I'm going to begin with a few confessions:

I have started an exercise routine and quit before it became routine.

I have began learning a new skill and given up within just a few days... and a few hours.

I have considered making positive changes in my life and never even started the process.

Why? The biggest obstacle is often not the task. Most of the time it is myself; my internal resistance to change - a self-sabotaging comfort-zone.

So how do I get past this obstacle? Or rather, how do I knock it down and stomp on it?

There is so much information available on the subject that it's all too easy to get caught up on the details. In fact after reading about everything involved in setting perfect goals and trying to implement the methods I've just about lost my drive to make the change. I mean if just setting the goal is that much work I can't imagine how much effort this task is going to require.

So here's my personal technique and philosophy...

I used to call it "work in progress" but "work" has such an awful association that it's just "in progress" now. The idea behind my "in progress" philosophy is breaking free of the need for completion. When it comes to personal development I believe in progress during the process and never necessarily a "finished product." Striving for a deadline or completion date just adds unnecessary pressure and often yields rushed results, if any results at all.

These are my instructions to myself. You may use them, adjust them, laugh at them or forget them at your leisure...

Writing goals - in progress.
You know what? You're not writing a legally binding document. You're not writing the constitution. You're not writing professional copyright. It's just a goal. Write it in crayon on a napkin (don't lose the napkin). Write it in a journal, write it in calligraphy on parchment if you like but just write it down. That's all. Seriously. Don't worry about writing the perfect goal. Relax. Write, "increase daily happiness." Guess what? You're allowed to add more goals, change the goals, revise the goals, add details or scratch out goals at any time. The only reason you need to write it down is because your brain is more unorganized than your desk (and that's quite an achievement). If you feel like adding more you can write the "why" next to the goal, but don't worry about it.

Action plan - in progress.
You can't get out of the middle of a desert by standing still. You don't have to pick the fastest way out of the desert, just pick a direction and start walking. You can always revise the plan. The only commitment at this point is to yourself. You can bail out of any plan for a different and hopefully better plan at any time. Relax. You don't know how far you are from leaving the desert so you may as well enjoy the mirages.

Defeating resistance - in progress.
Ok so you get distracted. Often. You probably even forget to look at your goals, much less accomplish the action plan. That's ok. You're in progress. Despite how it feels sometimes, you're not pushing a car uphill only to be squished the moment you stop pushing. Even once you've formed a daily habit of reviewing your goals and keeping track of your action plan you'll probably miss a few days. Relax. This isn't designed to take over your life or your free time. Have a little fun, allow yourself to laugh at some mistakes and keep moving.

Don't get caught up in the details. It's so easy to get wrapped up in writing the perfect goals, staying focused, never missing a day in my journal, being positive every second of every day, stress management... the list goes on. That's all great information but sometimes it just becomes a way to measure failure or induce guilt. It's just information. Use it if it's natural and comfortable, throw it away if it's not.

The real goal is you. You are deserving, worthy, and valuable beyond measure.

Author's Bio: 

David Lynch is a stepfather, entrepreneur, and curious mind. Read more of his articles at enlightenedmint.blogspot.com