Why Aren’t You Making Progress Toward Your Goal?
Do you have a dream or goal that is very important but you never (or rarely) find yourself working to make it a reality (see reality therapy)? There are several reasons why this can happen. Becoming more clear about what holds you back may help you move forward.
Are you sure you want to pursue this goal?
Usually when a person sincerely wants something, they find a way to do it, despite their fears. Roadblocks are met with persistence, and having some doubts along the way is expected.
If you are sure you want to go for this goal, maybe your head and heart are on different wavelengths about it. For example, someone passionate about literature might feel strongly about becoming a writer. However, every time he or she sits down to write they keep thinking, “I don’t want to spend my life at a desk. I want to be around people and talk about literature.”
This person might be better off teaching literature as a profession and writing as the “spirit” moves them during their spare time.
Do you keep thinking your dream is stupid or the goal doesn’t matter?
You are most likely listening to your personal version of negative self-talk. Nothing is stupid unless someone judge’s it to be, and your goals matter because you matter. The point of doing something is you. What’s the point? You are the point. Ask yourself how you will feel in the future if you do not work on your dream now.
Does working toward the goal seem like “just too much?”
Having a dream involves looking at the big picture. Making it real happens one day, one hour, one minute at a time. Planning and carrying out actions involve two kinds of focus. Planning requires looking at the horizon. Taking action is about seeing only what is currently in front of you.
If your daily tasks are daunting, you may be trying to take steps that are too big to get you anywhere. Small, even very small steps, produce less anxiety and make each action easier and more enjoyable.
Do you worry about failing?
No one begins a journey and takes steps day after day and gets no where. Even if things do not go as planned, or the outcome is not what you expect, you will have gone somewhere and learned something.
If you do fail, life goes on and so can you. After considering your options you make more choices about what comes next. You might reset your expectations, or get some necessary education. You might shift into a new direction, or even take what you learned and start something new.
Do you believe there is not enough time to work on your goal?
Our days do become full of responsibilities that make reaching for a dream more difficult. Many people have had to put their dreams on hold until the time was ripe for them to pursue it. Other people carve out as much time as they can to devote to the goal, such as getting up earlier in the morning.
If time is very tight, and to keep the dream alive, you can decide to do one thing every day that takes you closer to the goal. If you want to write poetry, you can write at least one line everyday. No, it’s not much, but every effort counts. At the very least, you can spend a minute before nodding off at night to imagine yourself already at the destination.
Most people get where they are going by taking the next small step, day after day. Sometimes there is opportunity to leap, but that is more the exception than the norm.