There’s one big, common problem we all face when pursuing our goals and staying productive: when life gets complicated, many people choose to wait instead of work.
You might have used an excuse in the past to justify that decision. The most common way we justify delaying the pursuit of a goal is to say that the “time isn’t right”.
Maybe it’s easier to wait because you already have too much on your plate.
Something Always Comes Up
Many of us have things we want to accomplish. We want to maintain our productivity and progress towards our goals, whether big or small. We want to work on that new project, take that awesome trip, reach a fitness or health goal, or start a business.
However, we find that it hasn’t worked out as well as we had planned or hoped for. Things keep piling onto us.
You say you’ll start tomorrow, but a day turns into a week, a week turns into a month, a month into a year. Before you know it, a couple of decades are gone. It’s a scary thought but it’s probably happened to many people you know.
Or maybe it’s maintaining productivity and completing our daily tasks that we want to finish.
Either way, these things are relegated to the back of our mind.
In order to address the problem, the first step is to identify what the problem is. Here are the factors as to why your clock never reads the time you want to see.
Circumstances Can Change in an Instant
You may plan and schedule all you want but things don’t always fall in order. Unexpected events can pull you onto another route.
Technical issues arise with your product. The needs of your kids constantly draw your attention. A pipe breaks in the house. The basement floods.
Some things you just can’t control. Focus on what you can control.
Give yourself some extra time. Even if you can’t make up the entire time that you missed, schedule pockets of time when you can be productive and make some progress. Some progress is better than no progress.
You Have Other Responsibilities and Obligations
Many of us aren’t fortunate enough that we can drop everything and focus solely on our dreams or projects that we want to work on. We have other obligations and responsibilities. You become busy taking care of everything else that demands your attention.
Taking care of your family, serving your community, or managing those extra work obligations. In some situations, it doesn’t sit right if you prioritized something else because you feel obligated.
Consider your priorities and if there are other ways to handle your responsibilities. Think about how you can delegate, give others more responsibilities, or team up with those taking care of similar responsibilities or taking the same route.
We’re not saying forsake all those around you but there may be a way to free up some time and find more productivity.
If you have to, consider temporarily reducing time commitments to certain activities. Give yourself some time to review your schedule and figure it out.
Lack of Information
If you don’t have enough information about the whole process, then the uncertainty makes it easier to set aside your goals.
We want to feel comfortable when beginning a new effort because it makes us feel confident. Even if you have an idea of what the results look like, the lack of information creates hesitation.
It’s essential to remember that you can always learn as you go. It is okay to start something without having all of the information available to you.
Nike has built a brand on the idea that action and starting are what matters.
Your Mood Changes Everything
You just came home from a long day at work. You’re feeling tired, and your mood is down because of the stressful situations you worked through during the day.
Now, it’s time for dinner. You don’t feel like putting in the effort, so you call the local pizza place to have them deliver something. You don’t want to do anything but watch TV or Netflix.
That feeling you have in this situation is the same one that holds you back from accomplishing your goals.
Or when your emotions dominate, this can greatly affect your goals and productivity.
If it feels like nothing is going your way, then it might be time to find some useful coping skills that will stabilize your perspective. Identify what’s affecting your mood and give yourself some time to figure out how you can change the situation.
There are even benefits to your physical health that can develop over time because you’re in such a good place mentally. Mutually, your health affects your mood.
If you have a positive mood that influences your decision-making processes, then you’ll feel that anything is possible.
You Haven’t Defined Your Success
It is essential to define what success means to you before pursuing a goal. If you don’t know what it is that you’re working towards, then you won’t be clear as to whether you’ve achieved your goal. Much less whether you’re on a productive path.
If you don’t have a clearly defined goal, it’s even difficult to get a handle on it and work on it. Without a defined goal, you won’t have the steps you need to take.
It’s like dreaming about what life would be like if you achieved what you wanted. Nothing happens because there’s no thought of the steps it takes.
If you have a clearly defined goal, you can realize what you actually need to do to arrive at your destination.
Take Risks to Experience the Rewards
One of the fastest ways to grow is to jump headfirst when a new opportunity comes your way. You must be willing to evolve who you are from a mental, physical, and spiritual standpoint to grow.
Even with the uncertainty, if you’re not willing to embrace growth at this basic level, then the goals you want to achieve will never manifest themselves in your life.
Take action and if your efforts work out in your favor or if they don’t, you can still learn a lot about yourself from the experience. Those lessons can offer valuable insight that you can apply to your next endeavor. They can contribute to a higher quality of life.
If you never risk anything, then everyone else will eventually move on to bigger or better things while you remain in the same spot.
You Can Begin Achieving Your Goals Right Now
Every event in this universe has a definitive starting and ending point. When it comes to your goals, what happens between these two moments is what will bring you closer to your target or drive you further from it.
The more that you can learn from your mistakes and push yourself, then the better equipped you will be to transform your next opportunity into unbelievable success.
Waiting for obstacles to clear could mean that you never take that first step. If you’re waiting for the perfect timing, then you will never make forward progress.
Striving toward a goal means that you must learn to lead yourself before you can make forward progress. Clearly define the vision you have for your future life.
Align yourself with productive people and tools that can encourage fate to bring success your way.
Some use to-do lists and expert advice as a way to take the next step on their journey. Magical things happen when you’re willing to start operating outside of your comfort zone.
Your goals are waiting for you. Now is the perfect time to start taking steps toward your dream outcome.
This article originally appeared on Thrive Global and has been republished with permission.