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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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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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