“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” -Confucious
Keep this in mind whenever you find yourself at the point where you have to make adjustments to get to where you want to be in life.
It hurts when it is obvious that the original plan you had for your goals are not working out. The reality is that life will throw things at us to force us to make a decision about the goals we want. It forces us to answer the following questions:
- Do you want this goal or not?
- How bad to do you want the goal?
- What will you do to achieve the goal?
Let’s answer a few questions and see our options are when we are faced with deciding how to achieve our goals.
What is the obvious?
Merriam-Webster defines the obvious as:
Easy to see or notice.
Easy for the mind to understand or recognize.
When someone or something becomes obvious for you, you cannot miss it because of the clarity.
What are your options when it is obvious you cannot reach your goals as originally planned?
When faced with such a situation, you have only two options. You can either:
- Adjust the goals…or…
- Adjust the action steps.
Let’s dig a little deeper into the options to understand the importance of both and see which option would work for you.
Option #1: Adjust the goals.
When you can obviously see that you are not going to reach your goals as planned, you can opt to adjust your goals. Here are a few adjustments that are often made by people:
- Instead of becoming a millionaire, you adjust your goal and make becoming a thousand-aire as your new goal.
- Instead of having a family, you adjust your goal and make being happily single as your new goal.
- Instead of hitting a home run and reach home plate in one swing, you adjust your goal and make just hitting and reach first base as your new goal.
- Instead of winning the championship, you adjust your goal and make advancing to the playoffs as your new goal.
What happens is that in adjusting our goals, we attempt to soften the blow of not reaching our ultimate goal by making a smaller goal as our new goal.
- It makes you feel good when you reach it.
- It could inspire you to reach a bigger goal if you choose.
- You main goal is left unaccomplished.
- You are left to believe that you are not meant to accomplished that goal when in reality, YOU WERE MEANT TO DO IT!
- You start to become cautious and fearful instead of confident and fearless about future goals.
- You start to settle for less versus more over time.
Option #2: Adjust the action steps.
When you can obviously see that you are not going to reach your goals as planned, you can adjust your action steps. When you are adjusting your action steps, you are doing the following:
- You are replacing negativity and non-working steps with positivity and working steps.
- You are learning from your mistakes and applying the lessons moving forward.
- You are seeking help and guidance from people who can help you reach your goals.
- You are still moving forward despite not going down the original path.
In adjusting your action steps, you are still giving yourself the opportunity to reach your goals. When you do make the proper adjustments to your action steps and follow them, you will reach your ultimate goals. There is no better feeling than reaching your ultimate goals!
I encourage you to take a look at your goals and see where you are. If you are in a situation where it is obvious that a change is needed, think about the two options above. One requires you to go for something less while the other requires you to stay with it and make the changes. The decision that you make can have a lasting effect on you and how you deal with your future goals. Let’s remember that obviously changing goals will get you only so far, but obviously changing the action steps can get you to your ultimate destination in life.
I have a few questions to ask you, and I would love for you to give them some thought. Feel free to answer and comment below:
- What goal did have where it was obvious that you had to make a change?
- Did it force you to change your goals or change the action steps?
- What was the outcome of your decision?
Your answers can help yourself or someone else figure out what to do when faced with such crossroad in the future:
- Do you obviously change your goals and change your action steps?
-Michael J. Fite