I am so sick of myself. Are you sick of yourself? Before you say, oh that sounds too negative, hear me out. Do you make the same promises to yourself over and over only to give them up, lose sight, or fail by midweek? Are you a Monday starter and have been since Reagan was in office? Do you make excuses about why you have not reached those milestones, dreams, and aspirations you have talked about forever? You are not alone, soul sister.
I have been a victim of this mentality and mindset—and I am someone who coaches women from all over the globe. No one is perfect, not me, not you, not anyone. We all fail, fall down, and miss the mark. If you live in this energy every day chances are good that you have become so sick of yourself that you are either buried in a blanket of self-loathing or have given up altogether. In the next few paragraphs I hope to give you some tangible, practical mindset tools that work. These five tips help me stay on track with hitting my loftiest and highest dreams, goals and desires—and stay in that positive space for good.
1. Repeat the mantra: “My word is law and my self-worth depends on it.”
Women make promises to ourselves all the time—promises that we don’t keep. We say things like this to ourselves: I am going to go to the gym and train five days a week. I am going to meditate every day for twenty minutes. I am going to eat healthy. I will sleep eight hours a night. I will take all my supplements. You name it, we’ve said it. And without fail, within twenty-four hours or so our willpower caves and we end up knee deep in chips, queso, and Two Buck Chuck. Sound eerily familiar?
One of the tools I have my A28P participants do is to repeat the mantra, “My word is law and my self-worth depends on it”. Why repeat that? Well, here’s the deal. When we make promises to ourselves and then break them day after day, week after week, month after month, we start to chip away at our almighty self-worth. If someone made promises to you over and over, and didn’t keep them, how would that make you feel? Worthless, right? Well, the same thing rings true to ourselves. Keeping a promise to yourself not only helps you achieve your wildest dreams and most Ambitchious goals but also demonstrates the love and worthiness that you have for yourself. Who doesn’t need a little more of that in their lives?
2. Have at least one accountability buddy
In my protocols I urge people to have at least one person outside their family who will check in with daily. Someone that will call you on the carpet if you are starting to make excuses or procrastinating on your goals. Someone to slap you around a smudge when you are going off the rails and are starting to drift back into old hypnotic patterns. I have two ladies in my peer group whom I trust deeply. We check in with each other twice a day, once in the morning and again at night. We are open and honest with each other about how we will get ourselves closer to our ultimate goal that day, and then at the end of the night we close the day by going over where we are at, what we accomplished, and what we will do better the next day. No one is an island unto themselves, as the old adage goes. People need people. Make sure your people are there to support you in a healthy, positive way.
3. Set goals that motivate you
When you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you. This means making sure that your goals are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them. If you have very little interest in the outcome, or if your goals are irrelevant to the bigger picture for your life, then the chances of you putting in the work to achieve them happen are slim. Motivation is key to achieving goals.
Set goals that relate to the high priorities in your life. Without this type of focus, you can end up with scattered goals, that divide your time and leave you achieving nothing. How do you know and set your high priorities? Go back and listen to Episode 101 of the Ambitchious podcast, Are You Serving Faith or Fear? Goal achievement requires commitment, so to maximize the likelihood of success, you need to feel a sense of urgency and have an “I must do this” attitude. When you don’t have either of those things, you risk putting off what you need most to do to make the goal a reality. This in turn leaves you feeling disappointed and frustrated with yourself, both of which are de-motivating. You can end up caught in a very destructive “I can’t do anything or be successful at anything” frame of mind. Motivating goals help you avoid getting stuck in that sticky, negative web.
4. Set SMART goals
Use the acronym SMART to help you remember the most important aspects of setting and attaining any goal. Whether you want to release those post-pregnancy pounds, find the love of your life, or start your own company, your goals should be powerful and SMART. There are many variations of what SMART stands for, but the essence is the same—goals should be:
- Time Bound
Set Specific Goals
Your goals must be clear and well defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don’t provide sufficient direction. Remember, you need goals to show you the way, much like a map for a road trip. Make it as easy as you can to get where you want to go by defining precisely where you want to end up.
Set Measurable Goals
Include precise amounts, dates, and so on in your goals so you can measure your degree of success. If your goal is something simple like “reduce expenses” how will you know when you have been successful? In one month’s time if you have a 1% percent reduction or in two years’ time when you have a 10% reduction? Be specific, and write “reduce my monthly expenditures by 20% and put that savings into an interest-bearing account.” Without a way to measure your success you miss out on the celebration that comes with knowing you have actually achieved something.
Set Attainable Goals
Make sure that it’s possible to achieve the goals you set. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will only demoralize yourself and erode your confidence. Setting a goal of earning $100,000 in one month when your annual salary is $25,000 is unrealistic. However, setting a goal of picking up a part-time gig and augmenting your income by $1000 a month is doable.
Resist the urge to set goals that are too easy. Accomplishing a goal that you didn’t have to work hard for can be anticlimactic at best, and can also make you fear setting future goals that carry a risk of non-achievement. It also doesn’t force you out of your comfort zone. By setting realistic yet challenging goals, you hit the balance you need. These are the types of goals that require you to “raise the bar” and when they are achieved, they bring the greatest personal satisfaction.
Set Relevant Goals
Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life and career to take. By keeping goals aligned with this, you’ll develop the focus you need to get ahead and do what you want. If you set widely scattered and inconsistent goals, and you’ll fritter your time—and your life—away. Where do you want to be in one year? Five? Ten? What stepping stones do you need to reach to get there?
Set Time-Bound Goals
Your goals must have a deadline. When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and achievement will come that much quicker. When you meet those deadlines, it gives you an anticipated reward of celebrating that success.
5. Fail to plan, plan to fail
If you haven’t figured it out by now, let me repeat it: you must have a clear cut and detailed plan of action or you won’t get where you want to go. Faith without works is dead, like it says in the Bible. And things that are dead don’t move forward. This crucial step is often missed in the process of goal setting. You get so focused on the outcome that you forget to plan all of the steps that are needed along the way. By writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as you complete it, you’ll realize that you are making progress towards your ultimate goal. This is especially important if your goal is big and demanding, or long-term. Hitting the smaller steps gives you a sense of satisfaction that sustains you during a long-haul journey.
I truly hope that these five steps help you to finally get out of your own way so that you can step into living your most Ambitchious life. Make that your goal—and an amazing future will follow!