If you’ve ever created a good meal or done baking, you know well enough that while trying to achieve the end result – the great tasting food – you first might make a mess in the kitchen.

Life is messy, and the sooner we get used to that concept, the easier we will handle life’s twists and turns. Many great goals start with a mess or endure a mess along the way. Renovating a house, for instance, might start with a great vision, but undergo a demolition first. Dust, tools, drop cloths and paint cans don’t look so pretty but are necessary in order to achieve the intended results.

If we keep our eyes on the kitchen mess, the dust, or the rubble, we will easily become discouraged. If we decide we won’t take on another project again because of the potential chaos, we will stay where we are and miss enjoying the fruits of our labor. If we never try anything new, we can never be proud of our accomplishments.

Goal Setting Tips

When setting new goals, you may be tempted to review a bit of the past in order to identify areas to move forward on. It’s important, however, not to make your primary focus on what hasn’t worked. Make a realistic assessment and consider these tips to help you move forward:

  1. When recounting the past, refrain from looking at all the messes you’ve found yourself in. Focus on the beautiful things that might have been a little difficult at first. Were the results new or improved relationships or personal growth? Did you learn new things or develop character?
  2. Accept there will be new messes in the future and determine you will have faith and hope that things will turn out right.
  3. Is it your choice to stay safe by accepting less than best or going without? Or is it to risk walking through a mess in order to achieve something better? Which do you want?
  4. Start with picturing what you want to achieve, like a beautiful plate of cookies to present to friends and family, a clean house to enjoy, or a svelte figure to show off by the pool. Remember that in the end, you will also feel a sense of satisfaction, which should motivate you to keep going.
  5. Even if things don’t turn out the way you plan, look for the lessons learned. There will always be at least one.

Many people want an easy life. They look at others and wonder how they have achieved such great things so easily. But the truth is, most things of value are achieved by first walking through a little disruption. That is why we say life has “ups and downs”. Life is messy, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

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