Have you ever wanted something so bad that you planned, dreamed and maybe even spent money on seminars and training getting ready for it but never actually do it? You were excited at first, but once you got home, unpacked your suitcase, and checked out your books you started feeling scared and overwhelmed. It’s not that you don’t think it can be done, it’s just that you don’t think YOU can do it. So you lay your dreams down in that corner, where conference notes and ideas go to die, and never pick them up again.
It happens to the best of us. Studies suggest that 92% of us fail to meet our goals. Especially New Year’s Resolution goals.
That means that 92% of people (based on this study) had a book to write, a product to develop, a company to start, or a higher level in life they wanted to reach and never got there. Think of the amazing unique gifts that the world could already be benefiting from had they persevered.
We all have a unique voice or gift that only we can give to the world and we owe it to ourselves to discover our gift and bring it to fruition and to demand the life we want to live.
So whatever it is, how can we finally do something with all the wishful thinking we’ve had for so long?
Up your pain
There’s a story about a dog who moans and groans all day because he’s sitting on a nail. The dog won’t get up because the nail isn’t bothering him enough to do something about it. I love that story from Les Brown because its completely true.
Champagne wishes and caviar dreams will motivate you to get you off your butt, but it’s the pain of failure that has to be gut-wrenching deep enough that’ll keep you moving and will make you stay the course far beyond when a sane person would give up.
When things get hard and you want to give up or when it gets comfortable and you want to relax – up the ante and jab that knife in a really twist it. Think of the worse thing that could ever happen if you stay in your current situation and imagine it 10 times worse. This is the time to dump the optimism because feeling the pain now helps remind you why you are doing this or what you are trying to avoid becoming a reality.
You might be thinking ‘everywhere on this site you tell us to keep learning and keep improving, how are you gonna tell us now to stop learning?’ There is a cycle of learning and goal achievement that suggests at some point it’s time to quit learning (at least in that specific way).
Consider this, you hear a great story. You decide to make that your goal. You are excited in the research phase, you start learning more and more and you are super excited. But when it’s time to do the action, you never actually pull the trigger. You keep thinking there is more to learn so you keep learning, and then eventually you think ‘Hmm, this probably won’t work for me, I have to do something else’ and then you chase the next shiny object and start learning again, never reaching the ‘doing phase’.
What’s really happening is not a lack of knowledge, it is the presence of fear.
We are trying to learn ourselves comfortable enough to start doing, but you can’t learn your way out of fear. You will never know every single thing to have no fear of doing it. You can only remove fear by doing. So stop learning and start doing if you want to be fearless.
Plan and a Prayer
Procrastination can manifest itself in many ways. Like appearing to be ‘planning’, telling our subconscious that we are preparing for the best result when in reality, you are just stalling.
Stop trying to plan out a perfect resolution. It won’t be perfect no matter how hard you plan and it’s putting pressure on you and setting you up to fail (see #4). Planning the route from home to work while parked in your car doesn’t get you to work. Actually turning the key and driving does. Make your plan, pray over it and then do it.
Compare yourself to others
I know, I tell you not to compare yourself to other people usually, but we break a lot of rules when we are trying to get motivated 🙂
Now before you go on facebook and pick your high school rival to swoon over, understand that there is a right way and a wrong way to compare yourself to folks. For this comparison, find someone who is doing what you want to do, who was in a similar position to where you are now and see what they are doing to be successful. What is working for them, is that something you can adopt? Will it work for your goals? If yes, then pick the things that work, if not then don’t.
Don’t follow blindly, and don’t compare the journey or length of time, look at the details, not the results. Either way, their story of success is motivation to you that your goal can be achieved because this person did it!
Accept that you’re going to fail…at least the first time
People seem to think that if you read enough, work hard and complete a task then it’ll be the most awesome thing anyone has ever seen and they’ll be an overnight sensation. But just because I hear the tasks required to perform neurosurgery it doesn’t make me a master neurosurgeon.
What really happens in your first attempt is that it pretty much sucks and it’s almost guaranteed to be the worse example of your entire career. My first rental property purchase turned out to be a colossal pain in the ass but I’ve gotten better at real estate investing. So instead of getting worked up that what you’re doing might not Steve Jobs impressive, accept that probably blow really really bad, but it’s a stepping stone to better things.
If you screw up now that doesn’t mean you’ll end crashing and burning. Nothing is permanent. Your whole life is fluid so if you try something and it doesn’t work then tweak and try again. I can tell you for sure that you will fail if you do nothing. You know the saying – ‘you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.’
You can’t learn your way out of fear. You have to do your way out of fear. You’ll never know if you are on the right track unless you start.
Lower your expectations
While accepting that failure is the other side of the success coin, also lower your expectations of yourself a bit so it doesn’t sting as much :).
Just because some DIY guru says that the walk-in closet they built from scratch took them 30 minutes and 100 bucks to create, doesn’t mean it’ll be the same for you, even if you follow their steps exactly.
That’s because your first time, hell, your first couple of times will look like a drunk monkey trying to walk a tightrope. You’ll fumble around, second guess yourself, takes some time to freak out that your making a mess, get motivated again and finally get it done probably just not nearly as good as you planned in your head. You might not have all the tools, the systems, and the confidence to power through like they do.
Expect that getting to your goal will be hard. You’ll mess up and have to doit over. You’ll waste some money. But you’ll gain experience and confidence which will make it easier and have a better result later.
Take stock of where you stop
I’m an 80% their kind of chick. Once I get it 80% I slow down and start enjoying the feeling of accomplishment even though I didn’t make it to the end. So I make a plan, that when I get to 80% start over in a new angle to get me motivated again.
When your brain blocks you, it’s telling you that you have gone as far as possible to be successful with the current method with the current resources. I know myself, and when I reach that point I don’t try to push through it, I either take a break from it and return refreshed or carve another path.
Some mountains you are meant to climb over, others you are meant to walk around.
Do Pareto’s 80/20 rule.
As it applies to goal setting, there is 20% of work that is needed to fully achieve our goals and the other 80% is just helpers to the 20%. But we get so caught up in the 80% that we burn all our time and energy on the 80% and leave nothing behind to help carry the goal over the finish line.
To actually get your goal done, try to focus your time on that 20% that will actually matter. For example: Are you spending months designing your business card, but no time getting sale leads? Business cards are helpful, but on their own, they don’t make sales. Sale leads do.
If you want to be a writer, don’t wait to be a writer, be a writer.
Put yourself in situations where you will meet people who can make it happen. Surround yourself with people who think the way you want to think. Insert yourself where they hang out or things they might do or join in. Network and listen to their stories – they are lessons for you and motivation for your own path. You need not be too humbled to speak to them, you’re a writer too remember?
If you are reading this post, then it’s likely that you’ve been looking for that one thing that will finally work to change your life.
You’ve been given 9 tips to get you moving. Maybe you need all them, maybe you just need one of them. Wherever you are stalled, it doesn’t mean the dream is dead.
You can pick up right where you left off and reach that place you’ve been eyeing for so long.
So what are you going to do? Keep deferring the dream, or finally get into gear?