Stuck in the middle of….the middle
by Lynne Klippel
Every time you try to meet a goal or make a life change, you inevitably come to the middle. You've made a bit of progress but all of the sudden you seem to loose your momentum. You may decide you don't really need to lose the weight, get more organized, start exercising, or taking the next step in your business plan. You seem to lose the energy and enthusiasm you had when you started the project.
What is happening in this process and why does it always seem to happen?
There are several underlying dynamics at work that are worth taking a look at when you seemed to stalled on your journey.
Different people respond to change in different ways so as you read this list, think about which item is holding you back from meeting your goal.
* Losing sight of our vision. When we start a project or set a goal, we are full of enthusiasm for the finished product. We can just see ourselves holding our finished book, looking great in a bathing suit, or getting that promotion. However, as the days and weeks go by, we may stop focusing on how great it will feel to meet our goal and begin to focus on the small details of getting there. When we take our eyes off of the end result, our energy evaporates.
* Fear of failure. Fear of failure holds many of us back. Even though we are great at setting goals, deep down, we feel unworthy of success. Many of us fear being embarrassed, ridiculed, or even disliked for our ideas or our success. We have a little voice in our head saying, “Who do you thing you are? You aren't smart or talented enough to pull this off. Quit now and spare yourself the pain of failing”.
* Fear of success. Some of us are silently afraid of meeting our goals. We worry that our relationships with family and friends will suffer if we succeed. We also wonder if we will be able to maintain our success after we reach it. We fear the changes that will come into our lives after success. We can’t imagine what our life would be like after we meet our goal and that ambiguity scares us silly and makes us stop striving.
* Poorly designed goals. Sometimes we set goals that are vague, like, “I want a better job”. Those vague goals are impossible to measure so we can’t track our progress. Even though we may be moving closer to what we want, without a measuring stick, it seems like we are going nowhere.
* Setting “shouldy” goals. If we set a goal because we think we should do it or someone else tells us we better do it, we often lack the passion and drive to really meet that goal. How many of us set New Years resolutions in January just because society tells us we should? These goals are usually the first ones to fall by the wayside.
* Getting distracted by life. It is sooo easy to let the details of our life take up all our time and prevent us from focusing on our goals. There are bills to be paid, emails to read, family members to spend time with, and thousands of other little details that gobble up our time and energy. By the end of the day we are too tired to read that book, exercise, or make that networking call.
Do any of these dynamics seem familiar? I am personally acquainted with each of them!!
So what can you do when you are stalled out and loosing the energy you need to meet your goals?
Try these tips:
* Record and celebrate the progress you have already made. It is easy to overlook our progress and discount it. Celebrating your progress will give you the emotional energy to keep going.
* Remind yourself daily how great it will feel to meet your goal. Put a sticky note on your computer screen or bathroom mirror reminding yourself of your goal. Visualize yourself meeting your goal and the pleasure you will feel. Consider all the good things you can do for others when you meet your goal. These reminders will give you a daily dose of motivation.
* Share your goals and your progress with someone else. Sharing your goal with a trusted friend or coach will help you stay on track.
* Set only the goals that you feel passionate about and devise a way to measure your progress.
* Make time for yourself. If you give yourself the gift of time to work on your goal a little bit every day, you will make steady progress and not get bogged down by all the other things in your life.
If you are stuck in the middle and feel bogged down, give some of these suggestions a try. They will get you moving ahead with passion and energy towards that great life you deserve!