There’s probably no greater power than the power to follow through on what you say you want to do. It’s an essential skill when you want to take your life in a new direction. Yet we often set goals only to let ourselves down. The best strategy, goal setting and scheduling in the world are useless unless you can get yourself to put them into action.
Performers have coaches and others to help them, but we have only ourselves.
To change directions we have to step into the role of the coach. You have to know exactly what gets you going, what calms you down, and what helps you focus. You have to know how to follow through on what needs to be done.
What Moves You?
How well do you know yourself? Can you motivate yourself to do what you say you want to do? There are lots of different ways we can motivate ourselves. Some of us set up incentives to reward ourselves; others are motivated by the satisfaction we get from our work. Some say that money is motivating. What ways do you motivate yourself?
Knowing what de-motivates you can be as important as what motivates you. To discover your motivators and de-motivators, pay attention to what you complain about versus what excites you. What gets you down? What picks you up?
Talk to Yourself
One of the important ways we motivate, or de-motivate ourselves, is by what we say to and about ourselves. If you begin to listen to your inner conversation and observe its effects, it’s amazing what you’ll learn. Inner dialogue or ‘self-talk’ is one of the primary ways we coach ourselves to do what needs to be done and to do it well. It’s especially useful to notice what we say to ourselves in response to the problems or difficulties we encounter. The conversations we have with ourselves at times like these are like those that a coach gives the team at half time. It’s important to notice if your pep talks are working or not. Are you more committed and determined to succeed afterwards? Or do they send you into an emotional sinkhole? Being able to be give yourself an effective pep talk is a valuable skill when you’re changing directions.
Adopt the Right Attitude
We need the skills, abilities and strategies to do what needs to be done to get the results we’re seeking. But just as we have to re-structure our time, our energy, and how we manage and relate to ourselves, we may also need to restructure our attitudes. All our attitudes, assumptions, and expectations affect the way we experience everything we encounter. If we perceive a situation inaccurately, we’ll be prepared and ready to respond to something quite different than the situation at hand. Clearly, our attitudes can go along way in determining both our experience and our results.
Are You on Track?
If you’re following your plan, observing the results, measuring your progress and adjusting your strategy accordingly, you should be on track.
Check your progress here:
Are you taking specific steps each day or each week to implement your strategy?
- Are you following through on the activities you initiate?
- Are you seeing measurable progress?
- Are you any closer to changing directions?
- Does your strategy need revising?
- Have you been operating on some misperceptions or false assumptions?
- Are there other steps you need to take that you haven’t considered?
- Is your strategy taking more time and energy than you anticipated?
A part of following through and moving forward is stepping back and assessing you progress. Are you on the track to make the changes you need to develop a sustainable livelihood?
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