We all know that goals are a great motivator. However, they can be a double-edged sword if life goes differently than you expect. Psychologist Tamar Chansky recommends allowing your goals to be flexible so you can keep that momentum.
Photo by Nicola Jones.
You don't have to abandon your goals entirely, but being willing to adapt the definition of success based on changing factors can avoid that dreadful feeling of failure:
Value process, not just product. An optimist hopes for the best, but has realistic expectations. There isn't just one bull's eye of success and everything else is failure. This usually means girding ourselves for slow progress and defining success broadly. When we set unrealistic expectations we manufacture unnecessary disappointment that we then have to waste our precious energy overcoming — it's an additional hurdle which we don't need right now.
Success is a slope, not a point. Don't degrade yourself because you were "supposed to" be in a certain position by now if you're still on the path to reaching that goal. Be sure to check out Dr. Chansky's post below for more tips on how to have more effective optimism.
How to Practice Safe Optimism: Seven Strategies to Go Optimistic Today [Huffington Post]