English: street map using OS Streetview open m...

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Last week, I visited someone who lives on the outskirts of the city.

I found their place without any problems, but on the way home, I ended up zigging when I should have zagged and found myself driving along a country road that took me to a small town called Nar Nar Goon (yes, that really is the name of the town).

I got myself back on track, found the freeway and ended up getting home 30 minutes later than I had hoped.

As I laughed at my own silly predicament, I realised that we often end up taking detours from our goals in life that are neither intended nor helpful.

So here are four considerations that I believe can help us all to stay on track and not get lost.

Know your destination – I know it seems obvious, but if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re not going to get anywhere.

The same is true in life.  If you don’t have specific, measurable goals, you’re probably just going to float through life without achieving much.

Have a map – Just because you know where you’re going doesn’t mean that you’ll randomly be able to find your way there.  Having a map allows you to plan your route and gives you confidence that you’re headed in the right direction.

Similarly, we don’t just need goals, but an action plan that will enable us to make progress.  These plans give us the next step to take, followed by the next step and the step after that.

Follow your route – In my scenic tour, the mistake wasn’t not knowing my destination (I was headed home, so I knew where I was going) or having a map (I use the iPhone app, very handy), it was not following the route that I had planned.  I took a wrong turn and as a consequence found myself miles off course.

I’ve seen a lot of people who knew what they wanted from life and had a plan to achieve it, but for a range of reasons they became distracted from their path and went the wrong way.  For some, this is a minor inconvenience and they can find their way back quickly, but for some, they carry on for life on this wrong course, leading to a life of dissatisfaction and frustration.

Leave home – It’s all very well knowing where you want to go, having a plan and being determined not to get off track, but if your car never leaves the driveway, you’ll never reach your destination.

Too many people have an idea of their purpose and know what they should be doing.

But due to fear, laziness or a lack of disciplined action, they never get started.

Don’t let that be you.

If you have a goal and a plan, do something today to get you closer to achieving your aspiration.

Start small, build momentum and stay focused until you get there.

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