Getting Unstuck

Do you ever get stuck when trying to reach a goal?

You've probably been there before. I know I have. You may be crystal clear on what you want your final outcome to look like. It weighs heavily on your mind, and you may even think about it daily. Yet, like a car stuck in the mud, you just can't seem to propel yourself forward.

I was talking to one of my organizing clients recently and she commented that she's been thinking about redoing her home office "forever." She said that she's spent months thinking about the changes she wants to make and the ways the office could serve her better. Yet, day after day, she comes into that same old office and changes nothing. Here are some ideas that I gave her to pull her out of the mud and into action.

* Get a clear idea of what you want the final outcome to look like. Literally, write down a detailed description of your goal. I'd also suggest creating a Vision Board where you take a piece of paper or poster board and paste on it pictures depicting your final outcome. In this client's case, she could cut out pictures of office furniture she likes, draw a diagram laying out a more efficient space, and attach up some paint swatches with new colors. This fun step may be just what you need to jump start your project.

* Break up big, overwhelming goals into a series of smaller projects. I define a project as any task requiring more than one action. My next suggestion, therefore, is to make a list of all of the projects that need to be completed in order to get to your final outcome. In the home office example, the list may include such tasks as (1) Move out, donate, or sell old office furniture, (2) repaint room, (3) buy new furniture.

* Make a list of the NEXT ACTIONS you will take to tackle those smaller projects. Those of you who have read David Allen's "Getting Things Done" will recognize this key step. Consider keeping a NEXT ACTIONS folder or list that you refer to daily (or in my case, several times per day). This list will keep you focused and help you figure out the best way to use your time and energy. For example "Repaint Room" can't happen until you a) pick out a paint color, b) buy the paint and brushes, c) clear out the furniture, d) clean the walls. Items a-d are examples of NEXT ACTIONS.

* Complete one of your NEXT ACTION items. Once you've completed one item, complete another, then another. Suddenly, you'll realize that you're not stuck anymore and inertia will be replaced with momentum.

Now I'm going to take some of my own advice and complete some of the NEXT ACTION items for my Creative Order web site.