I have been having a lot of conversations about goal setting for 2021, 2020 goals, and people who are a little frustrated that they aren’t where they expected to be. Given all the things that are going on, I thought it would help to look at some hidden actions that we are unknowingly participating in that might be taking us away from achieving yours goals.
Given the fact that there is a global pandemic and a lot of upheaval happening it amplifies the lack of big action taking. Let’s look at some of these hidden actions.
Five hidden actions stopping you from achieving your goals
First hidden action: Saying yes
With every yes you have in your business and your personal life, you are ultimately saying no to something else. For me, especially in my agency, I would say yes to a customer and they weren’t necessarily 100% the right fit. The problem with that is that they are closed and I wasn’t leaving room for my dream customer.
That is an easy trap to fall into. For example,
- it’s really easy to say yes to a one-on-one client when money is a factor
- it’s really easy to say yes, when you’re like, “oh, this looks really awesome”, but when you take a step back, ultimately, you don’t see the ripple effect that happens as a result of saying yes.
Take a step back and slow-down in your decision-making.
Make sure you ride the wave of the emotions when it comes to your decisions and settle in on what you know in your gut to be the right decision for you.
If you’d like to find out more about what influences your decision making have a look at the human design. I’m a projector. Decisions don’t always come super quickly to me. I often know in my gut, but I need to ride that wave of emotion. Each type of human design has a different decision-making process, but understanding just how you say yes to things or how you say no things is key. If you say yes to something you’re saying no to something else. If I say yes to a one-on-one client, I’m saying no to creating products to sell in my business. Understand that there are consequences and a ripple effect to saying yes to things. Same is true with saying no. What does saying no to a potential opportunity mean for something else that you might say yes to later on?
Be mindful of that because it can be a tricky one and it’s one where people get hung up. This also holds true for your personal life. By hanging out with this friend, what are you saying yes to, and what are you saying no to? Understanding the impacts of the decision making, taking a step back and having a clearer picture makes a world of difference.
Second hidden action: Doing the work
I cannot tell you how many people come to me and say “I’m so busy! I’m doing all this work, but I’m tapped out. I don’t have any more time. I’m so busy doing this, I’m so busy doing that.”
So I always ask, “Well, what work are you doing that’s keeping you so busy?” The answer is usually “I’m posting on Facebook and I’m doing my Facebook lives.” As my clients start telling me what they are doing, this whole slow unraveling of the facts begins and I realize that they are really not doing the right work. I am a huge fan of the book, The One Thing by Gary Keller. This book helps you understand that not all tasks are created equal. Oftentimes, especially as entrepreneurs, we have this really long to-do list, but at the end of the day, not all those to-dos are as important. They’re not all created equal. You have to ask yourself
- Are you taking actions that are moving your business forward?
- Are you doing the stuff that’s in alignment with your goals? Because it can be really easy to fall into this habit of, “Oh, well, I’m just going to check Facebook and I’m going to do Facebook for a bit, or I’m going to do social media.” And ultimately, you spend the next three hours doing nothing.
For those of you who are like, “I’m so busy”, I want you to slow down and make sure that the actions you are taking are the ones that are going to pay you dividends long-term, because that’s what’s most important. Most of those tasks tend to also be the harder ones to accomplish. Often, we push them off because we don’t want to do them. They’re harder to do and they require more bandwidth, but they are also going to challenge us, stretch us and move us forward. They are ultimately the tasks that are the most important.
The third hidden action: Addressing all areas of your life
I believe this is something that many business coaches and strategists don’t always take into account in terms of what’s best. When I worked with a coach probably seven or eight years ago, it was always hustle, hustle, hustle… And it was really unhealthy!
This coach had a really unhealthy relationship with Instagram, social media, her perception of people online, and what people thought of her online. She was constantly hooked to her phone. Let’s take an Instagram, let’s take a picture, let’s take a selfie, and never ever in the moment, always distracted.
I bring this up because I think it’s important that you understand that you need to address all areas of your life. Of course, you can be successful without addressing all areas of your life. There are many people who are wildly successful, with a complete lack of caring for their relationships. But for me, that is out of integrity. That is not in alignment with my core beliefs. I understand that many of the people I work with want a life that is more integrated.
- They want more freedom
- They want integration
- They want to have healthy relationships with themselves and with the people in their lives
I encourage you to look at the relationships in your life and address other areas of your life that you might not be paying attention to.
- Are you able to have time for hobbies and things you’re personally passionate about?
- Are you taking care of yourself or your relationships with your kids, your husband and those partners and people who are important to you? Are those being addressed?
- Do you have a lot of clutter in your life?
I know for me, going through and clearing out my closet and cleaning my house and clearing out some of the stuff with the kids, (I’m writing this from my living room and I see Legos everywhere), which is the normal in my house, is a challenge. How can you take that a step further and declutter that? Think about those different areas in your life where you might need to do some housekeeping and “cleaning up” so that you can get to that next level.
The fourth hidden action: Over-complicating things
When you over complicate things, it leads to excuses, which leads to procrastination, which leads to just putting things off and not finishing anything. The constant need to change things, obsessing over perfection; these are all examples of making things more complicated than they need to be.
- What are all the simple steps to move something forward?
I know that is why a lot of people come to me because I’m really good at taking something complex and making it very simple. Do this little exercise with a friend. Look at a problem that you are facing or over-complicating and ask how you can simplify it?
I often find that when I’m speaking with somebody or when I am working on creating a workbook, I simply write down all of the steps. I write down all of the steps as if I were speaking to a child. I say,
- Here’s how to do this. Then I look back at it again and I say,
- What if they don’t know what this is? Then I take it one step further and I simplify it again.
- I try to boil it down to what is the fastest path from A to Z
I truly believe that, especially in the online space, we over-complicate things.
For example, people will go through all this pain and suffering of creating their course ahead of time. The fact of the matter is you don’t have to do that! You can sell your course, get paid to create it and get proof of concept. That is an excellent way for you to do that. However, the traditional way in which people get proof of concept is by creating the entire course, of which they are not sure is going to sell. Next thing they know, the course doesn’t sell because they were so busy creating it, they didn’t focus on doing all the pre-launch work.
- They launch it, but the sales page is mediocre at best because they don’t have proof of concept
- They haven’t sold it organically
- They didn’t truly know their ideal customer. And quite frankly, they don’t have anybody to launch it to.
That is a great example of over-complicating things. So, when I talk about how you can make things simpler, think of it as I don’t want to create anything unless I know I’m getting paid to create it! There are some exceptions to that. For example, I have a big Black Friday special coming up. I know that this is something that is going to sell, but think about those places where you’re spinning your wheels or you keep coming back to it and it’s not really moving forward. Those are great examples of places where you’re over-complicating things.
The fifth hidden action: Focus
I referred to this a little in the second hidden action: “doing work”, but I want to take it one step further.
Through Lisa Larter’s Thought Reader’s book club, I recently had the opportunity to be on a call with Nir Eyal. He is the author of Indistractible, an incredible book about hacking back your life from technology and becoming indistractible and understanding what those hidden triggers are within you. Understanding what the tech triggers are and then how to hack those two things so that you can become more focused.
For me, one of the eye-opening things he said was that, when you think of the word distraction, people often think that the opposite of that is focus. So distraction vs focus. But that is not the case. The opposite of distraction is traction, which is similar to momentum.
Look at areas in your life where you can get traction and where you can remain focused so that you can gain traction.
Oftentimes, especially in American society, we prioritize how fast someone can respond to an email and how quickly someone can comment back on that Facebook or Instagram post. Ultimately, those are all places where we’re being pulled into distraction and away from traction. When you are in this space of traction, you’re taking action that’s aligned with your goals. And when you are in this space of distraction, you are wasting time. You are using time in an unintentional way!
For me, one of the takeaways from this book is that if it’s something that you want to do, say scroll on Instagram, then that is okay. You are in traction if that is what you are intentionally doing. You’re intentionally choosing to make that choice to scroll on your phone. But I believe we have this distraction that happens because we aren’t necessarily intentional with our time.
How many times have you been in the middle of writing something and then you get a notification on your phone and switch your attention to the notification? When you go back to writing, you can’t remember what your good idea was anymore. That is something where when we can focus, we can gain traction. When we can gain traction, we are moving towards those goals that are aligned with our mission and are what success looks like to us. Therefore you’re more likely to actually achieve that when you’re intentional with your time.
I hope that Five hidden actions stopping you from achieving your goals has encouraged you to take a look at how you are spending your time and make any adjustments if needed.
If you haven’t joined my Facebook group, Making Marketing Simple for Entrepreneurs with Jamie Palmer, come join us. We’re having a lot of fun in there. Every week I’m doing a Q&A and we’re also doing a content ideation session. It’s a great place to hang out!
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