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3 Surefire Ways to Follow Through on Your Goals

3 Surefire Ways to Follow Through on Your Goals

Have you ever found yourself hyped up for a new project or program? You get started with full steam, and about two-thirds the way through, you start lagging. You lose interest, meet some stumbling blocks, and think, “Maybe I should just throw this project out.”

Well, you’re not alone. Following through is one of the most challenging tasks, specifically when it comes to something you are doing for yourself. I say this because if you were working at a job for somebody else, I am sure you have no problem completing the task on time, and following through to the end. After all, your job and weekly pay depend on it.

However, for some reason, when it comes to your personal goals, you let things slide.

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What gives?

Why the hell do we work harder for others than ourselves?

Isn’t that a little backwards?

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Don’t your dreams matter?

If you said, “YES!” I have 3 ways to get you to follow-through on your goals.

1. Decide If You Really Want It:

This is a tough one. There are things we think we want, and then there are things we really want. Imagine you say to yourself, “I want to start taking Zumba classes.” Yet, you don’t follow through. When you don’t follow through, you need to ask yourself if you really want it. If you just say you want it because your friend is doing it, or because you read somewhere that it’s fun, then you won’t have the inner motivation to take action. However, when the motivation comes from within, the desire to take action is a lot stronger. Basically, you need to get honest with yourself, and decide if you are intrinsically motivated to take action, or if it is merely something you think you should be doing.

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2. Wash Fear Aside:

Once you establish that you want it, you may still encounter fear. You may think, “I really want to try Zumba, but I am afraid I will look silly… or, what if I don’t know what I’m doing?” Those are the old fear patterns that are bound to come up. When you REALLY want something, the want must overpower the fear. This is where giving yourself a pep-talk works wonders to get you to take action, despite the fear. Just think about what I said earlier: if this was a job requirement, you would do it anyways. Well this is Project YOU. Decide to give yourself as much care and attention you would to your job. There will never be a magic pill to get you to take action. Life is too precious to not follow your dreams. Pep-talk yourself until you get yourself taking action. Imagine your life depends on it. Oh, it does.

3. Schedule it in:

Once you have decided that you want something and that you are ready to take action, you need to make sure you take action. Not all things can happen right now, in this moment. If they can, get to it! Otherwise, you must schedule it in your calendar, the same way you do a doctor’s appointment or important meeting. Recognize that your commitments to yourself need the same care that commitments to others receive. Furthermore, when you write it down, it makes it more concrete. It is the first physical step to taking action. This action alone starts to build the momentum you need to continue taking action to following through on your goal.

BONUS TIP:

Once you take action, you will need to take further action. For example, if you make it to your first Zumba class and LOVE it, you need to make sure you schedule in your next class. If you started a project and took the first step, make sure you schedule in the second step. Projects and dreams are rarely a single action. You must maintain momentum through consistent daily action to reach your dreams.

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Take The Challenge:

Right now, get started on turning your goals and dreams into reality. Run through the checklist above and report in the comments below what action you plan to take. Let’s inspire each other to make our dreams come true.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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