Bridge-building 101

red bridgeClean slate. Blank page. Fresh start.

In the midst of the chaotic busyness of our lives, many times we wish we could just start over. At least I do. Instead of the hassles and commitments I feel mired up in, I dream of just doing the equivalent of hitting clear and making it all go away.

What I’m really seeking though, is clarification and order for the chaos that life can become. When I’ve let the busyness obscure the goals and purpose behind the original commitments, it can seem like it all has little meaning except to get things done and checked off a list.

That’s why it’s critical to take some time to revisit your goals and plans for the year every few months to make sure you are on track. It’s so easy to become so distracted that you lose sight of that end goal. That’s when it feels like you are just spinning your wheels.

I’ve written before about being intentional in your goal setting and how to move forward in small steps to make those goals happen (read more here), as well as looking at commitments and paring down in order to be more effective (read more here).

But in the heat of the moment, when deadlines are pressing in, and the stacks are building up, it’s hard to block out the time to do the kind of hard-nosed review that is important for staying on track. Your mind is muddled by too much “stuff” and you can’t think clearly.

Part of the battle is accepting that you are not where you need to be and that you need to fix that. In his Brave New Year course (affiliate link), Chris Brogan advocates accepting the reality of where you are, but to focus on building a bridge to where you want to be. That bridge-building is the most critical part of this puzzle.

So instead of beating yourself up because you are off-course on your goals or continuing to move in the wrong direction, take some time this week to build a bridge. Block off an hour on your calendar when you won’t be disturbed (get up a little early if you have to), pull out your goals (you do have them written down, right?), and figure out one or two things you can do right away to start heading in the right direction.

Maybe that’s make an appointment with a colleague for lunch to hammer out the next steps on a project at work, or research  options online for a plan, or have a difficult conversation you’ve been avoiding. Whatever it is, note several small bridge-building steps you can take to turn your situation around.

Then do them. You will have wasted your time in spelling out the goals in the first place if you have no plans of achieving them. So block out time on your calendar or make that appointment for the bridge-building step and move ahead. Then celebrate your break-through.

What bridge can you build today toward achieving your goals?

2 thoughts on “Bridge-building 101

    • Thanks Lily. I’m great at goal setting, but then life gets in the way and I don’t always reset. Glad I could help remind you.

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