Your brain inherently creates stress and anxiety about not achieving a future goal. Fear of failure kicks in big time. The bigger the goal the more stress and anxiety at not achieving it. Therefore, you'll create all sorts of excuses not to start. Especially when there are all those cute kitten videos to watch on Facebook and Instagram.
"Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy." - Wayne Gretzky
My clients present plenty of wonderful ideas during our coaching sessions, but many of them struggle to get them off the ground. They have the usual excuses for wanting to make sure that they have everything lined up just so; money in the bank, time in the diary, the right team, etc. But as Tony Robbins says, "It's not the lack of resources, it's the lack of resourcefulness that stops you." Though each of my clients are different and therefore so are their solutions, the one thing we agree on is that they need to begin something to achieve their long-term goals. As William Wordsworth so famously said, "To begin, begin." But how? Below I suggest some criteria that are needed to get started:
Structure – You may have an end goal in mind, but you struggle to get started because you don't know how to. Quite simply, you need a plan. It need not be elaborate; the most important you need to do is break up the large goal into smaller achievable goals. Structure a plan so that you see results on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Gratification – We all love instant rewards and it's these 'wins' that spur us to carry on with the certain actions. This is how habits are created; good and bad. But there are no regular dopamine hits by just 'thinking' about the long-term goal. Monica Mehta describes in her book, The Entrepreneurial Instinct, that's it the regular achievement of your short-term structured smaller goals that will give you the satisfaction to move forwards. You'll receive a lot of gratification from accomplishing your incremental results.
Confidence – You'll have read or heard that you need the motivation to start something. How many times have you found things easy to start when you are feeling motivated and 'riding on the crest of a wave'? But where does this motivation come from? It can be as simple as visualising your end goal to give you the impetus to start, but your main motivation will come from your confidence. Confidence can be achieved in many ways. In terms of long-term aspirational goals, by achieving your regular small-term goals, your brain establishes new neural pathways to cement your achievements and bolster your confidence. Many lack the confidence to start a new initiative because they see the long-term goal as insurmountable, but your confidence will come from completing the planned small-term goals.
"Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." - Lao Tzu
You are capable of so much more than you currently do, and I'm sure you tell yourself that many times a day. So what's stopping you? What's stopping you from starting that new business, buying that house, asking that person out on a date, starting a family, changing that job, scaling your company? You have no excuse. And if you think you do, reach out and see how I can help.