Most of the goals we pursue end up scattered in the cemetery of broken dreams. There are only a few ways to achieve a goal. Yet, there are countless obstacles that can derail us from reaching our goal.
We fail to reach our desired destination when one of these obstacles unexpectedly throws us off course. We lose momentum, motivation, and hope. We don’t find enough perseverance to get back on the track and try again.
Game over. Unrealized dreams. It doesn’t have to be this way.
It’s a certainty that many roadblocks will threaten your ability to reach your goal. You can flip this major problem into a minor and temporary disturbance by:
1) Anticipating the setbacks that are most likely to hold you back.
2) Formulating a strategy to overcome them before they knock on your doorstep.
Anticipate Setbacks before They Surface
When you set a new goal, you’re energized to jump in and get started right away. You want to reap the rewards of achieving the goal. There will be a time to use this motivation to turbo-charge your progress. Before that, it’s time to zoom out to see the big picture and create your blueprint for success.
One of the crucial steps in the planning phase is learning about the terrain ahead. This allows you to map the biggest challenges you’ll face on your journey. While others are reactive to the setbacks that arise, you’ll be deliberate, methodical, and purposeful in your actions. You’ll anticipate the roadblocks that you’ll have to go over, around, or avoid altogether.
How can you anticipate the setbacks you’ll face on a journey you haven’t taken before? Glad you asked. You’re not special. Your situation isn’t unique. Others have successfully the navigated the waters you’re about to embark upon.
You can learn from their mistakes and successes. You can find out the challenges they overcame. You’ll probably experience the same challenges.
There are many ways you can do this:
1) Google the reasons why people fail in the pursuit of the goal you’re targeting.
2) Find books, blog posts, and podcasts that deal with the subject.
3) Identify friends or acquaintances who’ve achieved your goal. Ask them what were the moments that made them want to give up.
When you’ve isolated the main causes of failure, it’s time to formulate a proactive game plan for dealing with them.
Develop a Plan to Defeat the Setbacks
A few years ago, my diet consisted of a heavy dose of carbs and sugar. I knew I needed to improve my diet for my long-term health. You can’t hit your target if you don’t know what it is, though. I didn’t really know what eating healthy meant at that time.
I didn’t just want to jump into one of the fad diets of the day without knowing if it was the real deal or the equivalent of the empty calories in a sugar-filled soda. Before choosing a diet, I focused on understanding the main obstacles that prevent people from eating healthy in the long-run.
I took the time to research and find the most reliable and trustworthy resources. I selected a few articles and books that would teach me everything I needed to know about nutrition.
I quickly realized there were two culprits that would most likely lead to my failure:
1) Not understanding what a healthy diet consists of.
2) Trying to follow the perfect diet that produces results in the short run but is impossible to follow in the long run.
I read and took notes on my hand-picked material. I developed a plan to avoid the major culprits I identified. I chose a diet I would be able to stick with for decades instead of weeks.
I chose a diet that would allow me to eat tasty food while minimizing unhealthy foods. I added a cheat day so I could eat whatever I want once a week without feeling guilty.
Pinpointing the biggest obstacles that would keep me from eating healthy and creating a plan to handle those obstacles resulted in the successful overhaul of my eating habits. By identifying the challenges that lie ahead and proactively strategizing for their arrival, you remove a significant amount of uncertainty from your journey. Instead of worrying about what could go wrong, you can confidently focus on building your skills, getting better, and taking consistent action towards your goal.
Developing a plan to overcome the major challenges that will present themselves is similar to the process of identifying the challenges. Research successful strategies for overcoming the challenges. Select the ones that are tailored to your unique strengths and weaknesses. Write down the plan and reference it on a regular basis so that you’re ready to execute the plan when the time arrives.
Achieve Your Thrilling Goals
If you know the obstacles that may get in the way of your progress and how to defeat them, you’ll feel more confident about your ability to succeed. You’ll silence some of the fears and doubts that keep you from getting started.
Building a step-by-step plan to handle the most threatening obstacles frees you to take swift action when the setbacks inevitably arrive. You’re prepared for them. You can smile and take them on with confidence because you were expecting them. You have a script to successfully navigate the rough seas.
Achieving ambitious goals can be broken down to one simple reality: if you continue taking action and moving towards your goal, you’ll achieve your goal eventually. You may not get there as fast as others, but you’ll get there.
Anticipating and planning for the roadblocks ahead gives you a huge edge and tilts the odds in your favor. It propels you past the obstacles. It keeps you moving in the direction of your dreams. Eventually, you’ll achieve your goal and reap the rewards you’ve dreamed about.
Jose Ramos helps readers build winning habits and mindsets, craft the life they want, and take their life to the next level at his blog: Upgrowth Effect.