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Published on April 22, 2020

17 Things To Avoid In Order To Reach Your Goals

17 Things To Avoid In Order To Reach Your Goals

There are many things, both internal and external, that can stand in the way when you try to reach your goals. While you may not have control over the external factors, your ability to overcome personal habits that can stand in the way of reaching your goals is essential if you will overcome other stumbling blocks outside of yourself.

The following are highlights of some unfavorable attitudes and behaviors that you need to avoid in other to reach your goals. It also includes suggestions on what you should be doing instead to reach your goals.

1. Procrastination

One of the ways to kill your drive towards achieving your goals is when you form the habit of shifting what you can do now until a later time or day. This happens to most of us. You can begin to slip off the timelines of your goals if you don’t take the bull by the horn and do what needs to be done. The first thing you need to avoid to reach your goals is procrastination because it’s a killer of dreams.

Suggestion: Set aside distractions such as social media and TV. Also, practice doing the hard and important things first. Brian Tracy suggests that “if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, most important task,” and persist to finish it before you move on to something else[1]. You need to activate the power of self-discipline to boost your productivity in order to accomplish your goals.

2. Pessimism

Sarah Dessen says[2]:

If you expect the worst, you’ll never be disappointed.

Pessimists are people who think about impossibility rather than possibilities or are more concerned about threats rather than opportunities.

A pessimist believes no matter what you do, the worst would eventually happen. However, to reach your goals, you need a high level of optimism. By being optimistic, you will find the energy to give the goals your best because you expect things to turn out well.

Suggestion: Resist negative thoughts. If you have found out some things can’t be done or are difficult to come by, spend extra time to find how they can be done. Where there is a will, there will always be a way.

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3. Complacency

To be complacent is to be in a situation where you do not see the need to do something substantial about your current situation. In complacency, your life revolves around a routine, and you are not learning or doing anything to challenge yourself or try something new.

One of the reasons people become complacent is the fear of failure or fear of what other people might think[3]. Perhaps you’ve been accused of being over-ambitious with your goals, which makes you want to tread softly; this can lead to complacency.

Suggestion: Never mind what people say about you; many are going nowhere, so work at your own pace. Don’t get stuck in a routine. Try something new consistently that can help you achieve your goals.

4. Imitating Others

Another thing to avoid is imitating others. Some people admire what others are doing, and they try to do the same without doing their own homework. While you can learn from what someone else is doing, you can’t succeed by just copying them.

Suggestion: If you admire what someone else is doing, try to learn about the source of their motivation. Then, if you desire to follow a similar direction, think about unique ways you can go about yours in a way that will work best for you.

5. Oversized Goals

Setting oversized goals is setting goals you do not need or goals that require a set of skills, experience, and resources you don’t have at the moment. You don’t have to run yourself to a burn out because of your goals. While it is okay to set stretch goals, working your butt off and achieving nothing at the end of the day can be demoralizing.

Suggestion: You can set big goals but also map out realistic plans to achieve the goals rather than just planning to “work hard” to achieve the goals. Otherwise, set the goals you can achieve within your capacity.

6. Self-Limiting Beliefs

Many times, we think we are not good enough or we don’t have the required experience to attain certain goals. In many cases, these thoughts are not true. They do not represent who we are; they are just thoughts based on low self-esteem.

Suggestion: Try to place what you are thinking side by side with what you have achieved over the years. Many times, when you take the time to write out your accomplishments, you will find out that you are more intelligent and have more abilities than you thought.

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7. Lack of Drive

Reaching your goals requires that you have sustained inspiration, tenacity, and drive to pull through the obstacles and challenges you face. Without those, your goals can become inactive, or you can become overwhelmed and abandon your goals.

Suggestion: Find every way to stay inspired and motivated in order to generate drive towards accomplishing your goals.

8. Lack of Consistency

Your goals will require some daily, weekly, monthly or periodic commitments to achieve them. It might be reading some chapters of a book weekly, exercising for some minutes every day, saving some amount of money monthly, etc. All these will require consistency, and missing out on your planned routines will bring a setback to your goals.

Suggestion: Make a plan and determine to follow your action plans strictly and consistently.

This article can help you learn how to stay consistent to achieve your goals.

9. Unclear Objectives

When the objectives of your goals are not clearly set, it is hard to reach them because there are no clear-cut yardsticks to measure your goals performance. While your goal is the end result you want to achieve, your goal objectives are the specific and measurable actions you have to take to achieve your goals.

Suggestion: Set clear objectives for your goals.

10. Pursuing the Wrong Goals

Some goals are not meant for you. You can know if you are chasing after the wrong goals when your goals are not aligned with who you are and you’re doing it because you don’t know what else to do. It’s also a clue if it doesn’t take much effort to achieve the goals you’ve set or if you’re not even sure whether you have achieved them or not.

Suggestion: Think properly before setting your goals and make sure they align with what you really want and have the ability to do.

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11. Quitting Easily

Goals are meant to be challenging. If your goals aren’t challenging you, it means they are not worth it. You will never be able to achieve your goals if you are the type that quits easily. The challenges are there to stretch you to think and work harder.

Suggestion: When setting your goals, think ahead about the possible difficulties that you might encounter. Then, have a plan on how you intend to work around them.

12. Taking Shortcuts

Taking shortcuts will not help you to achieve your goals. For example, the concept of weight loss has to do with “negative energy balance.” This means that weight loss will most likely happen when the amount of calories that you need is lesser than the ones you are taking in or retaining. This is why weight loss comes through exercise and proper diet.

I instead of exercising and dieting, you resolve to be taking “slimming teas” and other substances to “burn fat,” you might end up damaging your health rather than losing weight.

Suggestion: Be sure to follow due process on your goals. The results will be more accurate, reliable, and long-lasting.

13. Taking on Too Much

When you have too many things to do at one time, you won’t have the required attention for each of them, and this will make it difficult to achieve anything substantial.

Suggestion: Prioritize your goals and focus on one thing at a time.

14. Lack of Collaboration

Some goals might require that you collaborate with someone else. It might be your spouse, colleague at work, or business partner. Failure to do this or ask for help from someone can lead to not reaching your goals.

Suggestion: Look for partners in progress with whom you can work together to achieve your goals

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15. Poor Communication

Communication is essential to achieving your goals. Les Brown stated that “your ability to communicate is an important tool in the pursuit of your goals, whether it is with your family, your co-workers or your clients and customers.” Poor communication leads to poor results

Suggestion: Learn to communicate and be honest about your goals.

If you need help working on your communication skills, this article may be able to help.

16. Overconfidence

Sometimes, overconfidence can cost you your goals. If you think you have all you need to achieve your goals and you don’t embrace learning new things or ask for help when you need it, you are not doing things right.

Suggestion: Learn all you can about your goals and don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

17. Limited Understanding of Requirements

If you have a limited understanding of what it takes to achieve your goal, you might become overwhelmed when the reality stares you in the face. This might lead to abandoning your goal.

Suggestion: Know what it takes to achieve your goals and only proceed when you’ve carefully figured out how you will meet the requirements.

Bottom Line

Try your best to ensure that you are not the enemy of your own progress. Be self-disciplined, believe in yourself, and put in your best toward achieving your goals. Watch out for hindrances, and do not hesitate to get help if you need to.

Featured photo credit: Dan DeAlmeida via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Brian Tracy: Eat That Frog
[2] Goodreads: Lock and Key Quotes
[3] Ryan Estis: Why Do We Become Complacent, Comfortable and Bored?

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

Good things come in twos: Peanut butter and jelly, Day and night, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The same is true for what sparks our creative energy: our thoughts and actions.

Creativity is an inside job as much as it is about a conducive schedule, physical environment, and supportive behaviors. By establishing the right internal and external landscape, creativity can blossom from the abstract to the concrete and we can have fun along the way.

Sparking creativity is all about setting up the right conditions so a spark is ignited and sustained. The sparks don’t fizzle out. They are allowed to grow and ripen.

Think of a garden. Intention alone will not produce the delicious red tomato nor will the readiest seed. That seed needs attention at its nascent stage and as it grows a stalk and produces fruit. If we want to enjoy more than one fruit, we keep at it, cultivating the plant and reaping multiple harvests.

Creativity lives in each of us like seeds in the earth or encapsulated in a nut. Seeds of ideas, concepts, designs, stories, images, and even ways of communicating that surprise and delight await activation.

By sparking our creative energy, we activate these unique seeds. Like snowflakes, they are of a moment and always without a match. The smallest sparks encourage even the smallest, most dormant seeds to sprout.

The good news is that our creative energy wishes to be sparked—to be invited to play. It wants to be our regular playmate.

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1. Be Childlike in Your Thoughts, Attitudes, and Approach

Being childlike in our thoughts, attitudes, and approach is an easy way to internally have our thoughts be gracious prolific gardeners to our creative energy. If we want it to come out and play and hang around as our regular companion, then let’s return to our 5-year-old selves.

Our childhood selves are naturally curious. We still have that curiosity! All we have to do is remind ourselves to get curious. We can do that by simply observing and being with what is in front of us instead of making up a story about what won’t work or why something can’t be done. So, it’s about cultivating curiosity instead of jumping into judgment.

Move Your Inner Judge to the Sidelines

When we get curious, creativity percolates and, ultimately, takes its place in the world. To give a hand in choosing curiosity over judgment, we can move the judge that also lives inside us to the sidelines. The judge squashes our creative urges, even when they are as small as sharing a point of view. It’s that pesky voice that causes us to doubt ourselves or worry about what others will think.

The judge is also risk-averse. The judge likes things to stay the same. Change makes the judge nervous.

Creativity is all about risk and changing things up. It needs risk, even failure, to be its naturally innovative, dynamic, impactful self. The judge likes to convince us failure is something to be avoided at all costs.

To move the judge to the sidelines and let curiosity reign, we can pay attention to who we are in conversation with and who is calling the shots.

Is it the voice of fear, doubt, or anxiety (the inner-critic—the judge’s boss)? Or is it the voice of wisdom, courage, strength, and non-attachment, and of course curiosity (the inner-leader)?

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We can easily tell the difference by how each makes us feel. The inner-critic depletes and slows us down, putting roadblocks in the way. The inner-leader energizes and a natural rhythm develops.

It’s all about who we spend time with. If we wish to exercise, we will seek out our friends who go to the gym or hike. If we want to lose some weight, we will opt to eat dinner with someone who prefers a healthy spot over fast food.

After getting curious, we can honor what our curiosity prompts us to do. The spark can do its job and a fire starts to glow when commitment enters. Our childhood selves were fully committed to being creative. That level of commitment is still something we are very capable of exercising!!

Again, we need to let go of the judge. We can ask ourselves, what do we want to commit to—negativity that depletes our creative energy, depth, and output, or the understanding that our thoughts and attitudes matter and that right thoughts and attitudes are the sparks that really let our creativity come alive?

Learn to Recall Your Childhood Self

To get in touch with that unabashedly committed childhood self, recall your childhood self. If you have a picture, pull one out. Keep it around so you can remember to activate that innate creative nature that was prominent then and wants to be prominent now and always.

Soak in the essence of that being. Commit to their commitment to brave and dogged trial and error because it is yours as well. You are that person.

Remember how tenacious you were when you wanted to build that sandcastle. You kept at it as the waves came in. You built with fury or reconfigured the walls. Also, remember that there was a willingness to fail since you were as invested in the process as well as the outcome—but less with the outcome. You were willing to experiment and start again. There was vitality—the main lifeline of your creative energy—instead of a rigid attachment.

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When you notice you are in conversation with your inner-critic or being held back by it, simply acknowledge, name it, and then switch to your inner-leader by taking a few good deep belly breaths, rubbing two fingertips together, or listening to ambient sounds in the background.

Physical movements shift our negative thoughts over to the positive domain of the inner-leader. As our judge continues to sit on the sidelines, our ability to quiet the inner-critic becomes stronger. We taste freedom. A simple taste emboldens us to say no again to the judge and yes to what makes our hearts and spirits sing—our creativity.

We begin to spark creativity to the point it no longer needs to be invited to play. It becomes our regular playmate—the younger sibling or the kid next door ready to have some fun, maybe even make some mischief by shaking things up.

When we align with our inner-leader and think and act from its promptings, creativity flows up and out with ease, as it needs to!

Letting those initial sparks generate a creativity fire that keeps burning is something we can all do! That’s the inside job.

2. Listen to Your Inner Leaders of Creative Energy

If we listen, our inner-leaders will let us know just what we need to set-up and do in our physical world to maximize that gorgeous, hungry creativity we now have flowing freely in us.

The seed has been unlocked! So, now what?

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To enable our creative energy to take its form and place outside of us, there needs to be spaciousness! Spaciousness in our physical worlds impacts our internal one. It lets the voice of the inner-leader be heard. It lets creativity have room to be sparked and acted upon.

With a little discipline, we can easily create spaciousness in our daily lives—spaciousness that will spark our creativity and let it take shape.

So, no matter who you are and what conditions help your creativity thrive, check-out these easy-to-implement basic suggestions:

  • Reduce or eliminate multi-tasking.
  • Say yes to what matters and what aligns with your big values and goals.
  • Say no to all else.
  • Say no again.
  • Schedule time in your calendar as you do with other things in your life to just be, to ponder, to let ideas percolate, and to create.
  • Spend time doing the things that bring out your creative energy. It could be walking, singing, or simply looking out the window.
  • Meditate.
  • Breathe—long breaths in and long breaths out through the nose.
  • Invite your body and heart into your experiences so your mind is a part of you and not all of you.
  • Try a new thing to spark your creativity. If you spend time running, try a different route. If running feels stale, cruise around a museum, or go for a bike ride.
  • Play a game. Indoors out or outside. Think of what makes you happy that you haven’t done in a while. Is it a physical game like badminton or cards? Maybe it’s storytelling? Play is creative, and it sparks the creative energy, too.
  • Spend time in the places that bring out your creativity. What spot in your home could be your spot for entering into that mode? Do you need to get out? Maybe a park bench is the right spot, with a book of poetry, or even nothing at all.
  • Spend time in nature. Nature brings us to a place of calm and awe and through that our creativity is easily sparked.

Final Thoughts

These are all habits—habits of mind and habits of doing. Experiment with what works for you. Have fun. If you give even 50% to altering your thoughts and actions, then you will begin to spark your creativity. It takes a lot of curiosity and commitment, but it can definitely be done.

Our innate creative energy is a deep source of all that we seek—joy, connection, renewal. It deserves and looks forward to the changes you will make that will let sparks fly and ignite!

More Tips to Spark Your Creative Energy

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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