How to Get Unstuck

How to Get Unstuck

Have you ever felt stuck? I sure have!

Once, I spent over 5 YEARS trying to lose 10 pounds. I know that doesn’t sound like much, and you might be laughing at me right now for struggling with that for so long. I went to the gym faithfully, I used a calorie counting app, and I worked hard at reaching my target weight. My weight goal was behind a wall, and I just could not break through to it.

Every once and a while I’d get close. I’d drop a few pounds and, wham! Christmas would come. Or I’d go on vacation, gain it back, and struggle for months just to lose a couple pounds. Talk about stuck!

There are lots of ways to get stuck in life. We can get stuck in our health, in our relationships, our careers, and our personal growth, to name a few. It’s normal. It happens to the best of us and, if you’re feeling stuck right now, you’re not alone.

The danger is not in getting stuck. It’s in staying stuck. The problem is that, most of the time, we get stuck and only see one (or maybe two) ways to get unstuck. For example, I felt stuck in my weigh loss goals and believed the only way to get unstuck was through diet and exercise. It didn’t occur to me that there were other ways to lose weight.

Or, we might feel stuck in our career and believe the only way to get unstuck is going back to school. There’s something about being stuck that seems to limit our perspective, squelch creativity, and keep us from seeing the less than obvious options.

Today I want to give you a little exercise that you can do if you’re feeling stuck in a particular area. Are you ready? Let’s begin!

First, grab a sheet of paper and a pen. You’re going to do some writing. At the top of the sheet of paper, write “Ways to get unstuck in my ______________” Fill that blank in with the area you’re stuck in.

Next, as quickly as you can, you’re going to write out all the ideas that come to your mind for getting unstuck. Don’t worry about how crazy or unrealistic the idea is. The point is to warm up the ol’ noggin. Our brains are like muscles. If they’ve been performing the same actions, thinking the same thoughts, and haven’t been forced to think creatively in a while, then they need some exercise.

Set a timer for 5 minutes and just start writing!

For example, if you’re trying to lose a few pounds, you might write:

Work out 30 minutes a day
Take a walk after work
Eat only salad for a month
Take cold showers
Beat up Jillian Michaels
Drink a gallon of water a day
Give up soda and beer
Put up a mirror in the dining room so I can see myself eat (Yuck!)
Lock the refrigerator after 8:00pm and give my spouse the key
Get a Wii Fit
Park far from the door when I go shopping
Only take the stairs
Sweat to the oldies

You get the picture! Keep on writing until you have wrung out every last idea you can think of, or until the 5 minutes is up. If you want to really put the process on steroids, then ask a friend to join you.

Once you have your list, start eliminating the crazy ones. I’m certain that you will find at least one idea in your brainstorming list that is doable, maybe even enjoyable, and that you didn’t think of before. If you struggled with it, that’s okay. Like I said, your brain is a muscle, and this is a great way to exercise it. Take a break and do it again. Maybe get some inspiration by googling “Craziest way to _______________.” The answer to getting you unstuck exists. Others have been where you are, and gotten unstuck. You can do this!

Once you’ve chosen your idea (or two) DO IT! Envision yourself free from this stuck area, make a plan, and take action. You will be so glad you did!

So, you might be wondering how I managed to lose that last 10 pounds after all these years. I’ll give you a hint:


Stop Missing the Mark With Your Goals!

We all do it. We make goals that we hope will change our lives for the better.

Lose weight.
Write a book.
Get out of debt.
Launch a business.
Lean a new skill.

The world is full of people with unfulfilled dreams, goals, and desires. At the beginning of every year, around 62% of people make New Year’s resolution. Only 8% of those resolution makers actually follow through.

The problem with most of us is that we just don’t understand the process of moving from where we are to where we want to be. We’re pretty sure we know where we want to go but there’s a disconnect, and that disconnect keeps us living in the land of dreamers instead of enjoying success.

The following are seven questions that, if answered thoughtfully, will greatly increase your odds of accomplishing your goals, and moving from frustration to fulfillment. They are questions that successful people have been asking themselves for years (I didn’t make them up) and I think they’re really going to help you.

1. is my goal achievable?
Let’s be honest. Sometimes we have crazy dreams. Not everyone who tries to become the next great movies star ends up on the screen. Some people work their entire lives to accomplish something, and it never happens. The tragedy is that, if they would have applied themselves to something else, they probably would have experienced massive success. Asking the achievability question will help eliminate pining for things that just aren’t going to happen.

2. How will i measure my progress?
A great goal is measurable. Dieters can measure their progress with a scale. Writers can measure their progress by checking their word count. Sometimes measuring progress just means drawing a mark on the calendar for every day that you worked toward your goal, and try not to miss a day. Find a way to measure progress and measure it every day.

3. Where am I now?
It’s hard to know if you’re moving forward if you don’t have a clear picture of where you are. What is your skill level? What are your resources? What are your giftings and passions? What is your current quality of life? Take inventory and write it down.

4. What is the deadline?
Great goals have a deadline. It eliminates “pie in the sky”, and “someday” thinking and lights a fire under you to git ‘er done. Share your deadline with a friend and ask them to hold you accountable. I have a friend who’s goal was to write a Life Plan for himself. When he wasn’t getting it done, I challenged him to have it written by a certain date or he had to buy me lunch at the most expensive restaurant in town. You better believe he got it done!

5. What are my obstacles?
This is where we get real about what’s holding us back. Do you have a hard time getting out of bed early? That might be an obstacle. Do you lack knowledge needed to accomplish your goal? That’s another obstacle. Too busy? Too tired? Too broke? More obstacles. Write them down and start brainstorming ways to overcome them.

6. What skills or knowledge is needed?
This flows beautifully from question 5. Personally, I have never achieved a big goal without having to read at least one book, take a class, or seek out loads of information. The best goals usually require some growth on our part so get ready to learn and be stretched.

7. What is my plan?
This is where it gets fun. Grab a notebook and pen and start charting your course from where you are to where you want to be. Write the names of books you’ll read, obstacles you’ll overcome, and who you’ll include on the journey. Turn the dream into tasks, and break those tasks into smaller ones. What can you do, every day, that will lead you to reaching your goal? Make a plan, discipline yourself to live it out, and delight in your accomplishment when you reach it!