Change is hard! And don't let anyone tell you anything different. Sure, it might seem easy at first, because it's exciting and different, but most times you can't just WILL yourself to be a certain way or do a certain thing. You have to take several steps that end up building on each other and soon the change you were longing for happens. But it never happens overnight. Sometimes while we're in the midst of creating those steps, we can start to lose focus or worse, start allowing doubt to sneak in. So here's nine questions you can ask yourself that will hopefully help to motivate you to keep you moving forward!! Don't give up! You can do whatever you set your mind to!!
Question 1: "What is the next possible step?" Maybe you have gotten yourself overwhelmed and your goals loom over you like a huge wave on your first surfing trip. Don't try and do everything all at once. Take the big things and break them down to bite size tasks. What is the next little bite you can take? Don't try to do everything at once. A lot of times, you'll end up doing nothing because of overwhelm.
Question 2: "Is there anything in my life that is not aligning with my goals?" Your mind can sense when you're trying to do one thing but really feel another. Make sure your goals are lined up with what YOU want in your life. You cannot live your life according to anyone else but you. Don't do something to win approval, because your boyfriend has the same goal and while it is noble thing to become a doctor or lawyer because your mother wants that for you, if you get sick at the sight of blood or hate to speak in front of people, then those two careers are not in line with who you are. Get straight on the things you want and cross off those items that fall into that view of your future.
Question 3: If you've attempted this goal before and failed, ask yourself: "What can I do differently THIS time to get a different outcome?" Just because you have been at this crossroad before, doesn't mean that things will end up the same as last time. First of all, you are a different person. You grow and change a little bit everyday. And as much as everything SEEMS the same, there are minute differences. Don't assume that the past will repeat itself.
Question 4: "Is this an 'I can't' or an 'I choose not to' situation?" All changes; goals, require sacrifice. As I mentioned before, change is not easy. So what are you willing to do to make your goals happen? Don't blame circumstances for not moving forward. Be honest with yourself. Is it really an "I can't" problem or are you ignoring other options? Don't sell yourself short! (And remember, there is ALWAYS someone worse off than you! Don't get caught in an "I can't pity party!)
Question 5: "What will happen - how will I feel- when I reach this goal?" Let your imagination bring a little of the future into the present. Imagine how you will feel when you reach this goal? Happy? Relieved? Proud? How will your life be better when you reach this goal? Take a few moments to think on it and write down what you see. Hang on to that and refer to it when you get stuck again or have doubts!
Question 6: "What's the worst that can happen?" Are you feeling intimidated by the unknown? What if you do all this work and you don't reach the goal? Make the money? Get the job? Get into the school? What is the worst that can happen? Usually the answer is not death. So anything better than that, you'll be fine. Your pride might be wounded. You might be broke. You might have to wait a little longer. But none of this was time wasted. If you have truly been working toward your goals this has been nothing less than a learning experience. When you are ready to go after it again, go back to question 3. What will you differently this time around?
Question 7: "What is not working?" No matter what you're trying, nothing seems to be working? Perhaps it is how you are working or the circumstances around you. Are you having to work on your goal in the morning when you're a night person? Are you not getting enough sleep? Are you in an environment that is not allowing you to focus? Are you not getting any "you" time? All work and no play? Or is it all play and no work? What isn't working for you and how can you change it? Can you carve out an hour or two at night to work on your goal? Can you get to a park or library to help you concentrate? Think outside the box.
Question 8: "What negative things do I need to let go of?" Are there bad habits that may be hindering your progress? Sleeping until noon? Eating unhealthy foods that drain your energy? Are there negative people around you that you need to steer clear of while you work on your goals? Surround yourself with positive people that will encourage you and help lift you up when you get down. Are you in a no-where job that is not helping you at all? Can you find work in the area you are studying? Stay away from anything (or anyone) who will distract you from your goals. You don't need negative energy in your life (ever), but especially not when you are trying to better yourself. People sometimes lash out when they see others trying to succeed. Don't let them slow you down!
Question 9: "What is distracting me?" This is the one that I have to constantly stay on top of. Change takes focus. So what is breaking up your focus? I teach that is not a good idea to be working on more than five goals/projects at one time. Even one more than that can diffuse your focus. So do you have too many irons in the fire? Have you promised yourself for too many events? Did you make too many commitments that it feels you have no time to sleep? This is where you need to take a step back and look for things you can delete or at least put to the side. Chose your top five fav's to concentrate on and work on those as much as possible.
Question 10: "I'm not really all that stuck, am I?" This is where you take inventory of everything you've done thus far. Go ahead, look behind you. Look at how many steps you've already taken! Look how far you've come! Look at how much you have learned! Look at how many small bites you've already taken! You are probably further along than what you might have thought! Give yourself time to celebrate the little achievements that you've made along the way! (Who doesn't need celebratory cake?) Congratulations!! Don't give up now! Keep creating one step to build on your next step.
For even more encouragement look at the speak out post You Can't Climb a Smooth Mountain
Make sure have those goals in mind as you do everything! Take the time to lay them out and see where you want them to go. Then give each one some attention every day. You can't hit a target you can't see!
Which one of these questions helped you today? Let me know about your progress!! You can do this!! Don't give up and you WILL reach those goals!!