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Article: Does Life Get in the Way of Goals? Here's the Answer! Related Resources

Does Life Get in the Way of Goals? Here's the Answer!
by Dale Stuemke

Let's face it, we can't control everything that happens in our life. We develop our goals and action plans, we work hard at them, we do our best...but sometime we find ourselves losing our focus. What can we do about it?

Situation One: Life Throws You a Curve Ball

This really isn't unusual, but it can certainly stop our progress. It can also cause doubts about whether we can really complete the plan and reach our goal. Let's look at this, I have a suggestion or two for you to use to defeat the distractions of life.

Have you ever had life really can get in the way of your goal achievement? I've experienced it many times. In fact, life seems to really go after me after I've set goals!

Sometimes we set work plans that turn out to be a bit too ambitious. Other times we will experience something that is just totally unexpected. Often something happens that disrupts more than just our goal plan. There can be health issues that pop up and require our total attention. There also can be other emergencies that throw themselves into our lives at the most inopportune time.

My wife and I had one of those inopportune events. We came home after being gone for a long weekend to find that a water pipe had broken and had run water into our home for three days! All of a sudden we were living in a hotel and dealing with the insurance company, contractors, and all sorts of problems we hadn't planned on. Life really did get in the way!

If this kind of thing happens, you have no choice but to accept the fact that your priorities have to be changed. Once you understand what the new priority requirements are you can make some adjustments to your work plan. This is really no different than when you find something in your work plan that doesn't produce the results you expected. You adjust the plan to fit the situation.

But remember, you are not throwing your goal out! The reason you are adjusting your plan is to keep the goal in place, even if its achievement is somewhat delayed.

Situation Two: No Curve Ball, Just Life

It's pretty easy to understand how you need to adjust to dramatic events in your life. But, what about life just taking its normal course and still distracting you from your goal? What about the more "normal" distractions? How do we deal with them? That's a little different topic and can require different tactics!

We need to learn to use specific techniques to hold our focus and overcome "daily life" distractions.

There are at least two different types of distractions. The first is where you've established your work plan, but, after diligently trying to follow it, you just can't fit it and the rest of your life into the 24 hours you get each day. You find yourself letting things that should be lower priority take time from your work plan. The second case occurs when your work plan is just too aggressive.

You need to carefully examine the situation to see which of these is the case. If lower-priority activities are the problem, you'll need to push those into their proper place. If your work plan is truly too aggressive, you'll need to carefully rework your plan so it fits into your life properly.

That sounds like an over simplification, but it really is that simple. We can try to find all kinds of reasons why our problems are different, but they probably fit into those two categories...unless...

How about when you're just struggling to maintain your focus. You know what that's like as well as I do. Maybe you find yourself procrastinating instead of taking the actions you know are needed. Maybe you're starting to doubt whether you can really do it. You might be thinking "Yeah, those others did it, but can I?"

I'm going to suggest that you learn how to talk to yourself. Really!

Start by writing your goal statement onto an index card. Make sure this is a positive wording of your goal. Next, be sure you have that card with you at all times. Read your goal statement aloud, with excitement and energy.

Do this at least three times a day. Early in the morning, in the middle of the day when you're in your routine, and the end of the day are the best times. (If you really want to add power, read it seven times at each of those three times!) When you do this, you will be helping your brain keep its focus.

You will literally reprogram your brain to believe that you can achieve that goal. Your subconscious mind will be listening. It will hear your goal, and it will hear your excitement. Doing this daily will result in your subconscious mind gradually improving your focus.

Does that sound preposterous? Try it for 21 days. If you look at the results, you'll have a nice surprise!

Dale Stuemke may be contacted at

And now I invite you to learn more by visiting Launch Your Goals to learn how to stop missing your goals and start living your dreams.


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