Planning for Future Obstacles

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett

Week Forty Seven

Sometimes when making important life changes, circumstances may arise that challenge your commitment or confidence. This exercise is about being prepared for things that may get in the way of your peace, or undermine your self-management so you can catch them early and get back on track. One aspect of this is learning from your past experiences and tweaking your current activities based on what worked. Another aspect is the faith you have in yourself to work through these hiccups.

Identify specific change(s) that you are committed to making in your life as you consider the following:

1) What has prevented you from making this change(s) before?

2) What has NOT worked for you previously when tackling issues? What did these experiences reveal as better ways to handle it?

3) What has worked for you in the past when making change stick?

4) What excuses do you have for not making changes? Check all that apply:
_ It will be too difficult / too hard / too challenging
_ It will be too risky / too scary
_ It will be too time-consuming / too inconvenient
_ It will be too energy-consuming / too tiring / too stressful
_ I am not old/young enough
_ I am not smart/skilled enough.
_ I am not worthy/of value.
_ It has never happened before. If I could do it I already would be. Nothing I have tried works. It is impossible
_ No one will help me. There is no support in my environment. There is a lack of encouragement from those around me.

For each excuse that you checked above, ask
a. Is my excuse true, or is it a convenient story that I tell myself to avoid going after what I want?
b. Where did my excuse come from?
c. What would be different in my life if this excuse disappeared?
d. Can I create a powerful reason to let go of the excuse and move forward with positive change?
e. How can I release this gut response?

5) Who are the supportive people in my life to whom I can make myself accountable for my commitments?

Here, you benefit by confronting some of the mindsets that might prevent you from tackling change in any area of your life. You also get inspiration from your past activities even if you view them as mistakes. This exercise introduces the possibility of being free from excuses and finding ways to get what is important to you done.