3 Ways to Overcome Obstacles to Progress

Progress.

We all crave it. We all desire it.

But it does NOT happen by accident.

Think of the last time you accidentally succeeded. You probably can't, because it doesn't exist. No one falls into success. That's the equivalent of falling upwards - away from gravity.

You work hard, pray harder, and climb the mountains of trial and challenge to summit the peak of success.

But if progress is something we all desire, why are we not seeing more of it in our lives? Chances are you're like me and have some big dreams and goals. And also like me, you probably have some natural tendencies that hold you back from making the progress you desire. 

For me, some of those tendencies are:

1. Busyness

I trick my brain into thinking I'm being productive when really I'm just being busy. Whether that's checking email, reading articles on productivity (that's the best and most sinister way to waste time), or even being sidetracked with other small tasks, it's easy to stay busy.

2. Laziness

This is a hard one for me to admit, but sometimes I'm downright lazy. We're biologically wired to take the path of least resistance, and that works against us in our pursuit of progress.

3. Isolation

As a natural introvert, I'm recharged by being alone: reading a book, sipping on some coffee in the corner of my favorite coffee shop. Yet sometimes, I forget that I need others in my life to help push me toward my goals.

 

Knowing these natural tendencies work against me, here are 3 ways I combat them that could be helpful for you as well:

1. Schedule the important

I've heard over and over again, "What gets scheduled, gets done." And it's true! If I schedule writing time first thing in the morning, I am way more likely to write than waste time checking email or browsing Facebook. This includes scheduling margin. We all need margin. Margin is that space in our calendar and our minds to play, create, and dream. Schedule your margin - you won't regret it.

2. Make your goals visible

Last weekend, my family and I drove out to a cabin in the mountains and we spent that time creating our goals for 2016. We wrote down a long list and narrowed them down to seven. We're going to be printing them out, framing them, and hanging them somewhere very visible in our house. The problem many of us have is we come up with some goals but don't take the time to write them down and make them visible. This pretty much guarantees failure. If you have goals, which I'm sure you do, do yourself a favor and write them down and make them visible. You could even create a desktop wallpaper with them as a daily reminder!

3. Utilize your community

We need people around us who will push us and challenge us to be better. As Scott Belsky, creator of 99u and the Behance Network, has researched and pointed out, one of the pivotal factors in making ideas happen and achieving progress is surrounding ourselves with communal forces. This force of community can propel us toward our goals.

 

Knowing what holds you back from achieving progress is important when creating goals. When you know what gets in the way, you can make a plan to overcome those obstacles. 

So tell me: what things are holding you back? How will you plan to jump the hurdles when they pop up? Leave a comment below to let me know how I can help! 

 

Posted on February 1, 2016 and filed under productivity.