The three biggest enemies to your goals is a paralyzing fear, distractions, and excuses. Fear, distractions, and excuses will guarantee that your goals will never reach fruition and all too often we ALL have been caught up in them.
What’s the difference? Well first, there’s fears. These are situations that your mind has made up being the creative organ that it is of things that it suggests could happen. You play these little scenarios out in your head in rather creative ways that ends up discouraging you from pursuing your goals. The key thing to remember is that these are made up scenarios, not real life that has occurred. And allowing fears to get in your way can in itself become the biggest mistake of your life. No one likes to regret not doing something solely because of what they made up in their mind to talk themselves out of it.
Then there’s distractions. Distractions are meaningless activities that just hogs up time and energy. There are distractions like scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. Distractions like spending too much time on youtube or watching tv. Meaningless distractions are things that you do that you will barely even remember a month from now. I don’t remember what was on my Facebook timeline one month ago, so was it worth it to spend so much time on it?
Then there’s excuses. These are like distractions but they’re usually significant not meaningless. Like maybe the reason you didn’t go to college was because you had a child young and you’re not feeling confident that you can balance the both. Or maybe the reason you didn’t take the other job that you would enjoy doing is rather than the one you tolerate is because you’d take a pay cut and although you can still pay your bills, you will have to pinch pennies for awhile. Or maybe the reason why you’re not working on that hobby you have is because you spend more time going out after work and the weekends to blow of steam. Or maybe your goal will require you to get up earlier in the morning and you’re not a morning person as it is. All of these excuses make sense. But how can you ever reach your goals if all you do is snuggle up to your excuses? You won’t reach your goals by just thinking about them. It takes action. The question is are you willing to sacrifice the energy and time to put in the effort to create a life that’s balanced with your responsibilities AND actions towards your goals?
At this point of my life, I feel like I have more distractions than anything. No real paralyzing fears anymore, and I’ll talk about that a later time. My excuse of school is gone since I graduated in May. So my challenge these last two weeks is eliminating my little distractions in my life. For me that has been social media and TV. I would come home after work and first thing I would do is turn on the TV and scroll through Facebook. Another distraction would also be…sigh…Cooking Dash. Yes, shamefully I will admit that I’m addicted to that little app. I have to collect my gold, upgrade the pumpkin and the oven so that I can collect more coins to reach 5 stars on the 13th level in Season 3. So yes, between social media, TV, and phone games, time flies by and before I know it, it’s time for me to go to bed and I haven’t done much to further my goals.
First step is to acknowledge the problem so I’ve done that. Check. Next step is deciding what I need to do about those distractions. What I’ve done is deactivated my social media accounts and I’ve limited my TV watching down from being on at my house for 5 hours (the moment I get home until bed) to 1-2 hours mainly on when I’m cooking and eating dinner. I want to have a balance of doing some things towards my goals every week AND getting some rest from work. I’ve also limited playing the games for only when my TV is on.
So far so good. I’m doing pretty well with avoiding these distractions. I’ve slipped up a little bit, but I’m committed to staying on track. I feel that with social media I could limit it to the 2 hours as well but for now I’d rather to leave it deactivated. Maybe later I will pull everything back up to do during that 2 hour time again but it won’t be now. I want to make some significant progress because I go back.
Anyway, I say all of that to say that you have to do what you need to do to dedicate time to your goals. If you need to actively eliminate some things that are distractions then do it. If you need to stretch yourself to work around the excuses then do it. If you have fears, remember that you shouldn’t let that imagination of yours dominate your life. You are in control of your own time not the other way around. You must motivate yourself to make the time you need to make your goals happen. Keep reminding yourself of the end result and how great you’ll feel once you get there. Breaking down my goals to weekly tasks as I suggested in my last post, helped me tremendously. Not only did it help me to not feel overwhelmed, but I feel more at peace with welcoming a balance to doing other things that relaxes me or that I have fun doing. Sometimes you need a break and that’s normal. What’s bad is when that break goes on for too long and you don’t do anything productive.
Challenge yourself. Do what you need to do. Because in the end, you won’t remember that friend’s status that you liked 4 days ago. You won’t remember the joke your friend made at happy hour last Friday. You won’t remember that snapchat video you watched 2 weeks ago. And you won’t care about what secret was revealed on that reality show you watched last month. But you will feel restless today wondering where the time has went and why you don’t feel accomplished as you hoped to be.