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5 Steps to Move Forward with Your Goals

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by Lauren Mackler

Feeling stuck or unable to accomplish your goals? Change can be difficult, and many people lose motivation to achieve their goals. When you slip up, just think of it as course-correcting. Welcome the challenge—it means that you’re taking charge of your life! Don’t judge yourself. Instead, treat yourself with compassion, and determine what’s needed to get back on course.

Below are some pitfalls people encounter and practical strategies to overcome them.

  1. Prioritize and focus. If you feel overwhelmed, you may be trying to achieve too much at once. Step back and look at your goals. If you’re doing too much, it’s time to re-prioritize. Maybe you need to work on two goals instead of three. Or maybe one of your goals requires a lot of steps, so it’s taking up all your energy. Identify the goals that are most important to you. If you need to, just focus on one goal at a time and don’t move on to the next one until the first one is complete.
  2. Encourage yourself. People become discouraged when they listen to their “inner critic”—the voice that says: “You’ll never make it.” “It’s hopeless.” “This is too hard.” Whatever that voice is saying, articulate a response, drawing from the part of you that feels strong and confident. Be your own cheerleader. Review your accomplishments; remind yourself of what you’re capable of doing and being. Instead of focusing on the old voice that drags you down, actively support and listen to the part that believes you can achieve what you want.
  3. Solicit support from others. You’re more likely to slip up when you’re trying to accomplish your goals by yourself. It may be that you don’t have an outer support system in place to help you maintain focus and provide the external encouragement everyone needs. Outer supports might include a trusted friend, a coach or therapist, or a support group. Avoid situations that trigger sabotaging patterns. For example, if you eat junk food when you’re feeling lonely, scheduling activities with others will help you bypass the old trigger and remain on-course.
  4. Practice good self-care. Taking good care of yourself is key to achieving your goals. A lack of energy typically relates to a failure to sustain your inner support system, which provides the physical, emotional, and mental energy needed to achieve your goals. If you’re eating poorly, neglecting your health, or living a high-stress lifestyle, you’re depleting your inner resources. That will make it difficult to maintain the energy you need to participate fully and actively in your life.
  5. Love and respect yourself. If you don’t have a loving relationship with yourself, it’s hard to sustain the motivation to take action and make good choices for yourself. Loving yourself compels you to make lifestyle choices that make you feel good and generate the results you want. If you feel unmotivated, revisit your relationship with yourself and make a conscious effort to treat yourself with respect, love, and compassion—just like you would treat a close and cherished friend.

How do you best try to move forward?

© 2012 Lauren Mackler

Lauren Mackler is a world-renowned coach and author of the international bestseller Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life. To sign up for her free Live Boldly e-newsletter, click here.

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