I mean this with love so bear with me: You’re too narrow-minded and stubborn.
When it comes to our big goals, we all fix our eyes on the prize and draw a straight line between us and it. It’s a target that’s right in front of us. All we have to do is pull back the bow and we’ll shoot our arrow straight and true to the bullseye.
I’m sure when I put it like that you can see how ridiculous it sounds. Yet that’s how, subconsciously, we think we can achieve goals. We say, “I’d like to do X,” and then assume that the stars will align and motivation will magically appear.
Here’s the thing: no matter how much you want it to be true, and how appealing it sounds, simply visualising something or even saying it out loud is not going to make it materialise. (If that were the case, I’d be downstairs in the basement bowling alley of my dream house right now instead of sitting on a sunken mattress in a holiday house that’s seen better days.)
Most of us, at least in theory, realise that there will be obstacles. The path to true life goals never runs smoothly, yet we still always see a simple, straight line between point A and point B.
If you were driving somewhere and a road was closed, or getting particularly bumpy and uncomfortable, what would you do? You’d probably take a detour. Maybe you’d decide to take the scenic route just for funsies. Or you might go a little out of your way to visit that local landmark you’ve always wanted to see. Or even quickly cut down a side street before being able to re-join the main road.
What you wouldn’t do is just turn the car around and head back home.
There are many different ways you can make it to your destination, and some hold unexpected but pleasant surprises.
Why am I telling you all this? To show you a much more effective way to achieve goals. Pick your destination and the timeframe you want the journey to take, and then list several different routes you could take to get there.
Limiting yourself to just one way to achieve goals decreases your chances of success.
Let’s say, for example, that person A wants to get healthy and they decide to do it by going to the gym for an hour three times a week. Sounds like a reasonable route to take, no?
Now let’s look at person B who has the same goal, but decides that they’ll get there by going to the gym for 30 minutes twice a week, by meal planning and packing a healthy lunch each day, by prepping food in advance and removing unhealthy items from the cupboards, by going for a brisk walk with a friend at least once a week, and by always taking the stairs.
Who do you think has the best chance of success? And who do you think is more likely to fall off the wagon in the first few weeks?
Person A has only one “how”. If they fail at this one thing, or find it too tough, their goal goes out the window. They’re placing all their hope and strength into one tiny thread of a tightrope.
Person B, on the other hand, has woven a strong rope. If one or two strands are weak or even break, the rope will still hold and swing them safely to success.
So don’t be narrow minded when it comes to the things you want in life; to achieve goals, open yourself up to all the available options. And don’t stubbornly stick with the ones you think will bring you the best or fastest results. Sometimes the most enjoyable routes are the ones that take us off the beaten track and have us forge our own path.
Remember that it’s easier to get to your destination if you know all possible routes. That way, if something unexpected happens, you can just change lanes and keep on going.
Just because there may only be one “what” and one “why” doesn’t mean there can only be one “how”. So, to increase your chances of achieving goals, brainstorm ALL the ways you could get there. By strengthening your rope, you weaken your excuses and reduce your risk of failure.
And hey, why not make it part of your One Month Challenge so we can all take a road trip and achieve goals together? =)
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