I tend to approach a lot of my problems in life a similar way as my post below on "Food Infrastructure." I step back, look globally and come up with good strategies from that perspective. I try to create an environment in which it is easier for my goal to be reached.
It doesn't matter what I'm trying to do: Exercise, get all my homework done, make friends, eat right, you name it. I think back to when I have been successful in those regards. I then try to re-create that same kind of environment again. I try to put the infrastructure in place that will support my goal and even make things possible that otherwise would not happen.
Let's say I want to make more friends. I am terrible in bars. I can go to a bar every night for a year, and I'd be lucky to strike up a meaningful conversation or two. However, I can do some volunteer work and find lifelong friends within a matter of days. There is no sense going to a bar day after day if its just not conducive to my personality style. Its not a question of just trying harder--its more of a question of changing the scenery.
College was a great place to meet people, but what specifically about it? Living in community, being involved in activities, going to classes, etc. While most people are not going to live in dorms once they leave college, they can do the kinds of things that will have a similar result.
I also do well in deadline-driven environments, but the deadlines have to be short. I don't do well if I have 2 weeks to finish something. Knowing I have to do something today makes a big difference. In my job, much of my work has immediate deadlines, and that helps to keep my momentum up and my energy moving. It prevents me from getting bogged down and in a rut.
I'm terrible when it comes to homework. I procrastinate like crazy. I have found that having a daily schedule really helps. When I look at hundreds of pages to read and papers to write for each class 2 weeks from now, it can be easy to try to put that off or to come up with unrealistic ideas about what I can do on the weekend before class. I divide up my assignments into daily regimens. 2 weeks worth of assignments can be daunting, but if I go home from work today and know I have to read these certain 20 pages, that really helps me. I know I need a certain number of days off to avoid burnout, and a day or two of backup in case something comes up. It cuts down on stress. I don't have to weight the entirely of my homework every minute of every day. If I follow my schedule, which is well made and based on realistic goals, I will do fine.
Let's say you have trouble writing a paper in a noisy environment. At your house, there are noisy people and kids running around. You can simply try to muscle through and do your homework anyway. You plug your ears, pound the table, put music on, yell at people, but it doesn't work. It would be senseless to keep struggling in this environment. Instead, find a private room. Go to a library. Pages will start flying off better than ever. What are you trying to prove by trying to work through an obstacle like that? Save your energy for the obstacles that are absolutely necessary to overcome, because there will be plenty of those. Step aside from the ones that take energy but really prove little.
We all have weaknesses. Knowing your weaknesses is a major step in reaching your goals, because once you know them you can do something about them. If you know there are certain environments in which you don't do well, don't worry about changing yourself. Just change the scenery.
If you are trying to reach a goal but find yourself spinning your wheels and beating your head against the wall, spending more energy and agonizing in frustration just trying to get started, it would probably do you well to step back and change your environment. You can keep trying to muscle through, but you might be up against a lot. Your results will be minimal for all the work you do spinning your wheels.
Rather, put yourself into the kinds of situations that are conducive to your personality and work styles. Think about the places, circumstances, structures and atmosphere in which you thrive, and either create it or find it. I'm not against facing a challenge or working through difficulties, but there comes a time when its an exercise in idiocy to keep doing the same things and expect a different result. It could even be some trick you play on yourself to actually avoid your goal by squandering your time on senseless and unnecessary hurdles. Spend your energy on your goal, not on getting started. There will be plenty of obstacles to overcome in reaching any goal, don't waste your energy on things that can be avoided. Put the kinds of support structures in place that will do just that--support you. No person is an island, and we are heavily influenced by our environment.