Ready to learn how to achieve goals? If you listened to the previous episode and did the assignment I gave there then you are!
In this episode, I’m talking about what you need to do in order to achieve your goals, no matter what they are. It’s a step by step that will get you there if you follow it. It may not be what you expect, but it is the formula you will need. Listen in and get ready to make big things happen!
Hi! Are you ready for part two of my series on goals? Well, if you listened to last week’s episode and took the time to look at why you’re not achieving your goals then you are! If you haven’t, go do it. I can’t stress enough the importance of taking that first step before you get into the how.
Too often we have roadblocks in our way that we’re not even aware of and if you’re not aware of it, how can you remove it?
So make sure you know what’s stopping you so you can work on it.
Now if you’ve set your goal, believe you can reach it, are fully committed, and have a compelling reason, then you are good go to! Now let’s talk about what you gotta do.
First, let’s back track a little and talk about setting your goal. Make sure your goal is specific and constrained so you’re not trying to fit too many things in at once. When you try to do too many things at once, you end up doing none of them. I get it that you want to have everything you want asap, but real change and big goals take time to get. They take effort and time and practice and mindfulness and there’s only so much time in a day and only so much brain juice! One of the best examples I have for this, which is one you may have experienced yourself, is wanting to stop binge eating and lose weight. If you’re someone who binge eats and you’re not at your ideal weight, I’m all for you losing weight, but I don’t recommend working on not binge eating and weight loss at the same time. Those are two separate goals and I believe the binge eating needs to be worked on first. Weight loss may happen as a result of you stopping binge eating, and that’s nice when it happens, but some people need to make more tweaks to what and when they’re eating and that might be another level of thought work that needs to be done. Work on one at a time and save yourself the frustration of losing weight then bingeing and gaining it back and having that frustration lead you give up on both.
The next thing you gotta do is make your goal a priority. We all have lives and things that are going on in them and work and relationships and friendships and obligations and commitments and everything. And with all these things, time for ourselves doesn’t just appear, we have to make the time. You could very easily just let your commitments, your career, and the people in your lives take priority and fill up all your time. Or you can purposefully schedule time to work on you and your goal.
Stopping binge eating isn’t just about you not giving in to urges to binge when they come up. It’s the work you do outside of those moments that will even allow you to not give in to them. It’s so important to set aside time for yourself to write about your goal, what you think about it, what you think about you achieving it, what you think is in your way, to check in with yourself and see what work you want to be doing and what’s the best course of action. Schedule time for practicing purposeful thinking, for learning, for planning. The more time you spend working on this, the sooner it will happen. I see this with my clients all the time. Those who put in the time between sessions to work on what we coach on and do the homework every day have quicker success than those who don’t. You get what you put in.
It’s like with weight loss. If you eat on your plan and don’t overeat 6 out of 7 days, then you’re going to lose weight faster than if you eat on your plan and don’t overeat 2 out of 7 days. If you’re working on your goal everyday and making time to work on your thinking everyday, then you will get to it so much faster.
Next, decide to work on one thing within your goal at a time. I think it’s funny when my clients want to do all the things and get all the answers right away. Or I’ll have people email me asking me advice on how to overcome urges. Um, that’s what this entire podcast is about and what I work on throughout my whole program. It’s not just one thing! It’s a puzzle that needs to be put together, one piece at a time. That’s important for you to hear. It’s one piece at a time. Again, when you try to make too make changes at once, you change nothing.
So what do you want to work on first? To help you figure this out, ask yourself what you want most that you think you’ll get by stopping binge eating. I always find it so interesting when I ask my clients what they want and I hear their answers. Of course they’re there to stop binge eating, but when they search their minds for what they want that’s related to not binge eating, they may find what parts of the process to stop binge eating they need to work on most. Is the goal to feel better about yourself? To be more comfortable being uncomfortable? To learn the best way of eating for you? To feel more comfortable in social situations that have food? Whatever it is, do that work first.
For example, if you want to feel better about yourself, during your prioritized time, look into how you feel about yourself now and how you want to feel. Make that your focus. Work on changing how you see yourself and build more respect for yourself, self-worth, and self-confidence. Then once you’ve seen progress there, move on to the next thing that you think will help you to stop binge eating.
Instead of mapping out your entire plan for stopping binge eating just take it one step at a time, one puzzle piece at a time. You will get through all of them, you will complete the puzzle, but instead of just moving from one piece to the other, looking at each, not finding where it goes, never actually finding out where it fits in the puzzle, take your time to find the fit. You’ll know you’ve found the fit when you’re seeing progress.
It’s a building process. When I work with my clients, I don’t just give them everything up front, I build on it. I take them through the foundational steps and give them more and more as we go and check in with what they need and revisit things that need more work. Because I’ve been doing this work for awhile, I can see much more clearly the steps that need to be taken and which pieces to share and what to work on, but when you’re doing this work on your own, it’s going to be you creating your own path. There’s no wrong way to go, all roads lead to Rome, so pick a path and go.
Then, once you’ve decided your path, anticipate obstacles that are going to come up. What do you think will get in your way? What might stop you? It could be your own thinking, other people’s actions, your feelings, whatever you think might become a roadblock. Write them down on one side of a piece of paper and on the other side, brainstorm strategies for how you’re going to overcome them.
Prepare yourself for what you think is going to come. Most likely there will be things that come up that you didn’t think about ahead of time, but there’s also going to be things that will come to your mind ahead of time. It’s all the things that scare you and create doubt for you and I know you got some of those things in mind. The more you can mentally prepare yourself for these, the easier it will be to overcome them.
These obstacles will most likely be something that I talked about in the last episode. They’re not things that you just take care of before you start and then you’re good to go. You gotta check in with your belief, your commitment, your reason for doing it. Make sure you’re still in the right mental place because when you’re not thinking thoughts that align with the actions you want to be taking, you’re not going to take those actions.
I’d say the most common obstacles are fear and doubt. Like I said in the last episode, but it bears repeating, people think that if they’re feeling fear or doubt then it means stop. But what it really means is that you’re doing something amazing! It means you’re stretching yourself and stepping outside of your comfort zone. If you’re not feeling that way, maybe you need to make your goal bigger and scarier. Add some stakes to it if you want. Putting time deadlines on it can do that. Investing money, like in coaching, can do that. As we say in the coaching community that I’m a part of with all the other Life Coach School coaches, the barfier the better! That means that the best goals are the ones that make you feel like you’re going to barf. These are the ones that are the most life changing and they’re both scary and exciting.
So when you feel that fear and doubt, move through it. Allow yourself to feel it and keep going. You’re in the right place, feeling how you’re supposed to be feeling, and doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Nothing has gone wrong, it’s so right.
Now here’s the part you’re not going to like, but it’s what’s going to happen and you have to know how to do it right.
You’re going to fail and you have to fail forward.
You fail, learn from it, and try again over and over and over.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is they fail and give up, don’t learn from it, and/or beat themselves up for it.
They give up because they stop believing the goal will be reached.
They don’t learn from it because they don’t get curious about what happened.
They beat themselves up because they make their failure mean bad things about themselves.
So when you fail, and you will fail, you will binge, you will give in to an urge, expect it to happen, keep believing in yourself. Get curious about why you failed. Separate what you do from who you are. You can still be a good person have positive or even neutral thoughts about yourself even if you binge.
When you fail, get to work. You’ve just uncovered something you need to work on. Look at it, understand it, figure out strategies to try next time.
It’s all trial and error. Use the scientific method – test, observe, gather information, question, modify, repeat. Try something, see what happens, if it doesn’t work out, try something different.
We don’t always know exactly what will work. The “how” isn’t always exactly the same. When I coach two people on the same problem, one may have success right away and the other may not. So we gotta look into why that person didn’t and work through it.
It’s all about understanding yourself and what works for you and what doesn’t.
Then when you’re asking yourself the important questions, like why did you do that, or what can you try to do differently, don’t you ever, ever settle for “I don’t know” as your answer. I never allow my clients to tell me they don’t know. Don’t allow yourself to either. You know, or you can take a guess, or even if you really don’t know, the correct answer is that you don’t know yet or you’re going to figure it out. “I don’t know” is a stopper. There’s no information that comes from thinking you don’t know and leaving it at that. Search for the answer. A guess at the answer is better than no answer because sometimes that guess may be right or it can lead you to the right answer. And if you don’t know yet or are going to figure it out, then you go looking for answers. You have so much more wisdom than you’re giving yourself credit for. Look for it.
So here’s the summary. Constrain your goal. Make it a priority. Work on one thing at a time. Anticipate obstacles. Move through fear and doubt. Fail and then get back to work.
Most importantly, what I want you to know, is that what allows you to achieve goals is what goes on in your mind. It’s your thoughts and beliefs. Those are what matter most because when you’re thinking useful thoughts and believing useful beliefs and are anticipating what you want to be thinking, then you’ll feel exactly how you’ll need to feel to take action.
I could give you a step by step guide for the actions needed to take to stop binge eating, but none of it would matter if you’re in a negative headspace. There’s going to be problem solving and strategizing that needs to happen and when you’re not feeling excited, motivated, curious, determined, those kinds of feelings, because you’re not thinking thoughts that will cause those feelings, then you won’t do it.
Don’t get so caught up in the how, in the actions. What matters most is your thoughts. They are what cause your feelings which drive your actions. I know it might be kind of hard to wrap your mind around this, that your thoughts are where the work is, not the actions, but once you start to see the evidence that this is true, because you’re doing that work, it’s so amazing to see.
Alright, so that’s what I have for you. Now you go work on and achieve some goals! And I will too! I got a good one I’m working on right now and it’s barfy and exciting! Exactly what it’s supposed to be! Have a great week! Bye bye!