In a previous article,What’s Holding You Back Part One, we discussed using the What Next game to help develop an outline or game plan of how to get from point A to point B–with the coaching goal of creating doable action steps.
One of the last things we mentioned was that having a plan is awesome, but you still have to get off your butt and DO the work…and therein lies the problem.
Plan the work, work the plan
Sometimes, all you need is a plan. A series of bite-sized steps that keep you moving forward towards your goal. It’s so easy to become overwhelmed with all the choices that sparkle in front of you. Like a mynah bird or magpie, we hop from one shiny object (i.e. project or course or goal) to another, but never complete anything.
We’re exhausted and drained, but at the end of the day, we have nothing to show for all our efforts.
If you suffer from shiny object syndrome, sometimes all you need is a plan and an accountability partner. Someone that’ll call you out if you deviate from your plan. That’s the idea behind weight watchers, life coaching and online exercise support groups. Just knowing you have to check in, or step on the scale is often all it takes to remain focused and on task.
What if the plan isn’t working?
What if you have clearly defined goals as well as an accountability partner and you STILL aren’t making progress? Then it’s time to take a step back, take a deep breath and review your goals.
If you consistently fail to meet your weekly action steps, several things might be going on.
- Your goals are too large
- Your time frame is too short
- Your goals have changed
- These aren’t really YOUR goals
For the first two points, the answer is to scale back your action steps. Chunk the steps down into DOABLE pieces. The goal is to achieve success. In order to generate some momentum, you need to see some progress. Success breeds success!
You know your goals have changed when they no longer interest you. Even when you complete a step along the path, there’s no accompanying feeling of joy in your belly.
Relax. People change, goals change. None of this is set in stone. It’s a good idea to reflect upon your goal statement every month or so to make sure it continues to ring true to you.
Case in point. A year ago, I would have said my goal was to be a copywriter. I took classes, submitted practice materials and even had an article published. But somewhere along the way, I was just ticking off boxes and getting things done to complete them. The thought of working as a copywriter no longer resonated with me. What did resonate was learning the tools of the trade to market myself. That was something I could get behind.
So, the copywriting knowledge I’ve gained hasn’t been wasted, even though I’ve gone in a different direction than originally planned…and that’s all right. I’ve simply adjusted my action steps and kept moving forward.
Lastly, if you aren’t fulfilling your weekly action plans–maybe your goal isn’t really your goal. Maybe it’s what you think you should be doing or it’s what would make your Mom or spouse happy…or your sister jealous.
You owe it to yourself to sit back, close your eyes and think about what brings joy to you, what fills your body with energy. Then readjust your goals and your action plans.
As far as I know, you’ve only got this one life, so grab hold of it and live it to the fullest!