When you think about your goals — personal, financial, or otherwise — do you feel like you’re making progress? Or do you feel stuck and unsure of how to move forward to reach your goals?

It happens to all of us occasionally — feeling like we’re stuck on a plateau with no way to move forward. But you can still make progress! All it takes sometimes is a little change of perspective. 

It’s easy to get so focused on our current approach that we lose sight of other ways to make progress. But in most cases, there are several ways to achieve your goals. The key is to be willing to shift your approach or change your circumstances to find a new path that lets you move forward.

Taking a new approach to reach your goals

Take a minute to think about one of your goals where you feel “stuck.” How long have you been trying an approach that’s no longer working? Is whatever’s stopping you a temporary thing? 

If not, maybe it’s time to shift your perspective and find a new way to change your circumstances. If your current approach isn’t working, see if you can come up with an alternative that will achieve the same result. Let’s take a look at some examples of this change in perspective.

Finding ways to see family

One thing that we hear often is that people want to spend more time with family members who live far away. If you want to be able to see your extended family more often, what should you do?

You could make a big change and move closer to them or buy a second home in their area. Another possibility is to consider intergenerational housing. But what if those options aren’t realistic right now — or ever? 

Think of some other ways that you could achieve a similar result. For example, one option would be to take a few weeks every year to rent an Airbnb close to your family. It would give you time to spend with them without the extensive cost of moving or buying a new home.

Making changes in your career

Let’s look at another example — your career. What if you’re unhappy with your job? Maybe your first thought is to look for a new employer or even change careers. But that’s not always a possibility, especially if you are the sole breadwinner or are truly passionate about your profession.

So, look for other ways to improve your job satisfaction. Maybe you could try a different role at your current company. Or you could ask for a flexible schedule that would allow you to work from home part-time. Those are smaller changes that are often easier to make. And if a minor change doesn’t fix the issue, then you could start looking for more significant ways to address those challenges in your career.

Choosing the right place to live

Another issue we see often is related to the cost of living. There are many places in the country that are so expensive that it’s nearly impossible for most people to afford anything other than a small apartment.

But what if you’ve always wanted to raise a family in a home with a big yard or keep your housing costs within a small portion of your budget? 

This is one of those examples where you might have to make a significant change. Maybe you take on a second job or become a double-income household to be able to afford a bigger home. Or maybe you make an even bigger change and move somewhere where the cost of living is low enough to allow you to buy your dream home. 

There isn’t one right answer. And that’s true in most situations like these. The solution is to be willing to look at all the options and choose the one that works best — even if it’s not the approach you initially thought you’d take to reach your goals. Being flexible gives you the chance to rethink what’s possible and then move forward in the direction you want to go.

Want to reach your goals? Get creative.

It’s frustrating when you feel like you’re not making progress on your goals. And sometimes that “stalled” feeling is temporary. But in other cases, whatever’s stopping you might not get resolved right away — or ever. 

And when that happens, it’s time to shift your perspective and take a new approach.

Maybe that’s something as small as switching your work schedule forward or back by a couple of hours. Or maybe you need to make a drastic change, like finding a new job. 

The key is to consider all the possibilities and be willing to choose the one that will move you toward your goal, even if it’s in a way that’s different from what you originally planned.

What if you don’t even know what your goals are? Start there. And if you aren’t sure how to identify your values and create matching goals, we’ve got a tool that can help. The Everyday Money Workbook is designed to help you and your partner figure out your priorities and make decisions that align with them.

This workbook walks you through everything and includes six monthly check-ins to help you make consistent progress.

Get all the details about the Everyday Money Workbook here!