How Do You Handle Roadblocks?
As you work to achieve nearly any goal, more important than any other aspect of your journey is how you handle roadblocks to your success. No matter what your goal is, there are often many ways and opinions about how to arrive at success. The debate on whether cutting expenses or increasing income is the better route to financial success is a classic example of this.
Everyone has their own opinion about which steps will help you accomplish your goals, but I submit to you that there is an even more important factor to consider: the handling of roadblocks to your goal.
Roadblocks and Their Ability to Derail
When I wrote about why it’s so vitally important to make your personal financial plan personal, one thing I pointed out is that what matters most about a journey to debt freedom is that you create your road map in a way that allows you to stick with it all the way to the finish line.
This is where the subject of roadblocks comes in.
Every goal comes with roadblocks. If you’re on a journey to lose weight, you’ll be invited to a potluck dinner or dessert-tasting buffet. If you’re on a journey to run a marathon, you’ll have two weeks straight of non-stop rain. If you’re on a journey to become debt free, the washer will go out.
These roadblocks are a part of life, and many of them are unavoidable. How you choose to handle those roadblocks, is up to you. Here are some tips on successfully handling the roadblocks you encounter in pursuit of your goals:
1. Accept them. Not in a giving up kind of a way, just as a realization that they are part of the journey toward any goal.
2. Make an action plan. If you’re working to lose weight and get invited to a potluck, fill up on a nice lettuce salad before you go. If you’re training to run a marathon and it’s going to rain or be dangerously cold for the next two weeks, see if you can find an indoor running venue or substitute your running with some other type of aerobic training. If you’re working to pay off debt and the washer breaks, pick up some temporary extra side hustles or see what you can sell from around the house to make up for the extra expense that comes with repairing or replacing the washer.
3. Keep moving. The most important part of overcoming roadblocks is that you don’t let them stop you from working toward your goal. Even if your emotions have gotten the best of you and you’re feeling discouraged, choose to make one small step toward your goal. Pay an extra $5 on your credit card and spend $5 less on gas. If you don’t have the emotional or physical stamina to run, go for a walk, or organize the house. Just do something – anything – that will put you toward your goal, even if it’s the smallest of steps.
By choosing to keep moving, you combat those messages of failure and the temptation to quit altogether.
With any goal, roadblocks, in some form, will likely come. It’s how you choose to handle them that means the difference between success and failure.
What goals are you working on currently, and how have you overcome the roadblocks you’ve encountered in reaching those goals? What roadblocks have you already encountered in your pursuit of your personal goals?
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