One morning last week I found myself scrambling, grouchy, and out of alignment.
It was 30 minutes before I was meant to call my peer coach (who helps support me in business endeavors) to check in on the goals and commitments I had set for the previous week.
As I perused my list of goals that morning, I realized that I hadn’t followed through with a single one of them. Woops.
I wanted to postpone our appointment. I wanted to avoid having to tell her that I hadn’t followed through. I thought about ways I could spin it to show her that I *sort of* followed through on some of the goals.
Even though I knew I would never be judged, my negative feelings were deeply rooted in feeling disappointed in myself and my lack of follow-through.
Since I had negated my trust in myself, I knew I wasn’t going to feel confident in the commitments I was going to make to her that day – no matter what they were going to be.
So should I have thrown in the towel and given up? Of course not!
But it sure can feel difficult to press the reset button when you feel discouraged and out of alignment in this respect.
So, how can we get through these feelings to return power to our ability to follow through while leaving self-judgment at the door so we can keep moving onwards and upwards?
In moments like these, I have a 7-step strategy that I use to help me refocus my energy and recommit.
Because I followed this strategy before my call last week, I was able to get curious of why I wasn’t following through, allow my coach to support me by asking for help, and leave feeling excited and recommitted to my goals.
7-Steps to Recommit to Your Goals
1) Give yourself a physical pause
It is so easy to start heading down a path of self-loathing and self-judgment when you don’t follow through on a commitment you have made and these bad feelings can go on and on if you don’t stop them in their tracks. To change this thought pattern, stop yourself by creating a physical moment of pause in your body and mind. Creating this ‘pause’ for yourself can be as simple as closing your eyes and focusing on deep breathing for 5 breaths, or, if you are really feeling in a funk, giving yourself a change of scenery by taking a walk around the block. Decide that when you press ‘play’ again you are going to focus on forward thinking only from that moment on, using past experience as learning material only.
2) Assess where you are, right now
Self-judgment does a fabulous job of crowding out the positive and creating a doom and gloom scenario of where you are at. Take a few moments to give yourself a more accurate assessment of the situation: what did you accomplish this past week? You may find that there were many things you accomplished that you didn’t recognize. If you found yourself engaging in other activities before your primary goals, why did these activities come to the forefront? Were they more important to accomplish? Or simply easier to accomplish?
3) Explore what might be holding you back from achieving those goals and try taking another path
Take a good hard look at what you committed to the previous week and what the hurdles were for accomplishing these goals. Lack of inspiration? Lack of time? Lack of groceries in the house? Failure to plan? Make a list of these obstacles.
4) Get back to the bigger picture and back to the why
Sometimes it is so easy to get lost in the details and the strategy of how you are going to accomplish a goal that you forget why you were working on it in the first place! Take a step back to really remind yourself what it is you want and why you want it. i.e. I want to lose 20 lbs because I really want my clothing to fit more comfortably, have more energy, feel more in control of my cravings etc.
5) Be open to changing your strategy
If you keep trying to follow through on an action item and just can’t seem to make it work for you, it might be time to change it up. Take a look at your list of obstacles – which ones can you maneuver around? Are some of these obstacles insurmountable for the time being? If you find a certain goal difficult to follow through with at the moment, it may be time to try another approach or focus on another one for a short while. You can ALWAYS come back to it.
6) Talk it through with your coach
Instead of dismissing your lack of follow-through as failure or something wrong with YOU, talk through obstacles with your coach so that we can make smarter goals that work better for you. This is where we can make real progress: in learning how and why you work the way you do. Let’s get curious together, talk through the obstacles, explore ways to do it differently next time, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or support around tricky areas. Hint: you already know the answers most of the time!
After we’ve worked through different ideas and scenarios for how to go forward, it’s time to recommit and start taking action. Start by choosing something small that you KNOW you can accomplish right away (for example, grabbing a glass of water) to help you rebuild trust in your ability to follow through and then make another intelligent, high-impact goal that is relevant to where you are today, your assessment of how things are going, and where you want to go.
I hope you find this strategy helpful. I would love to hear how you work through moments when you need to get back on track. Please share in the comments below!