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10 Ways To Achieve Your Goals Even When You’re Bored

10 Ways To Achieve Your Goals Even When You’re Bored
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Starting an activity for the first time is perhaps the most fun you can ever experience; it’s new, completely out of the ordinary, exciting to take part in, and is hardly ever boring. But there will ultimately come a time where that excitement begins to wear off and the shine is no longer what it used to be when you first started.

You’re now going through the motions. Perhaps reaching a competent level and no longer feeling a sense of challenge with what you’re doing. This is something I’ve experienced one too many times in my own personal journey when doing new activities.

You’ve reached a stage that Seth Godin calls “The Dip.” Things aren’t progressing, nor are they diminishing. It’s gruelling and ultimately frustrating. It’s at this stage where you’re at a crossroad, and deciding whether to push through or to give up.

So how do you overcome this?

Here are 10 techniques I’ve personally used to keep going when things were boring and frustrating.

1) Push yourself to work when the work isn’t easy or fun to do.

The most common reason I failed in the past was because I failed to “take the first step” when it came to doing what I set out to do. I underestimated the power of momentum and instead focused on the end goal, which made me realize how overwhelming it all was. Instead, focus on what you need to do in the present to get the ball rolling.

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If it’s to hit the gym and do your daily workouts, focus on simply packing your gym equipment and leaving your house, then entering your car and starting the engine. Before you know it, momentum will occur and you will have no other choice but to keep moving forward.

2) Focus on the process and not the end goal.

While goals are important, focusing purely on the final outcome will always leave you feeling stressed and frustrated. Yet we simply fail to realize that getting there doesn’t require us to make a giant leap, but to simply take things one step at a time.

Break down what you need to do for that day and start working at it. A year from now, you will look back at the work you did and realize how far you’ve gone.

3) Develop rituals and commit to them daily.

We are the sum of our daily habits‒this is something I never quite understood until recently. I never realized that habits could apply to your working activities and not just to bathroom etiquette, like brushing your teeth or washing your face.

In short, your success is defined simply by what you do on a daily basis and not just how you do it. Figure out what needs to be done daily in order to move you forward and make it a daily ritual. In time, this will turn into a habit that will simply be unable for you to stop doing.

4) Set something up to make you accountable.

If you find it quite hard to push yourself, set something up that will make it inevitable.

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If your goal is to wake up early, try something like parking your car in a “no parking zone,” which will force you to wake up at 6:30 in order to move it since you know that a parking attendant will give you a ticket if you fail to do so. Or try something simple, like paying a friend $100 for failing to reach your goal on a given week.

Accountability is very powerful and will help you develop motivation if you seem to be lacking it in the early stages.

5) Make a list of benefits that you will gain from doing it.

When doing our daily activities, we sometimes forget why we’re doing it in the first place, which is what drove us to develop the will and drive to pursue it.

Write down all of the benefits you will gain from doing what you’re doing and have it stuck on your wall where you see it in front of you on a daily basis.

6) Make a list of pains you will experience if you don’t do it.

If #5 doesn’t work, write a list of consequences you will face if you don’t do it. Will not doing it make you feel overweight and unhealthy? Will you still be stuck at your dead-end job for another 5-10 years? Will you still stay single and alone for a year?

Use the pain as strength to help you push through. Nothing worthwhile is easy to do, and sometimes, it can be extremely boring as well.

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7) Have a higher purpose that motivates you to keep going.

Besides having goals, you need to have a higher reason to doing what you’re doing that goes above and beyond anything financial or personal.

Perhaps it’s to leave a legacy behind so that others can follow in your footsteps, or to change common misconceptions and redefine norms for the better. Or maybe it’s to end world hunger by providing a beacon of hope for others to follow in order to make it happen.

Have a reason higher than yourself that makes you come alive. A purpose that’s in true alignment to you will provide you with a defined life goal that will make you feel obliged to follow.

8) Make your goals public.

There is nothing more motivating than to tell other people about what you’re going to do. The more people you announce it to, the more powerful it will be; it will force you to take action, since you’ll know that if you don’t do it, you will be branded as a failure or someone who doesn’t stay true to their word.

Set yourself a challenge to announce your goals on all of your social media accounts and put a target date to have it all achieved.

9) Set more challenging tasks in order to push yourself further.

If you’ve been doing something for long enough. There will come a point where you will reach comfort and familiarity with what you’re doing. It will seem monotonous and robotic to the point where you’re no no longer thinking about the motions.

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It’s at this crucial stage in your development where you know you need to set new challenges in order to push through and reach the next level. There is never a complete level of mastery in whatever it is you do and there is always another level.

Create a list of higher and more challenging goals for yourself that will make things more fun and interesting again. Perhaps you could try taking more advanced classes or setting higher target numbers in your sales job, for example.

10) Mix up how you do things to rekindle the fun factor.

Doing the same things over and over again is never fun and can lead to boredom and frustration. Try doing the same things in different ways in order to create variety and inspire creativity.

Mix up your training plans, work on your activities in a different way or perhaps change it up completely!

The more I’ve experienced boredom, the more I’ve realized how much of a gift it is. You have an opportunity now to try something different and to think outside the box, an opportunity to develop even bigger character and perseverance when things aren’t compelling, and a quality, which very few people have, that will serve you greatly moving forward.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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