Browsed by
Tag: accomplishing goals

3 Common Pitfalls that Will Keep You From Reaching Your Goals

3 Common Pitfalls that Will Keep You From Reaching Your Goals

A famous study of Harvard graduates revealed that students who write down and review their goals are far more likely to actually attain them.

So, if it’s really that simple, why AREN’T we writing down our goals? Aren’t our goals worth doing everything in our power to make them come true?

Why is it then that we tend to celebrate the end of every year by tossing last year’s goals in the trash, and promising ourselves next year WILL be different?

Well, all due respect to the Harvard study, but I don’t think it went far enough. You see, I think there’s a deeper reason your goals haven’t come true (three of them, actually).

After all, if it was REALLY that simple—if all we had to do was write down our goals and review them every day to attain them—wouldn’t more people be doing it?

There is something deeper going on that’s keeping us from taking that simple action. And, when you understand what’s really stopping you from reaching your goals, you can then make the necessary changes that will help you do so in the future.

Let’s dig in:

1. Your identity doesn’t match your goals.

In “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living the Good Life,” Mark Manson explains how, if you want to become a writer, but you never actually sit down to write, your identity may be someone who wants to write but never actually gets anything done.

When you really think about it, this makes sense. One of the functions of the ego is to protect your core identity, because if that goes, then who are you anyway? It’s scary to lose your identity.

So, your ego is going to fight tooth and nail to keep your identity intact, even if it’s an identity you don’t particularly care for (i.e. a “wanna-be” author or entrepreneur).

And I think there’s a deeper level to this, too.

I think there are certain goals—I call them “Love-Based Goals,” that, if you want them to come true, require you to be different. They’re whispers from your soul, and they help you transform into the person your soul knows you can be.

When you become the person your soul is nudging you to be, those goals will fall into place.

But if your identity doesn’t match your goals, you’re stuck. If, for example, you’ve been saying something like, “Someday, I’m going to open my business/write that book/quit my soul-sucking job,” your identity may be stuck on some sort of future version of yourself that never comes true.

Because if it came true, you would lose your current identity, as you know it. (Paradoxical, I know. But, there are many things in our life that don’t make any sense and yet somehow, they control us, so keep an open mind.) Your ego doesn’t want to lose its current identity, so it creates a resistance to the transformation of it. Which leads me to the second pitfall that may be keeping your goals from coming true …

 2. You have a fear, a mindset block, “resistance,” or something else that’s stopping you.

(Remember, this can also be directly tied to #1—you’re blocked around your goal, and over time, your identity gradually changes to a “wanna be.”) This can show up in your life in many ways, but some common indications that this is what’s going on with you never seem to have enough time to work on your goals, or you can’t focus on them, or you experience constant procrastination when it comes to sitting down to actually work on them.

If you’re really struggling when it comes to taking action toward your dreams, you may also have some sort of fear lurking underneath the procrastination (and that fear can be totally subconscious). For instance, you may have a fear of success or a fear of failure (which clearly would impact the success of any endeavor your take on). You may have a fear of visibility or being seen, which translates to you not marketing your business enough, which results in the failure of your business. You may have a fear that your spouse or partner will leave you if you become too successful. Maybe you can’t bear the idea of making more money than your parents.

All of these are examples of what can happen when your subconscious (which is 95% of your brain) is not on board with what your conscious mind (or the other 5%) wants to do.

(Note: this one is so important, I’m going to talk more about it in future posts.)

3. The goals aren’t yours.

In some ways, this is the easiest of the three pitfalls to handle, but it may also be more deflating than the others, because you may have to come to grips with the fact that you’ve wasted a chunk of your life on goals that aren’t even yours.

If you’re facing this one, one of two things is likely going on: the goals are someone else’s, or you’re not willing to do the work.

Someone else’s goals: Maybe you grew up with a father who thought you’d make an awesome doctor, or a mother who assumed you would take over the family business. Maybe they never even asked you what you wanted to do—it was always just “understood.”

Or maybe you grew up believing part of being an adult meant you needed to get a responsible, boring job. Or maybe you felt a lot of shame around your body because it wasn’t “thin” enough, and you’re forever trying to lose weight that just refuses to come off.

All of these are examples of internalizing someone else’s goals, whether that someone else is a specific person (such as a parent), or society/media, etc.

Either way, the goals are not yours. They’re goals you likely feel you “should” be doing, but they aren’t yours.

Not willing to do the work: The other version of this pitfall comes to light when you have goals that you think are super awesome, but not quite awesome enough to actually do the work to reach them. For instance, who wouldn’t love an extra million or two in their bank account? But are you willing to do the work it requires to get that money there?

Lots of little girls dream of being a professional ballerina (including me). But, the first time I laced up actual pointe shoes and stood on my toes … let’s just say my interest waned after that.

If you’re not willing to do the work, the goals aren’t yours. (And, to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with that. We have only so much time on this planet—there’s no shame in not spending hours and hours on goals that aren’t yours.)

So, now you are aware of the common pitfalls that could be keeping you from accomplishing your goals.

In my next post, I’ll share a simple, three-step system to help you create love-based goals that you absolutely can bring to life.

And, if you want more on this topic, check out my new “Love-Based Goals: Your Guide to Your Purpose and Passion” book, available at most online retailers here.

[Video] Flip It! How Do I Stop Procrastinating?

[Video] Flip It! How Do I Stop Procrastinating?

For years, I had a secret. And that secret was — I was obsessed around getting myself to stop procrastinating.

Now, from the outside, it certainly LOOKED like I was getting a lot done. Multiple 6-figure business, nonfiction books published, fiction books published.

But, inside it was a constant struggle. I would set aside time to work on my book projects or my blog posts, but whether or not I actually got anything done during that time was another story.

I struggled with this for years.

In the beginning, I was convinced this was an organizational problem. If I could simply become more organized with my time, I would have more time to work on my books.

Makes sense, right?

So, I tried everything. New systems. Productivity tips. In fact, I became a little obsessed with goals and planners and to-do lists — so much so I’m working on a “Love-Based Goals” book (due out December 2017).

Now, while I did get more organized and I was able to actually get more things done, I still wasn’t working on my books as much as I wanted.

And, much to my dismay, I still found myself procrastinating too much.

So then I tried the personal development route. After all, I was able to break some of other toxic habit, like my worrying habit. Maybe this would be the way to get myself to stop procrastinating.

The more committed I became to my personal development habit, the more I was able to turn my inner world around. I was so much more peaceful and happy. I broke a ton of habits that weren’t serving me and in their place, I had new, supportive habits.

But … I still couldn’t get myself to stop procrastinating.

How could this be? I’ve tried everything. What was going on?

I was close to my wit’s end. And then I remembered a book I had read years ago called “The Artist Way” by Julia Cameron.

It’s about helping artists and writers who are blocked and not creating start creating again. In that book, she shares her own story.

Julia had a successful writing career — writing screenplays in Hollywood. How she wrote was every day at 4 pm, she would fix herself 3 scotches, line them up by her typewriter (yes, this was a long time ago) and start a race.

The race was, how much writing could she get done in that small window of opportunity when the alcohol loosened the creative juices and before she was too drunk to write.

She described the experience as crashing head first into a wall over and over again. Every night she broke herself to write.

So, what I started to realize is I was doing the same thing. No, I wasn’t using alcohol, maybe I should have because it would have been more efficient — I was using procrastination.

It didn’t matter how much time I set aside to write, I wouldn’t actually start until I was nearly out of time. I would have wasted hours and there I would sit at the end of the day, facing the choice of do I just throw in the towel and try again tomorrow or do I get something done?

If I had a hard deadline, clearly I was getting it done.

If I didn’t, it was split between me pushing myself or trying again tomorrow.

Needless to say, it was a painful way to write.

So, how did I finally break this once and for all? Watch below:

So, how do you stop procrastinating? It might be as easy as getting to the bottom of what the payoff is.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book — you can check it out here.

Why Good Self-Care Equals Good Business

Why Good Self-Care Equals Good Business

If you’re anything like I once was, you’ve got your nose to the grindstone as you work to reach the goals you’ve set for 2017, which also likely means your self-care has ended up right at the bottom of the to-do list.

Again.

The “old me” would be right there with you. I always pushed myself to the brink of exhaustion (and sometimes right over that edge). Rather than giving myself a break or a bit of relaxation over a weekend, for example, I’d squeeze in as much as I could during those two days when most other people were relaxing.

But the “new me” has realized that there’s always a price to pay. I can put in those extra hours, push myself extra hard, but I can do that for only so long before it backfires.

Not only did this kind of nonstop work affect my health, but I also found that my efficiency decreased. Then, I’d end up being forced to work nights and weekends just to get five days’ worth of work done.

When I did this, I found myself hating my business. I dreaded work. It felt draining.

But then I had an epiphany.

I realized that if I put boundaries around my time, work normal hours, and make time for self-care and other things in life that feed my well-being—relationships, physical health, relaxation—then I feel better, I get more done in less time, and my relationship with my business improves.

It’s so simple, but incredible in how it can change everything.

So if you’re still running full-speed in the aftermath of the New Year excitement, then I encourage you to do one thing: take a pause. Then, assess whether you’re taking care of yourself.

Here are some simple, effective self-care habits and ways you can take care of yourself:

  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Drink lots of water
  • Eat healthy
  • Take baths
  • Spend time with people you enjoy
  • Take breaks

And if you do put in extra hours or work extra hard, reward yourself!

Make it a habit to love yourself so you can love your business. In fact, begin tomorrow. It’s Valentine’s Day, after all, and I think you deserve a little love. Treat yourself!

If this information resonated with you, then you may want to check out my book, How to Start a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back.” It’s designed to give you all the tools you need to start a business you love – one with which you can have a wild love affair! Click here to learn more.

Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Have Already Failed You (and What You Can Do to Turn It Around)

Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Have Already Failed You (and What You Can Do to Turn It Around)

We’re barely halfway through January, and if you’re like a lot of folks, not even one New Year’s Resolution is still standing.

That exercise program? Made it to the gym once. Taking steps toward those “important but not urgent” projects, like writing your book, or working “on” your business versus “in” your business? Yeah, right! Who has the time?

But, before you throw your hands up in despair and declare the year a failure (okay I’m exaggerating a bit), there’s still plenty of time to get back on track.

The first step: take a good, long look at your goals and each New Year’s Resolution you have for this year.

Answer these questions (I suggest getting out a pen and paper, and doing some journaling around them):

  1. How did you actually come up with the goals and each New Year’s Resolution? Was it a purely mental exercise? (In other words, did you just sit down and brainstorm or think of a list of goals and write them down?) Or did something else inspire them?
  1. Do your goals and resolutions come across as a bunch of “shoulds” or “have to’s?”

For instance:

* I should lose weight.

* I should exercise more.

* I should do a product launch.

* I should finish that new business program I’ve been working on the past two years and I really just need to get it off my plate.

  1. Are your goals and resolutions clear? Or pretty vague, making it feel even harder to actually turn them into reality?

Like:

* Spend more time with my family. (But how? I’m already drowning in to-do’s. Where do I find the time?)

* Make more money. (But how? I’m already doing everything I know how to do.)

  1. Are your goals and resolutions realistic? Or super big and intimidating?

Examples:

* I finally write my book.

* I finally start my business.

Once you’ve looked closely at your goals and each New Year’s Resolution for 2017, consider this:

The problem with all the goals listed above is that they’re setting you up for failure.

If you set goals for yourself that you don’t really want to be doing (no matter how much you feel like you should do them), or if they’re vague, or too big, or lack clear action steps that lead to their accomplishment, you’ll never achieve them.

So, how do you know if your goals fall into any of these categories? Take a moment to read what you wrote in your answers to the above questions, and pay attention to what feelings come up in your body.

If you feel tired, drained, overwhelmed, uninspired, confused, then you’ve probably set the wrong goals for you.

Now, if this is the case, the first thing to do is not beat yourself up or feel bad about it. The way we’re traditionally taught to set goals more often than not leads to our setting goals that aren’t right for us.

And there’s good news: January is considered the dreaming month, so you still have plenty of time to dream into what you want your new year to look like!

What I like to do is take some time and really feel into that – into what I want my year to look like. Don’t try and use your head or mental energies to decide what your life and business “should” look like — how do you want to feel? What lights you up? Where is your passion?

You may want to do some journaling around this topic too … how you want to feel this year. Also, you may want to ask your intuition/inner wisdom and/or God/Source/Universe/Spirit for guidance on what they think your goals should be.

Most importantly, don’t rush this process.

Once you do, chances are your goals will literally write themselves (and they’ll feel much more grounded those you had before).

And, once you’ve discovered and set goals that excite you rather than drain you, you may want to come up with a system to help you reach those goals. If that sounds good to you, check this out.

If you’d like a starting point to get more clear about where you want to go with your business, you might like my “How to Start a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back” book — you can grab your copy here.