How to Stay on Course Despite Obstacles to Achieving Your Dreams

Stories about this backpacking adventure and what what it takes to stay course toward accomplishing our dreams despite the inevitable and unknown obstacles and challenges that get in the way.

The key in backpacking?  Following a map!  The key in life?  Following a strategic plan.  What’s that? Simply put, it’s a map to turn your dreams for your life into reality.  It’s a way to turn your dreams for your business into reality, your dreams for your family into reality, your dreams for your health into reality, your dreams for your finances into reality.

In a sense, it’s a like creating a recipe for success.  Big picture, strategic planning is the process you’ll use to actually get what you want from life.

You’ll use strategic planning systems to build your ideal life, your ideal family, or your ideal business.

How Does It Work?

First you define what critical focus AREAS are most important to your life, your family, or your business at this point in time.  So, if you are in business you would decide what areas are important to focus on in your business this year.  Or if you want to develop a strategic plan for your health, you would decide what areas are important for you to focus on in your health this year.  Then you focus the necessary ATTENTION and RESOURCES on those issues.

As the result of this process like this, a strategic PLAN is created that charts the path to your success.

As you go through the planning process, you’ll begin to put write down the results of each planning stage.

  1. You will first write down your vision, your ideal for some area of your business or life.
  2. Then you will write down a few critical focus areas you can focus on to make progress toward that vision.
  3. Then for each critical focus area you will write down at least one objective.
  4. Then for each objective you will write down a few specific, measurable goals that will help you accomplish that objective.
  5. Then you will write on your calendar specific action plans that will help you accomplish each goal.

Make Your Map

Strategic planning bridges the GAP, between where you are TODAY and where you WANT to be.  It creates a bridge from where you are to where you want to be in some area of your life.   You create specific plans and action steps that form the road over that bridge from your current reality to your desired future.

You create a strategic plan for the same reason you take a map along when you don’t know how to get to where you’re going.  You need direction.

Think of your plan as a map you’ll follow to reach your destination…to the other side of your gap between how things are in some area of your life now to how you want things to be.

Most people start journeys with some destination in mind.  Most people start new ventures with some vision in mind. Everyone starts their marriage with some vision I mind.  If you’ve had kids, everyone starts having kids with some vision in mind for the kind of family they’d like to have…the kind of relationship they’d like to have with their kids.  If you’re in business, when you started your business you had some destination in mind.

But here’s the kicker.  Even though most people have some idea of where they want to end up, they rarely take the time to create a map for exactly HOW they are going to get there.

So they still start on the journey toward where they want to end up but inevitably they hit some bumps in the road…some circumstances that threaten to take them off track or sideline them from achieving their dream.  Without a clear plan, you may make some progress toward your dream but you won’t know what to do when you hit that first bump in the road?

Without clearly defined goals and a well-thought-out plan for how to get there, every time you hit a bump in the road, you’re likely to stop your vehicle, get out and analyze — the bump.  Or worse yet, decide to take a new direction. Or just throw in the towel.

You may have tried a lot of things to make some area of your life successful. Any one of the things you try might have worked for a certain period of time and in a certain direction.  But too often all those good efforts fail to accomplish the desired outcome because they weren’t part of a well-thought-out plan.  A plan that would move you toward your goals for that area of your life.

You need a strategic plan so all your resources— time, energy, people, and money — are headed in the same direction to make the progress you want in that area of your life or business.

Keep on Planning, Keep on Refining, Keep on Correcting

 Although a planning system like this does result in a written strategic plan with a clear vision and specific objectives and goals, it doesn’t stop at that point.  You’ve probably already learned that in life, changes occur all the time.  For a business or for any area of life to remain successful— you need to reassess and revise your strategic plan when necessary.

Planning your future requires — commitment to a process.  Sometimes that can be a battle.

 I’m not a big boxing fan.  But I am sometimes inspired by the “never give up” attitude I sometimes see in fighters.  One of my favorite quotes on persistence to overcome obstacles is from James Corbett, an American boxing champion during the end of the last century.  This guy understood commitment to keep going even when the going gets tough!

“Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired that you have to shuffle back to the center of the ring, fight one more round.  When your arms are so tired that you can hardly lift your hands to come on guard, fight one more round.  When your nose is bleeding and your eyes are black and you are so tired that you wish your opponent would crack you one on the jaw and put you to sleep, fight one more round — remembering that the man who always fights one more round is never whipped.”

To plan effectively you need to be innovative and creative not only at the beginning but as you begin executing on your plan and hit obstacles.

Where to Start

The first step of the strategic planning process for your life or for your business is to define your personal aspirations.  Once you understand what it is you want out of life, you can build a family, a business or career that gives it to you.  One you understand what you want your life to stand for, you can build a family that stands for that too.  You can create a business or career that fulfills your personal aspirations.  You can create a family that lives your personal values.

In future podcasts, we will break down a system for defining your personal values, mission and vision.  These things will be the basis for specific plans you create for your life, your family or your business.

For now, begin by being honest with yourself about areas of your life, your health, your family, your finances or your business where you have given up on your ideal for something because it just seems unreachable.  Or maybe some area that you have made resolutions or plans to improve but things haven’t seemed to get better…so maybe you’ve given up on plans to improve in that area.  The first step in creating a better future is often to frankly admit that the way things are now is not okay and MUST change.  If you could make any area of your life, your health, your family, your finances or your business better and know for sure that you could create plans that could get you to that ideal, what would you change?


  • Watch this video of Lonnie talking to business owners about creating a roadmap to overcome fractured thinking in your life and business!
  • Here’s a picture of the campsite we finally made late in the night after following our trusty map past several failed attempts to find a spot to perch our tent on the steep ridges we were climbing. 

Thank You!

Thanks again for listening to the show! If it has helped you in any way, please share it using the social media buttons you see on the page.   We’d also really appreciate any feedback or questions that might guide what we talk about in future episodes.

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