Plan ahead for obstacles

We all know how it goes once you begin down the path of well intentioned behavior change. You feel super motivated and are willing to do anything and everything in order to get your desired result.

You come up with a quick game plan and absolutely kill it in the first few days and if you are really motivated your new behavior might even make it to the end of the week before hitting your first real obstacle.

Obstacles always abound in any worthy behavior change that you take on in your life. You cannot avoid them. In fact, I am glad that we can’t avoid them. They are there for a reason.

Obstacles ask us, “how serious are you about this change?” “Was it made on a whim?” “Does the mere sight of me make you want to throw in the towel?” Last of all, “are you going to give up or are you going to conquer me?”

Obstacles allow us to grow, change, and truly earn what it is we are working for. In a way they make it possible for us to attain our goals.

We should not shrink from obstacles or allow them to keep us from our goals. Instead we need to meet them head on and climb right up and over them.

So, how do we do that? Well, it all comes down to a method called laying down the path. Let me explain.

If our goal is to begin exercising in the mornings there are multiple things that we can do to “lay down the path” and overcome any foreseeable obstacles. We could:

-Lay out our exercise clothes the night before.
-Set our alarm to a motivating song (like Eye of the tiger or any other sweet song from Rocky IV).
-Move our alarm to a location that will require us to get out of bed and walk to turn it off.
-Go to bed earlier the night before.
-Set an appointment with a training partner that will be waiting for us to show up.

All five of those things anticipate a possible obstacle (the comforting call of your pillow and warm blankets to stay in bed a little longer) and lay out a path around the obstacle making it a lot easier to overcome that temptation.

If we didn’t lay out our clothes, set the alarm with motivating music at a far away distance, go to bed at a reasonable hour the night before, or make a commitment to someone else that we will be there for the workout then the odds will be greatly stacked against us and we will more than likely hit the snooze button one too many times and find that we missed our opportunity to earn our goal/vision that day.

Making goals and visions without taking time to think of your biggest obstacles and then preparing for them is like making a bunch of cookies for your sick neighbor without telling your kids and husband that they aren’t for them to eat. Those cookies don’t have a prayer.

So now that you have already taken time making your own vision (like I laid out in the previous post), you need to take some time writing down any foreseeable obstacles and then come up with simple actions you can take to “lay down the path” and overcome those obstacles.

Don’t make the mistake of setting your goals and vision without then taking the time to “lay down the path” that will greatly multiply your chances of success.

So, go grab a pen and paper and your vision that you already completed. Set the timer on the microwave for 10 minutes and begin writing out any obstacles that you can imagine and then write down a list of ways you can “lay down the path” for each of those obstacles.

Here’s to your success. You will see the power of “laying down the path” as you consistently overcome obstacles that tripped you up in the past.

Seth

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