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Setting personal goals is easy. But sticking to them can be tricky business. There are distractions, instant gratifications and a calendar of obligations to derail your plans every step of the way. Sometimes we even get in our own way and find ourselves so stuck that getting back on track seems to be a bigger hurdle than actually achieving our personal goals. Here are three simple things you can do to stay focused and keep your personal goals in sight.

1. Evaluate Decisions VS Desires:

Often our decisions are based on factors other than our desires. Yes, we will always have obligations, but if you’ve set a goal for yourself, it’s important that it’s a goal you deeply desire to achieve. While you may think a goal is naturally a desire, that’s not always the case. We can unknowingly decide we want to achieve certain things to please other people or to conform to an image we or someone else has of us. If you’re feeling resistance and a lack of real motivation or drive, check in with your level of desire. Make sure your goal is something you truly want.

2. Time Travel:

Motivation, which is often associated with the way we feel about something, is fleeting. It comes and goes. While feelings are certainly valid, we can’t be ruled by them. Imagine what would happen if you didn’t show up for work every time you simply didn’t feel like going? The feeling of being stuck is very much rooted in the present. So why not fast forward? Ask yourself who you want to be in the future. Focus on the habits, lifestyle and achievements your future self embodies to help pull you out of your present mindset.

3. Acknowledge Your Fears:

Whether we’re aware of it or not, our past certainly plays a part in our success. While trying to suppress the negative thoughts we carry around with us from time to time is a natural instinct, really take a look at them. Whether it’s a limiting self belief or fear you’re holding on to, ignoring it will only take you so far. Really get to understand yourself and the things that are working against you so you can be better prepared to deal with them. Everyone who ever achieved anything has had their share of fears and insecurities to overcome. But it’s only by really being able to acknowledge them that you’re able to stay in control of them.

4. Doing the Doing:

Sometimes you just have to go through the motions to get your motivation back, like dragging yourself to the gym even though you don’t feel like going. Focus on the doing of the thing, not the way it feels. Nine times out of ten, you’re glad you did. Start small. You don’t have to try running for a whole hour your first day back in the gym. Walk a little first, build up to it. Whatever your personal goal is, you’re going through a process. Action is always better than inaction when you know what you have to do. Sometimes you have to just do it. But you don’t always have to do it all.