I may be a month premature here. New Year’s resolutions are typically set as goals for the upcoming year. This article is not about setting goals, it is about attaining your goals. I do not believe that goal attainment is all about will power. I believe it is about desire. What is it that you really want? And are you willing? There is a story I like to tell that will give you some perspective.
Develop a Goal
A few years ago, I had a trip planned to go to Cancún. Needless to say, I was pretty excited and looking forward to spending a week sitting in the sun, and enjoying everything this beautiful place had to offer. We had a 10:00 am flight out of Los Angeles, and we live about 66 miles away, in San Clemente.
You may be aware of the traffic in Southern California, but because this was a Saturday, it really is a simple drive. Google Maps told me that it should take an hour and eleven minutes to get to the airport during that time of day. I factored in an extra 25 minutes to park in long-term parking and to shuttle to arrivals. We gave ourselves an hour to get through baggage check and the security check point. All of this planning gave us a 45 minute buffer, assuming we left home on time.
The Best Laid Plans DO NOT Always Work Out
We woke up around 6 am, and 30 minutes later, we headed up the freeway, giving ourselves plenty of time to get there. Just about 20 miles into the journey, traffic came to a standstill. A big rig just rolled over on the freeway. Turning on the radio and discovered they estimated a two-and-a-half-hour delay. We had to make a choice; we could sit in traffic and hope it would clear up faster or go home. Either way, we would miss out on our vacation.
Look for Alternatives (Detours)
Fortunately, there was a third choice, and that was to re-route the trip, and create a detour. The detour was not that simple, first we had to get out of the traffic jam and off the freeway. This alone took 35 minutes. We then had to drive on city streets to get to a different freeway. This freeway would take us 25 miles out of our way, and according to our GPS, it would also add another 45 minutes to the journey. All in all, the delay and detour was going to add over an hour and 20 minutes to get to the airport.
We arrived at 9:25 and there really was no time to waste going to long-term parking. I bit the bullet and pulled in to the short-term lot just across from our gate. The daily rate was posted as $32 per day, as opposed to the $11 long-term parking rate. At 9:32 we were at the ticketing counter, checked our bags, and ran to the security check point. We cleared quickly and ran through the terminal, hurdling strollers and bags, just like OJ. Surprisingly making it to the gate with no time to spare. My wife and I were the last two passengers to board, just as they were closing the doors on the runway.
Turn Road Blocks into Detours
We are all going to face roadblocks. These roadblocks can easily derail our goals. The key is to make a decision first on how important the goal really is. If the goal is as important to you as my trip to Cancún was to me, then finding a detour around the roadblock is worth the effort. Your goals may be personal, or professional; it really does not matter. Roadblocks come in all shapes, sizes, forms and circumstances. They provide wonderful excuses for why we do not attain our goals. I use the word excuse purposefully here. An excuse is what people hear when we tell them the reason we did not do something.
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