what to do if you veer off from your goals
You want to go big. You’ve set goals and gained traction towards your next level. But, something has thrown you off.
Maybe you’ve slipped in your discipline, mindset, or routines. Or, maybe a challenge popped up at work, home, or the gym that threw you to the sidelines.
A lot of people have big dreams, but as soon as they start to get off track, typically their energy and performance start to slip – and it’s not long before they start to second-guess themselves or give up on their goals altogether.
For even the most ambitious and talented people, a layer of shame, guilt or limiting beliefs about who they are and what they are capable of are waiting just below the surface. And when these things come up, they keep people from taking the action needed to get the outcomes they want.
But the difference that sets apart true high-performers is this: they’ve learned to transform those old stories or shame into motivation to move forward.
High performers go about goal setting differently. They know they are in it for the long-haul, so they master the skill of keeping their energy and performance high. Even if they slip in their goals or experience self-doubt, they know how to process it and continue on before the ship goes down.
In order to do that, they master the skill of the bounce back.
Bouncing back is a set of skills and actions that propel you into the next right action.
It’s normal to get off track. Success is never a straight line. There will be hiccups, delays, and losses.
Instead of seeing these challenges as a stopping point, high performers see setbacks as an opportunity to level up, skill up, and find a way to move forward.
But here’s the secret:
Your capacity to bounce back to your goal is determined long before a challenge appears.
You need to build the internal mindset and emotional capacity to recognize that failure is a part of the game. But that’s not enough. You need the systems, habits and routines so that you can determine the next step to jump back in without floundering.
Here are 6 ways you can skill up to overcome any setback:
1. Shift your Identity to be aligned with Your Goal and Success
In my experience as a Certified High-Performance Coach, most people are in a state of conflict between who they see themselves as and where they want to go. In other words, your current identity isn’t aligned with who you need to become in order to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.
That’s why choosing a NEW identity – one that aligns with the goals you want to achieve – is so important.
Start with 3 words that you want to represent your highest self. The person who achieves your big dreams: how does he show up? What characteristics does he have?
Why are these words important to you?
Write these down, and put them everywhere. In your bedroom, bathroom, phone, computer screen, etc.
This is not about you being inauthentic by any means. It’s about you taking the best of who you already are, and aligning it with a new way of existing in the world: the way the guy who achieves those big goals shows up.
2. Set goals based on the chapter you are in
Let’s say you have a dream to be a 7-figure business owner. You’ve mapped out a business plan and laid the groundwork for your product.
But, you’ve made $14,000 in your business so far.
There’s nothing wrong with having the goal of being a 7 figure business owner in your mind. But you also need to set tangible goals that are appropriate for the stage of growth you are in, which is more of a start-up stage.
Ask yourself: what feels like a goal that is challenging and a reach in the next 3 months?
And how can I go about achieving this goal in the most efficient way?
Many of the negative emotional responses that may arise when you don’t hit your goals can be mitigated through a more targeted and nuanced goal-setting process.
Goals should be iterative and challenging based on timing and progress.
3. Develop a tactical project plan to get them done
Once you have your goals, are you actually mapping out all the steps that it will take to get you there?
If you are making up the plan as you go, it’s easy to get off track – because you don’t know what’s ahead or behind you!
Map out a very detailed plan for what needs to happen to achieve your goals. Whether at work, at home, or the gym, a project plan can relieve any uncertainty.
4. Visualize yourself going through the process or journey of achieving these goals, every day
Now that you’ve aligned your identity with success and have clear goals and a roadmap to make it happen, get yourself in a routine of visualizing every day.
First, get your body in a relaxed state.
See yourself in the process of doing whatever tasks need to be accomplished for the day.
Let yourself feel any fear or resistance to the vision of you doing those tasks.
See yourself succeeding in doing the hard activities for the day. See any challenges or roadblocks come forward, and picture yourself finding solutions to them.
Visualize your day, every day. Then, go turn that vision into reality!
5. When you get off track, change your energetic state.
Once you’ve taken massive action, it’s inevitable for challenges to arise, sooner or later.
If there are challenges that come up, tune into your body. What does it need so that it can stay focused? Often times, we think it’s more work, more caffeine, more information.
But a lot of times, more of the same doesn’t actually produce results. That’s why changing your energetic state, so that it is clear and calm, is the best thing you can do when you get off track.
Go for a walk. Listen to music that pumps you up. Talk to someone who motivates you. Breathe for a moment.
Change your state from one of frustration or fear, to calm and solution-oriented. Go back to your identity and sit with it. Visualize what needs to happen next.
6. What’s the next obvious step you can take to lead you back on track?
Now that you are in a relaxed state, go back to your project plan. See the steps that you’ve already accomplished and be proud of your work.
Then ask yourself: “What’s the next obvious step I can take to move this forward today, tomorrow, this month?”
Be aware of anything challenging that you may be subconsciously avoiding. And confront that thing directly and immediately.
Your goals are meant to challenge you, and success isn’t linear. Learn how to move through these inevitable sidetracks by planning well beforehand, and you’ll be on your way!
Carla Blumenthal is a Certified High-Performance Coach for thoughtful, ambitious men, helping them create remarkable relationships and greater success on their own terms. To see more from her, connect with her on Facebook or Instagram. You can also download her free audio & workbook “Increase Your Productivity & Focus By Overcoming Your Inner Critic.”