Copyright 2006 Cari Vollmer
My daughter’s 4th grade basketball team has a problem. Their problem isnt a lack of desire to win the game, or even a lack of talent. Actually, theyre GUNG HO to do whatever it takes to score. So, whats the problem? When they get the ball, they often find themselves in a big huddle with the other team. Before they know what hit them, they find themselves in cramped quarters, unable to think clearly, pass the ball, set up a play, or take a shot.
And so it goes for many of us. We dream of a life that feels better than the one we have, so we set goals to get us where we want to go. Our desire for a better life leads the way. And then it happens. Life gets in the way. Other people, events and situations seem to pop out of nowhere – challenging us, questioning us and leading us to doubt our best intentions. Before we know it, we cant think straight or hear our own thoughts. We lose our desire. We may even forget we once had a goal we cared about.
For example: Perhaps youve tried to lose weight in the past. You set a goal to lose 10 pounds. Your goal makes you feel in control of your life and that makes you feel great. You exercise more, eat less and your jeans start feeling a little looser, until .you go to that wedding! Or, you get invited to a party. Or, your friends ask you to lunch, where low-fat, low-carb isnt on the menu. Suddenly, there is very little space between you, your goal to lose weight and the outside world. And before you know it, the outside world dictates your next move and that leads you to eat the cake youre desperately trying to stay away from.
Whats the solution? How can you stay on track, no matter what the outside world dishes out?
In the case of my daughters team, theyre learning to spread out. By putting more space between each other and the other team, they create an environment in which they can succeed. This one simple strategy gives them the space they need to think clearly, set up their play and take the shot.
You can create the space you need to succeed too, with these 5 tips.
1. Set GOALS that EXCITE you and then take action. Setting goals that excite you give you the energy boost and focus you need to see them through to the end. Dont even think of taking action on a goal that feels ho-hum. When you find a goal that excites you, then, and only then, take action.
2. Every so often, PAUSE and get a view of whats going on around you. Starting out GUNG HO is great, but dont forget to pause every so often to regain your perspective. Pay attention to whats going on in the world around you. By doing so, youll notice upcoming challenges that could derail your best intentions.
3. Re-CENTER yourself. Re-centering yourself requires a re-balancing of where you are in relationship to whats happening in the world around you. Re-centering allows you to notice whats happening, as an observer, before you become a participant in something that doesnt serve your higher purpose.
4. CHOOSE your next best move. When you react to the world around you, youve thrown your ability to choose right out the window. By taking the steps above youll give yourself more time to think, plan and take action on the next best move you can take to keep yourself on track.
5. REPEAT 1-4, as needed. Have you heard the term zig zag your way to success? Said in a different way, the road to success is never a straight line. You will encounter obstacles along the way. But as they say in sports, the best defense is a great offense, so repeat steps 1-4 often.