midlife health & wellness, personal growth

How to Reach Goals Despite Obstacles | Make the Life You Want Happen

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How to Reach Goals Despite Obstacles

Don’t Let these 3 Things Stop You from Making the Life You Want Happen

There’s lots of talk about mindfulness – being in the present moment with full sensory appreciation of what is. Gratitude is the fastest way to feeling peace and fulfilment. But mindful appreciation doesn’t mean you can’t want more.

Pushing yourself to take steps toward more daily, to reach goals and live the life you want is a form of self-love and something many of us have lost the ability to do.

In our busy days focused on doing the things that need to be done, like work, paying bills, feeding the dog and responding to an endless flow of emails, texts and commitments – we can get stuck on these obstacles.

If You Want to Achieve Your Goals, You Need to Tackle these 3 Obstacles:

Procrastination

This is killer. We think we have weeks, months and years to make our personal goals and dreams happen. Truth bomb: we aren’t getting any younger! It can feel uncomfortable to commit to taking the steps we know are necessary to reach our goals.

The easy part is dreaming of the life we want for ourselves, the hard part is taking the actions to get there.

We procrastinate and put off taking action for another day, because today we are just too busy to work on that goal. Be honest with yourself, are you truly too busy, or are you choosing to do something easier, like binge-watching Netflix, instead of taking action.

“In the end, we kick ourselves. We regret the time wasted as deadlines approach, time runs out, and opportunity slips through our fingers.” – Ellen Hendriksen, PhD, psychologytoday.com

The time for us is now my friends! Stop putting off for tomorrow what you can do today. Stop making excuses to yourself or putting the blame on others.

You have a new opportunity to act each day, even if it’s a super-duper small action. Who wants to wake up when we’re eighty with regrets that hinged on putting ourselves off for too long! Don’t let procrastination stand between you and your goal.

Self-doubt

Many of us are procrastinating on taking those daily actions that will help us live the life we want because deep inside, our she-devil voice is telling us we can’t. It’s telling us we’re not enough. Not smart enough, young enough, determined enough, rich enough, strong enough – that we’ll fail anyway and so why bother.

The good news and the bad news. The bad news first – we may never totally shut down that she-devil voice of self-doubt. Now the good news – it’s all in our minds. That she-devil voice is not a real, solid, permanent hold-in-your-hands thing. We absolutely have power over her.

We have the ability to wrestle with that self-doubt, to shut it down, to ignore it, to slap it around.

There are endless ways to fill ourselves with positivity and inspiration, so many examples to look to around us of people who’ve overcome what seem like insurmountable challenges and yet they believed in themselves and kicked major booty!

“We always have a choice and although it can be hard to get out of the self-doubt mindset, with practice and some self-love, it’s possible.” – Lauren Stahl, mindbodygreen.com

So, figure out what helps you shush that self-doubt each day, i.e. affirmations, meditation, gratitude lists, sticky notes on your bathroom mirror, clipped magazine pics of whatever you’re dreaming of.

Remind yourself that self-doubt isn’t truth, it’s just your mind, your she-devil screwing with with you. Thinking about it that way can help take its power away from stopping us from taking the daily steps toward our goals.

Anxiety

It’s possible to be a positive person with loads of determination and the right mindset for overcoming self-doubt, but still be paralyzed from action by anxiety. It’s a daily part of our life in our heads to feel worry, nervousness or unease about something with an uncertain outcome or about an imminent event.

Where it gets ugly and goal-stopping is when the normal level of fear and worry becomes excessive. When we allow ourselves to become so uneasy and apprehensive that we shut down the idea or action entirely – which makes our daily steps toward our goals therefore not happen.

Anxiety is common and stops so many women from living the life they want. There is no easy answer to overcoming fear and worry. Those with serious anxiety should seek help from professionals for guidance in working their way through it.

But for those of us with mild anxiety stopping us from taking daily action toward our dreams, what I think helps is realizing that anxiety is a feeling. A feeling much like a shape-shifting liquid. Think of it as water (or wine if that helps!). It will take on the shape of whatever form we consciously pour it into.

If our worrying minds can pour our thoughts into the shape of fear and panic, couldn’t we train our minds to pour it into a different shape? To regain control through what we tell ourselves, through our breath, through relaxation techniques, through positive thoughts and love – to the shape of a smaller worry, the size that won’t stop us from taking the action.

Better yet, can we visualize pouring that anxiety into the shape of love or hope or excitement for how we’ll feel when we’ve gotten one step closer to the life we’re dreaming of? Don’t let anxiety be an obstacle that keeps you from reaching your ultimate goal for a happier life.

“One way to break the cycle is to learn to accept that not every intrusive thought is signaling a legitimate reason to worry; simply put, not every thought is true.” – Deborah Glasofer, PdD, verywellmind.com

Get moving

Understanding our limiting thoughts and behaviors is a step in the right direction. Exploring ways that work for each of us to overcome procrastination, self-doubt and anxiety should be a part of our plan for personal growth and self-care.

Cheers to moving closer to reaching our goals!

– Marlene

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6 thoughts on “How to Reach Goals Despite Obstacles | Make the Life You Want Happen

  1. the three are linked together. Never doubt yourself and all that you are capable of doing for you to gain the confidence you need and not be anxious of the things you need to accomplish. When you do that you’ll be more focused and committed in doing the things you need to reach your goal and finish your task on time.

  2. My biggest obstacle is procrastination or the “squirrel” syndrome. I start to research and constantly get re-directed to different topics within my main one and the next thing I know is its dinner time and I didn’t move forward in my goal. It’s a constant battle. My solution is to set my timer so when the notification pops up on my phone, I move onto the next task. It’s been a big help.

    1. Wendy, I do that too – I call it getting sidetracked, but underneath the side tracking and researching is really the self-doubt and anxiety that I’m not “ready” enough to tackle whatever the goal is. Love the timer idea! Thank you for sharing!

    1. For me, they are totally connected! With self-doubt and anxiety leading the pack… making me procrastinate! Always a work in progress, right? Thank you for your comment Kathy!

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