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COLUMN: Identifying obstacles in your journey to achieving your goals

Darlene MacLachlan

By Darlene Maclachlan
Registered Yoga Teacher
Yoga Therapist

In the last column, we looked at how reaching success is the result of having realistic goals and a plan to achieve and measure success at various stages of the journey. More importantly, it emphasized that we needed to have compassion towards ourselves when we are not 100 per cent successful in reaching a goal.

So, you’ve worked hard at defining your goal, put a realistic plan in place, and you are off! Then  an obstacle appears and things slow down or complete to a complete stop. Maybe it was there in the planning phase, and you thought you had a way of dealing with it. Maybe you didn’t see it coming. There are numerous classifications of obstacles. Sometimes the obstacle may be internal, such as the baggage we may have, or external, such as financial. These obstacles seem to impede our success to reaching our goal, cause us to be frustrated, especially if we feel the obstacle is insurmountable or we lack the tools to effectively overcome it.

When we hit a roadblock, an obstacle, we need to identify and understand what it is.  One of the intrinsic obstacles is the baggage we carry around.  In yoga we often tell clients to leave their baggage at the door. But what does this mean? The  baggage may be emotions, past experiences, aversion to change, a bad day at work, home or school. Basically our baggage is anything we hang onto, that doesn’t necessarily serve us positively. It weighs us down. It affects how we feel and how we react. We are constantly reminded that letting go of our baggage, leaving it behind so we can move forward is needed to achieve a goal or at least to have a more positive quality of life. What is not often relayed is that this baggage is often is the result of an accumulation of events over time. It didn’t just appear overnight and it won’t disappear overnight. It takes time to let go of the baggage – to become unattached. To let go.

I love the Swedish pop band Abba  and their song “Money, Money, Money.” For anyone too young to remember this song, it had the verse, “I work all night, I work all day to pay the bills to pay the bills I have to pay” summing up that money affects what we can and often can’t do. If your goal is to travel the world, but in the planning phase you have identified responsibilities tied to money, such as supporting the kids in college, paying the mortgage or having savings for retirement, this can be a significant obstacle.  Monetary obstacles often mean some pretty deep soul searching on what is important to you financially and is intrinsically linked to how uncomfortable or for that matter comfortable, we may be with financial decisions we make in order to achieve our goal and overcoming financial obstacles.

The last obstacle many of us encounter is brought upon by the external factors. Those we surround ourselves with; the activities we engage in; those elements external to us. If we go back to the goal of travelling the world and you saw doing this with your best friend. Your friend begins to constantly point out the negative news in world affairs and how dangerous it is to travel. Your obstacle to overcome is whether you will be influenced by your friend and give up on your goal or make decisions to overcome this obstacle. It could be straight-
forward, find someone else who shares your love of travel and adventure or engage your friend to better understand their behaviour – maybe they are not comfortable with the idea of travelling the world, but don’t know how to tell you. Either way, you have the opportunity to be positively of negatively affected by external obstacles.

So my friends, obstacles exist, how we deal with them is a reflection of our ability to identify them and how we react to them. Next month, a little more on strategies to overcome obstacles.

Namaste.

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COLUMN: Identifying obstacles in your journey to achieving your goals

Darlene MacLachlan

By Darlene Maclachlan
Registered Yoga Teacher
Yoga Therapist

In the last column, we looked at how reaching success is the result of having realistic goals and a plan to achieve and measure success at various stages of the journey. More importantly, it emphasized that we needed to have compassion towards ourselves when we are not 100 per cent successful in reaching a goal.

So, you’ve worked hard at defining your goal, put a realistic plan in place, and you are off! Then  an obstacle appears and things slow down or complete to a complete stop. Maybe it was there in the planning phase, and you thought you had a way of dealing with it. Maybe you didn’t see it coming. There are numerous classifications of obstacles. Sometimes the obstacle may be internal, such as the baggage we may have, or external, such as financial. These obstacles seem to impede our success to reaching our goal, cause us to be frustrated, especially if we feel the obstacle is insurmountable or we lack the tools to effectively overcome it.

When we hit a roadblock, an obstacle, we need to identify and understand what it is.  One of the intrinsic obstacles is the baggage we carry around.  In yoga we often tell clients to leave their baggage at the door. But what does this mean? The  baggage may be emotions, past experiences, aversion to change, a bad day at work, home or school. Basically our baggage is anything we hang onto, that doesn’t necessarily serve us positively. It weighs us down. It affects how we feel and how we react. We are constantly reminded that letting go of our baggage, leaving it behind so we can move forward is needed to achieve a goal or at least to have a more positive quality of life. What is not often relayed is that this baggage is often is the result of an accumulation of events over time. It didn’t just appear overnight and it won’t disappear overnight. It takes time to let go of the baggage – to become unattached. To let go.

I love the Swedish pop band Abba  and their song “Money, Money, Money.” For anyone too young to remember this song, it had the verse, “I work all night, I work all day to pay the bills to pay the bills I have to pay” summing up that money affects what we can and often can’t do. If your goal is to travel the world, but in the planning phase you have identified responsibilities tied to money, such as supporting the kids in college, paying the mortgage or having savings for retirement, this can be a significant obstacle.  Monetary obstacles often mean some pretty deep soul searching on what is important to you financially and is intrinsically linked to how uncomfortable or for that matter comfortable, we may be with financial decisions we make in order to achieve our goal and overcoming financial obstacles.

The last obstacle many of us encounter is brought upon by the external factors. Those we surround ourselves with; the activities we engage in; those elements external to us. If we go back to the goal of travelling the world and you saw doing this with your best friend. Your friend begins to constantly point out the negative news in world affairs and how dangerous it is to travel. Your obstacle to overcome is whether you will be influenced by your friend and give up on your goal or make decisions to overcome this obstacle. It could be straight-
forward, find someone else who shares your love of travel and adventure or engage your friend to better understand their behaviour – maybe they are not comfortable with the idea of travelling the world, but don’t know how to tell you. Either way, you have the opportunity to be positively of negatively affected by external obstacles.

So my friends, obstacles exist, how we deal with them is a reflection of our ability to identify them and how we react to them. Next month, a little more on strategies to overcome obstacles.

Namaste.

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