Want to start a creative or business project, finish reading that backlog of books, clear out your wardrobe, stick to an exercise or healthy eating regime or get some momentum with your home renovations?
Whatever your goal or project is, if you’re not getting traction, you need to STOP stopping yourself from achieving your goals, and START getting started! Here’s 10 ways to get un-stuck and start taking action today.
1. Just start.
Seriously, sometimes getting moving is as easy as telling yourself that it’s time to step up your game and to simply just take the steps required to get it done.
A gentle chat with yourself about how important your goals are might be all that’s required to get yourself moving. If so, great. It’s time to get cracking!
If not, don’t despair, just read on.
2. Stop wasting time on stuff that doesn’t matter.
Some things in life are of course, non-negotiable, for instance, keeping yourself and your family clean, comfortable, safe, fed and healthy. But spending an hour each night on Facebook, watching reality TV or playing video games is not necessarily helping you take action towards your goals.
It is far too easy to fill your life with distractions if you let yourself get sucked in to time-wasting habits. Instead of letting your habits run wild, ask yourself this question:
How do I want to spend my time now?
Let the answer flow from within. Sometimes you truly do need some veg out time in front of the screen, but not always. Listen to your heart, and make a conscious choice about what you’d like to do with the time that you have.
3. Manage your urges.
If it feels foreign to do something productive rather than something “relaxing” with your spare time then you might have to monitor and take charge of your urges to give in and chill out on the couch instead of taking meaningful action.
If you’re working on your project and sense the urge to stop or to give up, honor the urge and allow it to be there, but don’t let it coerce you into giving in.
You are in control of your actions!
So if an urge shows up, let it be there, check in with your goal and remember that, just because you feel a strong urge to give up (or not to get started in the first place) that you can work on your goal regardless of the urges you feel to stop. In fact after a few minutes, you’ll probably forget about the urge altogether!
4. Start at the end.
Ask yourself these questions. When my goal is complete…
- How will I feel?
- How will life look and feel different?
- How will I know that I’m finished?
Connect with that feeling and vision of having completed the goal already, and use that desire to power you on to take action.
Remember to have some clear and measurable milestones in mind to let you know that your goal is complete once you get there. If you don’t do this, then you may fall into the trap of the never-ending goal, that always has a little bit left to do before it is accomplished.
5. Identify your values.
When you understand the values that underlie your goal, you will be able to feel satisfied and fulfilled at every point along the journey towards achieving your goal. When you align with your true values, you’re more likely to feel a sense of purpose and joy.
Maybe your goal to finish reading a book is nurturing a value around personal development and learning. Perhaps your painting project aligns with your values around being creative or having color in your life. Or, your goal of having a relaxing bath every night could be supporting your values around self-care.
Consider your core values that align with this goal, and use your desire to be aligned with your values to keep you on track.
6. Schedule it in.
If your goal or project doesn’t critically effect your day to day life, then it will be easy to put it off or bump it to the bottom of your to-do list. Look a few weeks ahead in your schedule and find a time that you can dedicate to starting (and maybe even finishing) your project.
Put it in your diary and stick to your plan.
7. Get an accountability buddy.
Often we don’t have a problem with putting ourselves last, but we absolutely hate letting other people down! Enlisting the help of an accountability partner will encourage you to get moving so that you can prove to the other person that you can follow through on your promises.
Check-in with them regularly and report on your progress.
8. Set yourself a reward.
Got your eye of a new item of clothing or tech device? Dreaming of a fancy dinner or a tropical holiday?
Decide on a reward, something that you really want (and can afford) and make a pact with yourself that you will earn the reward by completing your goal. Keep the reward in mind to help you stay on track, and of course keep your word and reward yourself once your project is complete!
9. Earn your tea breaks.
Speaking of earning things, if your goal is really important to you, then you try earning your breaks and leisure time too. Break down your goal down into smaller tasks and aim to complete a full task before settling down in front of the TV or making a cup of tea.
This will keep you focused and help you achieve your goal even faster!
10. Love yourself through it.
If you’ve been having trouble getting started on your projects or on making progress towards your goals, then you might feel disappointed with yourself or even feel like giving up entirely.
Remember to love and accept yourself through every success AND through every setback.
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