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June 15th, 2017

Three Areas Where People Get Stuck Trying to Achieve Big Things

By Brian Maiolo

This article originally appeared on the Hardnut Advertising blog.

Achieving any goal is a lot like climbing a mountain. When it comes to goals, there are three particularly challenging areas. These are the areas where people often get stuck. But stuck doesn’t mean failure. There are strategies to get through each stage.

1) The Base: The Battle Against Inertia
2) The Climb: Is it Supposed to be this Hard?
3) The Summit: Are we there yet?


It’s not that big of a climb at first, but still many will stumble. Many will never take the first step for a variety of reasons. Some will stay where they are fearful that they might not reach the summit. Some have tried and failed and so they no longer try. Others never get started because they don’t know where to begin. They don’t know how to discover what’s most important to them. So they just drift along.

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” – John Pierpont Morgan

If you’re comfortably where you are, you’re likely going to stay there. Here’s the challenge with that. We’ve all heard the story of the frogs who are put in a pot of water at room temperature. All is good. Then the water gets warmer and it becomes uncomfortable but not uncomfortable enough. Until it finally boils over but the frogs have acclimated to the heat and so they stay where they are until it’s too late.

Don’t be a frog. Look around. Are you happy with where you are? If you are, then enjoy. If you’re not, then make a new plan. And if you need help you might start looking at what you are like when you’re at your best. I call this the Unstoppable You, which you can find out more about there.

How to avoid getting stuck on trouble spot #1:

  • Know where you’re going
  • Know WHY you’re going there
  • Have a good reason why you can’t stay where you are


The short answer is ‘yes.’

Once you get started on your journey things start getting interesting. The first thing you’ll notice is that you’re on a hill. Apparently hilly things are more difficult to climb than flat things.

Yes, there will be challenges. However, challenges do not equal defeat. They are simply part of the journey. Challenges means you’re on the hill. You’re on your way. If you haven’t hit any challenges, then you’re still in the lodge putting your boots on.

At some point along the way many get distracted. They start chasing other goals. Or as things become a little uncomfortable they revert back to activities that distract them from feeling uncomfortable. As the climb gets a bit challenging some wonder if they have the self-discipline to stay the course.

Here’s a little secret: self-discipline is part of it, but far from the whole story. It is part of what gets you started but not what sustains you. Having a good reason to climb will be your ally more than self-discipline. As importantly is to choose a goal that excites you so that when you hit the rough spot in the middle of the climb, you’re less apt to get off course.

How to avoid getting stuck on trouble spot #2:

  • Acknowledge there will be rough spots before you begin
  • Choose a goal that excites you (a mountain worth climbing)
  • Even slow progress is a victory


When you’re getting closer to achieving a goal it’s often unclear how close you are to the finish line. Are you steps or miles away? Most people wouldn’t give up if the finish were in plain sight. Still, this is where many give up.

When we were kids and were relegated to the back seat, we would ask, “are we there yet?” again, and again, and again. If we could see, even in the distant horizon, the destination…if we could literally see the destination in the distance, then we’d see that we were getting closer. Not a lot to see in terms of what’s up ahead for a kid in the back seat but there’s much to learn.

How our parents dealt with the frustration we were feeling about not knowing how much longer it would take to arrive can tell adults a lot about how to deal with this. Sharp parents will help their kids enjoy the journey with videos, games, listening to music or even singing songs. Imagine if you did that on your journey.

These days with modern GPS devices built into smart phones and cars themselves, parents know exactly when they will arrive. That’s not exactly the case with setting goals. Or is it?

If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never know when you’ll get there. However, if you have a very specific goal then there is a clear destination. You may not know exactly how long it will take you to get there. But by getting clear about where you’re going, you make it much easier to discern when you’re getting closer to where you want to be.

How to avoid getting stuck on trouble spot #3:

  • Identify how you could enjoy the journey more
  • Choose a specific goal

Getting stuck on your way to achieving big things is inevitable. Staying stuck is not.

To learn how to tap into your innate ability to get past these rough spots, join us for the FREE “Bringing out the Unstoppable You” Workshop on Thursday, June, 22, from 7-8:30 p.m., at Finish Line Physical Therapy (119 W. 23rd St., 3rd floor). Register today!

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