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Motivation Time Tuesday: How to Goal Set When You're Stuck in a Rut

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sn=mart-goal-settingMaybe you’ve had a hard time with your goals this year.

You just didn’t accomplish what you set out to do.

Perhaps you had a rough year.

Sometimes things happen unexpectedly that prevent us from getting anything done.

It’s easy to give up completely, but don’t get down on yourself.

Sometimes circumstances are to BLAME.

There are small things you can do to give yourself a boost, if you ignore them, you’ll lose out on life’s little wins.

How to Get Out of a Rut and Set Simple Goals

 I confess that I love setting goals to a fault. However, the truth is sometimes life gets in the way. We feel like we’ve been robbed of opportunities because of an unforeseen circumstance. This happens to everyone.

It may feel hard to get back on your feet. Here are three tips to get you going in the right direction.

1. Take baby steps.

A Chinese Philosopher once said:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao-tzu

Click to tweet this quote here.

If you find it hard to get started, set small goals. It’s difficult to conjure up the energy to achieve something big when you feel as though it’s tough enough to get through daily life. Start with something that is easy to do. Maybe you work on a personal goal first that doesn’t include fixing yourself. For example, if you have kids, you can teach them a few new vocabulary words. That’s very rewarding.

It’s less overwhelming and takes the pressure off of needing to be better right now. Sometimes we set the bar too high when goal setting. We overshoot and inevitably fail.

We thereby waste energy that could be going into a new effort on a much smaller scale. For example, if your goal is to be healthier, maybe you make sure you take your vitamins every day. As much as it sounds small, it’s a big deal. If you struggle to keep your house in order, set aside time to put things away every day. Ten to fifteen minutes may seem small but it goes a long way.

One of my friends has a hard time getting a handle on spending. She simply can’t find the time to get in a better place financially. She went back to work full time in an office setting. She used to be very good with couponing, doing little things around the house to save money saving with the utilities. Since she’s gone back to work, she’s lacks the motivation and time to do things the way she used to and her wallet is suffering .

Do one thing that is manageable. Maybe making a simple budget. Find all of your bills one day. Set up a spreadsheet another day. Devote ten minutes each day to be one step closer to accomplishing your goal.

2. Seek out inspirational stories.

Knowing that other people faced tough times, can get you out of a rut. It helps you feel validated.  I personally liked the movie Temple Grandin. It’s the story of an autistic woman who becomes a talented animal scientist that revolutionizes practices for the humane treatment of livestock. Marlee Matlin is another inspirational person. She is the only deaf performer to win an Academy Award for the best actress in a leading role for her work in Children of a Lesser God. She has also won a Golden Globe and has been nominated for an Emmy four times.

3. Worry Less and Trust More

Don’t focus too much on the future. If you know you aren’t able to realistically do what you want to do, that can make you anxious. Take advantage of the present and do whatever small step you can to get a little bit closer to the big goal. Trust that once you get back on your feet, you will be in a better place.

You will eventually stretch yourself with a more challenging goal. The first time I was introduced to SMART goals was at a job I didn’t love. Unfortunately, the goals weren’t very meaningful either. I didn’t have any connection to them. So I always had a bad taste in my mouth when it came to setting goals. I felt like I was signing up for something I didn’t want to do. Just know that you stick with something that is important to you, they do work.  Remembering the importance of why you are doing this will help to keep you motivated especially if it’s a stretches you. This template is helpful. It makes it easy to be specific, which is ultimately where the power lies.


The Bottom Line

If this year looked much different for you than you had planned, focus on doing fairly well with small goals. It will feel manageable and perhaps you’ll look forward to accomplishing more challenging goals once you’re in a better place.

Related Posts:

Motivation Time Tuesday: Unlock the Savings Vault While Shopping

Motivation Quotes on Motivation Time Tuesday

Motivation Time Tuesday: Goal Setting the Right Way Part I

Goal Setting the Right Way Part II

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