“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.” ~ Henry Ford
Early on, when you just start working toward a goal, it’s usually pretty easy to stay on track. You have a vision, you know what steps to take, you can see the end result in your mind’s eye. Problem is that sometimes it’s a long road to get to where you want to be.
Sometimes it’s dark and scary and you’re fumbling around because you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. And often the road is filled with all kinds of noise (internet, TV, radio, video games, naysayers, just to name a few) and potholes (broken relationships, money problems, illnesses, and so on) so it’s really easy to lose focus.
And when you lose focus, it’s even easier to stop and look around and take your eyes off your ultimate goal. And that, my friends, the looking around part is where the problems lie.
Here’s what can derail you as you’re looking around:
- Compare yourself to what others are doing, find yourself lacking, & watch your motivation tank.
- Look at the big picture instead of the micro goals, overwhelm/scare yourself, and slow down/stop.
- Second-guessing because, you know, so far it hasn’t worked out like you thought and maybe you give up.
- Listening to the negativity around you and start to believe the naysayers.
- Get tangled up in all the noise or tripped up by the potholes (see above) & start making excuses/procrastinating, doing things that have nothing to do with helping you reach your goals/dreams.
So what do you do to keep your focus?
At a motivational seminar, my husband and I did an exercise called a Life Map where we combed through magazines, looking for pictures of the goals/dreams we had for our lives. The team leader told us to dream as BIG as possible, to cut out pictures even if we didn’t see how it was possible to achieve them. So we did.
WE USED THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:
- career (your dream job)
- financial (your dream net worth)
- family (your dream partner/children)
- personal: (your dream self)
- location: (your dream living situation)
HERE ARE MY RESULTS:
- Career: I pasted pictures of my novels; one’s done & two others are nearly finished.
- Financial: I pasted a picture of money. While not overly specific, my thought at the time was that we’d always have enough money. So far, that’s worked out, sometimes almost miraculously. (Now, I’ll go find a new picture of a million bucks . . . or more!)
- Family: I pasted a picture of 2 blond-haired boys, one slightly older than the other; that’s what I have.
- Personal: I pasted a picture of a bathroom scale with a low number on it. (Mind you I didn’t think, at the time, I’d ever be able to even get close). Now, I’m only 10 pounds from it.
- Location: I pasted pictures of a beautiful house, a lake, horses. Last year, I moved into my dream house. The lake’s not far off. I just connected with a woman who owns horses and needs help, so I’ll be riding again soon.
It works. It does. I promise you it does. But, here’s the kicker, you have to work toward it.
- Buy some poster board (or you can do this with a cork board & push pins, too) & write LIFE MAP at the top.
- Take an afternoon & comb through some magazines, find pictures (as specific as possible) of what you want for your life, your goals & dreams, and if you can’t find pictures, then type up words describing your goals & dreams.
- Glue them to the poster board, clustered together by category.
- Hang it somewhere that you CAN SEE IT every day.
- Make a commitment to look at it daily, study it even.
- Embed it in your mind too so that, as you’re working toward your ideal life, if you start to lose focus, mentally you can remind yourself where you want to be.
- Add to it whenever you have a new goal/dream.
- Celebrate the achievements!
So do you think it’s important to keep your eyes on the prize when reaching for your goals/dreams? Please feel free to share your thoughts & experiences in the comment box below.