“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations.
I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty,
believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
Life often has twisting turns and potholes along the paths that we choose to walk. You must learn to navigate through and around them to get to your desired outcome. You have probably been through a couple of phases of your life already where you wondered if your luck would ever change for the better. Then, things began to settle down and you discovered the smoother, straighter road.
No matter where your journey leads you, staying focused on what you want in life will keep your spirits up and bring you joy. The key, then, to a more fulfilled and fulfilling life is to achieve your goals in spite of your obstacles.
So, how do you get through the rough spots?
1. Know where you are going. It is hard to make a plan for anything if you don’t really know what the end-point is or when you have arrived. Know exactly what you’re after in life. What do you want your life to look like? When you are certain of this, you can then plan your activities over the short and long term to help you achieve your goals.
2. Be precise. If you have followed this blog at all, you know what’s next. Make a list. And, keep your list of life goals short and to the point. Some good examples of life goals are: “Save 25% of my yearly earnings for kids’ education, vacations and retirement,” “Take budget-friendly vacations out of the country every 5 years,” and “Retire when I’m 67.”
3. Shower a few elements of achieving your goals into your everyday life. This will help you stay focused. For example, let’s say one of your goals is to travel to Australia three years from now. Get some books about Australia and have a couple of them around the house, like on your coffee table or nightstand. Listen to Australian talk radio shows on the web. Check out some television shows and movies about Australia.
- Make your life goals part of your everyday living so that even when life gets bumpy, you’ll be able to keep your eyes on what’s really important to you. After all, it will be right there in front of you.
4. Talk positively to yourself. Although some kinds of talking to yourself might not be seen as healthy, it can be quite helpful to use positive self-talk. When you do, you’ll be more likely to keep working toward your goals in life. Say something like, “I’m in a rough spot now, but I can still keep saving for my retirement and my kids’ educations.”
- Other examples of positive self-talk are “I can get through this challenging phase just like I have before,” “As long as I keep moving forward, things are going to be okay,” and “Life has in store many more wonderful adventures for me.”
- Using positive self-talk will keep your spirits buoyed when you feel like you’re floundering in choppy waters.
5. Reflect on and celebrate your efforts in order to reinforce them. Even though you may be struggling, think about what you accomplished just this week as steps toward your goals. Maybe you made a couple of phone calls, explored the internet to gather some additional information, or drew up a new budget to ensure that you are on target for saving for your life goals.
- The fact is you did something. And recognizing that something will help reinforce your efforts in your quest to achieve your goals. You can excel in times of great challenge.
I want you to stop reading and take a few moments to look carefully at the picture above…
On a personal note, two rotator cuff surgeries ago, I used to shoot compound bow competitively. With everything working correctly, this is neither a simple or nor an easy task. Look carefully at the man in the picture. He is seated. We can only conjecture as to why, but this makes the task at least twice as hard. My guess is that he is not sitting because he chooses to, but because he must. Look again. He has no right arm. He is pulling the bowstrings into position with his teeth, while lining up the target. His assistant can only help with stabilizing the bow. Ha cannot aim for him. He cannot shoot for him. All of the other components of getting this right rest upon his shoulders, and within his head and heart. What’s my point?
Whatever your goals are, keep working toward accomplishing them even though life throws more than a few obstacles at you. Know for certain what you are after and stay focused. Make your life goals a part of your every day life and use positive self-talk. Acknowledge what you have already done successfully to keep moving forward. Applying even a few of these strategies can help you consistently work to meet your life goals. What’s holding you back?