Adjust Expectations on The Way to Success

How good are you at juggling? Probably better than you think. In fact, right now, as you read this, you’re aware of that lingering (and hefty) to-do list that includes both personal and professional demands on your time. You might even be taking classes somewhere between managing the day-to-day of home life with the ins-and-outs of leading a team at work. You’re not busy; you’re stretched. Sound about right?

You’ve got big dreams and those dreams require dedication and hard work to meet milestones and crush goals. You’ve got the tools to make it happen. You’ve done your due diligence and you’re certain this is the right path. You are enjoying a life you love and headed to the destination you desire. It just takes work to get there. 

If you’ve gotten caught up in the rapid-fire succession of tasks and demands on time in an effort to get from where you are to where you’re meant to be, you may need to take a moment to review the following reminders. 

It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint

You have big audacious goals. Good. You should. Just remember that reaching those goals isn’t a sprint. There’s no extra prize for getting from where you are today to where you’re headed in record time. Growing a life you love is a marathon. Don’t add undue pressure to yourself trying to check all the boxes off as quickly as you can. Make a plan. Set reasonable deadlines. Adjust those deadlines as needed. 

Big Picture and The Details

Yes, you should devote some time to understanding where you’re headed. You should set some long-term goals. Then you should break those goals down into smaller chunks of bite-sized milestones that you can aim for. Maybe your goal is to earn your MBA. You don’t move from applying to graduate level programs to submitting your capstone project. No one expects you to be able to complete that final project on your first day of classes. It’s a process. You take a class. You complete assignments for that class. You pass that class. You take another. You work your way, building as you go, toward your goal. Approach life like that. 

Set your goals and then focus on today. That’s it. Right now, at this moment, you just need to finish the current task before you. You need to get through today. And then tomorrow you deal with the next set of tasks and milestones. 

Review The Journey 

When we’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to fixate on what seems insurmountable. Take a moment to look back and appreciate the sections of the trail you’ve already overcome. Your past accomplishments (and your past challenges!) have created this strong, amazing, person that you are today. It’s laid a foundation for you to build success upon. Own it. Remind yourself that these next challenges are just another step in the journey to your goals and you’ve already proven that you can meet hard things head-on and prevail. 

Take a Trail Guide With You

Yes, you are a force to be reckoned with. You’ve got a plan and it’s a good one. You’re motivated to succeed and well-equipped to make it happen. You can still benefit from a mentor

As Denzel Washington is credited with saying, “Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” 

(Need a hand finding the right mentor? Start here: Success Also Takes a Village: Finding the Right Mentor and then let’s talk about how we can help!)