It’s no secret that life’s little interruptions often get in the way of the goals we set.
It is not uncommon for even the goals with the best intentions take a backseat when the car breaks down or the dog needs to go to the vet.
Unfortunately, some people believe that if they’ve already fallen off track with their new year’s resolution by March that it is too late to salvage and they may as well give up.
This could not be further from the truth!
The simple fact is that it does not matter when you set a goal, as long as you set one!
If you’re ready to stop life’s little interruptions from derailing your goal progress, here is a three step exercise that will help flip your thinking and get you on your way.
1: Get a piece of paper and write your goal in the center of the page.
You might choose to focus on a goal you set as a resolution at the beginning of the year or perhaps there is something else you would like to achieve.
If you have more than one goal in mind or you’re not sure where to start, it can be helpful to consider the one most important thing you would like to achieve this year.
This goal could be absolutely anything. You might want to pay off a loan, increase your fitness levels, plan a holiday, plant a vegetable garden, enroll in a course or learn a new skill. The possibilities are endless.
2: The next step is to draw some arrows pointing towards your goal.
At the end of each arrow, write down all the things that could get in the way of achieving your goal.
These can be external factors such as children getting sick, your job, household chores, landlord inspections, unexpected household repairs, appliances breaking down or family emergencies.
There may also be some internal, personal factors such as negative beliefs about yourself and your ability to reach your goals.
Every time these internal and external factors pop up, we put our goal on hold while we attend to them.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, but if you are serious about achieving the goal you have set out for yourself, you are going to need to set some boundaries and change your way of thinking.
This brings us to the next step.
3: Flip your perspective.
Instead of making your goal fit around your internal and external factors, flip your way of thinking and make these factors fit around your goal.
For example, if you are studying or learning another skill outside of work and your boss throws some unexpected last-minute overtime at you, you may have previously put that evenings classes aside and stayed back at work instead.
With this new flipped way of thinking, you goal now comes first. This would require you to instead politely decline the overtime and go home to complete your class.
By saying no to the external factor of overtime, you are nurturing your goal by putting it first and working your life around it instead of trying to work your goal around your life.
In this way, your goal becomes your priority and you may find that some of the roadblocks you were experiencing in the past aren’t actually that important.
You may realise that it simply isn’t worth skipping a class or missing out on a networking event just because the lawn needs mowing or that wardrobe needs clearing out.
Underneath each internal or external factor, write a few points on how you might manage this factor when it pops up.
What works for one person won’t work for the next, so be realistic and true to yourself and your own personal needs when coming up with your points.
When you’re done, you might like to stick this piece of paper where you can see it, whether that’s on the fridge, in your room, on your desk or even behind the toilet door!
If a roadblock comes up, refer to it and put your management points into action to combat them.
On those darker days where things get tough, read the goal you wrote in the center of the page and remember why this goal was so important to you in the first place.
Life is full of distractions; think about how unstoppable you would be if you no longer allowed them to get in your way!