Don’t you hate it when you want something so bad but you get stuck when you reach for it?
If you do, well, we are on the same page.
Getting stuck happens. And yes, it happened to me and it still happens sometimes.
I think it’s inevitable in life, and it’s only up to you how you deal with it and how you handle it.
As I pursue my dreams, here are powerful ways to get unstuck that I have been doing to keep me on the right track.
WAYS TO GET UNSTUCK
1. Find your big why
This is a cliche and yet very true. When you feel demotivated, lazy, and having no energy to even think, and this feeling could go for days, start going back to why you started in the first place. Ask yourself again what your big “why” is?
My “why” for doing what I am doing now is because I want to have a passive income so I can earn and save up for retirement so that I won’t be financially dependent on my daughters when I get old. Whew! That’s quite a long sentence.
Why do you want to work hard? Why do you want to have lots of money? Why is having a promising career important to you? Why do you want to write a book? Why do you want to lose weight? Your “why” must be strong enough so you can get your a** moving and continue with what you have started.
A strong why can bear any how.
Here are three questions to ask yourself to get unstuck in pursuing your dreams:
1. What do you really want?
2. What is stopping you?
- A belief or mindset — I can’t do this, I don’t have what it takes, I’m not good enough, I just a stay-at-home mom.
- A fear — What if I fail? What if it doesn’t work out? What is I lose? What if it costs me?
- An emotion — I am not in the mood, I don’t feel like it, I feel inadequate
- An excuse — I don’t have the skills / connections / funds / knowledge
3. What do you need to do to obtain it?
Know the things that you need to get to where you want to be. If you need skills, then study and practice. If you need money, find a part-time or full-time job.
2. Always listen to motivational words.
Your family, spouse, relatives, and friends are there to support you. But when they don’t or when they just feel neutral about it, don’t blame them.
This is not an easy thing to do, and also not an easy feeling to handle especially when you live in a house where the people whom you expect to believe in you and support you are the ones who put you down. But you can’t do anything about it because you live there and it’s so hard to ignore it. If this is your situation, there is no one to motivate you but yourself.
What you can do is watch and listen to motivational videos and podcasts. Attend talks or seminars. Join support groups even just online such as forums and Facebook groups. Read inspirational and motivational books.
You cannot depend your motivation to someone else. No one will nudge you to move. The powerful words of those who went through tough times and survived it and became successful will restore your dwindling energy and enthusiasm. Listen to the encouraging words of those who rose above the many trials and obstacles in their life. You will be amazed by their resilience, fortitude, and strength.
You cannot control the people around and you have less control over your environment as well, but you have full control of your thoughts and your emotions.
3. Pivot and be resourceful
Sometimes things don’t work out the way we want or expect them to be. That’s alright. Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s not going to be perfect the first time. You will screw up and make lots of errors. But don’t stop and don’t give up. You will only fail when you stop trying. But making mistakes does not mean you failed.
“You only fail when you have stopped trying.”
When it doesn’t seem to work, try a different strategy. Use a different tool, a different tactic, or another approach until you see positive results. Find ways to make it work. Be resourceful. Don’t get stuck doing the same approach that doesn’t seem to work.
If a thing or even a person is causing a delay, do not wait for him too long if it’s not worth the wait. You could always find other means. Just don’t allow one setback to derail your plans. Move on to the next schedule as planned and do things accordingly.
When all else fails, that’s okay. Because the thing that you’re pursuing may not be the one for you. Maybe the endeavors that didn’t pan out happened because your next venture could be it.
Pivot your journey to success. There is always a way of achieving what you want. The way may or may not be easy, but there will always be ways to get it.
If the plan does not work, adjust your plans, NOT your goal
Whenever I work on a website and an issue would occur, for example, the sign-up form is not working properly, I would try a different approach until it works.
4. Rest but not too long
Doing a lot of tasks every day especially when there’s pressure involved can cause physical and mental stress that’s why rest is very important.
Everybody needs to take time off. But try to keep your days off to a maximum of 2 days in a week only and not more than that.
Prolonging your vacation may cause you to lose your momentum. It’s like riding on a bicycle on an uphill and gain your momentum and you suddenly stopped, you would then have to regain your momentum which needs quite a new effort.
Make rest a necessity, NOT an objective.
There was a time when I felt I was having mental fatigue. It was when I had been multi-tasking, scrunching every bit of “free” time to think of the things I have to do for my business (and by “free” I mean cooking, washing the dishes, taking a bath, doing non-work related activities). I will wake up and sleep at night thinking about my business. Until I felt my mind is brimming with to-do lists and I could not process any more ideas effectively.
I felt like I was experiencing brain fog and so I can’t think clearly anymore. This is when I took time off from work and gave myself a complete rest for 3 days. Yes, I said previously to rest for not more than 2 days, but please give me a break. I had a foggy brain. I was working so hard and I deserve to have a break, and you do, too.
And so in these 3 days, I didn’t turn on my computer, I didn’t look at my to-do list, I didn’t make any plans for my business.
What I did was practice playing the ukulele, watch fun movies, and played with my kids.
After 3 days, I felt recharged, revived, and refreshed.
5. Declutter your to-do list.
This is one of the things that I admit I struggle with. Running a blog seems easy, but optimizing it for SEO, monetizing it, and making it reach thousands of people is quite a challenge especially when you have other things on your plate. And because I am a one-woman business, everything is on my shoulders.
- Researching (topics for blog and social media post, keywords, backlinks, images)
- Writing blog posts
- Uploading the posts
- Maintaining my website
- Optimizing my website for speed and SEO
- Creating graphics for social media accounts
- Scheduling social media posts
- Creating a product
- Creating newsletters
- Responding to emails
- PLUS helping my husband with his business
- PLUS kids
- PLUS household chores
So looking at the things that I have to do every week, I created an everyday schedule so I can do all of these tasks. I was able to follow through for 2 weeks only because some things are not on the list but require my immediate action and so I would have to bump tasks over that activity.
But because I really want to do this and yet I realized that I was getting very little result despite being so busy doing things on my own, what I did was I have rewritten my goals, readjusted my plans, and rearranged my schedule.
I also try to follow the 80/20 Principle or the Pareto principle. This means that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In my case, 80% of my result is caused by 20% of my activities. And so I ask myself what are the 20% of my activities that give me this 80% result? And do I like the result? Are these my desired results that I was aiming for?
So I omitted some tasks in my to-do list that do not produce anything, and I try to focus on what gives me results. The result that I want is to get more backlinks so I would have more traffic to my blog.
You can also ask this to yourself. What are the activities that give you the result that you want? Focus on doing those things and omit those that don’t serve you well.
Set realistic mini-goals
“Progress equals happiness.” This is what Tony Robbins said, the New York Times bestselling author and a business and life strategist. I didn’t agree with him for some time.
I was doing so many things simultaneously, and I was busy juggling work, mommy duties, and wife duties. My business was on top of mind but I am not making any progress. Productive but not progressive. I was getting a lot of things done but I was not happy.
I also set many goals that are quite high and the time frame is not realistic for me to accomplish given my situation, and so I am disappointed with myself whenever I don’t achieve my goals.
Whenever the day went by and I was not able to finish an important task, I don’t feel good about myself. But when I set a schedule and a goal and I was able to accomplish it, I felt amazing and wonderful.
This is when I realized that Tony is right. Progress equals happiness.
Now, I set micro-goals to accomplish the mini-goals realistically. Of course, these mini-goals are in line with my ultimate goal.
For example, if you want to lose 10 pounds in one month (big goal), you have to lose 2.5 lbs a week (mini-goal), then you should eat veggies and very low carb food for 3 days, and zero carbs for 4 days (micro-goal). If you want to write and publish your book in 3 months (big goal), you should finish at least 1 chapter per week if it has 12 chapters (mini-goal), then you should write at least 1,000 words every day (micro-goal).
You can be as micro as you can be so that it’s easier to do and you feel good about yourself when you’re able to do it (and you must do it). There’s a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment when you’re able to reach your goal. But it’s important to set it not too high that it’s hard to achieve, or too low that there’s no sense of accomplishment. Set goals realistically according to your situation.
No matter how small your goals are, as long they are aligned with your dreams and your vision, and that you’re getting closer and closer to it, you will not remain stuck.
Getting stuck sucks! But being stuck is a choice. There are other ways to get unstuck that may work for you. These are by far the most powerful ways to get unstuck that work for me that you can also try. You may also share your ideas about what works for you to get unstuck so that others can benefit as well. Leave them in the comments section below. And if you’re stuck, that’s alright. But always find ways to move and work around towards your same goal. Remember, you always have a choice.
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