A few months back I was down on myself for not making much progress towards my biggest goal. Every day I woke up and dreamed about what success would feel like. I worked hard too, so you can’t just play the “dreamer” card on me.
I just wasn’t moving forward.
Even though I’d been using the quarterback method for a while to help me get things done I was struggling to find results. It didn’t feel good.
I’ve been stuck here before, and this is the part where the questions start flooding in:
- Am I really cut out for this?
- Am I wasting my time?
- Shouldn’t I be farther along by now?
Is it time to give up?
When those scary questions start to show up, you’ve got to act fast before they destroy your dream.
Luckily I had a secret weapon.
My secret weapon against being stuck
I’d been using the quarterback method for a while at this point to help me achieve my goals. If you’re not familiar with the quarterback method you can learn more about it here.
In short though, I kept a notebook where I intentionally planned out the three most important tasks each day.
There’s one important difference between this method and a regular to-do list. Using this method I write down a new list every single day. So each morning I’m putting pen to paper to write a new list.
When things go well, I check them off as usual. When things don’t, I don’t check them off.
And at the end of the day I put a line through the whole thing. Tomorrow I’ll start over with a new list.
The mystery solved
I’d been feeling down on myself for a couple weeks at this point. One night I was laying in bed thumbing through the notebook I use for the quarterback method. I didn’t have anything specific I was looking for, I was just killing time I guess.
I found something interesting though. Page after page after page with zero items checked off. These were days when I had written down the three biggest, most critical to-dos to get me closer to my goal, and I hadn’t done any of them.
For two weeks.
A simple perspective change that convinced me NOT to quit
At first it made me feel even worse. How could I possibly succeed if I can’t even get through a simple to-do list?
But then my perspective changed. How could I possibly expect to succeed if I haven’t done the work?
I wasn’t stuck because I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t stuck because I’d reached my limit. I was stuck because I wasn’t doing the most important work. I was wasting time on meaningless tasks that were much less intimidating than the important work I set out to do.
The biggest lesson learned
The biggest lesson I learned from this: always look for the why. If you’re feeling stuck and you’re struggling to make progress towards a goal, try and figure out why. When you know why then you’ve got something to correct. Don’t let the scary questions convince you to quit.
Are you stuck making progress on a tough goal? Do you know why?