Step Away

April 22, 2009

Has anything been getting in your way lately?

Your job, an unsupportive person, limited resources, the weather. What exactly is holding you back from achieving your goals. That, of course, is assuming that you have goals in mind. So let’s for the sake of this conversation assume that each of us has some goals to achieve. Now, did you ever have one that just quite doesn’t get done. That thing that is on the priority list day after day. I believe that many of you can relate to what I’m talking about.

What is that about? Why would something that we deem a goal, a priority – something that we clearly put on the “to do” list – something that we want to achieve the benefits from – why would it continue to be out of reach? Well, there are a number of answers to that. And it will be different for each individual. The important thing is to ask those questions. To figure out why.  Relative to you.

When it comes to achieving certain goals, especially those regarding  health and wellness, it is a matter of taking action. We all go through stages before we get to the action steps to meet the goal (to make the change). According to a great behavioral theory out there called “Stages of Change” theory, the stage before taking action is the preparation stage.

You’ve already contemplated your goal, you’ve put it on the “to do” list and you intend to take action on it in the near future. You have entered the preparation stage. According to the theory, from contemplation of the goal to preparing for it takes about 6 months, and then about another month before action is taken. So, what’s up when you’ve already been preparing and the action never comes about?  What gets people stuck in the preparation stage?

This is when the list of factors that we believe are stacked up against us come into play. The intrepid forces that I mentioned above that stop us from having what we want. Or is it something else? What if you tried on for size that it may indeed be yourself that was holding you back. In some instances it may not be, but try it see things from this perpective. It can’t hurt to truly explore if there is any way that you might holding yourself back.

Why would you hold yourself back, you ask?

Once again, the answers are numerous. For many of us, we become so comfortable with what is familiar that we push the change away, push it further into the future. We think we really want it, but on some level we know that it will be different and we may get uncomfortable, so we find things that stop us from taking action. This is what I call getting in your own way.

Getting in your own way is when you come up with one reason after another not to take action toward your goal. To rationalize, or refuse, or sometimes even place obstacles in the way of moving forward. Some of you can agree with me about this, and some of you may think I’m crazy. But it is certainly a possibility as to why you aren’t achieving your goals.

So what is the solution? Quite simply, to step away. Whatever that perpetual thing on the “to do” list is that’s nagging you – step away. If you keep banging your head up against the wall to have something happen that isn’t – step away. If you are having an internal dialogue with yourself over and over about the pros and cons about something  – step away.

Give yourself some space. Do something that you enjoy that is easy. Make yourself happy – so that you get out of your own way. Soon enough, you’ll come back around to whatever it was that you want to achieve.  You can address it from a refreshed perspective and begin to prepare again. As you near taking some action, just make a decision and try it out. The external forces will eventually work with you, as long as you are fully on board.

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