In this new article you’ll learn what distract you from achieving your goals.
Whether you will achieve your goal depends on how well you prepare for action and how you interpret the difficulties you encounter. The first stage is somewhat reminiscent of falling in love. The challenge excites us, and we grow in our own eyes, ready to take it on.
We are full of optimism, enthusiasm, and our motivation level exceeds ten on a scale of 1-10. We visualize the achieved goal with ourselves in the lead role and the accompanying emotions. We promise ourselves that we will be solid, disciplined, and we will succeed. So why do some of us get discouraged and give up?
I have the impression that the comparison with falling in love applies here as well – as if we suddenly stopped trusting our own hearts, and from then on, we began to interpret any difficulties and moments of hesitation as a signal to maybe withdraw, as surely nothing good will come of it, instead of acknowledging that crises are simply part of the journey and everyone experiences them.
Experiencing them always involves a change in life. We need to do something differently than before, stepping out of our familiar, safe world. On one hand, it excites us, but on the other hand, it can evoke fear because it puts us in new, unknown situations.
Stress, uncertainty, and sometimes failures arise, which may result in the desire to return to the world of habits, as comfortable as old slippers. But do we really want that?
The better we know what might happen along the way, the better we can prepare for it. Check what distracts you on the way to your goal and how you can deal with it.
What Distract You From Achieving Your Goals:
1. Specify your goal
The most challenging thing is to achieve something that has not been precisely defined. Without a clear vision of what we are aiming for, we lower our level of motivation. It’s a bit like wanting to win a race with the finish line somewhere lost in the fog.
We don’t know what tactics to adopt, how to distribute our energy during the race. We don’t even know when we will cross the finish line.
Wanting more time for yourself/for your family, wanting a better job – these are examples of such vaguely defined goals. Think specifically about what more time means for you: how many weekends per month, how many afternoons per week?
Specify your goal:
➔ Clearly define what you want. For example, if it’s a better job, specify five main criteria it should meet.
➔ If you want something in your life to be less or more – replace the words “less” and “more” with specific numbers. This way, you will know whether you have already reached the goal or if there is still a long way to go.
➔ Specify your goal in time – by when it should be achieved. You will recognize a well-chosen and defined goal by the fact that, on the one hand, it will arouse excitement as a challenge, and on the other hand, you will feel that if you make an effort, this goal is achievable.
2. Ensure an appropriate level of motivation
Often, we deviate from our path due to a decline in motivation. What could be the reasons for this? The engine of motivation is the desire to achieve something, which, in turn, is linked to the need to fulfill a value important to us.
The more important it is, the stronger the need for its realization. If you feel that your motivation is dropping, start by checking how crucial your goal is to you.
Ask yourself questions and write down the answers:
➔ Why is my goal important to me?
➔ What significant desire stands behind it? What important value will I fulfill through it?
➔ What will achieving this goal change in my life? List the five most important things.
➔ How will I feel then? What will I think of myself? What new things will I learn from this?
➔ Who else, besides me, will benefit from this? In what way?
➔ What will be the consequences if I give up my goal?
➔ How will it look a year from now?
➔ How about from the perspective of the next 5-10 years? List the five most important consequences.
If you are committed to success, make sure to maintain a consistent level of motivation. Regularly remind yourself why your goal is important to you. You can talk about it, write about it, and also recall specific moments or events that led you to set such a goal.
The emotions that accompanied you then. Keep a photo or an item associated with your goal that will remind you why you are doing all this. This will sustain your desire to act and maintain daily discipline. It will also help overcome temporary crises.
If reminding yourself why your goal is important doesn’t result in increased motivation, it may mean that you have set the wrong goal for yourself. Sometimes, we set substitute goals to cover up other desires that we don’t have the courage to admit. Make sure this is not the case for you.
Another thing that will help you is organizing matters that may distract you. It will be easier for you to focus on your aspirations.
Sometimes, fears of whether we will actually achieve what is so important to us or reluctance to make an effort undermine us. The key question then is: what do I have control over, and what do I not?
It may happen that more important matters temporarily push your proper goal to the background. But if it’s a matter of laziness, the choice always remains: yield to it or not. If we are afraid of whether we will succeed, we have a choice: give up at the beginning or try our best and see what comes of it. Which decision will make you feel better?
3. Take responsibility for your goal
Rory Vaden (1), the author of the book “Take the Stairs,” points out that when standing at the threshold of a decision, we have two attitudes to choose from: “I’m not sure yet” (e.g., whether it’s the right time, whether I’m ready) and “I’m all in” (I take 100% responsibility for my decision).
The first attitude raises the question: “Should I get involved in this?” and causes energy to drain away. The second attitude raises the question: “How will I do this?” igniting energy for action and seeking ways to achieve what matters to me.
Check your attitude
Why is this decision so important? Because our brain cannot contemplate whether it’s worth taking action and simultaneously take action. It needs a clear signal. Sometimes, not feeling confident, we start thinking that perhaps another goal will be better, we will be more convinced of it, and everything will go more smoothly.
Vaden dispels these hopes: “When we abandon the current challenge,” he writes, “and instead focus on something new – another job, relationship, exercise plan, gadget – we start the whole process from the beginning, but almost always end up in the same place. This happens because we don’t realize that it’s not the situation that is the real problem but ourselves.”
4. Write down a plan
Alee MacKenzie, a time management expert, believed that any action taken without a plan harbors the seed of failure. Enthusiasm is not enough. When it wanes, and you don’t have a plan, you may feel lost.
So, outline your goal into specific actions and determine the timeframe for their completion. Useful tools to use are daily, weekly, and monthly lists. Especially use the latter when your goal is relatively distant in time and requires long-term planning. Specify what the result should be by the end of each week/month.
This way, you will quickly enjoy the results of your actions and strengthen motivation for the next ones. Set priorities for each day/week/month. Act! Only by taking action will you find out if your plan is good or if it requires some changes.
5. Build habits of success
Do you know what habits you have and how they impact your plans? Because it is precisely these habits – whether good or bad – that will determine whether you will achieve your goal. After the initial enthusiastic phase, there may be a temptation to revert to old habits. That is, to demand less from yourself.
This is not proof that your goal is wrong or that you are not good enough – it simply means that you are learning new things and need time for them to become ingrained. You also need a daily decision that, despite certain resistances, you want to keep going. Habits can either support us or hinder the realization of our plans. Each of us creates our own.
As Brian Tracy (2) writes in “The Power of Self-Confidence,” “Every time you do something that brings you closer to achieving something important to you, you feel like a winner. However, every time you don’t do what brings you closer to your goal, or worse, you do something that takes you away from it, you feel like a loser.”
Remind yourself of several situations when you achieved your goal. What do they have in common? List the habits that made achieving the goal possible.
Recall situations when your efforts ended in failure. What do they have in common? List the habits that contributed to this. Decide which habits can benefit you and which ones you should avoid.
6. Be mindful of changing moods
Some days are better, and some are worse. There is no reason to question the meaning of your goal under the influence of a momentary low. Moods pass, and achieving an important goal brings lasting benefits and satisfaction. Especially since there are many tasks for which being in a great mood is not necessary at all.
For example, you can gather necessary information, write and send emails, plan for the next week, or simply tackle another item on your list. I write this based on my own experiences, and I’ll say it briefly: it works. And it works on several levels: primarily, your tasks move forward, your mood improves as a result, and the third thing – who knows, maybe the most important – you gain respect for yourself.
Ask yourself the question: do I agree to let moods decide whether I will achieve my goal? When you have a weaker day, make a more detailed list of tasks than usual.
Find ways to cope with worse days – determine what you can focus on during those times. If you easily succumb to changing moods, invest in support. Find someone who will help you avoid hasty decisions.
7. Tame the fear of failure
The fear of failure often leads us to abandon our goals and deprive ourselves of the opportunity to discover what we are truly capable of. As one soccer player once said: if you give up on shooting a goal, you lose 100 percent chance of scoring.
The same goes for when you abandon your goal due to fear. Interestingly, we are often inclined to ask ourselves in our thoughts, “What if it doesn’t work out?” forgetting about the other possibility: “What if it does?” What will you do then? How will it change your life?
The fear of failure often does not manifest itself directly. It may be behind behaviors such as procrastination, engaging in substitute activities, feeling constantly unprepared, or seeking reasons in other people or circumstances that supposedly prevent focusing on your own affairs.
What can you do in such a situation? First and foremost, accept that some failures will inevitably occur sooner or later. However, do not draw hasty conclusions from them. Include them as part of the process and approach them with a cool head. Ask yourself: what do I need to do differently next time? What should I pay more attention to?
Additionally, transform your fear into concern. Fear is vague and magnifies the threat, while concern relates to specific situations. Ask yourself what specifically you are afraid of and consider what you can do to prevent that situation from occurring and how you will resolve it if it does.
Critically examine your plans and find their weak points. Consider what you can change to increase the chances of success. Do it with a pencil in hand to better remember. Then focus on taking action – it’s the best remedy for fear. Remember that your brain cannot focus on two conflicting actions at the same time.
The same applies now – when you concentrate on action, there is no room for fear in your mind. Furthermore, as long as you are taking action, no failure is final – you always have the chance to make the right move.
Find a way for yourself
1. Distractions – when the urge to engage in something other than what you should overwhelms you, make a deal with yourself to do it only after finishing what you should.
2. If you feel resistance to working on your goal – make a deal with yourself to engage in the right actions for 15 minutes, and then take a break if they don’t draw you in.
3. Decide that when you focus on actions related to your goal, you won’t engage in anything else. Set a time, whether it’s an hour or more.
4. Read biographies of people who have achieved success in various fields. They usually honestly talk about their mistakes, failures, crises, and how they dealt with them.
5. When successfully taking a step that triggers your fears, appreciate yourself for it and remember such moments.
Our successes result from taking full responsibility for our goals and convincing ourselves to do the right things at the right time, regardless of temporary difficulties or whether we feel like it on a given day. This is how successful habits are built, making it easier for you to achieve subsequent goals as well.
Thank you for reading this article about what distract you from achieving your goals and I really hope that you take action my advice.
I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.