How To Stay Focused When Your Goals Seem Far Away

"Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself". Unknown

When I first started my journey as a a full time entrepreneur a few years ago, I was transitioning out of Corporate America and looking forward to the positive changes the journey of being the CEO of ME, Inc. would bring into my life. I had my goals all laid out for the year, a beautiful epic plan of crushing some major achievements. I was feeling pretty fierce with high hopes about what I would accomplish.

Three months into my business I was running hard and over any excuse that stood in my way. Things were moving right along according to plan and then, I found out I was pregnant with my second child at the age of 38 which honestly turned my life upside down. Doctor visits, nursery decor, what diaper cream to use and tackling my fear of breastfeeding were not part of my goal crushing vision board. 

In my “normal” state I consider myself a productive person who prides herself on taking massive action and investing in a great deal of personal development. A girl who is always a student, learning and perfecting her skill sets. I am a true creative, a dreamer who also finds joy in crossing tasks off my to-do list and in a timely manner. The nausea, fatigue and need-it-now cravings that come with pregnancy were definitely not things I was itching to cross off my to-do list. 

But...encountering obstacles is a part of life. Just when we think we have it all figured it out and things are finally going our way we are dealt the unpredictable. I have noticed an interesting pattern in my life over the years, that I tend to manifest these hardships when my goals are at their biggest. The bigger the dream, the bigger the roadblock. Funny how that happens, right?! It can be discouraging and make our goals feel more like mission impossible. These obstacles don't just come in the form of a surprise pregnancy— it could be the loss of a job, illness, relationship issues, unexpected stress, an overwhelming schedule—anything that distracts us away from our goals. 

For the most part, the obstacles in our path are temporary inconveniences and other times they are more complex. The threat can even exist where the delays are so significant that it hinders progress for a long period of time. 

To overcome this and get back to a place where we can move forward, we have to be able to keep our emotions in check and focus more on what we can control and less on what is beyond our control.  The key is to always ensure that we are moving forward in the right direction, even if it means accepting that the process will be at a slower pace. I know, I know....sometimes that is a lot easier said than done but its doable nonetheless. 

After getting over the shock of my pregnancy that hit my like a ton of bricks, I had to sit back and re-evaluate my priorities. My goals had not changed, in fact having the freedom to work from home became even stronger knowing that I would be a new mom again.  I had missed out on so much with my first born having a full time career that I wanted to have a whole different experience with my second child. I just had to create a new plan that was not only realistic but kept me moving in the right direction.

The first step is to embrace and accept that there will be changes in direction. Like someone who rides a surf board, the circumstances of the wave are constantly changing. The surfer does not complain about the changes, he knows that there are only two options: stay on the board or crash into the water so he simply adjusts his board accordingly to keep riding the wave. 

We can all start off with well-intentioned plans, but inevitably life happens. When things don't go our way, we have to be able accept it and not dwell on the why and other questions that at the end of the day we won't ever have clear answers to. Progress will only be achieved by going back to the brainstorming creative drawing board to think of new ideas and a plan to move forward. We can find great passion and purpose in the glitches that happen in our lives if we choose to have that outlook and mindset. 

I went on to not only achieve the business goals that I had mapped out, but I exceeded those goals. Yes I was tired, yes I dealt with morning sickness that seemed to last all day and had to give in to taking a nap when I was overly exhausted during my pregnancy. After my son was born, I had the challenges that come with taking care of a newborn. I did not beat myself up over it, I focused on the joy of the gift I was given and entrusted with. A beautiful healthy baby boy and being grateful for those precious moments. I did not always hit my goals when I wanted to hit them, but I allowed myself to be okay with that and be happy with the progress I was making. When my achievements came faster than I had planned, I celebrated in gratitude for those moments of momentum. 

I find that many times, people mistakenly feel entitled to an easy path of success. After all we live in a very instant gratification society and the marketing messages of "make money while you sleep" have not helped. We want what we want when we want it. Consequently when struggles are encountered, those that are not prepared to handle them because they had unrealistic expectations are left with nothing but frustration and disappointment. 

Achieving our goals is a direct reflection of our laser focused determination in those moments when we are plagued with fear and procrastination. Those are the times when we dig down deep within our soul to find that burning desire, the "WHY", that will keep us moving forward.

We have to keep our expectations in check while being creative. Finding that balance between dreaming big on Cloud 9 while keeping our realistic feet planted firmly on the ground. Marrying our dreamer with our realist. In a world where nothing is ever perfect, we have to settle for doing our very best and turning challenges into unforeseen opportunities.

When life throws you for a total knock-you-on-your-butt loop, here are some ways to handle it:

1. Know Your Passion.

In a world of constant distractions, its easy to get thrown off course, especially when something from out in left field hits us between the eyes. Despite any obstacles, it’s important to keep your passion fire well lit. If you are spending your time beating yourself up, try to look at the situation from a different angle and channel that negative energy into something positive.

We all experience times of feeling unmotivated so don't give yourself a guilt trip. Instead do something to tap back into your passion. Create a vision/mood board {I LOVE to do this on Pinterest} or spend time journaling. Writing a gratitude list can be an instant mood lifter. Gratitude has gotten me threw some pretty sucky life moments by focusing more on what is going right in my life and less on what is not going my way.  

2. Do Something Special For Yourself. 

I will be transparent here and admit that I am the worst at this, but I am working to improve this area in my own life. I find that when I take time for myself, especially being a mom, that not only am I happier but so are others who have to live with me and my introverted needs. I have personal development books downloaded onto my Kindle app for easy access and reading or I will go take a long hot bath with my favorite essential oil and Epsom salts. I love to surround myself with a great group of supportive women, a sisterhood tribe. I will unplug from everything, go take a walk, drink a cup of my favorite coconut oil coffee on my back porch. Even if its just 10 minutes to decompress, relax and rejuvenate to get re-centered, I find that my focus and mindset is better allowing me to be more productive. 

3. Know Your WHY.

Having a clearly defined written down "why" will help you overcome those annoying challenges when they try to derail you. This is an important step that I find a lot of women in business don't take the time to do. Why are you working so hard for your goals? How will it feel when you achieve them? How will these accomplishments change your life?  Use these questions and answers as a powerful tool and resource to refuel your motivation. When you are inspired you are productive. Need help in your soul searching? The Desire Map literally changed my life and had me digging deeper than I ever had before. 

4. Purging.

When I was pregnant I found myself nesting and purging stuff around the house to get more organized and ready for a new baby. Because I was also building a business I found myself purging in all areas of my life and it felt really good to let go of things that were no longer serving me or useful. I continue to do this in some area of my life once a month. 

This can be a very freeing experience that allows you to attract more organized results. Set aside some time to go through your email to purge and organize. I started using this as an opportunity to unsubscribe from email lists that I never look at anymore. 

Take the time to organize your house, clean your office so you can start the next day with a fresh clean desk. Go through closets and donate clothing and other items that you are no longer using. Feeling organized and productive is important in all areas of our lives. 

5. Record Your Progress

One way to stay focused on the “big picture” is to keep track of what you do. I have a daily method of operation that I use to ensure that I am staying on track and focused on revenue generating activities for my business.  I can track my results which serves as an important reminder that I am moving forward in the right direction even on days when I am feeling like it has been a total unproductive waste. 

Find resources and tools that work best for you whether you are a spreadsheet junkie or like an old fashioned pen and piece of paper. There is no right or wrong method, just as long as you can show yourself that you are on the right track. In the event that you have ventured off the beaten path this exercise can also quickly show you what you need to do to get back in the game. 

6. Self Love.

You are your biggest supporter and cheerleader. Taking the time to reflect upon your achievements no matter how big or small, means you are taking care of your physical, mental and emotional well being. Love and respect yourself and give the person looking back at you in the mirror a good well deserved pat on the back. 

Looking for a good resource to help you define your goals and help keep you on track? My 90 Day Passion Planning and Goal Setting Guide is the ultimate resource for creating and setting family + business + spiritual goals. Download your FREE copy now, just enter your name and email address {don't worry, I wont' be spamming your inbox or over emailing because I don't even tolerate that from people that I subscribe to much less treat my own subscribers that way. Once a week business and branding tips is what you can expect to be delivered to your sacred email space xo}.

Life is a journey.  Enjoy the ride, accept the failures, celebrate your victories and most importantly, live your little heart out!

I value your feedback so be sure to leave me a comment and share with others who would find it valuable. I so appreciate you being here.

April Williams is a Creative Momista and Soulpreneur of 2 boys + whimsical wavemaker + creative expressive + Texas country girl + branding junkie who loves green mint tea + horses + fuzzy socks + surrounding herself with high achieving amazing women + peppermint anything + the color red + cozy coffee shops. She is a branding strategist for creative women entrepreneurs and founder of Creative Brandista™ . 

Imagine. Create. Inspire.