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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.

[Video] Flip It! How Can I Overcome Writer’s Block?

[Video] Flip It! How Can I Overcome Writer’s Block?

Ahhh — writer’s block. The scourge of writers and entrepreneurs everywhere.

There’s so much you need to get done — and yet, nothing is being accomplished.

It’s a horrible feeling.

So, before I get into some ways of overcoming writer’s block, I want to start with how I personally view writer’s block. You see, I don’t actually think it’s something that is necessarily bad. I think it’s actually trying to help me.

How so? Well, if I’m really blocked on something, it’s likely because there’s something wrong with what I’m trying to write. For instance:

• I may not have not information and I need to do some more research.

• This may not be the project I’m supposed to be working on. This project may be better suited either being delegated or simply, not done at all.

Writer’s block is a message — a way of communicating with me there’s a problem with what I’m trying to do.

Now, writer’s procrastination is a whole other kettle of fish. Writer’s procrastination is me simply not feeling like writing and doing everything I can to waste a bunch of time.

Writer’s procrastination definitely needs its butt kicked to the curb.

So, how do you get through Writer’s Procrastination? Here are a couple of things to try:

  1. Set your timer for 10 minutes and tell yourself you’re going to write for 10 minutes and stop. And then start writing. It doesn’t matter what. You can write I don’t know what to write for 10 minutes over and over. What will likely happen is after 10 minutes, something kicks in in your brain and you’ll keep going. For whatever reason, it’s the getting started is the biggest problem — sort of like an object that is in motion, stays in motion? So, in most cases, you’ll get to 10 minutes and you’ll want to keep working. But, if you don’t want to keep working, then stop. It’s as simple as that.
  2. Create a writing ritual for yourself. I detail this in my “Love-Based Copywriting System” book, but a writing ritual can really help shift your brain that now is time to write. I do things like light candles, choose music, maybe do a little meditation or review my notes. Everyone is different but having a writing ritual can really help you overcome writing procrastination.

I share a few more tips in my video below — take a moment to watch now:

(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 Copy books: Love-Based Copywriting Method and Love-Based Copywriting System, both available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes and other online retailers.

3 Keys to Creating More Freedom in Your Business

3 Keys to Creating More Freedom in Your Business

Raise your hand if you started your business because you wanted freedom.

Maybe it’s time freedom, or money freedom, or freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want—to live your life the way you choose.

Now, raise your hand if what you ended up with is the exact opposite of freedom.

Maybe you feel like your business has taken over your life. You never have time for anything BUT working in your business.

If any of this sounds familiar, I want you to know you’re not alone. Desiring some level of freedom is one of the most common reasons people start businesses. And, getting sucked into your business to the point of feeling like all you do is work, work, work, is also very common.

So, what to do? How do you fix it?

Well, before we get into the solution, let’s dig into the problem a bit more.

For a lot of entrepreneurs, especially creative, spiritual entrepreneurs, the last thing you want is to schedule your time. Maybe you even come from corporate, where your life was controlled by calendars and appointments and meetings, and argh!

You’re your own boss! If you don’t want to write that blog post Wednesday morning than, by God, you don’t have to!

Besides, you should be inspired to write your blog posts, right? So, doesn’t it make sense to keep your calendar open to write that blog post when inspiration strikes? And, in fact, doesn’t it make sense to do that for everything in your business? Simply leave your calendar open and do only what you feel like doing and what you’re inspired to do?

The problem is—well, there are a few problems with that strategy.

First, if you’re waiting for inspiration to write that blog post, you’re likely going to be waiting a long time.

Which means, you won’t be marketing your business on a regular basis. And if you don’t market your business on a regular basis, your cash flow and income will suffer. Which means you’re suddenly going to be in the “oh sh*t” cycle of marketing, as you rush around frantically to generate prospects and clients and buyers.

But, it gets even worse. If your schedule is all “loosey goosey,” driven by what you “feel” like doing in the moment or what you’re “inspired” to do, you run the risk of leaving everything to the last minute. And, that means late nights, lots of stress, etc.

So, what’s the alternative? Scheduling every last second of your day? Just the thought of that sends shivers up your spine, right? What a depressing and discouraging way to run a business.

To start, no, you don’t have to follow some strict discouraging and depressing time- management system. In fact, today I’m going to share three keys to setting up your day, so you’re able to get things done with grace and ease, as well as honoring your creativity.

Key #1. Structure gives you freedom. The way around scheduling every minute and “loosey goosey inspiration strikes” is to structure your day.

This can look a lot of different ways, but one of the most successful I’ve seen is to batch your time.

So, maybe Monday is your administration day—the day you meet with your team, review, organize your office, maybe even plan out the rest of your week.

Tuesday and Thursday are call days, so you batch all your client calls on those days.

Wednesday is creative day, so maybe that’s the day you leave open for writing blog posts, creating programs, and all that creative type work.

And maybe Friday is catch up day—a day where you can catch up on anything you need to. So, maybe you catch up with your writing or your calls.

See how this works? You have a structure and you have tasks that need to get done, but you have the time and the spaciousness to play in the moment.

Now, for this to work, you need the next two keys:

Key #2. Setting boundaries. Now, it’s true: emergencies can and will happen, and there are days where you’ll just need to drop everything and deal with something.

But, most of the time, the things that are distracting you aren’t true emergencies.

This is when setting good boundaries will help you stay on track.

Keep calls on calls day, and don’t let them start migrating to your creative days. Do your creative work on creative days, and don’t let yourself get distracted or sucked into some sort of drama.

(Worried about inspiration not showing up on Wednesday? If you actually set aside a day to be creative, and YOU show up on those days to be creative, it’s remarkable how your muse will also show up to support you.)

While, yes, you’ve given yourself a structure and space to “play” in the moment, you still need to actually get the work done. So, allow the structure to actually support you.

It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? So why aren’t we all doing it?

Because we need the third key …

Key #3. Doing the inner work. If you find yourself struggling to focus and not procrastinate on the things you know you need to be doing, it’s likely you have one or more blocks getting in the way.

Mindset blocks happen when your subconscious is not on board with the direction you want to go. So, if for instance, you have some blocks around growing your business or making more money, every time you sit down to work on marketing, you find yourself screwing around on Facebook or watching videos like that cute one of the elephant playing with the birds (love that one).

And suddenly, the day is gone and you haven’t done any marketing for your business.

That’s why it’s essential to stay on top of your inner game, and keep working through those blocks, because they WILL pop up.

My suggestion to stay on track is to have a morning practice (such as meditation or journaling or praying or visualization or some sort of physical activity … or a combination of those things). Over time, you’ll rewire your brain so the block is no longer an issue.

If it’s a big block, you may want to consider some deeper work—I cover a lot of deeper mindset exercises in my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book, or you can work with a coach.

If you’d like more on how productivity and getting more done, make sure you keep an eye out for my brand new “Love-Based Goals” book, coming December 2017. Plus, you may want check out my “How to Start a Business You Love AND that Loves You Back.”

[Video] Flip It! Why Can’t I Focus?

[Video] Flip It! Why Can’t I Focus?

One of the biggest issues entrepreneurs have is around focus.

How can I focus more? How can I procrastinate less?

And it makes sense. When you’re an entrepreneur, there’s always a million things on your to-do list, and in many cases, the more you get done, the more money you make.

So, you want to spend your day being productive and focused.

Right?

Well, a couple of things.

First off, for a lot of us, I think we look for (or we allow our inner critic to look for) negative traits to beat ourselves up. And a perceived lack of focus is a great one to use.

But, what if something else was true?

What if your focus, or lack thereof, was a sign of something deeper going on.

Let me give you an example. Maybe every time you sit down to work on a certain project, you find your attention wanes and you’re suddenly messing around on Facebook — even though you’ve closed it about a dozen times.

You think the problem is you just aren’t focused. But maybe what the problem is is you don’t have enough information and need to do some research.

Or maybe, this is not a project you need to be working on and you ought to be delegating it. Or not doing it at all.

Or maybe, this is precisely the project you need to be working on, and you have some subconscious or mindset blocks that are keeping you from working on it and if you want to move forward, you need to move past those blocks.

Or maybe you’ve lost your passion. Not just for this project but for your business.

Not being focused doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with you. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s something that needs to be fixed or you need to go out and learn a bunch of productivity tips or hacks.

It may just be a sign there’s another issue, a deeper issue, with whatever it is you’re supposed to be working on. And once you address that, your focus will also return.

So, what do you know if there is a deeper issue going on or how to figure out what that deeper issue is? Watch now:

(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.

 

Stuck? 3 Tips to Bust Though and Have a Business Breakthrough

Stuck? 3 Tips to Bust Though and Have a Business Breakthrough

As an entrepreneur, or more specifically, a spiritual entrepreneur or change agent, you may have experienced hitting the dreaded business plateau, (and then wondering what on earth you need to do to have a business breakthrough).

The business plateau occurs when you’re making progress in your business — you’ve achieved some level of success, and you’re focused on continuing your upward momentum.

And then, it hits you.

Or, rather, you hit it: a roadblock … also known as a plateau.

You’ve undoubtedly heard of this before. Plateaus occur in many areas of life: weight loss, exercise (like weight lifting or speed in running, swimming, or biking), or in productivity levels.

So it’s only natural that they occur in business, too.

There’s one thing all plateaus have in common: they’re frustrating!

As you probably realize by now, I’m a big believer in the impact your mindset has on your ability to create results.

So what I’m about to say will come as no surprise: breaking through a business plateau will happen ONLY when your mindset has laid a strong foundation for doing so.

With that being said, here are three tips for making a mindset shift that leads to a business breakthrough:

Tip 1. Determine whether you’re actually ready to experience a business breakthrough … to get off the plateau, and take things to the next level.

If you’ve hit an external roadblock or plateau, for example, you can’t seem to push beyond a certain number of clients or income level, then chances are, you’ve hit an inner block, too.

An inner block is like a psychological wall that stops you from taking the action that will move you past a certain point.

It may be fear-related: fear of success, fear of failure, fear of not having enough, fear of getting out there and being seen, etc. Or it may be a belief or set of beliefs related to your feelings about success: for instance, successful people are jerks, rich people are arrogant.

Even if you’ve been successful up to this point, as you stretch your limits and set new goals for yourself, new blocks will come up.

So how do you know if you’re experiencing a block?

If you haven’t done any self-development work, you probably do have a block or two. We all do—many of us have experiences as children or even young adults that instill these fears or belief systems deep within us.

Here’s a quick and easy exercise for exploring your own plateau-causing fears and belief systems:

Grab a pen and a piece of paper, and draw a line down the middle, forming two columns. In the first column, write down all the reasons you want to break through the plateau. In the second, write down all the reasons you don’t want to break through or all the ways those blocks are serving you. (Yes, some stuff will come to the surface for that second column if you take this exercise seriously!)

The items you write down in the second column will give you an idea as to which fears or belief systems you need to work through to move past this plateau.

Take some time to think about the emotions associated with the items in the second column.

Next, start moving the energy out of these emotions.

I’m going to share one powerful exercise for doing so here, and you can read about several more in my book, Love-Based Money and Mindset: Make the Money You Desire Without Selling Your Soul.

Breathing is one of the most powerful exercises for releasing fear-based emotions. Yes, I used to roll my eyes at the “stop and breathe” advice, but now it’s become my go-to tool for getting past fear in many different situations.

The trick: you must feel your feelings.

When uncomfortable thoughts come up, just stop.

Rather than going with your first reaction and changing the subject, mentally, or calling a friend to talk about these feelings, stop everything.

Close your eyes and breathe into the feelings associated with the thoughts.

Maybe you feel emotions in your gut, like I do. Or maybe you feel them in your chest. Focus on that area and breathe into it. This takes practice! But I promise it will help you move past the blocks that are stopping you from reaching that next level.

Tip 2. Determine what you need to do to grow.

You’ve undoubtedly heard this analogy before, and that’s because it’s a good one. If you were planning to leave your house and drive to another city in another state—somewhere you’d never been—you’d need to get directions, right?

These days, most of us just type our destination’s address into our smartphone and hit “Get Directions.”

Then an app, like Google Maps, for example, gives us turn-by-turn directions.

Now let’s apply this analogy to your business.

If you’ve hit a plateau, then your desired destination if you want to have a business breakthrough is the Next Level, right? Well, do you know what you need to do to get to the Next Level? Which turns you need to make?

In our analogy, the “directions” would be the specific business strategies you’d use. “Turn left” may equate to, “Launch a new product.”

So how does this tie into mindset?

It’s all about preparation and planning. If you are attempting to reach a goal without a plan, then you’re not in the right mental space to get there. It’s like setting out for a destination to which you’ve never been without getting directions first.

Here’s an exercise you can use to figure out what you need to do to have a business breakthrough:

First, determine what the “Next Level” means to you.

Does it mean earning a certain amount of income? Does it mean landing a certain number of clients, or working a certain number of days each week or month?

Once you’re clear on that, consider the strategies that will get you there.

For example, if your goal is to get more clients, you may need a new lead generation system. If your goal is to earn more money and have more free time, creating a home study program may be a good avenue for reaching that goal.

Then, create a written plan with daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly steps for reaching your goal.

Tip 3. Stick with it. Push yourself just a bit further, past that tipping point.

If you feel like you’re on the brink of something big, then you just might be!

You may not be experiencing a mental block … you may be just one final push from having that business breakthrough and reaching the Next Level.

If you know you’re doing what you need to do, and you haven’t yet broken through your plateau, then don’t give up!

This advice may be a bit frustrating, because as a goal-driven entrepreneur, you likely feel like if you could just take action, just push this through, you could get there.

And this is where mindset comes in: when you’re taking all the right actions, and you have all the right pieces in place, then sometimes you just have to open yourself to receive.

So, are you ready to break through a plateau?

Follow the advice above, and you’ll be on the right track.

If this topic resonated with you, you may be interested in my book, Love-Based Money and Mindset: Make the Money You Desire Without Selling Your Soul. It’s available at most online retailers, and you can get your own copy here.

[Video] Flip It! I’m Spiritual: Doesn’t that Mean I Don’t Need Money?

[Video] Flip It! I’m Spiritual: Doesn’t that Mean I Don’t Need Money?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. When you decide to become an entrepreneur, all your issues around money will come flooding to the surface. And, as an FYI, there are a lot of them … ESPECIALLY if you consider yourself spiritual.

It’s my belief that a lot of entrepreneurs get derailed because of their relationship with money, so one of the things I want to do with Flip It! is dig into the different ways money blocks and challenges can show up.

And today, we’re starting with spiritual entrepreneurs.

It actually doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a spiritual entrepreneur or just spiritual — chances are it’s important to you to have a business that will not only help people but will make a difference in the world.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make a big difference and leave the world in better shape than you found it, but if you find yourself getting tripped up by money, then there’s a problem

Maybe you feel like it’s somehow selfish of you to take money while doing good. If you were truly doing good, you wouldn’t be getting paid, right? It should be available for everyone! And you certainly wouldn’t want to focus on it, right? Because rich people are greedy and evil … well, maybe not evil but certainly not spiritual.

And you certainly don’t want to be a greedy rich person.

Or maybe you feel like you’ve evolved beyond wanting money — you feel like making money is something other people who aren’t as evolved as you are, and if you focus on making money, then you really aren’t all that evolved either.

(Like I said … it’s truly amazing how many money issues we have.)

Now, it IS possible to be both spiritual AND financially successful, and it all starts with your mindset. Take a moment to watch this week’s episode where I unpack these issues:

 

(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.