feeling stuck? 5 Ways to Start Pursuing Your Goals in Life Fast

feeling stuck?  5 Ways to Start Pursuing Your Goals in Life Fast

From the outside it looked as if Adam Alter was on the move.

At the age of 28, he earned a doctorate in psychology from Princeton and soon after got a job as a tenure-track professor at the NYU Stern School of Business.

But he felt trapped. Preparing to teach while doing research became overwhelming, especially after emerging from five intense years of graduate school. And although he was often surrounded by people in New York City, he still missed having a close network of friends.

He compared it to being stuck on a conveyor belt. “I was building a career for myself, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to be successful in these ways,” he said.

Dr. Alter, who has been a professor for 15 years now, has devoted much of his career to researching the notion of feeling trapped. In 2020, they surveyed hundreds of people on this topic, and every respondent said they felt stuck in at least one area: failed creative pursuits, stagnant careers, unsatisfactory relationships, inability to save money — the list went on.

Dr. Alter, whose latest book, “Anatomy of a Breakthrough,” offers 100 ways to break free from being stuck, said getting stuck or feeling stuck from time to time is a universal experience.

Why? That said, when tackling any long-term goal, you’ll inevitably reach a plateau. And because some goals don’t have clear end points, it can be difficult to feel like you’re making progress.

Other sticking points may arise from major life changes such as illness, having a baby, moving or being fired from a job. Dr. Alter found People become particularly self-reflective as the new decade approaches, for example at age 29 or 39, and these turning points can feel overwhelming when life is not going according to plan.

  • Perform a ‘Friction Audit’: Friction audit is a way to identify areas of inefficiency in organizations. Individuals can apply the same principles to their lives by identifying the things that create barriers and add complications or stress, Dr. Alter said.

    To start, try asking: Am I repeating some patterns that are unhelpful? Are there things I do regularly that I don’t enjoy? The next step is to either remove or smooth each friction point. Let’s say you dread your trip but feel powerless to change it. Dr. Alter suggests asking yourself: “What is the part that makes it most unattractive?” What specific changes can you make to resolve the problem? Would listening to a great podcast or audiobook help? If you drive, can you start a car pool with other co-workers? Is there a way to work from home more often?

  • Reframe negative thoughts: Maybe you engage in “catastrophizing,” or thinking that the worst will happen. Or maybe you’re overly hard on yourself and have a case of the “hard,” such as: “I should have done more at work,” even though you’ve accomplished good work. These persistent thoughts can cause stress and hinder your goals, said Judy Ho, a clinical neuropsychologist and associate professor at Pepperdine University.

    Try reframing your thinking, Dr. Ho suggested. For example, instead of, “I’m going to fail at this project,” you might think, “I’m going to do my best, and if I have difficulty I’ll ask for help.” Finally, she said, aim to evaluate your thoughts objectively: “I am Are considering this. What is the proof of this? And what is the evidence against it?”

  • Try ‘FutureCasting’: “Imagine a future life where you’re stress-free,” said Sarah Sarkis, a clinical psychologist and executive coach in Boston. what does it look like? How do you feel?

    Then think about specific steps that will help you work toward that vision. Write down those steps – ideally by hand. This helps us commit to them, Dr. Sarkis said. And don’t wait until you feel “ready,” he adds. Take at least one step every day if you can – but be kind to yourself if you can’t. If you skip a day or two, start again tomorrow. “Picture the future you’re looking for,” Dr. Sarkis said. “Make a plan to get there.”

  • Share your goal: It can also be helpful to tell other people about your plans. Adam Chaire, co-creator of Siri and vice president of AI Experience at Airbnb, has said that this was crucial to their success. “The power of putting words out into the world is what makes you believe now – makes you commit,” he told an audience at the University of California, Berkeley. The added benefit is that people will want to help you. “Somehow, the universe will help you achieve this goal,” he said. “It’s been a huge, huge tool for me.”

  • Do something meaningful: “If you feel stuck in completely unrelated areas of your life, spending time on activities consistent with your values ​​moves you forward,” Dr. Alter said. When he was feeling unmotivated early in his teaching career, he came across a poster in his gym – a group was looking for volunteers to help raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by running in the New York City Marathon. Was. It almost felt like fate, he said; A friend of his had died of leukemia years ago. During his training, he made many friends. “I felt like a more productive person and it gave me the confidence to tackle other areas of my life,” she said. “When we’re feeling trapped we need meaning more than ever.”

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