February 28th, 2011
Let’s get real. We all talk about what we want; yet we continue to sabotage our chances of every truly fulfilling our dreams- keeping them as dreams. While so many of us know exactly what we need to do to create exactly what we want- it’s much easier to self-sabotage. Why? Because many times we aren’t aware of the ineffective habits that we keep in place. So, here is a list of 7 habits to keep you highly unproductive and ineffective. I guarantee if you implement these 7 habits in your life- you will be sure not to get what you want in your life. Wow. You mean it’s that easy to not get what I want in life? Absolutely! Take a look and see which of these habits you have taken on in your life to keep you where you are. “You don’t need strength to let go of something. What you really need is understanding.” -Guy Finley
1. Not showing up (or being lazy). One of the easiest and most often overlooked habit to getting what you want is to simply show up- whether it be in your social life, your career, your health- showing up is the first step in getting what you want in that area of life. For example, going to the gym is something we “should” do. Yet, we talk about it and talk about it and don’t go to the gym. If you want to improve your health then one effective way of doing so would be to get yourself to the gym. Really? It’s that simple? Yes. It is. Showing up more applies in all areas of your life. If you want to make more friends, go to more social events. If you want to meet the person of your dreams, go out on more dates and allow yourself to be set up more often. If you want to make more money, think of other ways to generate more money, AND take action. Just showing up more often can make a difference. Not showing up will keep you exactly where you are. I promise.
2. Procrastinating for the majority of the day (or being on Facebook). I’m often reminded of Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog. He goes over 21 tips for overcoming procrastination. We all have one or a few frogs- unpleasant tasks- that we have to swallow each day. Think about it this way. If you ate a frog every morning, everything after that wouldn’t seem so terrible, right? Right. Here’s an example. I know I have to go to the gym. It’s still 10 degrees in the morning here in Kansas and so, I wait till the evening to go. But guess what? I have to cook, do laundry, and have calls with clients. What’s predictable about this? I don’t go. So, I eat my green frog first thing in the morning- I wake up at 630am and go to the gym. Anything I have to do after is easy as pie. There are times that I am inconsistent with eating my frogs in the morning and on those days, I’m not as productive and I definitely beat myself up more. I feel amazing about myself and my ability to create the life that I want on the days that I eat my frogs in the morning. What are you having for breakfast tomorrow morning?
3. Busywork. One of the most ineffective habits to keep you stuck is to keep yourself busy with unimportant work. You know what I’m talking about. The things that you know you can do in your sleep. Yet, you spend half of your day stretching out all the unimportant tasks and leave yourself with little to no time to get started on the more important “big” stuff. I like to make a “Top 6” List. It consists of the 6 most important things I need to get accomplished for the day. The list does not include: grocery shopping, manicures, returning phone calls/emails, making dinner, etc. It’s important that you prioritize. Remember, just because you got a lot done, does not mean you were effective or any closer to getting to the “big” stuff.
4. Analysis Paralysis Too much thinking. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with doing research, looking at your options, getting more information, etc. What I’m saying is that thinking, thinking, and over thinking is just another habit that is keeping you stuck, not moving you forward in life, and wasting your time. Ask yourself: What are the costs of thinking things through and through, and through. What’s the payoff? There will never be a “perfect” or a “right” time to do something. You may never be “ready” to take the leap or take action. So, the only thing you have to lose is actually doing it and seeing what happens.
5. Negativity You might as well kick yourself in your butt (literally). This is what I normally ask people when it comes to negative self-talk. “Would you drink a can of gasoline?” Obviously not- it’s poison and why would you want to poison your body? Exactly. So why would you fill your head with negative thoughts? Get where I’m going with this? If you want to find a reason NOT to do something- negativity is your answer and your best friend. However, when considering taking action or moving forward on a project that you are stuck on- negativity is a surefire way to keep you right where you are.
Try this: Declare yourself a NO COMPLAINT ZONE. Notice the difference it makes. I declared myself a NO COMPLAINT ZONE this month. Even if I don’t complain out loud, it’s still in my head. Here’s what I’m noticing: when it comes to taking action- the best way to sabotage is to complain. On top of the fact that you don’t want to take action, let’s pour a little complaining on it- yes that sounds like a bowl of fun. I noticed that when I didn’t complain and I just did what I set out to do it wasn’t so bad! In fact, I didn’t have an opinion about it. So, try it out this week and see what happens!
6. Being closed off. To everything. For X amount of years you have done things your way. I get it. I really do. It’s hard to admit that everything you thought to be “true” isn’t. But by clinging to your own thoughts and beliefs, it will be much more difficult to improve your life and see that it IS possible that you can change your life. One solution is to simply open up more. Read books, engage in conversation with others, notice when you’re triggered and be curious as to why you are being triggered. Simply noticing your patterns can expand your view of possibility. Once you start noticing the limits in what you do know, ask yourself how things have been going thus far with this way of thinking. Then, try something new! Ask a buddy to hold you accountable. Share with them one new action you are going to take this week and create a structure for them to support you and hold you accountable! For those of you who can’t stay out of the self-help section at Barnes and Nobles: it’s great that you love to read and get more information. Try setting the book down this week and implement one new action to take on based on all the information you have gathered.
7. TMI (Too Much Information) I’m not only referring to reading books or newspapers. Information can come from all different sources. Checking your favorite blogs every three minutes, Facebooking, stopping what you’re doing to talk to other people every so often- can get to you and can also be a distraction. Now, I’m not suggesting that you stop reading the newspaper, or checking your favorite blogs or websites. All I’m saying is be intentional with what you fill your mind with. I love watching Criminal Minds. So, I set aside a specific time where I watch Criminal Minds. The point here isn’t to stop doing what you love doing. Think about what you’re reading and watching and ask yourself- am I watching this because I really want to- or because I’m filling my time? Where else can you see that you are doing this?