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What Keeps You From Moving Forward?

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I got an email the other day from my writing chapter’s super-organized Goal Keeper gently reminding me of the writing goals I’d set for 2011. It stopped me in my tracks and really made me think about my forward progress—or lack thereof–this year. I did get quite a bit done, and I’m excited about that. But in looking at things not done, I had to ask myself: what keeps you from moving forward?

Connie Mann Making Forward Progress

Writing in Arhus, Denmark

As a perpetual list-maker, I immediately jotted down a list of things that keep me from moving forward. Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Lack of Time Management
  • Family Obligations
  • Lack of Focus
  • Distractions
  • Inability to Say “No”
  • Lack of Self-Discipline
  • Responsibility Overload
  • Fear of Failure
  • Fear of Success
  • Procrastination
  • Not Paying Attention
  • The Self-Doubt Gremlins
  • Perfectionism
  • Over-Scheduling
  • Information Overload
  • Pull of Urgent vs. Important
  • Over-Loaded Brain “Syndrome”
  • Exhaustion (from everything listed above)

I’m sure I could expand this list, but these are the progress stoppers that immediately leap to mind. 

Of course, identifying the problem is only the first step. My goal—which I am determined to meet–is to offer encouragement and ideas in future blog posts on how to conquer these pesky progress gremlins.

Do any of these resonate with you? What keeps you from making forward progress? And how do you overcome it? What’s not on the list that should be? I’d love to hear from you.

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    The Conversation

  1. Sometimes new opportunities make me slip away from my original plans When those come along I have to embrace them! 🙂 Thanks for a great post!!

  2. Nancy Cohen says:

    Boy, you’ve covered about everything! I don’t have any problem with self-discipline. See my blogs on setting goals and daily writing quotas. What stops me are those self-doubt gremlins. Lose confidence in yourself or in the meaning of your work, and all comes to a halt. When this happens, it’s best to focus on why you write. Does it bring you pleasure? Keep you sane? Give you direction? That’s good enough. Get to work.

    • Connie Mann says:

      I’m envious that you don’t have self-discipline issues. 🙂 And I like your recipe for defeating the self-doubt gremlins. Great questions to get your focus back. Thanks, Nancy.

  3. Hollace says:

    All the above are issues. But sometimes list making itself can be an issue. When I write down all that is in my mind to be done it is overwhelming! I come across old lists sometimes among my papers and it is amazing what I was trying to accomplish in one day, let alone a season (I.e., “Projects for Summer”). Once in a while I see an old list where everything has been done and I think “Wow, that is just amazing! Wow, everything got crossed off on this one!” I wish I had kept a little file box of old lists that got done.

    • Connie Mann says:

      I can relate, Hollace. I’ve been accused of trying to do in one day what it would take a team of four to accomplish in a week! But seeing lists that DID get done is very nice. 🙂 Keep going…

  4. Debra Jess says:

    Goal Keeper. I like the sound of that. Your list mirrors my own, but I love seeing a long “to do” list grow shorter as I scratch off each individual item one by one.

    • Connie Mann says:

      You’re doing a great job as Goal Keeper, Debra! It is much appreciated! I’m one of those goofy people who will go so far as to add things I’ve already done to my list, just so I can scratch them off!