Did you know 23% of people fail their goals after a week?
Sometimes we get intimidated by our big dreams.
Sometimes life happens and distracts us.
But more often then both of those, I would argue we make rules up and call them excuses.
Rules that Avoid Success
Have you ever needed to work on something and kept finding yourself doing something else?
My thing has changed several times in my life: sometimes I keep checking facebook, other times it’s repeatedly texting my wife to avoid the monstrous task before me, or I’ve fallen into the habit of giving my wife a hug as a “break”.
Each of these things are a rule of avoidance.
You could also call them hiding places. The are places you go to avoid doing.
Why do we do this?
Sometimes we don’t feel like working.
Other times it’s scary: the thing we are trying to do is hard and starting is hardest!
And sometimes that is just not is more fun.
So, I challenge you to stop hiding and face your goals and face yourself!
If you lack motivation, think about why you are doing this. Who do you want to be? You lack clarity: find it! Define your idea of success and if it is truly something you love and something that energizes you, then you will just do it.
If it’s scary, consider why you are scared. Is this thing new? Are you afraid of failing? Don’t be afraid, make failure your friend!
Get up now! Do something! I know analysis paralysis all to well. Here’s some awesome avoidance rules I’ve made in the past:
- I can’t finish my homework until I watch the next episode of one-piece. I’ll feel inspired.
- I definitely can’t launch my blog until I find the perfect plugins.
- I don’t like my front page background, no launching until it’s dark and mysterious.
- I can’t clean the living room until I get this off my mind. Yes, completely off my mind.
- I’m too busy to apply for data science jobs.
- I’m working 60 hours a week, I don’t have time to look at grad schools.
- I’m tired, I can’t exercise until I’m rested.
- I can’t focus when I’m on the train, I need to do my writing later.
- I’m not good enough, I deserve to fail.
- It didn’t work because I’m not smart.
As you can see, I have lots of experience with this.
So, how do you break through the noise and get your shit done?
Facing the Thunder
Are you unbearably intimidated by that big goal? Here are some ideas on how to face the noise (thunder!) your mind brings sometimes.
1. SLICE IT DOWN!
Come for a thinking trip with me, let’s consider a few things about life:
- Your brain remember things better when they are done in chunks. Evidence? Ever heard of a book called Moonwalking with Einstein? It’s about memory champions. How do they get awesome? By breaking things down into chunks with pictures and silly ideas. Awesome, right? Smaller is better.
- Which is the most important step? The Next Step! All it takes is the next thing. It will be easier to do and you’ll do things more productively.
- Perfectionism loves big goals: because it can suggest to you tons of ways you might fail. Ignore that voice! Slice it down and focus on the hill, not the mountain.
This doesn’t mean you are lowering your expectations: it’s stacking the deck in your favor! By slicing it down, you prep your mind for success!
2. Kill those hidden rules
Friends can help here. Sometimes your rules are so hidden they hide from you 😂
Keep a notebook: start writing down anytime you don’t do your goal! What keeps popping up? Do you see trends?
Be honest with yourself: could you overcome or kill this rule?
Or is there no space in your life? If so…
I leave my house at 5 a.m. and I get home at 7.
I commute 3 hours a day (90 minutes back and forth). I had to simplify my life to make this blog happen. I try to do laundry all week instead of just on the weekend. I do less gaming on my commute, but instead use it as writing focus time.
I’m not a parent, but I completely empathize: I make dinner for my wife every night: and cooking takes time 😀.
Sometimes I simplify by cooking a week in advance or using the crock pot. Are there ways you could steal time back by simplifying?
4. Consider A Compromise
Are there things you could give up to make this a reality? Is your goal truly a priority for you?
Is it worth giving up an hour of your favorite show for 12 weeks?
Is it worth not playing that video game you’ve been craving?
Sometimes you have to say no to your company to say yes to you!
5. Remember Your Why
Do you know why you are doing this? Have you written it down? I like to put my goals in on my desk or in my bathroom: I always go there. No way to forget them if you have to face them everyday 🙂
Seriously, if you don’t have a visual reminder STOP READING THIS AND MAKE ONE!
If it’s something you are excited about, you should feel energy about that goal. There’s this idea that goals have to be dreary and serious.
Sometimes there are goals we have to do to get to the truly fun part. You know yourself best: find a way to make it fun!
So, now you’re armed!
Go find your excuses and Face The Thunder!