I want to reach my goals…like yesterday. It’s hard to be patient. And it’s tough when I see other people pull ahead and get there faster.
Sometimes it seems like everyone else has it all figured out and I lag behind at a turtle’s pace.
But even when it seems like everyone else is winning the race in record time, it’s probably not true.
Sometimes we only see what we want to. And what we see isn’t necessarily the truth.
Sure, some people totally rock their goals and get there faster than the rest of us. But we don’t see the behind the scenes work those people have to do to reach their goals. We don’t see how they got started and the obstacles they’ve faced. We don’t see the blood, sweat and tears along the way.
Reaching goals is hard. They can seem to take for ever. And that’s super frustrating.
But it can be helpful to know that, at some point, even those who have already reached their goals have been right where you are.
No one has it all figured out
I entered the personal finance blogosphere long before I ever started my own blog. I religiously read personal finance blogs from the moment I discovered them – you know, the classics, like Get Rich Slowly, The Simple Dollar, Budgets are Sexy, and Free Money Finance, just to name a few.
I’ve been reading (and lurking) on these, and other, personal finance sites for a decade, taking their advice and following their journeys.
And then I started my own blog.
But please don’t look at that and think I have it all figured out. Because I don’t.
I hope you don’t think it was quick and easy. I hope you realize there were ups and downs, I faltered, made heaps of mistakes and, at times, wanted to give up.
I hope you realize I’m still making mistakes and learning. I still get frustrated when I take one step forward and two steps back.
And sometimes, I still feel like everyone else has it all figured out.
I don’t have it all figured out. I never have. I never will. And, guess what? Neither will you. And that’s okay.
Water your own lawn
The grass is always greener on the other side.
There’s always going to be someone else who seems to have it all figured out. And maybe they are further ahead…where you wish you could be. But they had to start somewhere. The most important thing they did was start.
Rather than reading success stories and feeling like you’re doomed, use them as inspiration and motivation. Other’s perspectives, tactics, and life philosophies will help you learn, grow, and think differently. (And that’s why they share them!)
You could choose to believe, “they have it all figured out and I never will”. OR you can learn from those who have gone before you and use that information to push yourself forward. You can keep trying and learning and growing.
Measure YOUR Progress
When you feel lost and slow and frustrated, stop and think. Think about what your life will look like when you reach your goals. And then think about how you will take those first steps to reach them.
For example, at the start of 2017, I set a goal of a 10% improvement in blogging traffic/income each quarter. Instead of measuring my progress against others’, I am measuring my own progress. If one month is better than the last, that’s progress. If not, that’s okay. I’ll take steps to make progress the next month.
So, take a look at where you are today. Set a goal of making measurable progress one month from now (or 3 months, 6 months, 1 year).
The best way to measure your own progress? You know it – SMART goals.
S – specific
M – measurable
A – attainable
R – realistic
T – time-based
Specific and measurable gives you the means to look at your progress over time. Look at where you want to be one month from now, write it down, and make a plan to get there. What do you need to do each week to move you closer to the goal? And, then, what do you need to do each day?
The most important part of all? Take action. Every single day.
You’ll never have it all figured out. But that’s okay. Don’t compare yourself to others, instead focus on what you can control. And start today.
As my friend, Ty, says, “Ready. Fire! Aim. It doesn’t matter what you do, just get started”.