You have the most amazing goal and a solid plan to reach it!
You are on your way to success. You are following the steps you’ve carefully crafted with determination and consistency. Then BAM! life comes at you and knocks you off your tracks, and you are thrown off task.
Welcome to the real world, where the best laid plans won’t guarantee you success.
It’s about what’s right for you:
When it comes to helping others reach their goals, as far as I am concerned, the first priority is to help people understand exactly what they need to feel fulfilled, then work with them to get past roadblocks, and only once that is done do we create a working plan of action that’s actually going to get them where they want to be. The whole process is done keeping one fundamental principle in mind:
[bctt tweet=”It’s not about what’s right, it’s about what’s right for you. #thrivinghuman” username=”lifenfocus”]
People who work with me know that before you start creating goals you need to understand what you need, and how those things are going to fit into your life. They know that in order to succeed in reaching a goal we need to talk about the personal barriers, assumptions and thoughts that act as roadblocks to your dreams – these usual suspects are the greatest impediments to change. People who work with me know that in creating a great plan of action, a lot of our focus is going to be on internal roadblocks, rather than external circumstances.
But every once in a while even those best laid plans get messed up by good old life circumstances – a situational barrier or five you can’t just think your way through. So what’s a girl or guy to do, when you have an amazing plan, but life get’s in the way?
Work with it!
Life is nothing if not distracting; there are so many things to do, so many reasons to get drawn away from our goals and plans : a huge deadline is looming at work, you find out your kid has a homework problem (meaning they haven’t done it, in weeks and the school is on your back), or you catch a cold, or your car breaks down… the possibilities are as endless as time, and they all need to be addressed. Addressing them, however, doesn’t mean you need to drop everything else, especially your goals or dreams. It’s no secret that when life gets in your way you have to work with and through it. Unfortunately, most people allow life to distract them from the things they want.
If you want to keep up with all life’s distractions as well as your personal plans and dreams, it’s going to take some work, you’ll have to be flexible, creative and focused.
Flexible means you figure out how to fit your goals into your existing life. It means you accept to deviate from your beautifully and carefully crafted plan, and make necessary amendments that take into account the “circumstances” life is throwing your way.
Flexible means you accept that there isn’t just one right way to do something.
[bctt tweet=”Life isn’t going to stop to let you move forward with it. Life doesn’t care about you or your goal” username=”lifenfocus”]
Creative means you take a different approach to your goal. It means, you look at the plan you have laid out and you craft variants on a theme. Sometimes it means you learn how to extract the smallest possible value out of your plan so that you can fit some part of it into your inconvenient life. When you know what need a goal is supposed to satisfy, then it’s easier to be creative, because you can look at new ways of meeting that need given current circumstance and roadblocks.
At the end of the day a goal you’re working on is something you want. Life isn’t going to stop for it, life doesn’t care about you or your goals.
If you know you have circumstances that are standing in your way, and you realize those circumstances are holding your back, don’t give up the plan.
Don’t put your goals off until things get easier.
Hold your course, and maintain the direction you had, but you allow for flexibility and creative engineering of your steps to make your goal realistic and right for you given that you have a life, and that life gets in the way.
Real world, real problems, real person
Like most people, and especially like most parents, Krista doesn’t focus on herself; everyone else’s needs come before hers. Who is everyone else? Her three sons, her husband, her friends, family, customers, the au pair, the dogs and the business, of course. When all of these fine folk are taken care of Krista can go to bed, because really there’s no time left in a day after all that.
Being a mom is tough work!
Krista signed on for coaching with a specific focus, she wanted to start taking care of herself. She wanted to find a way to sneak her name somewhere in that list of people she tends to.
She worked on a plan, a good one if I might say so, and got right to work. The first week she started to focus on herself she did great. She had goals, took some immediate steps, set limits with others.
Then life decided to happen, and she found out two of her kids were struggling with school work [cue the sound of screeching tires]. Krista’s limits about getting enough sleep went out the window as she stayed up late helping her boys with their homework. She was tired, less efficient therefore taking more time to get things done, which meant that suddenly she couldn’t find the time for her twice daily 20-minute meditation practice or her time outside.
Thing could have snowballed, and in most cases, within a few weeks Krista would be back where she started. Luckily for her, she was in the middle of a coaching program, so we worked on it.
Flexible: We allowed for the fact that in the short-term she’s wasn’t going to get to bed by 10PM most nights. We looked at her meditation practice, and acknowledged that once a day was better than never, and any time at all was better that none. On a cognitive level, Krista certainly had to work on the assumption that if her plan was not executed as written she had failed. She had to accept that there are many versions of good.
Creative: Hey, daydreaming is relaxing right? So are five minutes of deep breathing, or a good old-fashioned stretching session. These became alternatives to the 20 minute meditative process. Getting out with the dogs for a walk would be great, but just finding the time to stand outside or walk through the yard also counted as outside time…
Focused: Krista did not allow herself to shelve her self-care goals just because life got stressful, this is when she needed them the most. So 10PM may not have been a daily reality, but she tried for it whenever she could. She also tried to rest when possible.
She didn’t give-up on her meditation goal, she made it work for her; she worked on small meditative exercises throughout her day. She continued to revisit her plan and find ways to make it work, to prioritize her goal, but did so taking into account and working with her current circumstances.
Krista was able to do this, to get past undeniable, unavoidable circumstantial roadblocks, not because we had a perfectly crafted plan, but because her plan was built to be not just right, but specifically right for her. Which bring us back to the primary principle of success and staying on track: make sure that whatever you set out to do, you make it right for you. Know how the goals you set feed into your needs, be aware of your roadblocks, and when the unexpected comes to mess with your plan, be flexible, creative and focused.
So when life gets in your way don’t give up, don’t think you have to put your goals on hold. Try the three steps outlined in this article. And if you need help, you can always touch base with me.