Life can be frustrating, especially when you’re trying to accomplish goals but feel like you’re spinning your wheels. Can be much farther along? Sure! Of course you are intelligent, friendly, and talented but if you fail to make significant progress in your life you’ll end up feeling frustrated, stagnant and in the same place this time next year. No matter how talented you are, it’s still necessary to apply your time and effort effectively in order to see results. Remember, you can’t confuse potential and desire with seeing actual results.
There may be a few reasons you’re not progressing and the good news is they are all under your control. Yes, you can change anything that’s under your control. Make more progress by eliminating these common mistakes:
You don’t know what you want.
Let’s say after dinner the waitress brings out the dessert cart and it has an array of your favorite items. Of course you can have your cake and eat it too, but which dessert will you choose in that moment? Everything else in life is the same way. You might be caught between choosing between a career as a physician or a teacher, a cop or a lawyer. To go to college or start a job. There are so many options out there and so many things you want to do, but the problem comes when you lack clarity in the direction you want to take. So you wait. When you procrastinate nothing happens. Nothing changes, you go nowhere and nothing gets done. And guess what? Doing nothing is actually a choice, so now it’s time to make up your mind about what you want and choose what works best for you. Your choice doesn’t have to be a perfect choice; weigh your options (the pros and cons of everything presented) and be brave enough to pull the trigger. Decide.
Changing your mind, often.
Imagine if you start vacation and decide to drive from Dallas, Texas to Los Angeles, but after 500 miles, you change your mind and decide to drive to Miami, so you turned around. A thousand miles later, you change your mind again and decide to go to New York. In the meanwhile the end of your vacation is quickly approaching and you don’t have enough time left to get to visit New York and drive back home. As you waste time and resources being wishy-washy, you haven’t reached any of the destinations you intended. It’s like that when you’ve been busy working hard, but change your mind too often to accomplish anything. You end up exactly where you started, but now you’re exhausted too. It’s important to choose a direction, create a plan, write it down and follow through with it to completion.
Wasting time with distractions.
The average office employee spends less than 25% of their time at work actually doing anything of value for their employer. How much of your time are you spending to enhance your life? How much time do you waste each day? Playing on your phone, watching TV, surfing the internet, daydreaming, worrying, and hanging out with your friends will never help you make the progress you want. Does that mean you never socialize, have fun with friends or get much needed rest and relaxation? Absolutely not. It’s just a matter discipline to manage your time effectively so you achieve what you set out to do. Time is the great equalizer. The better you can spend your time, the better your life will be. No other resource matters as much as your time because once spent you can never get it back.
Get a planner and keep track of your time. Start out monitoring it for a week to see exactly what you do with your time. Be honest about what you write – this is to help YOU remember! Every 30-60 minutes, record how you spend the previous hour. You’ll be surprised by how much time you waste with irrelevant distractions. A planner will help keep you focused and on track with your goals.
Not managing negative emotions.
Good things take time. You can’t lose 50 pounds or make a million dollars in a month. It will take time to make significant progress in your life. There will also be obstacles along the way so perseverance is critical to staying in the game when you want to give up. No doubt there will be frustration, fear, boredom, anxiety, and impatience especially if you’re trying to do something challenging. If you want to know the truth about it, the only true obstacle is You! You mindset and managing how you feel. Recognize how you’ve been contributing to your own struggles with negative thoughts that lead to negative behavior. Everything thing else will flow better if you can control your thoughts and emotions. Mastering yourself is the ultimate pathway to mastering life. What you think about yourself and what you are going through will determine your outcome. If you push past negativity, you can make positive and meaningful progress in life; no matter how long you’ve been in a rut.