Sticking to Your Goals When Life Gets Hectic

PinExt Sticking to Your Goals When Life Gets Hectic

hectic thumb Sticking to Your Goals When Life Gets HecticIs your life hectic?

It can be very difficult to stick to your goals and resolutions when life is so busy.  Our plates are full and yet we want to improve.  How can we do it all? Is it even possible?

This is no doubt a dilemma that many of us face.  In fact, this article was inspired by a reader comment on my article from a few days ago called Ideas for Overcoming Obstacles to Improvement.

In the article, I talked about how we have a struggle going on inside us that pits comfort against personal improvement.  These two desires are often at odds with one another.

In response, Jen (that writes a blog called Inspired!) stated:

“I was doing really well sticking to my resolutions but then work got hectic, life got hectic, I got tired and suddenly it feels impossible to go for that run after work or tidy the house or just keep on top of everything generally.

I can see that there’s a conflict between choosing comfort and choosing to pursue goals which are difficult. But the comfort I’m seeking at the moment isn’t more food or more alcohol but more sleep!”

Set a Goal and Life Gets Hectic

I completely understand Jen’s situation.  It is a very common one.  Life definitely gets hectic sometimes.  In fact, it often seems it happens just after you commit yourself to a goal.

You get inspired, set a goal or resolution, and then WHAM, life comes crashing in on you.  The kids get sick, it gets busy at work, the car breaks down and it seems as if your house is about to fall apart.  It feels like everything starts working against you.

How do you juggle all life throws at you and still accomplish your goals?

It certainly isn’t easy, but it is possible to make steady progress.  How?  Well, I’m going to share a few ways that I’ve been able to make this work for me.

By the way, I have a busy full-time job, two kids, a marriage, a home, a blog and plenty of other commitments.  So, I can relate to the pressure that Jen and many of the rest of you feel.

Sticking to Your Goals When Things Get Hectic

Here’s my suggestions for sticking to your goals even when life gets hectic:

1.  Focus

When you are busy, you’ve got to get intensely focused.  You can’t afford to spread yourself across multiple goals.  You have to pick one or two that are your absolute top priorities and focus whatever energy you have on these.  You’ve got to divide the good from the great here.  Good goals are often the enemy of great goals because they spread you too thin.  Focus on the great ones that will make the most positive difference in your life and finish these before you tackle anything else.

Is your life dictating that you need more focus?

2.  Do the Big Rocks First

In her comment, Jen says, “I got tired and suddenly it feels impossible to go for that run after work or tidy the house or just keep on top of everything generally.”  My response?  You’ve got to do what is most important to you first each day before you do all the other stuff that wears you out.  I don’t have room here to fully explain the Big Rocks technique, but you can read about it and apply it.  It works for me.  I get up an hour early every day to write articles for this site.  If I waited until the end of the day, it would never get done.

Are you accomplishing your big rocks first?

3.  Lower Your Expectations

This might sound odd, but when life starts getting in the way, you may have to lower your expectations regarding your goals.  Mainly, I’m talking about extending the timeline.  It might not be possible to accomplish as much as you originally planned by your target date.  Too often, people give up when life gets hectic.  Instead, I recommend just lowering your expectations to something more realistic.  It might take you longer, but at least you’re still making progress.

Do you need to lower your expectations?

4.  Don’t Become the Victim

Finally, when life gets hectic, it is easy to become the victim.  You’ve got to guard against this.  Don’t let yourself start saying things like, “I would have lost the weight, but my boss assigned me all this extra work and now I don’t have enough time to exercise.”  This implies that it was out of your control.  That you were just a victim of your circumstances.  You make the choice to give up or continue toward your goals.  You are not a victim.  You either make your goals a priority or you don’t.  If you put a goal on the backburner that’s okay, but be sure you accept the responsibility for making the decision.

Are you playing the victim?

A Hectic Life Shouldn’t Kill Your Goals

Life gets hectic for all of us from time-to-time.  This is the chance to prove to yourself that you have what it takes to succeed even when times are tough.  Sometimes you have to get creative in finding new ways to keep moving forward.  Stick to your goals by using the suggestions above to make adjustments, but don’t give up entirely!

Photo: Copyright

PinExt Sticking to Your Goals When Life Gets Hectic

22 thoughts on “Sticking to Your Goals When Life Gets Hectic

    • Jonathan, it certainly pays dividends to prioritize your life correctly. You can either choose for yourself what you value or you can let life do it for you.

    • It is best to expect a few curve balls when you are setting goals. They almost always come. Being mentally prepared for resistance is half the battle.

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  2. Sometimes when I have too many things going on, I’ll put all my energy getting as much done as possible until I end up burning out. Then I take a couple days to just relax and unwind. Unfortunately, that leads to things piling up and I feel behind. Lately, I’ve been trying to spread things out a little more so that doesn’t happen. I make sure the big things are done first and if I feel up for it, I’ll do the smaller things.
    Steve´s last [type] ..11 Ways to Discover New Passions

  3. Hey Jeff!!! I’m really honoured that you’ve written this because of my comment! Life’s been hectic again this week and I’ve only just seen it.

    Strange that focus should be your first point. My friends are ALWAYS telling me that I lack focus – I try to focus on about 6 goals at once when I should be focusing on 2 at most. It’s been my problem throughout life and one of my friends said it to me only last weekend.

    The big rocks idea is great….I would like to run before I go to work but it’s really dark in the mornings here in the UK at the moment so it just isn’t practically. But the clocks change in about a month so I can put that into practice.

    And I could lower my expectations, I guess. But I don’t want to!

    There is a strange thing about having less time though….I took a “grown-up gap year” last year for almost all of 2010 and did just the odd bit of freelance work instead of having a proper job. The idea was to have more time for travel, volunteering, writing and my other project, Help100. What often happened was that I had so much time on my hands I didn’t get that much done. I would watch that extra TV programme that didn’t add much to my life or simply lie in late and then start the day feeling guilty and get less done. Having limited time since I started a part-time job in January means that I am a lot more focused with my free time and do use it much better.
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    • JenP, Thank you for leaving the comment that inspired this post! I was happy that I got to respond. I’m glad to hear that you are applying (or plan to apply) my suggestions. I hope they help you and others to achieve more of what they truly want.

  4. This article is really good. I too feel that we all need to set a goal when life gets hectic and it is normal these days. Sometimes there are lots of hurdles in the way but we should not lose our focus. When I gave birth to my first child life was really not that easy since I was unable to strike a balance between my work & family life. It was one of my friend who inspired me to take life as it comes and how to balance both .

  5. It is really an inspiring post! It is really important to prioritize your goals. You need to start your day with doing what you feel is most important and then move on to the other things. It is really not that easy to stay on track when there are unforeseen situations thrown by life but it is a part and parcel of life. Each and everyday can not be the same.

    • Albert, Putting the most important things first can do wonders for achieving your goals. I don’t know why we seem to try to move forward with whatever we have left over at the end of our day. It never seems to get us very far.

  6. Hey, Jeff! Someone got to this topic before I did, huh? LOL.

    Well, am not sorry. This one’s much better I’m actually doing a salute. ? OK, here’s what I have to say.

    While we have ultimate goals based on our core desires in life, there’s a lot of things that’s gonna come our way. That means getting new things to do, changing of plans, having to work with different people, even coming upon setbacks.

    But these shouldn’t change our goals, nor should it be reasons why we should lose resolve. If just get a positive mindset about these pressing changes and the hectic life we face, we could still get to our goals while actually clearing the road. It’s all about chunking stuff to workable sizes, being always fit and having motivational forces to keep us going.

    See, Jeff? If I wasn’t alarmed with the comment length, I’d be writing something longer than your post! Thanks for the space!
    arina nikitina´s last [type] ..10 Steps to Expressing Constructive Criticism and to Being Heard

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  8. It is all part of life new things to do, changing of plans, having to work with different people, even coming upon setbacks but irrespective of all the obstacles the show must go on. Great post indeed!

  9. After a long time I really enjoyed reading a post which is related to my area of interest. Life is not bed of roses. We all have ups and downs in life and it is part and parcel of the journey. We all need to have some goal in life or else life becomes meaningless.

  10. Today majority of us are leading a very hectic lifestyle. It is indeed a very competitive world and balancing the work and personal life is simply not that easy. To achieve success you need to have focus and determination. Never give up and keep trying till you succeed.

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  12. I cannot go a day without thinking about or brainstorming or planning or some other way working on my goals. I use a goal organizer I found on the web that is so helpful I can’t believe how much more productive I am. It make it easy to see that any goal, no matter how big, is really just a bunch of small steps. Knowing that makes it so much easier to achieve something big. And every goal achieved adds to an overall sense of accomplishment that translates to every day confidence.

  13. hi,

    your posts are wonderful and helpful. it help me alot to my life confusions and hectic days.
    Thank you for your contribution.
    Bless you God!

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