This is the last week of January. Hard to believe, but the year is really off and running now. From this point forward it’s not really the beginning of the year anymore. We’re in it. So what does that mean for our goals?
I don’t know about you, but I love setting goals. For me they are really motivating and fun to plan. It makes me feel alive to imagine all the creative projects I will do for my life and business. With all this good feeling it’s hard to imagine not accomplishing any of those lovely intentions, but unfortunately, that’s what often happens.
Life gets in the way. Something will come up to throw us off course. It’s natural. Life is not linear. There are bumps and curves in the road. Sometimes there are even giant potholes! However, life is not the problem. It is not usually outside forces that ultimately keep us from reaching our goals. It’s how we respond to these challenges that really gets in the way.
The internal struggles we entrepreneurs encounter are far more lethal than any exterior challenge. An outside challenge usually has an obvious answer. It may be a uncomfortable or perhaps expensive answer, but still, it’s something that can be addressed with tangible results. The printer breaks, you call the repair guy or get a new one. Your husband suddenly has to travel for work and leaves you with kid duty, you hire a babysitter. There, problem solved or at least addressed so you can start back on track.
Internal challenges are much harder to resolve. I’m not even talking about major issues here. Even small mindset problems can seriously derail your success. These pesky thoughts have a way of gaining traction. You blow one sales call and you can move very quickly from, “ugh, that sucked” to “My business is going to fail because I won’t ever get enough clients.”
What happens next is your behavior starts to change. Maybe you start to avoid sales calls which then actually does result in fewer clients. Or you get frustrated with your lack of skill with a technical issue so you don’t launch your new program. Maybe the goal you set out to accomplish was actually hard (Imagine that, an entrepreneur setting a hard goal…) and you start to distract yourself with easier tasks.
How do we manage our thoughts and feelings so they don’t derail our success?
1. Listen to your gut. It’s really important when you are taking on big dreams to stay tuned in to your intuition. Your gut will tell you when you are getting off track. It will let you know when you are fooling yourself with excuses. You will actually start to feel a little sick to your stomach because you are going against what you have set forth as an authentic intention. So pay attention!
2. Get enough rest. Sleep is highly undervalued by entrepreneurs. It’s the first thing we tend to ditch when we get overwhelmed when in fact, that is when it is most important. Your brain needs to be rested and properly fueled to make good decisions and to have the energy to follow-through with your big projects. So take care.
3. Think about your regrets. Imagine it is December 2014 right now. What will it look like if you do not accomplish your goals? How will you feel? Is your current lack of focus worth feeling this way? What must you absolutely achieve this year to feel good about yourself and your business 10 months from now?
4. Stay flexible. Things do change. Life changes, your business changes and you change. It is entirely possible six months into the year, you will have a different perspective. Maybe a new idea or project comes your way that was not in your original plan. What would that mean for your current set of goals? You need to remain flexible to allow for potential positive changes.
5. Get support. Hey, sometimes you just need a little help. We all do. We all get into dark places sometimes and cannot dig our way out alone. It’s really important then to have someone you can rely on to give you a lift or a kick in the pants if need be. Find an accountability partner, a mastermind group or a good mentor.
I wish you all the luck in the world this year in reaching your goals. But if the year doesn’t unfold as you hoped it would, remember this “The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running.”-author unknown (but very smart:))
I love to hear your voice!
How do you get back on track when you struggle with mindset issues?
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If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.