Have you ever felt adrift – as if you’re moving but not really in any particular direction?
I have – for several months now.
Since that’s not exactly a bad feeling to have, I’m not sure why it’s been bothering me as much as it has, but even still, I’ve been trying to figure out what’s causing it and also what to do about it.
Several months ago I found myself at the finish line after setting (and achieving) a couple of significant goals. And when I say these goals required me to stay focused that is truly an understatement; I was living a very restrictive (self-inflicted) lifestyle in order to achieve these goals in the limited timeframe I’d set for myself.
During this process though, I learned a couple of things about myself: a) I can actually stick with something once I make up my mind to do so, and b) I had the power all along!!
Knowing this has opened up a world of possibilities.
In other words: note to self: “The meter is running…what else ya got??”
That would explain the ‘floundering about’ feeling I’ve been having.
So, if you happen to be like me and view your life as one, big, outstretched map before you – deciding where to put those little map flags on the map is almost as much fun as actually going to the ‘places’ (insert any goal here) they represent. You’re determining the path you will take that will lead you to your next adventure (whatever goal that may be). And the goals you set and achieve along your route are nice reminders to propel you further along, reminding you that you have what it takes to decide where you’d like to ‘go’ next.
Now, I know there are tons of blog posts/self-help books out there about goal setting (I’ve read the majority of them) but no matter how much I read about it, nothing helped quite as much as going through it myself and looking back on it now.
But the first and most important thing I learned was this little nugget of information:
You have to want it badly enough. READ THAT AGAIN.
You have to want it badly enough.
If you don’t want it badly enough you won’t stick with it long enough. End of story.
Had those authors put this little disclaimer on the cover of all of those self-help books and blog posts I’ve read, I would have saved myself SO much reading time!
But here’s the good news – if you DO want it badly enough – here are three things I’ve learned to help get you there.
1. Staying focused and goal oriented is a great confidence builder. But you have to be very specific about what you will or won’t allow and stick with it. NO EXCEPTIONS. This is important. Be honest with yourself about what it will take to reach your goal and keep that goal in sight at all times. If veering off the path at any time will cause a setback; make sure you are aware of this so there will be no surprises or disappointments. Keep track on a daily basis because….
2. When you have a lot of confidence you can achieve a lot of stuff. Knowing where you are on the path at all times will help you stay on track. Seeing your progress is a great motivator. And don’t buy into the ‘I’ve done so well I will treat myself’ downward-spiraling mindset either. That is the worst thing you can do! And try…
3. Working under pressure of a deadline – it ups the stakes significantly – the goal is no longer just something you’d ‘like’ to achieve – it becomes the very thing you want badly enough! Remind yourself every time you think about straying how it will impact your ability to reach your goal. It will keep you from getting the thing you want most. How dare that temptation!! And after working so hard to get where you are… In the beginning stages of goal setting it’s sometimes necessary to be in an ‘all or nothing’ mindset – at least until the process begins to move forward (with little extra effort). Momentum is very important. Your goal will become very personal at this point and that’s a good thing.
So ask yourself: What goal do you want to achieve?
Do you want it badly enough??
If so, then just remember this:
Monitor and defend it.
It really is that simple!