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12 Things You Need to Really Get Rid of in the Next 12 Month A Guest Post by Lolly Daskal

Hand writing Time to Reinvent Yourself with white chalk on blackboard.
Hand writing Time to Reinvent Yourself with white chalk on blackboard.

 

In 12 months you can be a more successful, more productive, more effective leader. You just have to get rid of these 12 bad habits

Changing a habit, especially a bad one, is among the most powerful forces you can employ to make your life and business better.

Here are 12 habits many of us repeatedly struggle with. If you recognize yourself in any of these, you really need to get rid of them–and this time next year, you could be free of the consequences they cause.

1. Stop giving up.

Success in life and in business comes when you simply refuse to give up–because failure doesn’t come from falling down, failure comes from giving up.

2.  Stop letting everyone else make decisions for you.

If you want to be successful, never allow anyone to tell you what’s good for you. You’re the one who knows what you need and what works for you. So stick to what you know and do what you know is right.

3.  Stop thinking you’re on your own.

Success is not an individual undertaking. Be smart and brave enough to ask for help when you need it and allow others to help you along the way.

4. Stop chasing after those who don’t want to be caught.

Don’t waste time on people and projects that aren’t going to happen. The right people, the right project, the right venture, the right idea will show up with hard work and patience and when it does you want to be prepared.

5. Stop discrediting yourself for everything you aren’t.

Sometimes we focus on what we aren’t–that we don’t see who we really are. Respect yourself enough to know that you deserve the very best. The strongest factor of success is self esteem, believing you can do it, believing you deserve it, believing you will get it.

6. Stop focusing on the negative.

Success comes when we stop focusing on what’s against us and we start focusing on  what’s good for us.  Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day. Our positive thinking gives a positive attitude. That doesn’t mean always expecting everything great to happen, but accepting whatever happens to us, to make the best of it.

7. Stop being hard on yourself.

Everyone makes mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we have to pay for them for the rest of our lives. Sometimes smart and successful people make bad choices. It doesn’t mean they are not smart, and they can’t be successful; it just means they are human.

8. Stop mulling over the past.

It’s hard to see the future when you’re always looking back. Use the past only as a road map to help guide you toward your future. Practice this every day of every month this year.

9.  Stop running from problems.

Everyone has problems. What’s important is to stop running from them. Own them and deal with them, however overwhelming they may be–because if you don’t face them, they will own you.

10.  Stop expecting life to be easy.

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, and the most rewarding aspects of life are the things we fight the hardest for.

11.  Stop holding on to things you need to let go.

Many people think that letting go means giving up–but in fact it means accepting that there are things in life that are not working out. When you let go of them, you help clear the road toward success.

12. Stop giving up on who you are meant to be.

If you want to be successful, you have to stop settling. Spend every single minute of every single day working toward who you are meant to be; it will not happen on its own. Start working toward your purpose.

 

Something to Consider: 21 Differences Between A Winner’s and Loser’s Mentality A Guest Post by Gabriel Rocheleau

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Some people view life in a way that guarantees them perpetual failure while others seem to constantly draw success in their lives. What is it that sets these people apart? If you observe successful people, you’ll notice that they see life highly differently that people who aren’t. Without further ado, here are my top 21 differences between winners and losers!

  1. Winners focus on solutions – Losers focus on problems
  2. Winners are confident – Losers self doubt
  3. Winners take responsibility – Losers blame the external world
  4. Winners dream in the day – Losers dream in bed
  5. Winners work to achieve their dreams – Losers work for people who do
  6. Winners think about possibilities – Losers think about obstacles
  7. Winners lead – Losers follow
  8. Winners share their value with people – Losers suck value from people
  9. Winners expand their comfort zone – Losers stay in their comfort zone
  10. Winners are optimistic – Losers are pessimistic
  11. Winners are humble – Losers are pretentious
  12. Winners set goals – Losers lack goals
  13. Winners face their fears – Losers dwell in their fear
  14. Winners take action – Losers find excuses not to
  15. Winners are independent – Losers are helpless without others
  16. Winners are self-affirmed – Losers are self-inhibited
  17. Winners are authentic – Losers fear rejection and conform to people’s expectations
  18. Winners sleep to be able to live their lives more fully – Losers sleep to take a break from their lives.
  19. Winners learn from their mistakes – Losers do the same mistakes over and over again.
  20. Winners build their future – Losers leave their future up to fate
  21. Winners enjoy the present – Losers flee the present by constantly thinking about the past and the future

So, which side are you on? 😉

8 Powerful Questions We Should Ask Ourselves A Guest Post by Alex Myles

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“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”

~ Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay

For much of my life, I struggled to discover who I actually was.

I lost myself in relationships, in family and in friends. Instead of living the life that suited me, I became a chameleon, constantly changing to suit each environment and desperately trying to sit on each high pedestal that others had placed out for me.

I compared, compromised, blended and sold my soul time and again.

I frantically searched for answers to unlock the secret to my unhappiness and in doing so I accused, blamed, demanded and found replies in all the wrong places.

So, I turned it around on myself. If others weren’t at fault, was it I? I had choices. Everything that was in front of me was there because I, and I alone, had put it there. It was time to call myself out and to face up to myself.

Looking in the mirror I had no idea who I was. How could I possibly expect anyone else to value me when I was a confused and distorted mess, a mixture of everyone I had allowed to penetrate me, along with all the negative self-beliefs I had somehow inflicted on myself.

My insides ached with under-nourishment and I realized the reason for this was that I was not living the life intended for me, I was living for everyone else and was doing a pretty bad job of it.

I needed to change and in doing so, I needed to figure out how. I knew it wouldn’t happen overnight—I had taken a long time to become who I was and to change, was going to be a process. Although I didn’t expect miracles, when I asked myself each of the following questions, I noticed immediate changes taking place on the inside.

1. Where do I want to be in five years time?

I looked at my relationships, my career, the area I lived in, my health and education. I thought about places I wanted to visit and all the things I wanted to experience. I realised that although some of these changes were not possible immediately, there were so many things I could work on one small step at a time.

I enlisted in courses, changed my eating habits, found new hobbies, read the books that I needed and focused more on cultivating important relationships. I didn’t set a destination for the outcome; instead I set a feeling.

2. How did I want to feel on the inside in five years time? Where would I be emotionally, physically, mentally?

I considered all the things in my life that weren’t healthy and how I could make the changes needed. I realised that nothing was out of reach and it was up to me to take control of my life and that anything was possible. When I didn’t add to much pressure by expecting instant gratification for the changes, I allowed everything take a natural pace so it sunk in. Instead of crashing and burning I slowly absorbed each new thing.

3. What bad habits do I need to stop?

I made a list and didn’t expect an overnight miracle. Instead I worked on them one by one. With some, I went cold turkey and others I phased out over time. For each one accomplished, I rewarded myself with something that was good for me instead. Alongside the list I added a replacement for each one. Something to look forward to at the end of each achievement.

4. What mistakes have I made today?

Instead of excusing or blaming my behaviour, I took responsibility. I made the decision to turn every negative into a positive. Each time I messed up, I confronted it face on. Why, what and how had these things happened? What would I do differently in the future? What have I learned?

I realized that I was stumbling over the same problems over and again and I would keep coming face to face with them until I accepted where I was going wrong. Whenever I made errors, bad judgement or was careless, I thought about what part I had played in allowing the mistake to happen.

I discovered that when I lived in the present moment, I was far less likely to keep tripping up. Although I still would, I would rectify things sooner and understand the reasons behind the mistakes. I also have learned that I will always, always make mistakes, regardless of how much I learn, and so I forgive myself each time and vow to try harder in future.

5. Who do I envy or admire? What qualities do these people have? In what way can I learn from them? What is it about them that inspires me?

I wrote down a list of the people that have the je ne sais quoi that strongly resonated with me. What elements was I drawn to? I wrote down all the characteristics that made those people what they were. I read their autobiographies and learned how they had succeeded and what steps they took to get where they were. I used the admiration to motivate me and to help me reach my own life goals.

I found that it was shared similarities that had drawn me to those people and I realized that I could set the bar however high I chose and then just take whatever necessary steps needed to get there. I learned so much through others from animal activists to successful entrepreneurs. Although I may not reach the same high levels with everything, I realised that my destiny was it my own hands, just as it had been in theirs, it was up to my how hard I was willing to work.

6. What stories have I told myself?

So much of my self-belief was bad conditioning. I had convinced myself that I was worthy of this and not worthy of that. In doing so I attracted all kinds of wrong people and rubbish into my life. I immediately made a conscious decision to stop filling my head with negativity about myself. I was unique, different and worthy of the very best life had to offer me. I just needed to keep telling myself this until it finally sank in and I believed it.

As soon as I unlearned all of the rubbish and relearned how magical I was, I began to attract exactly what I believed. My soul was a mirror and whatever was going on in the inside, was radiating out and attracting similar reflections. The more love I gave to myself, the more love I received back—I discovered that like attracts like.

7. Who do I love and who loves me?

I thought long and hard about those that I loved and those that loved me. Did I let them know what they meant to me? Was I making them a priority in my life? How could I spend more quality time with them and show them how valued and important they were? I realized that often I would take people for granted and assume they already knew their place in my life. I made a conscious decision to appreciate each one of them more and let know regularly with actions rather than just words.

8. If no one judged me, who would I be?

This is probably the most powerful question I asked myself.

It made me realize how much I was living a lie, living according to society’s expectations of me. So much of what I said and did on a daily basis was done to fit in line with high standards placed on me by people I didn’t even know. I realized my life was limitless. I could be whoever and do whatever I chose to be. Those that truly loved me would accept me all the same and those were the only ones that really mattered.

I realized that to live free from judgement, I also had to stop judging myself. I stopped caring about what people thought about me and started caring about what I thought about myself, about what I needed to do to be fulfilled and also what made me happy on the inside. When I went places, I stopped caring if people liked how I dressed, what I said, or valued my opinions.

We are all different and we are never going to be accepted by everyone.

Someone, somewhere will always disapprove regardless of how hard we try. I stopped trying to please the masses and instead worked on pleasing the only person that really mattered—myself.

The Delicate Balance: Embrace Your Fear

feather and stone balance

Inspired by the ancient book of wisdom; The Tao Te Ching: Verse Thirty Five

Hold the great image. All under heaven will come                                   They come without harm, in harmonious peace                                               Music and food, passing travelers stop                                                               The Tao that is spoken out of the mouth                                                            Is bland and without flavor. Look at it, it cannot be seen                   Listen to it, it cannot be heard. Use it, it cannot be exhausted

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Lao Tzu

 

 What gives you enjoyment? This question is usually answered by your belief systems. Your belief systems are your core values that give shape and definition to your life’s experiences. Do you define yourself at the mercy of other’s opinions? Do you believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Does life just happen to you without rhyme or reason? Do you welcome each morning or struggle out of bed hoping you’ll make it through the day?

I am frequently asked how someone can add more joy and contentment into his or her life. I honestly don’t have an answer for them. What I do offer is a challenge that could lead to the outcome they seek should they have the faith and courage to dive in. Get well acquainted with the things that cause you great fear.

Dedicate a significant amount of time over the next several weeks to really get in touch with your demons. What scares you to death? Do you fear loss of a relationship or loss of a job? Does the possibility of losing your health or function make your blood run cold? Does the prospect of having to redefine yourself without the aid of an addictive substance or professional or personal role terrify you?

How does the reality that nothing is certain, nothing is within our control and nothing is permanent make you feel? Well then, that is where you begin. As the wonderful Tibetan Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron often advises, start at the place that scares you the most.

 As you explore each unthinkable scenario ask yourself what life would really be like if the worst happened. Be gently. Be patient but be relentless. As you make your way through this challenge the answer will slowly begin to come to you. Life goes on. Yes! That life may be quite different from what you or others may have envisioned. It is even possible that it will be better than what you know right now. But you will adapt to whatever happens.

So the answer to how to do I add more joy and contentment into my life is simply. Just let go. Let go of worrying about change. It is inevitable. Let go of trying to stay in control. You never had control to begin with. The only thing we need to focus on is now. You need to redirect your energies into being present in the moment and aware of all that is around you so that you can milk every last drop of joy and contentment out of it.

Open you heart so that you can experience love, compassion or pain. The past is done. The future is an illusion. There is only now. Let go of fear-based living and begin to live your life welcoming whatever shows up. Don’t waste one more minute trying to avoid the unavoidable.

Learning to Trust My Intuition: The Art of Self-Love A Guest Post by Mary Pritchard

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I was asked to speak at an online women’s retreat this past summer. As I love the host and her message and we’ve worked together before, I immediately said yes. She told me the topic of the series was trusting your intuition and asked me what I wanted to talk about. I responded immediately: self-love! She asked me, “What does trusting your intuition have to do with self-love?” My answer: Everything.

Let me break it down for you.

In my 20s and 30s, I struggled with endometriosis, infertility, osteopenia, and an eating disorder. All of this culminated in a series of cosmic 2×4s that turned my life upside down. In the last 6 months of 2013, I had a midlife crisis, changed my career trajectory, wrote a book, birthed two websites, got a divorce, moved, broke my heel for the second time in a year, and turned 40.

Pay attention: this is where the self-love part comes in. As I watched all of this unfolding (at times it felt so surreal that it really did seem like I was but a pawn in my own life), I realized something: I didn’t love myself. I don’t mean in the narcissistic “I am so great” kind of way, but in the basic I didn’t trust, honor, or respect myself. I was my own worst enemy, extremely self-critical and intolerant of my mistakes. And though I did honor my intuition and make those major life changes, it was with a one-foot-in-one-foot-out mentality. I worked myself to the bone to make all of that happen, but I didn’t trust myself. I wasn’t truly allowing things to unfold. I was fighting against the Universe kicking and screaming the whole time.

It took me another 6 months, but I finally got it. You can’t fight against the Universe and expect to win – or even keep your sanity! You know that saying, “Everything happens for a reason?” I used to roll my eyes when people said that. Now I smile and say, “Yes, it does.”

And that’s the beauty of life. Life doesn’t happen to you; it happens for you. Just when you’re ready to throw in the towel and give up, something happens that you never would have expected – something that kicks you in the butt – but that you needed to grow and evolve.

But perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learned thus far has been to love myself. To realize that I am a worthy person, not for what I can do for others, but for who I am. That we are all beautiful and unique and we all have gifts to share with the world – sometimes these gifts aren’t what we necessarily would have chosen for ourselves, but they are still gifts.

My friend and colleague Lisa Marie Rosati likes to say, “Your mess is your message.” That could not be truer for me. Sometimes Universe sends challenges your way not just so you can learn from them but so that others can learn from you. So that you can pass on messages of hope – be the beacon for someone else who is going through a rough time.

So what do you do when that Cosmic 2×4 comes your way and shakes you to your core? You listen to your intuition, that’s what.

But how do you do that when you’ve been riddled with self-doubt for decades? For me, it was a 6-step process:

  • Acknowledge What Brought You to This Point in Your Life – you didn’t get to where you in life by happenstance. So I’m asking you to reflect on where you are right now and what got you to this point.
  • Accept Yourself for Who You Are – When I first meet with clients, they want me to “fix” all their emotional or physical problems – preferably in one session. The first thing to know is that even when you feel bad there is nothing to fix. “Fixing” something implies that there is something wrong with you. There isn’t. Now that doesn’t mean that there is no healing that needs to occur. There is. But healing is different than fixing. Healing is about consciously reconnecting with the Divine and yourself, listening to your body’s wisdom, and allowing your connection with your intuition to shine through.
  • Cultivate a Relationship with Your Intuition – When I first started reconnecting with my intuition, I was very conscious about the whole process. I chose to do things every day that will allow me to connect with my inner guidance system, like yoga, meditation, or getting a massage. I call them “Goddess Breaks” and they have become a cherished part of my day.
  • Exercise Your Power – Change doesn’t happen overnight for most people. So when I find myself backsliding, I cut myself some slack and let that serve as another wake-up call to check in with my intuition. Over time, you’ll find your intuition coming to the forefront more often. In turn, you’ll find yourself more at peace and content being who you are living the life you were meant to live.
  • Re-write Your Personal Story – First, get out of victim mode and into empowerment mode. Second, figure out what you want your “story” to be. Who do you want to be moving forward? How do you want to act? You may need to learn a new skill and learn to see your struggles and challenges as a blessing, not a curse so you can feel empowered, rather than sorry for yourself
  • New Goddess on the Block: YOU! – You are a Goddess; never forget that. Your intuition is your connection to Her. Take your time with this process and don’t expect change overnight. Keep acknowledging what brought you to this point in your life and please, please get support when you need it.

Your intuition will never lead you astray. It may tell you to do something unpopular; you might not always like what it has to say, but believe me when I tell you that it has your best interests at heart.

New Book: Rediscover the Joy of Being A Nurse by Phyllis S. Quinlan, PhD, RN-BC

From the author of The Delicate Balance A Mindful Approach for Self-Care for Professional and Family Caregivers

Rediscover the Joy of Being a Nurse

A Holistic Approach to Recovery From Compassion Fatigue

 By Phyllis S. Quinlan, PhD, RN-BC

I’ve conducted numerous coaching sessions both privately and at conferences around the country. I am struck by the number of seasoned nurses in true pain. Many no longer seem to have the same sense of mission or derive the same sense of satisfaction from rendering care as they once did. A growing apathy has steadily replaced their empathy and practicing nursing has become more and more of an effort for them.

These nurses verbalize a desire or need to distance themselves from patients, family members and, to some degree, other professional caregivers. All these nurses would cite the personal discovery that they had had enough as part of their motivation. They could no longer find the energy to continue on their present career course.

Does this describe how you or someone you know is feeling about practicing the profession of nursing? Are you feeling the need to distance yourself from something that once meant so much? If so, Rediscover the Joy of Being a Nurse: A Holistic Approach to Recovery from Compassion Fatigue can offer both mundane and holistic tools to assist you in reconnecting with and sustaining a sense of joy in practicing nursing.

To purchase your copy:    www.mfwconsultants.com       Kindle version: http://www.amazon.com/Rediscover-Joy-Being-Nurse-Compassion-ebook/dp/B015VFW1WS 

Rediscover The Joy of Being A Nurse.indd

To learn more about Dr. Quinlan and read the recommendations from her clients, go to:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PhyllisQuinlanCoaching

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/phyllisquinlan

You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/phyllisquinlan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/askdrphyllisRN

10 Ways to Embrace Changes In Your Personal and Professional Life Guest Post by Andrew Walton

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For many individuals, accepting change in their personal and professional lives is oftentimes a difficult proposition. Yet change is inevitable; it is the only thing that is constant in our world. Whether it is in your personal life or your professional life, you can anticipate changes that you will have to adjust to.

However, accepting change is not a popular idea and we typically oppose or resist it. People are reluctant to step out of their comfort zones because they get attached to old habits and their lifestyles. This makes it difficult to achieve our goals.

Why are People so afraid of Change?

Even though you may want to control your own destiny, making changes in your life may be so intimidating that you will end up settling for less or doing nothing at all. There are 6 reasons why so many people are afraid of change including:

Agonizing over certain decisions because you feel isolated:
-Clinging to those perks, possessions, and statuses that you have acquired along the way
-Doubting yourself and feeling that you are not up to the challenge of making changes
-Fear of the unknown and being reluctant to take any chances
-Focusing too much on the external world around you instead of yourself
-Overlooking the fact that there are always options available

It’s important to remember that you never have to settle for what transpires when making changes in your personal and professional life. When you have enough confidence to act in the face of your fears about change, it gives you a sense of control. Ultimately, it will provide you with a purpose in life.

10 Benefits of Change

Conversely, the person who is willing to gamble and embrace change has a greater chance of achieving success in their personal and professional lives. Whether it is in your personal life or in your professional life, there are 10 benefits of change to be aware of:

1) Flexibility – frequent change enables us to adapt to new environments, new people, and new situations.

2) Improvements – without change, nothing improves by itself. Therefore, there would be no improvements in our finances, homes, and incomes without change.

3) Life values – when you are open to change, you see things in your life differently and have an easier time of re-evaluating your life. Sometimes, this enables you to reinforce your life values.

4) New beginnings – change is about closing one chapter in your life and opening another. New beginnings arise and life becomes more exciting.

5) Opportunities – when you adapt to change in the workplace or make changes in your personal life, you will find that different opportunities present themselves. In many cases, change provides you with choices that bring about fulfillment and happiness.

6) Personal growth – every time change occurs, you have an opportunity to grow and learn. You discover insights into your life and certain aspects of it.

7) Progress – certain aspects of our personal and professional lives develop and improve as change has a way of triggering progress.

8) Routine – without change, your life would be routine. It would be dull, predictable, and very uninteresting without it.

9) Snowball effect – when we attempt to make big, immediate changes we oftentimes give up because we feel like we just can’t do this. It is during times like this that making smaller changes can become very important. Making these smaller changes can result in the bigger, desired change or goal.

10) Strength – unfortunately, change sometimes leads us to unpleasant times in our lives. When you overcome these difficult periods, you grow stronger as a result.

Additional Benefits

In addition to the above, change accommodates personal and professional growth and helps us to address specific problems at home and at work while staying up to date on market trends and technological advancements. Although change may seem inconvenient at the time, it has a way of bringing about benefits in a company setting such as bringing attention to it. Some changes enable companies to attract higher caliber job candidates such as changing their pay and benefit structure.

10 Tips for dealing with Change

1) Be flexible – you improve your chances of succeeding by being flexible and adapting to change. Take a look at what is required of you in these new circumstances after changes have been implemented in your professional life.

2) Communication is imperative – this is especially true when you are facing change. Effective communication has a positive impact while the lack of it has negative consequences.

3) Continue with your work as usual – corporate reorganizations are never any fun. It’s easy to have a bad attitude when changes are implemented in the workplace since you don’t know if the work you are doing will continue being important.

4) Envision the big picture – realize that the goals of making change are usually beneficial. The sooner you see the big picture, the better off you will be.

5) Maintain your network of contacts – whether external or internal, your network of contacts can be invaluable. They can be a sounding board and share their experiences regarding change.

6) Perform self-assessments – when planning for the future, many companies will analyze the opportunities, strengths, threats, and weaknesses in order to determine what they need to improve on. Self-assessments also help individuals determine their strengths and weaknesses while showing you where you need to improve.

7) Realize that change is inevitable and is the only aspect of our lives that is constant – as we grow older, we experience change in our personal lives. Why should it be any different in our careers and professional lives?

8) Recognize the stages of change – these include shock, denial, guilt, anger, and moving on. In some way, the stages of change resemble the stages of grief over the death of a loved one.

9) Stay alert for subtle clues in your surroundings – try to listen in on the rumor mill at work. Are there meetings occurring that you are not invited to? Is your boss acting distant towards you? Realize that change is desirable but also recognize when it is happening in your surroundings.

10) Stay positive – keeping a positive attitude during change will enable you to handle the uncertainties that come with it.

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READ MORE: http://www.dumblittleman.com/2015/01/10-ways-embrace-changes-personal-professional-life.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=ZootRock&utm_campaign=%40MurrayNewlands&utm_keyword=ZootRock 

5 Critical Reasons Why You Fail to Reach Your Goals Guest Post by Carthage

If you are one of those people who consistently fails to reach your goals, it may be that you see goal setting as the whole process, rather than just part of the process. Setting effective goals is essential but unless you take action to achieve the goal, it will never truly be a goal, merely a dream. Napoleon Hill said, ‘A goal is a dream with a deadline.’Setting a deadline, for the achievement of your goal is another critical step in the process but unless you strive to meet that deadline, you are still just dreaming. Are you great at dreaming but struggle to reach your goals? If so, you must identify what it is that is holding you back. Once you do, you can take corrective action to get back on track and reach your goals.

Why you fail to reach your goals

Here are some of the most common reasons why you may fail to reach your goals:

1. Lack of purpose

Your purpose is the overall meaning and reasoning behind the way you live your life. Those who live with purpose understand that their time on Earth may be short but the positive difference that they make can last much longer. To live your best life, you must have a clear sense of purpose. Your goals should, at least in some small way, help you to live your purpose. They certainly should not contradict your purpose.

When you set goals, you are encouraged to write down any potential goal that pops into your head. It is important that you suspend evaluation and judgement during this process as it interrupts your flow of thinking and can cause you to miss out on identifying a valuable goal. Once the process is complete, you can then begin to evaluate each goal to determine how important it really is i.e. does it serve your purpose? Those goals that are deemed unimportant at present, should not be deleted; they should be added to a list where they can be considered again in the future.

Too many people skip this evaluation step and end up pursuing the goal that looks coolest, rather than the goal which is most important. This may work for a short while but eventually you lose motivation for anything which is not really important and so the goal remains unachieved.

Discover your purpose.

2. You cannot remember why

Many of your most important goals will be medium/long-term goals. You can become so caught up in the day to day grind required to achieve the goal that you forget the reason that you set the goal in the first place.

On the first coaching course that I ever attended, it was hammered into us that we should never ask someone why they wanted to achieve a goal. Over time, I came to realise that this approach was a load of nonsense. Knowing why you want to achieve something is the most fundamental form of motivation. On those mornings that you are struggling to get out of bed and get started; you can visualise yourself upon completion of the goal. This is usually enough to kick start your engine and get you going.

Once you have set a goal, write down every possible benefit that you will experience upon completion of the goal. Ask yourself why you want to make this change and answer it as honestly as possible. This list should always be kept close to hand. At least once per week, you can read the list and remind yourself of the reasons that you are pursuing this goal. Keeping a written statement of why you want to achieve your goal keeps that initial excitement with you to push you forward.

3. You take on too much

There is a great old saying which we regularly use in Ireland – ‘A Jack of all trades is a master of none’. You may wonder how this applies to goal planning but there are 2 ways in which doing too much can impact on your ability to reach your goals.

It is easy to get excited with goals and try to take on too much but if you do, you’ll be spending your energy all over the place. Rather than get a lot done on a small number of goals, you will be getting a small amount done on a lot of goals. You won’t have the focus that you need to reach your goals as your focus and energy are too divided. The end result will be burnout, stress and a no results worth talking about. It is best to focus on a small number of goals and, as you reach one goal, add another in its place.

The second problem with taking too much on is that you get bogged down working on tasks that you are not particularly good at. Most goals will require the completion of many tasks. It is unlikely that you will be talented at each task. Rather than waste time trying to do the things that you are not good at, find somebody who is better suited to the task. Delegation and outsourcing are your friends and, if you want to succeed, you need to make use of them.

4. Focusing on what you do not want

The average person can tell you what they do not want but successful people will always tell you what they do want. Knowing what you do not want can be useful but to make it work for you, you must be able to use that information to define what you really want e.g. it is good to know that you do not want to remain in the job you currently have but that does not tell you what job you do want. You will struggle to reach your goals if you do not know what the end result looks like.

As well as giving you a sense of direction, knowing what you want and, focusing on it, will help you remain positive until you reach your goal. Knowing that you do not like your job may give you the impetus you need to start looking for alternative work but if you keep dwelling on the job that you dislike, you will be focusing on negativity which in turn will lead to loss of confidence. Instead, focus on the wonderful new job you’re going to get.

5. Overwhelm

Many people fail to take the necessary action to achieve their goals because of a sense of overwhelm. The goal appears to be too large and too difficult to achieve. They may be lacking in some of the skills required to achieve the goal.

When you’re overwhelmed, it is easy to doubt your abilities. However, you are making a major and, common, mistake here. You are evaluating a future date with your present circumstances. When you do this, you are completely ignoring the fact that with time, you can grow, learn new skills and improve your current knowledge and skill levels.

With proper planning, this isn’t an issue at all. You can break your goals down into sub-goals and daily actions that will get you closer to the end result. In the process, you can identify the knowledge and skills which you need to gain and set sub-goals to achieve them. Once you have done this, you can then focus on the sub-goals rather than constantly looking at the bigger goal. This will reduce the sense of overwhelm and increase your confidence.

To learn to set effective goals which motivate and inspire you; check out theUltimate Guide to Goal Setting.

The main reason that we fail at goals is not the failure to set goals. Most people do set some form of goal, either formally or informally. While most of these people could set their goals in a more effective manner, the bigger problem is the lack of action that they take to reach their goals. There could be many reasons why people fear to take the necessary action but the most common have been listed here. When you recognize that you are experiencing these problems and, you take the necessary action to overcome them, you will become more decisive and proactive; leading to greater success where you reach your goals with relative ease. Goal setting and achievement is a life-long process and we are forever learning but if you overcome the problems above, you will have taken giant strides to reach your goals.

Eight Powerful Questions We Should Ask Ourselves Guest Post by Alex Sandra Myles

For much of my life, I struggled to discover who I actually was.

I lost myself in relationships, in family and in friends. Instead of living the life that suited me, I became a chameleon, constantly changing to suit each environment and desperately trying to sit on each high pedestal that others had placed out for me.

I compared, compromised, blended and sold my soul time and again.

I frantically searched for answers to unlock the secret to my unhappiness and in doing so I accused, blamed, demanded and found replies in all the wrong places.

So, I turned it around on myself. If others weren’t at fault, was it I? I had choices. Everything that was in front of me was there because I, and I alone, had put it there. It was time to call myself out and to face up to myself.

Looking in the mirror I had no idea who I was. How could I possibly expect anyone else to value me when I was a confused and distorted mess, a mixture of everyone I had allowed to penetrate me, along with all the negative self-beliefs I had somehow inflicted on myself.

My insides ached with under-nourishment and I realised the reason for this was that I was not living the life destined for me, I was living for everyone else and was doing a pretty bad job of it.

I needed to change and in doing so, I needed to figure out how. I knew it wouldn’t happen overnight—I had taken a long time to become who I was and to change, was going to be a process. Although I didn’t expect miracles, when I asked myself each of the following questions, I noticed immediate changes taking place on the inside.

1. Where do I want to be in five years time?

I looked at my relationships, my career, the area I lived in, my health and education. I thought about places I wanted to visit and all the things I wanted to experience. I realised that although some of these changes were not possible immediately, there were so many things I could work on one small step at a time.

I enlisted in courses, changed my eating habits, found new hobbies, read the books that I needed and focused more on cultivating important relationships. I didn’t set a destination for the outcome; instead I set a feeling.

2. How did I want to feel on the inside in five years time? Where would I be emotionally, physically, mentally?

I considered all the things in my life that weren’t healthy and how I could make the changes needed. I realised that nothing was out of reach and it was up to me to take control of my life and that anything was possible. When I didn’t add to much pressure by expecting instant gratification for the changes, I allowed everything take a natural pace so it sunk in. Instead of crashing and burning I slowly absorbed each new thing.

3. What bad habits do I need to stop?

I made a list and didn’t expect an overnight miracle. Instead I worked on them one by one. With some, I went cold turkey and others I phased out over time. For each one accomplished, I rewarded myself with something that was good for me instead. Alongside the list I added a replacement for each one. Something to look forward to at the end of each achievement.

4. What mistakes have I made today?

Instead of excusing or blaming my behaviour, I took responsibility. I made the decision to turn every negative into a positive. Each time I messed up, I confronted it face on. Why, what and how had these things happened? What would I do differently in the future? What have I learned?

I realised that I was stumbling over the same problems over and again and I would keep coming face to face with them until I accepted where I was going wrong. Whenever I made errors, bad judgements or was careless, I thought about what part I had played in allowing the mistake to happen.

I discovered that when I lived in the present moment, I was far less likely to keep tripping up. Although I still would, I would rectify things sooner and understand the reasons behind the mistakes. I also have learned that I will always, always make mistakes, regardless of how much I learn, and so I forgive myself each time and vow to try harder in future.

5. Who do I envy or admire? What qualities do these people have? In what way can I learn from them? What is it about them that inspires me?

I wrote down a list of the people that have the je ne sais quoi that strongly resonated with me. What elements was I drawn to? I wrote down all the characteristics that made those people what they were. I read their autobiographies and learned how they had succeeded and what steps they took to get where they were. I used the admiration to motivate me and to help me reach my own life goals.

I found that it was shared similarities that had drawn me to those people and I realised that I could set the bar however high I chose and then just take whatever necessary steps needed to get there. I learned so much through others from animal activists to successful entrepreneurs. Although I may not reach the same high levels with everything, I realised that my destiny was it my own hands, just as it had been in theirs, it was up to my how hard I was willing to work.

6. What stories have I told myself?

So much of my self-belief was bad conditioning. I had convinced myself that I was worthy of this and not worthy of that. In doing so I attracted all kinds of wrong people and rubbish into my life. I immediately made a conscious decision to stop filling my head with negativity about myself. I was unique, different and worthy of the very best life had to offer me. I just needed to keep telling myself this until it finally sank in and I believed it.

As soon as I unlearned all of the rubbish and relearned how magical I was, I began to attract exactly what I believed. My soul was a mirror and whatever was going on in the inside, was radiating out and attracting similar reflections. The more love I gave to myself, the more love I received back—I discovered that like attracts like.

7. Who do I love and who loves me?

I thought long and hard about those that I loved and those that loved me. Did I let them know what they meant to me? Was I making them a priority in my life? How could I spend more quality time with them and show them how valued and important they were? I realised that often I would take people for granted and assume they already knew their place in my life. I made a conscious decision to appreciate each one of them more and let know regularly with actions rather than just words.

8. If no one judged me, who would I be?

This is probably the most powerful question I asked myself.

It made me realise how much I was living a lie, living according to society’s expectations of me. So much of what I said and did on a daily basis was done to fit in line with high standards placed on me by people I didn’t even know. I realised my life was limitless. I could be whoever and do whatever I chose to be. Those that truly loved me would accept me all the same and those were the only ones that really mattered.

I realised that to live free from judgement, I also had to stop judging myself. I stopped caring about what people thought about me and started caring about what I thought about myself, about what I needed to do to be fulfilled and also what made me happy on the inside. When I went places, I stopped caring if people liked how I dressed, what I said, or valued my opinions.

We are all different and we are never going to be accepted by everyone.

Someone, somewhere will always disapprove regardless of how hard we try. I stopped trying to please the masses and instead worked on pleasing the only person that really mattered—myself.

As soon as I mastered this, other people’s opinions and judgement faded from my thoughts and I no longer cared. As long as I believed in myself and trusted that I was living as morally and ethically as I could, the judges—I truly couldn’t give a f**k about. It was liberating and refreshing and simply the best and most loving thing I ever did for myself.

I started asking myself these questions on a daily basis and each day, I found new answers.

I realised I was trapped in an existence that I didn’t like, and yet, I already had all of the answers to free myself. It was that simple. These questions transformed my life completely, I didn’t just feel different, I became a different person.

I became me.

 

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