It is now the 4th week of January. How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? How are you doing with moving forward with your goals for 2012? Are you still riding high on the energy of your intentions, or have you started bumping up against resistance and challenges that have slowed you down? Do you feel like you are zipping along your way, or are you waking up to the reality that time is moving on and you not?
Why is it that we are so often stymied in our efforts to grow or change our lives or businesses for the better? The answer is simple, we do not like feeling uncomfortable. Would you rather sit by the fire drinking hot cocoa or shovel the driveway? Would you rather sip margaritas on the beach or go to the gym? No brainer, right? However, you need to consider your bigger goal. Do you want a ripped body when you hit the beach, then you better hit the gym and sweat your fanny off. Do you want to go skiing with your family on the weekend? Then you better put on your ugly snow boots and start shoveling out your car.
There is no getting around the fact that you must do things you are uncomfortable doing to get what you want most out of life and business. You may not like getting up at 5:00am, but if you want to start making some good connections, you may need to in order to make it to your local breakfast networking group. You may not like organizing your books, but if you don’t you will not have a strong financial basis for you business.
No one likes feeling uncomfortable and it is human nature to avoid discomfort. So how to we motivate ourselves to do the things we don’t want to do? Here are some helpful tips.
1. Keep your big picture goal front and center. Write down your goals AND the reasons and motivations behind your goals. Put reminders of your goals where you will see them often. Make it visual. Write out or print out your goal, cut out pictures that represent your goal, put your goal on your screen saver, just keep it front and center in your awareness.
2. Know that you can tolerate discomfort. Sometimes just the idea of feeling uncomfortable stops us from moving forward. We imagine how bad something is going to be before we even start. Often the discomfort we fear is far less than reality once we actually BEGIN a task.
3. Practice. Practice. Practice. The more you practice and experience your discomfort, the more comfortable you get! It’s not that the discomfort goes away or even gets less, you just get used to it and learn how to manage it. One of my least and most favorite exercises is push-ups. They are great because they are so efficient and maximize lots of muscle groups, but as you know they are killer. However, I’ve been doing them long enough now to know what it’s going to feel like by the time I hit 25 or 30 in a set. It’s still a lot of effort, but I know what to expect and know how to manage the discomfort because I have practiced doing it.
4. Tap into your maturity. There are a lot of things that aren’t so fun about being a grown up, but one of the great benefits is maturity. We know there are certain things we must do to live successful, healthy and prosperous lives. We know we must brush our teeth in order to avoid cavaties, so we do it. We know we need to wear mittens when it’s cold outside to keep our hands warm, so we do it. Unlike children who do not or cannot always grasp the implications of their choices, we can. It takes a certain level of maturity to do those things which are uncomfortable, but you are an adult, you CAN do it.
5. Remember, you are not alone. EVERYONE has their battles to fight. Sometimes we look to the left or to the right and think other people have it easier than we do. “Oh, she’s just a whiz at marketing.” No, she probably spent a lot of time learning about marketing. “Oh, she’s just naturally thin.” No, she probably watches what she’s eats and works out regularly.
6. If you fall down, get back up. Ok, so you’ve screwed up. You blew off your blog post for the week, you didn’t follow up on an important lead, you spent the money that was suppose to go towards your next training class on a spa day. Fix it if you can and move on. It is not the end of the world to take a step or two in the wrong direction. What matters more is your ability to get back on track quickly. Otherwise, that one time absence from your networking group could turn into two or three and the next thing you know, you are not going at all.
Finally, the biggest tip I can give you for facing your challenges is to GET SUPPORT. Whether you just need a girlfriend who will listen to you moan and groan and then tell you to get on with things, or you need something more. A great source of support is an accountabilty buddy, someone who is trying to do the same kinds of things you are, who can empathize, chear you on and, of course, keep you accountable. This is especially true for women as we are such social and interactive creatures.
Whether your dream is to have a thriving business or buns of steel, don’t let a silly little thing like discomfort get in your way. You CAN achieve your goals, but you need to learn to do the things you don’t want to do so you can have the things you want to have. Good luck out there. I am signing off now to shovel my drive way so I can take my kids sledding.