Life is full of uncertainty and sometime unexpected events can cause us to overreact, make impulse decisions, and behave in a way that would otherwise run counter to our long-term goals, dreams, and habits.

Surprise events such as a market crash, loss of a job, a spouse, divorce, or other traumatizing events can have the effect of instilling apathy towards our goals and bring the temptation to deviate from our plans.

The following are some ways to maintain resolve when life happens – and the urge to give up on goals is high.

  1. Review your plan and goals. Whatever the plan or goal, be it financial, life, occupational, etc., take a moment to review the goal you’ve created. If not yet in writing, write the goal down, quantify it, visualize it and remind yourself why it’s a goal in the first place. Picture yourself having achieved the goal. How do you feel? What did you overcome to get there?
  2. Grit, or sometimes called perseverance, drive, or dedication means continuing to do something even when you don’t feel like it. There’s a saying that nothing good comes easy. Sometimes this is true. If everything came easy, life would be full of mediocrity. Choosing to push through and having grit to stick to your plans will keep you focused and on the right path, despite wanting to give up.
  3. Take some time to reflect and think about your plans, goals and aspirations. Can they be improved? If so, how? The answer might not come right away, but often when we think and reflect on our plan we can generate new ideas to make achievement come faster, more efficient, or both.
  4. Having perspective means being able to look at your situation from another point of view. This alternate point of view may arise while reflecting, or it may come because of putting yourself in another individual’s shoes and looking at your situation from the outside.
  5. Talk to a professional. Whether it’s life, financial, business, or personal, talking to a professional who has expertise can help keep you focused. A professional may present some additional ideas, perspective, and guidance on how to handle a situation. Additionally, it may also help you if you’re feeling anxious (say, about market volatility) to talk to a professional and review your goals, plans, and why you may be having feelings of doubt. Bouncing your feelings off another individual can help keep you relaxed and focused on what you can control, and what you cannot.

Be grateful. Having an attitude of gratitude can help boost your mood, keep you focused, and clear your thinking. Think about what you have accomplished with your goals or plans, what you overcame in the past, and what life has given you. Being grateful directs our attention to the positives in life, while removing focus on the negatives.

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