It’s so fascinating, right?! Most of us know, or at least THINK we know, what we should be doing. Yet staying on track with our goals is so hard! We have the best intentions and yet we can’t resist the temptations…
Us humans are capable of so much greatness, and yet even very accomplished people make some foolish decisions and are bad at predicting their own behavior.
We all remember President Clinton for example, right? We can work diligently towards a goal and then make a couple of bad decisions that can ruin everything we’ve worked for. Would you have asked him if he would risk everything he had worked for for a bit of fun, he would probably have said “No way in hell!”, right?
There are some fascinating studies out there about our inability to predict how we will react in certain situations. Let’s just say, in an unattached and relaxed state, we all predict that we will react rationally, but in the heat of the moment, when we’re emotionally charged, that’s simply not the case.
Why do we do that? What’s going on there? Why is it so hard to stay on track with our goals?
The first tip for staying on track is to critically look at how we make decisions and set our goals in the first place. Are you making your decisions from a place of lack, fear, and trying to avoid loss or are you making your decisions from a place of positive excitement about what you could gain?
If you have a positive vision that guides your decisions, you’re making conscious decisions based on your potential and highest self. You make decisions based on long-term benefits.
Like not eating that second giant piece of chocolate cake because you know it’s not good for you. So if you have that strong vision of a happy and healthy you, then it’s easier to resist the temptations you encounter. And we all encounter temptations!!
That’s why the first step in my coaching program is creating that strong and compelling vision with you that helps you create something you’ll love in the long run.
Cause what happens if you make your decisions and set your goals based on fear and avoidance, is that you usually lose the long-term picture and focus on instant gratification and short-term benefits instead.
That’s your subconscious mind winning over your conscious mind and trying to keep you within your current comfort zone. And it’s what’s happening for a lot of people in time of uncertainty like with the current Corona crisis.
So what does it look like when you base your decision on your loss aversion?
Well, for example, you might not make an investment that you KNOW would help you grow, but all you can see right now is the money you’d have to part with. That’s making a decision based on the fear of loss and the short-term benefit of not having to spend money – but what about the long game?
Are you really better of in the long run if you DON’T make investments that you KNOW would help you grow? Well, I’ll let you decide on that one.
This has been a tough one for me to accept too. And it’s something that I’ve had to wrestle with myself recently: Since the beginning of the year we had been playing with the idea of buying a house so that we can rent it out.
Then we found a house we liked but it wasn’t cheap and needed a lot of renovation work. Yet the bones of the house were good and it had some really charming features like parquette flooring and some old stained glass windows that we really liked.
So we were excited about the idea and about to make a decision -when the Corona crisis began. What now? Should we still move forward with the plan even though we had no idea how Corona would affect everything or should we play it safe and just let the opportunity pass and wait for the crisis to end?
It wasn’t an easy decision. But finally, we decided that it was too good an opportunity to pass and bought the house anyway. We based the decision on our vision and on the potential gain instead of what we could lose.
So hopefully it will all turn out as planned!
Anywoo, if you want to live a life with no regrets you have to start making decisions based on what you want to achieve instead of what you want to avoid.
Your vision will help you keep on track and avoid temptation along the way.
The next reason why it’s so hard to stay on track with our goals is that a lot of people don’t understand how the mind works. They are aware of the conscious, thinking part of their mind. That’s what we perceive as ourselves. It’s what Descartes referred to when he said: “I think therefore I am”.
BUT, and that’s a big but, we consistently ignore or underestimate the power of the subconscious mind. Our subconscious mind controls about 95% of what we do on a daily basis – yet most people think that their thinking mind is in control.
Now here’s the thing:
When your subconscious mind and your conscious mind are NOT aligned, guess which one is gonna win? The one that already controls about 95% of what you think and do or the one that controls about 5% of what you think and do?
It’s pretty obvious when you put it this way, right? If your subconscious mind believes that your goals aren’t safe and that you’ll lose something important by achieving this goal – be it time, freedom, a sense of security, or relationships, it will sabotage your conscious goals.
You’ve heard me talk about this time and time again – when you try to do something but can’t seem to make any progress, that’s a pretty good sign of unconscious blocks that keep you stuck.
That’s why an essential step in my Gap-Finder Sessions or in my new 1:1 coaching program is to uncover those blocks. You have to become AWARE of them in order to re-program them.
Cause you can INDEED use the power of your conscious mind to re-program the subconscious mind. You just need to know how to do it and put in the work.
The single biggest problem I see is that people THINK they don’t have these mental blocks. Just because you’re not AWARE of them doesn’t mean you don’t have them. It just means that you don’t understand what’s causing you to act in a certain way.
It’s easier to blame the lack of progress on the latest strategy that’s not working for whatever reason. But if you’re trying lots of different strategies that are currently working for other people, and none of them works for you, you have to remember that there are 2 parts to a business:
One is the outer business strategies you use and the other is the inner mastery. So if none of the strategies is working – maybe it’s not the strategies, it’s the inner mastery that’s missing.
You need that inner mastery for the strategies to work.
That’s why I like to say that entrepreneurship is the biggest self-development journey you can be on!
So my number two tip for staying on track with your goals is to make sure that your conscious and subconscious goals are aligned.
And the last thing I want to mention today is something which is also an integral part of my coaching program: It’s creating the systems that keep you on track.
It’s breaking your goals down into action plans so you always know what to focus on when.
It’s keeping track of what you’re doing and what’s working and what isn’t working.
It’s accountability and having someone who has your back and who can help you see clearly when you get overwhelmed and confused.
We all need people like this in our lives! That’s why all the top people work with coaches. No one is perfect. We all have bad days. Sometimes we just need someone to listen.
So my last tip for today is creating systems for tracking your progress and having someone to coach you and hold you accountable for achieving what you wanted to achieve.
I hope these tips helped! Let me know what you think! And post any feedback or questions in the comments below I’ll make sure to get back to them.
And if those are areas you struggle with, feel free to reach out to me to see if my new program would be a good fit for you. Just so you know, I’ll only be accepting 5-6 people for this brand new program and if you want in, you better let me know quickly.