Are you frustrated with how 2020 has been going so far? Good, me too. It’s pretty disappointing having high expectations for yourself only to run into the Coronavirus, pretty much no work for six months, having to deal with forest fires and now all the stress around the election coming up… The reality is these are all irrelevant reasons to why you didn’t accomplish your goals this year.
Every year for the last five years I’ve set out tasks and goals to be just a little bit better than last year. It may be simple things like losing weight, making more money or diving into a relationship because Lord knows how difficult that is! Whatever it is I usually choose something different for myself to expand my horizons and to gain some knowledge through experience.
At the end of that year, around this time, I usually take an assessment to where I’m at with those goals and make adjustments for the decisions of the things I want to accomplish the following year. It all sounds familiar right? The problem, each year, I kept running into was that I would end up getting frustrated because I’m usually way under accomplishing my goals or I am simply unhappy with the result… Until this year, and let me tell you why!
It’s been about five years since I’ve been into the marketing space and each year presents a new life lesson, I am grateful for that. For that reason I made a list of things in the past that usually hinder my accomplishments and created a list of quick solutions I have adapted to help me stay on track for my future goals.
You Are Extremely Hard On Yourself
Yeah, okay, so for my first year of business I went from being on food stamps to making money that I’ve never made for myself. Naturally, the next year I wanted to double what I was doing. And how well did I do at the end of that year? I pretty much made the exact same amount of money and I was pretty disappointed. All sorts of thoughts like “I wasn’t good enough, I’m not experienced enough,etc.” went through my mind and dug myself into a deeper hole.
What I learned was every year presents a new challenge, a different challenge and things won’t always pan out the way you want them to. But what I didn’t realize was that I gained more experience and knowledge so that third year it ended up being one of the best years that I have ever had financially. And guess what happened in year four? The exact same thing.
Relax a little bit. The sun rises and sets each day for a reason, to allow our mind and body to reset and to give yourself some grace. If you didn’t accomplish the goal you wanted at least you made an effort and that is a good thing. As long as you are striving and consistent with your pursuit anything can happen. Find some things to be grateful for and lead your life through loving yourself, it will help in the long term.
You Are Distracted
Before H2 Digital became a company, I was a commercial photographer with zero experience and had grown up with social media marketing experience pretty much since Facebook was called “The Facebook.” I was so eager to learn all of the things in the digital marketing field and really wanted to succeed. I would wake up at 5AM and work until 11PM messaging any and everyone that had a business asking to work for them. But once someone said yes I suddenly didn’t have the time to do any work.
I quickly realized that I was SO distracted. Yeah I woke up at 5AM but I would pan through Instagram for an hour, then I took a nap because I was so tired. After my nap I needed to eat and so on… You get the gist. I was distracted.
Don’t confuse yourself with “being busy” and being productive. There’s a reason why the elite are the elite and I believe the major reason that separates those individuals from the average is their rate of productivity.
On a sheet of paper make two columns, one for productivity and the other for activity. Take about 5 minutes to go through your day and write down all of the things you do. If what you do is productive, write it in the “productivity” column. If it’s something non-productive, write it down in the “activity” column. For example, I wake up in the morning and read Proverbs, I put that in the “productivity” column because it helps with my business decisions. I’ll watch Youtube or Netflix sometimes at the end of my day, I write that in the “activity” column. If your activities are outweighing your productivity column then you should make some adjustments. It’s important to leave some time in your day to decompress but it shouldn’t be the majority of your day.
You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep
I mentioned earlier that I used to get up at 5AM and work until 11PM, right? Well I sacrificed a LOT of sleep. In the first three years of business, I only took off a handful of days and would get on average 4 to 5 hours of sleep. The consequence? I would get sick, angry, even more frustrated with myself and wonder why I wasn’t accomplishing the things I wanted to accomplish. And a large majority of this was because I simply didn’t have enough energy.
When your phone’s battery is dying what is the first thing you do? Go charge it, right? So if your body’s battery is dying, go charge it, get some sleep and don’t overlook how powerful a nap can be.
Set alarms or reminders on your phone to start shutting down the day. If you are an Iphone user, take advantage of the sleep mode and reminders that are pre-installed on your phone. Another super simple thing is to establish a sleep routine. Brush your teeth at the same time every night, turn off the lights at least an hour before you get in bed and once you are in bed, don’t be on your phone or watch TV.
Your Diet Is Bad
I am 29 years old as of today, when I first started business I was 24 years old and weighed 192 pounds. In year three of business I weighed 265 pounds. The major difference from year one to year three was my diet. Including the insane hours of work that I put in and the money I wasn’t used to making I decided that I wanted everything to be efficient. I wanted my work to be efficient, my communication to be efficient and my eating to be efficient.
Do you remember the movie Pursuit of Happiness with Will Smith and the scene where he was explaining that if he could drink less water he could make more sales calls? If not, don’t worry about it but I took on that philosophy with my life and didn’t realize that even though my 17 to 19 hour days of working and snacking in front of the computer screen was compromising my health. And not in a good way.
In business, energy is everything. The way you communicate with excitement and joy, the productivity and turn around rate of what clients pay you to do, and the ability to move physically effectively all play a major role in the success of your business as well as inching closer to your goals. What you eat plays a direct connection to that energy, I promise. And the silly thing is that it costs less to eat better, fuel your body appropriately with good nutrients and whole foods that bring sustainable energy.
Plan out your meals and start tracking what you are eating. There are a ton of food tracking apps to use if you like to use your phone. If not, get a journal out or a composition notebook and track EVERYTHING you eat for one week. At the end of each day take an assessment on your emotional and energy levels after you ate those meals. Write your energy levels on a scale of 1 to 10. For example, if you ate an apple and felt good after you ate an apple, give yourself a score of 8. And if you ate pizza but felt sluggish, give yourself a score of 2. Do the same thing on your emotional levels at the end of each day. For example, if you felt depressed by the end of the day, give yourself a 1 and if you felt really good, give yourself a 10.
At the end of the week take an average count by totalling up your number, adding them together, and then dividing that number by the number of food items you ate or meals you ate. And then do the same for your emotional levels… If you don’t have an average of at least 7 for both categories then something needs to change. Either eat more food that gives you better energy or cut out the things that give you bad energy or emotions.
You can easily track and hold yourself accountable to the hard facts from your short assessment. Since I was 265 pounds, I started doing this once or twice a year and created a list of foods that give me both good energy and emotion.. In a way, it has helped me create a daily list of foods to eat and have created a routine out of it.
It’s okay if you slip up every once in a while and it’s okay to have some bad energy foods that make you feel good, like candy, but don’t be distracted by developing bad habits that will eventually take you away from your goals. Oh, and by the way, in less than two years since my highest weight, I’ve consistently dropped back down to the 195 to 205 range and my energy and emotion are higher than ever!
You Have No Purpose
Simply put, if you have no direction in life you won’t ever grow let alone accomplish any goals. For the first 3 years of business, I didn’t have any business plan, I just wanted to make some money. I wanted to make money so much that it didn’t matter where it came from, I just wanted to get out of the struggle bracket. I’m sure there are some of you that can relate.
The issue with this philosophy is that I ended up running into the same circles. I would make some money, then lose some to taxes, expenses and other things. And then I wanted to make even more money only to go into the same circle of paying more taxes and buying more expensive things. I had no purpose.
One of the biggest life lessons as a business owner or an entrepreneur and pretty much ALL of my mentors’ advice was to have a business plan. Not only a business plan but a life plan. Where did I want to be in 5 years? What did I want to accomplish for the year? How was I going to work towards those on a monthly, weekly and daily basis?
It’s pretty clear that if I didn’t have some structured principles to live through I would be saying yes to everything and none of my efforts would lead to anything prosperous except entering the same cycle. Just because I was making more money didn’t mean that my problems would go away.
My desire was to make more money, get out of the struggle bracket and to create a money empire so that my future kids didn’t have to go through the things that I was going through. But in having the same broke mentality I think I went broke maybe two or three times since I first started. And things needed to change quickly.
WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS. So many of us, including myself, get into this philosophy thinking that we are bigger than what’s out there in the real world. We think “Oh, that would never happen to me.” Sorry to say this buddy, but the way of life is not all sunshine and rainbows. Those fears you have of being swayed and tempted are real. And the more success you have towards the “goals” you are trying to accomplish the heavier the opposition will be. And don’t get into this notion that your ideas are greater than others. The proof is in the pudding, write down EXACTLY what you want, WHEN you want it, and HOW you want it.
When you write down your goals you develop core values. Those core values you develop when to say “yes” and when to say “no.” How? Simple, let’s say that your goal is to lose 10 pounds of weight by the end of the year and you know that you can’t eat any sugar until you get there, so when Jimmy asks you to grab some ice cream you can say NO! Have tangible goals written in front of you and have some purpose to your daily walk of life.
There are a lot of uncontrollable factors that happen in life that take you away from accomplishing your goals, that’s the reality of life. We have ups, we have downs, but what we can control is our attitude and actions in between those moments. Assess where you are at in life, be honest with yourself. It doesn’t take a scientist to know that a lot of simple positive things in our life will increase positive things happening. But one thing I see a lot more now than ever is people pointing fingers to those external things as an excuse to not accomplish what they want.
Don’t allow external things to dictate your internal things, like decision making, habit development and without a gameplan in your life you might as well sway with the wind as it comes and goes as it pleases. Take action, take control of your life and if you enjoy articles like this please leave some feedback and I’ll be more than happy to expand on each of these areas. Happy Goal Getting!