We often have competing priorities in our lives and feel overwhelmed figuring out how to manage all of it. We make lists, we make plans, and we create goals – yet, we still haven’t followed through. It feels useless to keep trying so we stop going after what we know will be good for us, and instead stay in the status quo. If you’re here, you’re likely not someone who wants to stay in the status quo. You want to have a goal and achieve it. You want to become the person who does what they say they will do. Today, we’re going to breakdown why you’re not doing the thing you want to do and how to get started.
How many of you have said that you want to exercise more, eat healthier, stop procrastinating, connect with their family or friends, tackle that big project, launch that business or product – yet don’t?
There’s a dream or a wish or a desire that you know would dramatically change and improve the quality of your life, yet you’re not there. You’re not doing it. Can you imagine if you continued this way? That you continued with the status quo of whatever action or behavior you are engaging in? What would that look like? If your answer is that it’s a future you’re not interested in pursuing, then you’re likely ready to make the change. You’ll tell yourself, today is the day and I’m doing it – and when the time comes to do it. You don’t get started. This is reason #1 for why we don’t become the person who does what they say.
Reason 1: You don’t get started
Why don’t we get started when we know how amazing life will be once we do? Many times it’s an automatic behavior. Take an example of trying to wake up to meditate or exercise. The alarm goes off and we don’t get out of bed. The alarm goes off and we hit the snooze button. The alarm goes off and we say, “tomorrow”. Whether you realize it or not, this is a habit. This is a pattern. You have a pattern of not getting up early enough to do what you want to do in the mornings. Let’s take that fact for a moment and break it down even further. When you think about your habits in this area that you want to improve, do you feel energized by your habits or dejected?
Often, we feel dejected. This emotion isn’t necessarily bad as it can give you leverage to change and finally do the thing you said you’ll do. This emotion can also stop you from making the change. You start to believe that “I’m just not that type of person”. Sound familiar? Maybe they’re born that way. They’ve just always done that. These are thoughts that we have about other people who are doing the things we’d love to do. This is the point that you can take one of two paths. One path is to believe that it’s not for you and you’ll never do it, and the other path is to question it. What do I mean about questioning those thoughts?
If you can, for a moment take the judgment out of those statements, you will actually come to some very powerful insights.
When we ask ourselves the questions, “what am I thinking about this?” and “what does a person who does this kind of thing believe?” – we will come to understand what’s keeping us from doing the thing we want to do. A person who gets up early in the morning to exercise or meditate believes that it’s necessary to do this. Do you believe that what you’re trying to do is necessary or important?
What defines what’s necessary or important? Our principles.
Our principles drive our lives. If a guiding principle in your life is connection with family or friends, you’ll prioritize helping a friend or family member in need over other things in your life. You’ll find it necessary to make the time and commit to being there for that person. If a guiding principle in your life is integrity, that means it’s necessary to honor your own words and commitments, even to yourself. If we don’t make it necessary to do what we say we’ll do, we won’t.
Line up your desire with one of your core principles or values.
When I began the process of starting a business, I lined it up with my principle of work ethic. It’s what kept me going even when I didn’t know if the time or effort didn’t seem to show results. Why? I believe that when I diligently apply my focus and energy on what matters most, I’ll see results. This meant that I believed that I was the type of person who isn’t in it for short-term results and therefore puts in the necessary time and attention consistently. I apply this principle to relationships or any of the work that I do in my life. This idea that real improvement in any area is the result of my focus and intention.
When I began the process of changing careers, I lined up the principle of authenticity to this process. This meant that I believe that I am the type of person that knows who they are, what they believe in and that they have something to offer the world. I believe that when a person is the same person everywhere, they can be even more impactful. I believe that when one is focused on using what they have and who they are, this creates the unique gift that they have to offer in this world. It created a huge sense of urgency to figure this out now because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be authentic.
These are a couple of examples. Now it’s your turn. What do you value? How do you link your desire to what you value so that it’s necessary and important for you to get started.
Now that you’ve linked up something you value to your desire, let’s talk about the next reason that you’re not the person who does what they say.
Reason 2: You don’t actually put a goal to the things you want
I said it. You’re not naming the thing you actually want. If you don’t actually state or declare that you want to do something, how is the change ever going to happen? There are a couple reasons this might be happening. You might not know what you want. This is actually more common than you realize. We often feel like we want something to change and we want to see some kind of shift in our lives and feel better, but we don’t know exactly what to do.
Here’s what you might be thinking:
- I don’t know what to go after first.
- I don’t know if this will actually work.
- I don’t know if I even really want a change. Is it even worth it?
Does this sound familiar to you?
The interested thing about each of these is that there are answers and there are decisions to be made about each of these thoughts. When You don’t know what to go after first, you can figure that out. Same goes for if this will actually work and whether or not it’s worth it. We often, however, just stop there and think, “well, I don’t know the answer to that question so I’ll just leave it there.” This is what keeps us from actually creating any type of goals or intentions about what we want. We live in this nebulous world of uncertainty and we let it define us instead of us defining the world around us.
The antidote to all of this is to decide. To decide that you’ll figure it out and that you’ll make a decision about what it is you want and why. Instead of waiting for the answers to come, we create the answers by moving forward and learning from our actions or inactions.
There you have it my friends – the 2 reasons you’re not becoming the person who does what they say.
I’m going to leave you with this, because it’s important for those of you who feel like you’re sitting on the sidelines of your life, waiting to be called to play. We’re not going to be given a roadmap to our life, we have to create the path we want it to go. We make up the game and the rules but if we don’t ever step into the game and play it for ourselves, we’ll always be watching other people playing the game of their lives thinking, “wow, that must be nice.” I’ll challenge you to think to yourself, “wow, what I have is nice.” All I have to do is learn how I operate through trial and error – and think about what would be that next shift I want – and once I declare it, it’s done. Why? You’re the person who does what they say they’ll do. Now, doesn’t that feel nice?
In this month’s Leadership Coaching, we’ll be covering our aligned action sequence – how to bridge the gap between your intuition and vision to the practical world – where action matters. This closes the gap between our desires and what we are currently experiencing. Each month we break down topics such as these to answer the big questions, help you take action and move forward with clarity and peace. Go to www.mayempson.com/contact to learn more.