The year is halfway gone. If you’ve fallen behind on a goal you hoped to achieve, you’re in good company. The most important question you face is this: What now?
You still have agency in this story. You have less time, but constraints can help you achieve goals. To rescue your goals, start by considering these four simple steps.
Step 1: Recommit
Sometimes, resetting is as simple as revisiting your why.
Years ago, I set a goal to run a half-marathon. But the week before the race, I got sick, and I was looking to back out. I told my daughter, Megan, and she lovingly challenged my decision. She highlighted the trust I stood to lose with my team, many of whom were running solely because I encouraged them to join me.
She summed up her argument with this memorable reminder: “Bottom line, I don't think this decision is in alignment with who you are. You're about integrity, keeping your commitments, and showing up.” She was right. I showed up, ran the race, and felt great.
You don’t necessarily need someone from outside to show up and remind you what’s at stake, although that can be incredibly powerful. You can revisit the reasons you listed when you set the goal. Do they still resonate? Do they still matter to you? If so, decide to recommit.
If not, try this next step.
Step 2: Revise
Goals we can’t recommit to are probably in need of revision.
Your goal might be too far out of reach in what we call the delusional zone. You don’t want to recommit to a goal you think you will fail to achieve! Try adjusting the size of the goal—dropping from running a full marathon to a half marathon, for example. Or you can adjust the timeline to give yourself more time.
Sometimes, your revision might be a little more complicated. I had a goal to renovate our vacation home this year. Then prices started rising, and people started talking about the possibility of a recession. All of a sudden, the goal seemed a lot less financially wise.
So we changed course. We decided to redecorate. It was a more modest endeavor, but it made spending time at our vacation home much more enjoyable. And that’s the reason we wanted to renovate in the first place.
You can walk through a similar process as you decide what revisions to make. What transformation are you hoping to achieve? What are some alternate routes you can take to get there?
Flexibility is your friend as you determine how to accomplish a goal, even if the outcomes you’re hoping to achieve never change.
Step 3: Replace
Sometimes, a goal simply isn’t relevant anymore.
Your life circumstances have changed. The world isn’t what you thought it would be when you set your goals in January. Part of the future, we create. But part of it happens to us. When we encounter circumstances outside our control, we have to adapt.
After my daughter, Megan, had a rare heart attack last year, running a Tough Mudder like she’d planned was off the table. Her cardiologist was worried running the race would harm her health. That was the opposite of the outcome she hoped to achieve. Instead, she set a new goal to complete a recovery program for her heart. Now, she’s in the best shape of her life.
If you find your goal simply doesn’t make sense anymore, replace it without shame! Set aside your old goal. But be sure to pick a new one in its place. Remember, we need goals we’re working toward. It’s how we grow. And the process of growth is essential to experiencing happiness.
Step 4: Resource
One of the most common reasons we fall behind on our goals is because we haven’t resourced it effectively. We haven’t set aside enough time. We haven’t set aside enough money. Or we haven’t taken the initiative to get the help we need.
The good news is that getting the help we need has never been easier. YouTube is an inexpensive and virtually inexhaustible resource for learning. Hiring a coach can be an even better strategy. Go to school on someone else’s mistakes. It’s how I learned to play the Native American flute, improve my guitar playing, and, most importantly, level up my business.
Whatever you want to learn, coaching can help you go further, faster. Don’t be limited by the extent of your expertise. Find an expert, and ask for help.
You can achieve more in the next six months than you did in the last six months. Revisit your goals. Recommit where you can. Revise where you can’t. Replace when necessary. And resource wherever possible.
Start today. Sit down with your list of goals and chart your course. It’s time to finish strong.
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