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Goal setting and goal planning is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future.  It generates internal motivation so you can turn your dreams into reality.  The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. This process takes time, deliberate thought and reflection.  It also requires discipline, an emotional connection to the goal and a strong desire to succeed.  Otherwise – why are you setting a goal?

Here’s the truth: Goal setting is hard.  It’s hard because you must be willing to limit your options in the beginning. Goal planning absolutely works!  However, life gets in the way sometimes.  Along the road to your goal there will be obstacles and there will opportunities.  My key piece of advice is to remain focused, stick to your plan, yet be flexible to change – otherwise known as adapting to life’s road bumps.

Here are a few tips, strategies and options that you can follow to manage your expectations and be realistic about achieving your goals:   

  • When you hit an obstacle, take a moment to put things in perspective and then make a list of the things that you have control over. What don’t you have control over in this situation? What can you change? What can’t you change?  
  • If a new opportunity arises weigh up the pros and cons. If you took this opportunity will it completely derail my goal or is just a sideways step that might led to something awesome.  No one is perfect, you can give yourself permission to be flexible.
  • Make a list of all the things you DO NOT WANT to happen in reference to your goals.  Focus on removing the obstacles and only look at what you do want to happen every day.  Concentrate on moving forward by focusing on the positive and what you learned to keep you on track.
  • You get what you focus on, so be conscious of the commands you are giving to your subconscious. Silence your inner skeptic with positive thinking and affirmations.
  • Stay faithful to the main goal and not just the plan as you may be presented with new or exciting life opportunities along your path.
  • If you find yourself in a rut but feel like you are working hard towards your goal, step back and assess exactly what you are following through with. Am I following through with the plan or with the goal? 
  • The plan might be outdated or just wrong to begin with. If you are truly following through with your goals, you may need to continue with your existing plan, mix it up or take a break. Be flexible enough to choose your best option.
  • Create a visual or even a drawing of how you would like things to be after reaching your goal. Make a habit of thinking about your vision every day.  Be open to ideas and people that might assist you on your journey.
  • Make a game out of it for yourself or compete with a friend to incorporate the new ideas into your life if this type of activity inspires you to action.
  • Don’t let you action plan or vision board get covered up with clutter.  The visual reminder will keep you processing the new thoughts.
  • Hire a coach to work with you to implement an action plan for your vision and remove any obstacles in your way like fear, doubt or negative self-talk.

Life is a series of small decisions and whole lives can be changed because of an apparently small decision.  Everything we do, every decision and choice we make has some purpose.  Taking charge of your life means having your own purpose and setting your own goals.  All successful people have goals, don’t let others set them for you.  Remember goals are dreams with legs – they go somewhere.