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Okay, so I have a confession to make.
Up until very recently, I was a Goal Junkie. I loved setting goals but struggled with taking any real action to accomplish them. I would quit as soon as it got too challenging.
Years ago, I had a goal to run a marathon. Today, I still haven’t done it (and to be honest, it isn’t a goal of mine anymore). I wanted to learn how to knit. I bought the supplies but never figured out how to make a scarf. I tried my hand at direct sales with the goal to earn a shiny new car. Nope, didn’t happen. I quit long before I even had a chance to earn it.
Maybe this is you, too.
Here’s how you can tell:
Friend: Hey, how is _____ coming along?
You: Oh, not great really. Life got in the way so it’s on the back burner for now.
Sound familiar? If it does, welcome to the club!
It’s not that you are without reason for not reaching your goals, life is really good at getting in the way. I totally get that. You want to get out of debt and just as soon as you start to make progress, the car needs repaired and you have no choice but to charge it to your credit card. You want to organize your home, but with everything else you have to do there just aren’t enough hours in a day. You want to take a fitness class, but you tell yourself you have to be in shape first before you can start exercising in a public gym.
When you are faced with setbacks, it can cause you to question whether or not your goal is worth it.
But you know what? Nobody who has set goals and achieved them did so because life rolled out the perfect circumstances for them. In fact, at least in my short take-action experience, life seems to kick into chaos mode almost the second you want to make a positive change in your life. It’s really uncanny how it seems to have the worst timing.
And the thing is…it’s just a fact of life. Obstacles will arise and there will be mountains to overcome when you are on your path to achieving your goal. Just because things get hard doesn’t mean you need to give up.
Your goal is worth it. You are worth it.
And while you do need a plan to reach your goals, that isn’t what this post is about. We will get to that later. For now, I want to talk about the things we tend to do that keep up from reaching our full potential. Life will present roadblocks, but the truth is, whether or not you reach your goals is 100% up to you! Here is my list of 10 things you need to stop doing right now to reach your goals:
1) Stop Wishing
I wish I had more money.
I wish my house didn’t look so cluttered.
I wish I read more.
When you wish for something to happen, that is all it is. A wish and nothing more. And really, I think saying “I wish” creates the feeling that whatever we are wishing for is out of our control. But while there may be variables we don’t have any say over, we are capable of more than we think! Once you have a goal in mind it is time to ask yourself how you can move towards it.
Need more money? Get a second job or work from home as a tutor (Click here to read my post on 10 Ways to Quickly Save $1000). Reduce clutter by selling, donating, or tossing items you no longer need. Go get a library card and start borrowing titles to read!
The point is wishing doesn’t bring results. Action does.
2) Stop Being Too General
Set clear, specific goals to greatly increase your chance of success. Turn, “I want to get out of debt” into, “I want to reduce my debt by an additional $5,000 by the end of this year.” Instead of saying, “I want to earn more money”, maybe your goal could be, “This weekend, I am going to set up an Etsy shop to sell the jewelry I love to make!” When you create specific terms that include deadlines and ways to measure your success, you can create the steps needed to reach your goals.
Bottom line: Setting a vague goal almost guarantees that you won’t reach it. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals! Goals that are Specific. Measurable. Actionable. Realistic. Time-Bound.
3) Stop Making Excuses
If we let ourselves, we could come up with a hundred reasons to not pursue our goal. We like to make excuses because it allows us to remain in our comfort zone. Ask yourself if your goal will make you a better you and if the answer is yes, then forget the excuses for why you shouldn’t go after it. Instead, come up with reasons for why you should.
4) Stop Waiting Until Tomorrow
When you have so much else going on in your life, it’s easy to tell yourself that you will work on your goal later. But if you keep saying that you’ll get to it tomorrow, it’s pretty certain you never will. You can’t reach your goals if you don’t make them a priority.
Don’t put off tomorrow, what you can accomplish today. -Ben Franklin
5) Stop Living Your Day Without a Plan
Have you ever used the excuse that you just don’t have enough time in a day? I know I have! Totally guilty of that one. It’s such a great excuse because most of us feel super busy like we can’t possibly add anything else to our day.
But the reality is that so much of our time during the day is likely spent doing mindless activities such as browsing Facebook or binge-watching a Netflix series. Try giving yourself a time audit. Make yourself aware of how you typically spend your day and you may find an extra hour or two!
When you take some time to plan your day, you will be more productive and live with greater intention. Figure out what you will do from when you wake up to when you go to bed, making sure you set some time aside to work on your goal!
6) Stop Allowing Distractions
In this day and age, we are bombarded with distractions! We are perpetually connected to everyone via social media, email, and cell phones. It really is a wonder that we can accomplish anything in our day! But there are some small steps you can take to limit the distracting effects of technology.
On your phone, try turning off your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Email notifications and instead, check them when you have some free time. Having done this myself, I can tell you it has made a world of difference in my daily productivity! Try it out!
7) Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
When you are just starting out, it’s easy to look at someone else who has achieved the goal you are working on and think that you will never get there. I get it. I’ve done it, and I still catch myself thinking that way. When you find yourself in that train of thought, remind yourself that they were once standing where you are today. Give yourself grace and the gift of time to reach your goals because it won’t happen overnight. Remember, slow and steady wins the race!
8) Stop Thinking You Can’t Reach Your Goals
In other words, stop thinking negatively.
Look, each of us are our own worst critic. We tend to downplay our own abilities and at the same time, we overestimate the abilities of those around us. We think we aren’t smart enough, good enough, or talented enough. And each time we tell ourselves those things we believe them more and more firmly and our thoughts begin to shape our reality. And if that’s true, imagine what would happen if you were to shift your perspective and think more positively?
Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right! – Henry Ford
9) Stop Feeling Guilty
As mothers, it is so easy to feel guilty for pursuing a goal or interest. We feel guilty because working towards a goal takes time, and we know we could be giving that time to our family. But I want you to listen to me, Momma. You are important. Your interests are important. Your goals are important. It’s important that you take time for yourself to nurture your mind, body, and spirit.
Yes, you are a mother and that is a crazy-beautiful-awesome title to hold, but that is not all that you are. Give yourself permission to invest in you. Guilt-free.
10) Stop Worrying What Others Will Think
What if they laugh at me? What if they think this is a waste of time? What if they think I’m stupid for doing this? What if they think I will fail?
Hear me on this…
It. Doesn’t. Matter.
It doesn’t matter what other people think of your goals and dreams. They are your ambitions. Not theirs. Don’t let what others think about it determine whether or not you go after what you want. If others are trying to bring you down, telling you that you are stupid for wanting something worthwhile or telling you that you shouldn’t try because you won’t succeed…realize that they have negative attitudes about themselves and their own goals and are projecting that attitude toward you. They have trouble reaching their goals because they don’t believe in themselves and as a result, whether they are aware of it or not, try to keep you from reaching yours.
So don’t waste time dwelling on what other people might think. Put on the blinders and focus on what really matters…your goal!
When you set your sight on a particular goal you want to achieve, the challenges you may have to face to reach it can seem daunting and overwhelming. However, if you can recognize that the hurdles are a part of the process and believe that you can overcome them, you set yourself up to succeed. Whatever your goal is, big or small, know that there is a path to reach your goals. Decide that you will make it happen. You can succeed if you work hard!
It’s simple, really. Tell yourself you won’t give up when it gets difficult. That is what most people do. Don’t be like most people. Be different. Stop worrying. Think positively. Make a plan. Take action. Make progress. Reach your goals!
The best way to predict your future is to create it. – Abe Lincoln
What things are you putting on your Stop Doing List to help you reach your goals? I’d love to hear in the comments below! Take care!