3 Effective Strategies to Keep Moving Forward When Feeling Stuck
We can’t prevent the roadblocks that we will encounter when we are pursuing our goals. But we can make it easier by being prepared when this happens.
Here are some tips that help you move forward so that you don’t lose momentum.
1. Know your 'why'.
Strong leaders have this in common, they have a very strong ‘why’ that drives them towards their goals.
The truth is, willpower alone won’t get you there. You can look at willpower like a battery. If empty you’ll need to recharge and count on other ways to keep you moving forward.
Knowing your why will increase your motivation and you will have something to hold on to. when things get hard or when you will need to step out of your comfort zone.
Your why will be unique to you. The stronger and more emotional you make it, the higher the driving force behind it.
Let me give you an example.
Imagine if someone asked you to do something you really don’t like to do. For example, drinking a raw egg with mustard. The chances are that you would respond with, hell no. But, if someone asked you to drink a raw egg with mustard to win your dream vacation, you might reconsider.
Finding your why.
So we don’t want to stay on the surface level with this one, but to really dive deep into what it is that we really want. We can do this by looking at what feeling or experience we are hoping to create.
You can use the 5 why’s method.
Ask why five times:
Let me give you an example. Imagine that your goal would be: to eat healthy.
Why? Because I want to eat more healthy.
Why do I want to eat more healthy? Because I want to lose weight.
Why do I want to lose weight? Because I want to get more energy.
Why do I want more energy? Because I want to be able to play outside with my kids.
Why do I want to play outside with my kids? Because I want to be a great parent who spends more time with my kids.
Staying on the surface level would be ‘I want to eat healthy so I can lose weight'.
But by diving deeper, you’ll see it’s not just about losing weight, but about the time and energy you can give to your kids. Creating a greater purpose for your goal where you’ll learn more about what truly matters to you.
2. Plan and envision your next step.
Write S.M.A.R.T goals. Meaning, making your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
If the goal is big we might deal with feelings of overwhelm. Using the SMART framework can really help divide your task into smaller, more manageable tasks. This gives you a sense of direction. Which can help deal with the feeling of overwhelm.
Planning out and writing down your goals helps you remember them. But also turns your wish into an action plan. The benefit of writing down your goals is that it creates the clarity you need to achieve for pursuing your goals. I mentioned before that knowing you're ‘why’ is important. Envisioning is more about the ‘how’. It creates a mental picture of how to take your next step and helps you create a sense of focus. It’s a great mental practice to create new neural paths for a new pattern. And, improves performance by preparing you mentally for your next step.
Using the SMART framework helps you succeed, no matter how big or small they are.
Setting goals without versus with the smart method, example:
Goal: Go for a run
Smart goal: Go for a run, Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for 30 minutes for a year to improve my health.
Can you feel the difference?
3. Focus on the solution, not the problem.
What you focus on grows, what you think about expands, and what you dwell upon determines your destiny. - Robin S. Sharma
Remember those roadblocks I talked about? Sooner or later you will have to deal with them. There is no great success without failure once in a while, and it sucks, I get that. But it’s important to use your energy wisely, by not depleting it on worries and doubt that might paralyze you. Because the more you focus on the problem the bigger it seems, avoid overwhelm. We want to learn from our mistakes, not beat ourselves up for them. By moving from a place of judgment into a place of curiosity. We need to understand the problem is before we can fix it. But we want to move into a productive state of mind.
If you ask yourself a disempowering question your mind will come up with a disempowering answer and vice versa. So direct your thoughts and focus on the solution so we can train our minds to be resilient and resourceful.
Questions that focus on the solution, not the problem examples:
What information or skills are necessary to fix the problem?
If I don’t know, who does? Who can help and support me?
How can I approach the situation with a calm and helpful demeanor?
What worked? What will I do differently?
How do I adjust my approach?
How can I support myself?
How can I prevent this from happening in the future?
What am I learning here?
By brainstorming ideas and possibilities, you can expand your mind and open your thinking to find new and creative ways to overcome any obstacle. All of a sudden you won’t feel so trapped anymore.