Are you unhappy with an aspect of your life but struggling to put your finger on exactly what that is?
Perhaps you do know what needs fixing but you have no idea where to start or you just can’t seem to get around to it.
This blog will provide some tips to help you understand your goals and take action to achieve them.
To achieve something, you need to know what you want to achieve because, without an end goal we won’t do anything.
Most of us go through life on autopilot and exist, this is because we don’t give ourselves a goal so we just drift, identifying a goal gives you a focus and something to aim for.
One way of identifying where you need to make changes is The Wheel of Life. You can learn more about this technique in my blog Wheel of Life. This will help you to see which part of your life is not balanced. By plotting your ideal scores in each area, you should be able to see which area of your life needs work at any particular time. Then you can set about deciding what actions you can take.
Remember, different areas will need attention at different times in your life so there’s no one right answer. The idea is not to make a perfect circle, but to think about how much attention you’d like to give to each part of your life.
When you set a goal, ideally it needs to be a SMART goal:
S – Specific
A – Actionable
R – Realistic
T – Time (it needs a deadline)
Motivation comes from the word “motive.” A Latin word which means moving. Motivation is all about our desire to do something that is important to us, and this motivation makes us take action.
Have you heard about the Law of attraction? This is what it is based on:
Write your goal down. By writing it down you are alerting your mind to the fact that this is important to you, and you will start to do things that help you move towards your goal.
Our mind has filters, these filters delete, distort, or generalise the information that we receive. This is because we cannot cope with the amount of information that is thrown at us. These filters decide what is important to you, and the way they do this is to allow you to see what you have decided is important.
We all know that if you go and buy a yellow car as you haven’t seen any -what happens? you see yellow cars; This is because you have alerted your mind to the fact that yellow cars are important to you. It’s the same with setting a goal, once you have decided on the goal and written it down, you will alert your mind to the fact that this is important so it will show you things that relate to your goal. Once you start seeing these things in your life, it is then up to you to get motivated and to get into action.
If you have too many goals or your goals are too large, it may cause overwhelm. Try setting a smaller, monthly goal. This way you can focus on what you need to achieve and, as the timescale is relatively short, you shouldn’t forget what you are working towards, and you will achieve it.
Having your cheerleaders around you is so important, especially if you are working on something alone. But what kind of encouragement do you prefer, are you a carrot or a stick person?
Do you reward yourself when you have achieved something? It’s a good way to keep motivated. It works for kids – ‘you do this you will get that’, and guess what, it works for adults as well! I am a carrot person- very rewards driven. If I have done a good job, I want something for it, even if it’s just a “well done”.
If you are a stick person, then it’s more about telling you that you need to do it now; other people are doing it and you need to get on with it ASAP.
This tip is from Mel Robbins, the concept is really simple and helps with motivation (if you haven’t read her book ‘54321’, then read it, it changed my life):
- Decide what you need to do and, before the voices and the doubt kicks in, count back from 5 to 1. You need to count backwards otherwise you will continue counting and you won’t do anything.
- Before you get to 1, you need to get into activity, as getting into activity will stop the voices and you have got over the worst part, starting.
Mel used this technique to get out of bed in the morning. Instead of hitting the snooze button (as she normally did), as soon as the alarm went off, she would count 54321 and before she got to 1, she was out of bed and on her way to the bathroom.
She now does this every day and, like thousands of others, uses 54321 in every aspect of her life.
Try it, it’s so simple but so effective!
Dealing with Procrastination
The method above can help with procrastination but what is procrastination?
Procrastination is the act of delaying or putting off tasks until the last minute.
People often procrastinate because they’re afraid of failing at the tasks that they need to complete. This fear of failure can promote procrastination in various ways, such as causing people to avoid finishing a task, or by causing them to avoid getting started on a task in the first place.
There are 4 types of procrastinators: (Sources: https://www.businessinsider.com)
- The performer
I work well under pressure! I need a deadline otherwise it won’t get done. However, I am also a perfectionist. If you are a perfectionist and you are up against it, your work may not be to the high standards that you expect for yourself.
The biggest challenge for a performer is getting started, so instead of a deadline give yourself a start date. Your focus will be on when you start a task and not when you end it, and this way, the pressure will be taken off.
- The self-deprecator who says, “I am so lazy right now”
This procrastinator is the opposite of lazy, so when they don’t do something, they are extra hard on themselves.
The biggest challenge for a self-deprecator is taking a break. They will say they don’t have time to rest.
If this is you, what is the solution?
Recharge – try taking a walk to give yourself space and to begin to rebuild your energy.
- The over booker who says, “I’m so busy”
This procrastinator is a pro at filling up their calendar and is often overwhelmed. “I’m so busy”
This is a classic sign of avoidance
The biggest challenge for an over booker is creating chaos to avoid facing what they know they need to face right now (typically this is not a task).
The solution: They should take a moment of introspection and ask themselves ‘What am I really avoiding?’
- The novelty seeker who says, “I just had the best idea!”
This procrastinator has a terminal case of Shiny Object Syndrome. They’re constantly coming up with new projects to take on — and then getting bored with them a week later. They’re intrigued by the latest trend and will be quick to implement but not follow through.
Their biggest challenge: Completion.
The solution: Make it stick.
Literally. They should write down new ideas or projects on a sticky note — but not pursue them until they finish what they are currently working on.
Which one are you?
If you are familiar with NLP, you have probably heard about anchoring, this is how we stop people from procrastinating (amongst other things) we chain and anchor and we move the client through different states, starting with procrastination, to frustration, excitement and finally motivation. And this is how as an NLP coach, I remove procrastination from people’s lives.