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[Goal Setting Checklist] A Simple System to Make Your Dreams Come True

[Goal Setting Checklist] A Simple System to Make Your Dreams Come True

For a good chunk of my life, I struggled with goal setting.

Growing up in Wisconsin, I was taught that hard work was not only valued, but the key to success. So, when I started my business as an adult, I WANTED to be so busy I was working nights and weekends.

After all, if I was working long hours, that meant that I was “successful.” Right?

(It took years and multiple burnouts to finally force me to shift that thinking.)

But sacrificing my mental and physical health was just the tip of the damage that mindset caused me. My workaholic tendency combined with my “Type A” personality also kept me constantly feeling like I wasn’t doing “enough,” no matter how many goals I checked off my list.

And, of course in the meantime, I did have big dreams and goals I wasn’t making any progress toward at all (specifically, my fiction writing goals), so I also believed I clearly had a problem with goal setting. (Actually, my secret shame was my belief that what was really hindering me was procrastination and lack of focus.)

So, I did what any workaholic, Type A personality would do when feeling stuck:

I became obsessed with goal setting.

I researched and tried many goal setting and time management systems. Nothing really worked.

I also tried relying on sheer willpower—pushing myself to get more done (which was also not successful).

So what was it that finally shifted goal setting for me?

Digging more deeply into my love-based philosophy, and realizing my goal setting was built on a foundation of fear.

What does that mean, exactly? And if your goal setting method is also built on a foundation of fear, how can you switch it to a foundation of love, instead?

That’s exactly what I’m going to walk you through in this Goal Setting Checklist.

Sound good? Let’s get started.

Goal Setting Step 1: Get Clear. What Are Love-Based Goals Anyway?

To me, love-based goals are whispers from your soul.

Your soul wants you to step into the highest version of yourself. But, your soul also know that’s not easy. It requires you to face your demons and love your shadows.

So, as you do that work, your soul whispers your love-based goals to you. And as you become that highest version of yourself, your “reward” is that those goals can finally come true.

In other words, your love-based goals can only come true if you start to shift into the highest, best version of yourself.

Your soul wants to keep you on track toward achieving your love-based goals, so you can live your best, happiest life.

Now, on the flip side, in many cases, one of the main reasons why your love-based goals haven’t come true is because they don’t match your current identity. For instance, let’s say you’ve always wanted to write a novel, but the years have gone by and you’ve never even written a paragraph. Why is that? Because your current identity sees yourself as a wanna-be author, NOT an actual author.

That’s why taking the time to change your identity so it matches your love-based goals is key to having your love-based goals come true.

So, how do you change your identity? Keep reading — the next 3 goal setting steps are a good place to start.

Goal Setting Step 2: Identify Your Love-Based Goals

How do you know if you have love-based goals, or “regular” goals?

One big indication of a love-based goal is if you have a big dream you’ve been talking about your entire life, yet somehow, you’ve never gotten any traction toward realizing it.

Now, it’s possible that big dream is not a love-based goal, but what I call a “should” goal. A “should” goal is a goal you feel like you “should” be working on, but it doesn’t actually reflect your deepest desires.

How can you tell the difference? I recommend doing some journaling around your perfect day. (No, I’m not talking about a vacation day here, but a perfect work day.) What are you actually DOING during your perfect work day? How is your day structured? Where are you living? Who is around you?

While you’re doing this exercise, take note of how you’re feeling. Are you getting excited? Are you tapping into your passion? Or does it feel like you’re still doing something you “have to,” or maybe even dread?

This exercise is a great way to differentiate between love-based and “should” goals.

Goal Setting Step 3: Be Prepared for What Can Stop You.

If you’ve designed your life around “should” goals, it’s probably not difficult to understand why you haven’t gotten any traction on them. But, what about your love-based goals? Why haven’t they come true?

Typically, there’s something going on either internally or externally.

If it’s an external problem, it’s usually around not having found the right goal setting system for you.

In my “Love-Based Goals” book, I dig into a variety of goal-setting methods, to give you options so you can find one that feels right for you. It’s also pretty easy to do your own research, with a little help from your favorite search engine.

If it’s an internal problem (which I suspect is the real culprit, more often than not), well, that’s a little trickier.

Generally speaking, if something is going on internally, it’s directly related to blocks in your mindset or subconscious. Maybe you find yourself procrastinating every time you sit down to work on your goals. Or maybe you lack focus. Or maybe you can never find the time.

Or maybe you find yourself constantly feeling worry or resentment or anger or sadness or jealously or guilt every time you sit down to work on your goals.

And, because you feel so crappy, it can’t possibly be a good goal, right? It must be a sign you shouldn’t be working toward that dream.

Alas, our fear-based emotions stop us more often than not. We feel crappy, which not only makes it difficult to do the work, but since we want to stop feeling that way, we’re compelled to take actions that help us numb or stuff down our uncomfortable feelings. (For instance, maybe we want to take a drink or make poor eating choices or numb out on television or start a fight—these are all actions we take to distract ourselves from feeling our fear-based emotions.)

If you relate, my recommendation is that the next time you’re working on your big dream and you find yourself feeling bad, let yourself feel the emotion AND don’t let it stop you from continuing to take action. (I talk about how I did this myself when I had my big 2017 marketing success story here.)

Goal Setting Step 4: Set Yourself up for Success.

While feeling your fear-based emotions and still taking action is never going to be easy, there are things you can do to increase your odds of being successful.

• Start and maintain a morning practice (so rather than check email, start your day with self-care practices such as meditation or journaling).

• Use rituals, such as a New Year’s Day ritual to help you create a supportive container around making your goals come true.

• Create new, empowering habits that support your love-based goals and the person you’re becoming. (And, on the flip side, let go of old, toxic habits that are keeping you trapped in the “old” you.)

• Give yourself a break! None of this is easy. Give yourself the time and space you need to let your emotions move through you. Drink plenty of water, exercise, rest. And, above all, don’t beat yourself up if it’s not happening “fast enough.” Chances are, it’s happening plenty fast enough and surrounding to the process and allowing it to unfold the way it wants to is the best gift you can give yourself.

If you’d like to dig more into making your love-based goals come true, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Goals” book. Grab your copy 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.

[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.