What do you do when life interferes with your grand plans? Do you think it is an exception and soon you will be back on track working towards your targets? Life's circumstances are not exceptions, they are the rule. We will always get interrupted. We will always get bombarded with other stuff. People want so much from us. The weather and traffic will throw a tantrum. The friends we trusted to support us will let us down. Stuff is going to happen and there will be set backs.
What can you do to help you back on course? We collected 9 ideas for you to be back building your more exciting life when life's circumstances get in the way.
1) Identify your excuses
You are your own worst enemy. Get to know your excuses as it is the only way you can tackle them as they raise their ugly heads during the course of a busy week. Is yours about time ('Today is not a good day, I'll do it tomorrow.') or inspiration ('I'm not inspired right now.') or perhaps that there are other more important things to do right now ('I must hang the laundry.' ... really?!). Kick your excuses in the butt and get on with it!
2) Put yourself first
Do you tend to put everyone else's needs before your own? It sounds so noble but nice girls don't get to go places. If you are dealing with adults, you should let people around you act like one and take care of themselves. If you are putting yourself last because that is what you deserve, there is some serious work to be done on your self-confidence. (Zen Habits blog post on '25 Killer Actions to Boost Self Confidence' is a good read for starters.)
3) Say no
Closely linked to the one earlier, you must learn how to say 'no'. Create time for yourself and simply refuse letting people steal your time. For women this may be difficult as we often think everything we do must be perfect. Well, if we are to change our direction we must accept we can't do everything we used to do and on non-critical stuff we should let our standards drop.
4) Don't hide behind guilt
Women are experts on guilt. Especially mothers! We have a special way of making ourselves important just by dropping the 'G' word. Margie Warrel wrote a brilliant article about mother guilt in Forbes, and says: 'I enjoy being involved in my children’s activities and in their lives. But I also know that they don’t need me cheering at every game, creating scrapbooks for every milestone, or welcoming them home from school with fresh baked muffins in order to feel loved and to grow into secure and well-rounded adults.'
5) Don't be lazy
We all know that moment when we are just about to do something that would be really useful for us, something that would take us towards our goals. That moment when we are just about to start, something happens. A switch goes off in our heads and we go...'Aah, I can't be bothered. I feel a little lazy right now. Let's check what is going on in Facebook...' Try to catch yourself at that very moment and hit the breaks. Return to what you are about and do what needs to be done.
6) Stop lying to yourself
We often want to give ourselves a little rosier picture of our efforts than actually is true. Or we simply try to hide the problems that should be fixed. Often the fastest way to make progress is to stop lying to yourself and accept the truth about your situation. By accepting our problems we are able to come up with solutions and actually fix things. This removes real obstacles and allows you to start moving freely towards the life you want.
7) Create a right environment
If you get easily distracted by everyday circumstances, then you should try to get away from the activities and people who distract you. Perhaps this means working in a different room. Don't fill up your social calendar as usual. Skip a holiday. Take the kids to grand parents for a weekend.
8) Create habits
Try to automate actions that will help you to move forward regardless of life's distractions. A study revealed that we are actually more motivated by the daily routines we create rather than our goals alone. Good habits give us instant reward and are a result of learning. Goals can seem far away and vague and we are not sure if are ever even going to reach them. Therefore daily learning and idea of moving towards a more exciting life is more important than actually reaching our goals.
9) Remind yourself
The framed quotes on office walls are a cliche for a good reason. Inspirational quote can remind you about your dreams and help you re-focus when distraction hits. Some people wear a wrist band to remind themselves about their mission. A visual moodboard about your future life is a powerful tool to keep you concentrated on what you are all about and where you want to get to. But what ever your tool, use it.
Please write below if you have created useful tools or ideas to keep yourself moving forward regardless of what daily life throws at you.
Have a great and productive week. Don't be afraid to keep looking for your purpose if you haven't found it. And don't let life's circumstances stop you from moving towards a more exciting life!