Why is it that we often hit roadblocks when we’re chasing our goals? Whether you’re someone who loves setting goals or you’re all about creating vision boards to map out your dreams, the frustration of not making headway even after half a year or a whole year can be a real downer. This can lead to giving yourself a hard time, feeling stressed out, and just generally feeling like you’re not cutting it, because those goals you had your sights on are still out of reach.
1. Going After Goals That Seem Out of Reach
Sometimes, our goals can be as huge as an elephant in the room. Imagine sitting down for a meal and being served up an entire elephant – that’s the size of it.
Naturally, you’d think, “I can’t possibly eat all that!” But if someone handed you a small chunk, you’d be able to handle it.
It’s like the saying goes, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
Our ambitions can be a lot like that elephant, and the problem often is that they’re so massive we can’t even wrap our heads around them.
We forget to break them down into smaller, doable steps that we can actually start working on right now.
2. Chasing Goals That Don’t Really Fit
Another reason we get stuck with our goals is that sometimes we’re chasing after things that don’t really match up with who we are deep down.
We end up focusing on stuff that we think we’re supposed to do, influenced by what others say or societal norms. But the catch is that this can lead us away from what truly gets us excited, what our personality resonates with, and what lights our fire.
Finding alignment between what truly tickles our fancy and what we’re aiming for is pretty important.
Think about those rabbit holes you dive into on social media – those are often a clue to what really grabs your attention.
Embracing these interests can help us set goals that actually feel achievable and satisfying.
3. Not Having a Clear Idea of Why, What, and How
A solid way to get unstuck from goal-related messes is to work on three key questions: your purpose, your vision, and your mission.
First up, think about your purpose – what really makes you feel like you matter? When do you feel like you’re contributing and making a difference?
Then there’s your vision – where do you see yourself headed? Once you’ve thought about your values and what you hold dear, things start to become clearer. You start picturing where you want to be.
And lastly, there’s your mission – kind of like in those Mission Impossible movies, “Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is X.” How are you going to get there? How are you going to make that vision happen? What are the things you need to do?
This is where you carve out your mission statement, the tasks that will bring your vision and purpose to life.
Once you’ve got a handle on your values, purpose, vision, and mission, they become like your personal mantras.
You’re like, “This is who I am, this is where I’m going, this is what matters to me.” And when you’re faced with some tough decisions, you’ve got a straightforward answer.
You know yourself and your direction, and that’s the path you’re taking.
What I’ve noticed when I’ve taken people through these exercises is that their choices suddenly become super clear. They’re not doubting themselves, and they’re able to make big changes – switch careers, nab promotions, stand up for themselves.
They focus on their strengths at work, feeling good about that, and they don’t beat themselves up over their weaknesses. They use their strong points to prop up their weaker spots, getting things done and reaching their goals.
Sometimes, as you’re digging into this self-discovery process, those lofty goals you initially set might change. It’s funny, because as you work through the process, you might realize that those goals just aren’t really “you.”
Like saying you want to write a book – that’s a classic one. But when you actually go step by step and see if it lines up with who you are and where you’re going, you might find it’s not the right fit. And that’s okay. You might end up uncovering a different path that matches you better.
So, if you’re feeling stuck with your goals, take a breather and think about this…
Are you chasing after what’s important to you, or are you trying to be someone else’s version of you? What really gets you jazzed, and what feels right? What’s the big picture of where you want to go, and how are you going to get there?
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About the Author
Her professional experience has included contracts with small business, Not For Profits, Aboriginal Organisations, Media, Marketing, Aged Care, Universities, Health Services and Cruise Ships