It’s common knowledge that the best way to reach a goal is to set up consistent routines. These daily or weekly practices are an absolute must when taking on a large endeavor, as progress for any pursuit happens over the long haul. When you set out to begin a new life changing habit, there will inevitably be obstacles you must face. The universe will test you to make sure you are serious about what you are trying to accomplish. You must show burning desire for your goal to be able to push through and find success. You can find yourself in a great situation where you’re well on your way to establishing a new habit or you feel like you’ve got the habit in the bag, and then life circumstance comes out of nowhere to remove your means to maintain your habit.
My laptop screen stopped working a few months ago, so with Christmas money I decided to get a replacement. With this new laptop, I sensed the opportunity for a new beginning, and I found myself reinvigorated to change my life. I began writing. I wrote 10,000 words over the course of a few days. I’d kept up this habit for a week, and then I noticed my new laptop was running into display problems related to the hardware. I would have to return this laptop to the online store, but I knew that would be a few weeks of turn around time before I could get up running again with my writing. This was just long enough to get me off track with my new habit. The universe is testing me to see how serious I am about writing. Will I find a way to get the work done even though there is a major inconvenience placed before me?
The same pattern occurred with my working out routine recently. For the past 8 months, I’ve been working out every weekend, every single week. At the 6+ month mark I was starting to see great progress, and then I got a little overconfident and injured a muscle in my back. This type of injury has lasted a few weeks and threatens to derail my efforts at a consistent workout. The most dangerous time for a habit is when a setback like this happens. Habits are all about momentum and routine, and to end the routine is to endanger the habit. I’ve responded by making sure I heal my back as fast as possible with ice and rest. I can’t continue the upper body workout routine, but I can do other core strengthening exercises and lower body exercises. Part of my brain wants to say “I can’t workout my upper body, so I just won’t do anything.” This is my inner resistance trying to trick me into getting off track and slipping back into a lazy habit. Once you realize that this is the sort of tactic that is being employed against you, you can be more vigilant in fighting to keep your positive habits even through difficult times.
Clearly the solution to when obstacles are blocking you from your key routines is to find temporary, positive, alternative routines that you can employ. The trick is to keep taking massive action. If I can’t type at my laptop and get my daily writing routine done, I can always pull out a pen and paper and get words down on the page. While this method won’t be very efficient and probably less satisfying, I know that it can tide me over and keep my on my routine until my laptop is replaced. Don’t let easy excuses keep you from your goals. Everyone who tries to accomplish something faces internal and external negative forces. We must accept this inevitable fact and not get frustrated.When the world drops problems in your path, and you are able to emotionally accept them, you are empowered. Your level-headed approach will allow you patiently access them to find alternative routes. A new path might not be what you had hoped for, but it can still guide you to where you want to go. We can set our destination, but we can’t choose in advance the exact path to get there. We must be flexible and problem solving individuals if we want to be successful in our particular creative crafts. Embrace the inevitable chaos and challenge in reaching your goal, as it will make you a more dynamic and powerful individual.