Ultimately, I had to take time off from pursuing my book goal, I took 6 months off and I was already 6 months past my self-imposed due date. During this time, I strategized where I was and what I needed to fulfill this goal.
Writing a book, like any other worthy goal that requires considerable time and attention, was such a big stretch for me, it really challenged my belief system, self-confidence, and self-worth. It shouldn’t have, but it certainly did and in ways I never experienced before. I am not a great writer; however, I have begun to appreciate the process in the last 10 years during which time I found a voice. The technical process of writing was not something I thrived at in school, nor did I care to invest more time, I was great at math subjects and writing was a necessary evil to me. So, this process was much harder than I had anticipated in the beginning.
In the end, I was able to circle back and leverage my own training, staying focused on the “Why” of my goal and understanding what I needed to learn and improve on to move forward. I invested more time understanding this new skill, and I consumed books on self-publishing picking up new tips and tricks. Additionally, I leveraged my friends, coaches, mentors, and accountability partners to almost literally push me to complete the book. I want to share a huge thanks to my team that helped me get to a published book!
As I count down the weeks to launch date, I assess this experience. I think about all the reasons why I struggled, and how common these challenges were for others in achieving their goals. Here is a quick list of why this tends to happen:
Since my goal carried over from year to year, I didn’t recognize that I was still committed to my previous year’s # 1 Break-Thru Goal and as such created a new one, which was dumb. Had I vetted my goals process with my coach, I would have recognized this. Instead, I spent 6 months struggling while committed to a new # 1 Goal and trying to make time for that goal. In the end, I basically caused a rather large bottle-neck of effort and made myself extremely frustrated even depressed, which is not my personality.
As soon as I took time to cycle back through my goals which I had been struggling with for more than half the year. I realized I was trying to make progress on two separate goals, neither of which I was 100% committed to. Since my efforts were being split and I already have a full-time job which takes a good deal of time. I only have a limited amount of time to complete secondary projects and neither was getting the amount of time necessary to make progress. I recognized this after a few weeks of reflecting on my process and having discussions with friends and coaches.
Once I made this distinction, I made the necessary decision on which goal took priority, after a short meditation exercise and immediately moved forward that day with the next course of action which lead to me completing the book, or at least the 1st version in just 5 weeks. A month later, I re-wrote 60% of the book based on valuable feedback and submitted the final version to my editor. In 3 months, I had gotten more done than I had in the previous year, because I got clear on what I wanted and why.
A clear “Why” is often the biggest detractor from people achieving the biggest, most elusive goals we set for ourselves. Make sure that when you follow a goal setting process that you don’t short cut the process and neglect any part of it. Stay the course with a proven process and make certain that you are designing your life with purpose. Ensuring you know what you want and why you want it is an integral component in being able to do this.
Best of luck.