Recalculating your route

Have you ever committed to an action plan or goal and then life somehow gets in the way? I remember several years ago, my husband and I enrolled on a 10 week salsa class on a Tuesday night near our home. After the first class, a situation blew up at work and we never made it to another class. It was pretty frustrating – I’d spent the money, cajoled my husband into going, got through the first week relatively unscathed (well, very bruised knees – all my fault, I hasten to add) and it was all wasted.

Maybe you’ve had something similar happen. You sign up for a 10k charity run and then injury disrupts your training. The evening course in design that you really wanted to enrol on is over-subscribed. You’ve worked hard to achieve all of the objectives necessary for you to make the next step at work and then a restructure means that your new role no longer exists.

It’s a reality that we can’t directly control much of our life, however much we may want to. So what do we do when something gets in the way of our plans? Ignore reality and plough on regardless? Or do we fall at the first hurdle and give up and go home?

If you don’t follow the instructions on your satnav, that disembodied voice will announce ‘recalculating … recalculating’ and then give you a new route. Your original destination hasn’t changed – the way you get there has.

The why behind the what

Having to recalculate the route to the original goal is an issue which has arisen in sessions with my clients. After many conversations, it’s become apparent that it can be helpful to examine not just the goal, but the intention of the goal in the first place. In other words, let’s examine the why behind the what.

Why did you want to attend the design course? One intention might have been to obtain a professional qualification. Another might have been that you were going to do the course purely for creative pleasure.

When life gets in the way of the original plan, recognising the intention behind the goal can help you work out a way of honouring that intention in another way. If the intention was to get yourself a diploma, you could look into a different college or an online course. If it was for creative pleasure, what other course might tick your boxes?

Today’s pebble for you:

Think of a goal which has been derailed by circumstances beyond your control. What’s the why behind the what and how can that knowledge help you recalculate the route to your original destination?

If you’re currently in a situation where you feel it would be useful to have someone else to help you recalculate your route, feel free to email me and see how we could work together.


Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching. 

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3 Responses to Recalculating your route

  1. Roger says:

    How easy it is to be frustrated and give up on your goal! It’s important to be realistic – some things you cannot change, some things are difficult to change, some things are costly to change. But how important is the goal? If I can’t change the weather, I can still keep on trying to get fit whilst I earn less at work by working part-time. At least I might stand a chance of reaching the top of that mountain…

  2. Pingback: Opening new doors | Turning over pebbles

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