Some days you wake up knowing that it’s going to be an amazingly productive day.
You’re ready to jump out of bed and exercise, tackle some to-do list items and then make a yummy and healthy breakfast.
Other days, not so much.
The alarm goes off and all you want to do is hit snooze. Over and over again. Then you talk yourself out of exercising and grab convenience food and coffee on a rushed commute to work. You’re grumpy and not looking forward to the day.
Why is it that some days go so well and other days are just a disaster?
Especially when we know how good it feels to start the day off with the energy to accomplish our top tasks. The whole day goes smoother when we eat well and exercise. So why do we so often succumb to feeling lazy and unmotivated? Why is it so hard to recreate the perfect day, every day?
Here are the top 10 bad habits that will sabotage your success. Learn how to turn them around and make progress in all areas of your life, including family, health and wealth. By using these corrected techniques, and reminding yourself of them often, it’s easy to have that perfect day and go after the things that are important.
Contents and Quick Links
- 1 Your goals aren’t clearly defined
- 2 You don’t know the steps necessary to achieve your goal
- 3 You haven’t broken a goal down into daily action steps
- 4 You don’t track and measure progress
- 5 You are afraid of failure
- 6 You don’t have a routine
- 7 You don’t fuel your body
- 8 You aren’t getting enough exercise
- 9 You haven’t found your tribe
- 10 You aren’t held accountable
- 11 Recap
- 12 Action Steps
Your goals aren’t clearly defined
What is your main goal that you want to accomplish? Maybe it’s paying off debt within a year, losing 25 pounds, or landing that big promotion at work. What is that ONE thing that you want to work towards?
In their New York Times bestselling book, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan shed light on just what it takes to achieve extraordinary results. The takeaway message being, you need to know what your ONE thing is. Once you define that goal, you can start taking action and structure your day to be productive.
Here’s an example:
Goal: Get out of debt
Clearly define this goal: Pay off $20,000 in student loan debt and $5,000 in credit card debt, within one year.
If I just told myself I wanted to get out of debt, would that be enough to actually do it? Of course I want out of debt! Why wouldn’t I? And why am I in debt in the first place? Because I didn’t have a game plan. Lack of vision, lack of a definition, lack of a structured roadmap that will lead me toward success.
Once you have clearly defined a goal you start planning the path you can take to success.
Action Step: Dream big and set long term goals. Those long term goals will help you determine which short-term goals to focus on now. Learn how at How To Define Your 10-Year Goals And Live Your Best Life and download the goal setting workbook from the FREE Resource Library.
You don’t know the steps necessary to achieve your goal
Once you define your goal, you need to be able to clearly list the steps necessary for progress.
Here’s how that might look:
Goal: Get out of debt
Clearly define this goal: Pay off $20,000 in student loans and $5,000 in credit card debt, within one year.
Then, outline the steps necessary to accomplish this goal:
- Define how much money needs to be put towards this debt every month
- Review home expenses and highlight areas where improvements can be made
- Create a budget that allows me to save extra income
- Create extra income to cover debt left over
- Hold a garage sale or sell things on ebay/craigslist
- Work more hours
- Ask for a raise
- Create a side gig to earn more income
Now that you have a clearly defined goal broken down into the steps necessary to get you there, you can start to take action.
You haven’t broken a goal down into daily action steps
Now that you have defined the steps necessary to accomplish your goal, what actions can you make TODAY to make progress? What is the ONE THING that you can do today that will bring you a step closer to achieving your goal?
Here’s how that might look, using the above example:
Monday: I will do the math and calculate how much money needs to be put towards this debt every month. Then I will list EVERY SINGLE EXPENSE (See How To: Track Your Personal Finances) over the last 30 days so that I can clearly see how I am spending my money.
Tuesday: I will review the areas I am spending the most money and brainstorm how I can improve.
Wednesday: I learned that I spent $800 on eating out last month and $190 on cable/premium channels. I’m going to call the cable company to cancel service and switch to Hulu. I’m also going to plan meals for the week and eat in on weeknights.
Thursday/Friday: Work on budget over all areas and calculate how much I can save towards debt.
Saturday/Sunday: Go through the closet and garage and collect everything that can be sold. Schedule garage sale and start posting smaller items on eBay.
Each day, you have the option of either working towards your goal or letting it go stagnant. You set yourself up for failure when you don’t have a roadmap of daily actionable steps that will set you on the path to success.
You don’t track and measure progress
If you really want to make progress, and maintain motivation as you go, you need to have a way to measure results and track your progress. I would argue that without measuring and tracking, there is no progress! Make it fun, there is nothing better than seeing results.
If your goal is to lose weight, start logging what you eat (yes, everything you eat!) and start taking progress measurements and weigh-ins. Use an app or spreadsheet to track progress over time. If you don’t know where you started or where you are going, you have no clear path to follow.
I’m going to say that once again.
If you don’t know where you started or where you are going, you have no clear path to follow.
You are afraid of failure
But what if I fail?
Let’s frame this another way. What would failure look like? For me, failing is not doing anything. That’s right.
Failure is not doing anything.
Even if you set out to accomplish a goal and you don’t reach it, you made it further than if you hadn’t started at all.
To quote Pitbull:
Reach for the stars
and if you don’t grab them
at least you’ll fall on top of the worldPitbull
No matter what, you learn. You learn from the process, you learn what to do differently next time.
Still afraid to start?
Your WHY needs to be bigger than your fear. Why do you want to get out of debt? Well, because if you don’t, you won’t be adequately providing for your kids, you won’t be able to own your own home. You’ll be locking yourself into extra years of working when you could be retiring. There are so many reasons why you need to get out of debt. But all of those reasons can be so overwhelming that it is easier to hide and ignore the problem. Find your personal WHY that stands out above all the others.
I want to pay off my debt so that I can send my child to college and give him the opportunity of an education that I didn’t have.
THAT is your heartfelt why. THAT is reason to write out your daily action steps and start chipping away EVERY SINGLE DAY, regardless of how afraid you are of failure. When your WHY is bigger than your fear, you will succeed.
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You don’t have a routine
We’ve heard this before: It takes 30 repetitions to form a habit. In your own experience, do you agree?
I sure don’t.
At the end of a 30 day clean eating challenge, are you a clean eating convert or are you ready for a big piece of cake?
In a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Researcher Phillipa Lally and her team wanted to know just how long it actually takes to form a habit. The results? On average it takes around 66 days to form a new habit, but the time frame can vary widely, depending on the person and the habit. Within the study, it took anywhere from 18 days to 254 days. Additionally, the team noted that this isn’t an all-or-nothing process, you can mess up sometimes and still make progress forming your new habit.
Take away message: This takes time and you will mess up. How much time? Who knows! But, you will make progress.
Define your goal, break it down into actionable steps, then further break those steps down into daily action steps. Make the time it takes by scheduling your action steps into your calendar. The more you do this, the more natural it will feel, and it will eventually become routine.
Make time for your goal by scheduling your daily action steps into your calendar. The more you do this, the more natural it will feel, and it will eventually become routine.
You don’t fuel your body
This is where you get your energy. Treat your body well if you want it to perform for you. The days that I lose control and binge on carbs and sugar are the days that I feel like crap. I’m lethargic and unmotivated, I feel sick, and then I feel guilty and ashamed that I put myself there. I’m not in the frame of mind to be positive and productive. And the hardest part? The next day I crave all the carbs and sugar even more! It is a vicious cycle that is hard to get out of.
But when you do get out of that cycle, you feel so much better.
You aren’t getting enough exercise
Same thing here only amplified.
Treat your body well if you want it to perform for you.
The better your diet and more physically active you are, the more energy you will have and the more motivated you will feel to take on the world.
You haven’t found your tribe
This one is huge. HUGE! If the people around you do not support you in your goals, they will bring you down. You will lose your motivation and you WHY and you will go right back to where you started. Don’t let that happen! Your goals are your dreams, and the important people in your life are there to support your dreams.
I’m going to tell it like it is here. This is important.
“If you want to soar like an eagle in life, you can’t be flocking with the turkeys”
If the people in your life do not support you and encourage you to go after your dreams, you need new people in your life. This is your life, your dream, and you have every right to make it the best life you can imagine. You get to reach for the stars. And you get to choose the people that will love and support you on your journey.
You aren’t held accountable
What is one of the top recommendations if you are trying to lose weight?
Find a workout buddy.
Find someone with a similar goal and latch onto them and do this together. Hold each other accountable. You won’t hit that snooze button when your workout buddy is going to call you out on it later because you stood her up at the gym.
Ask your loved ones to hold you accountable. Be sure to convey that it’s okay if they ask you about your progress periodically.
I even take this a step further.
When I have a new goal that I’m excited about, I tell everyone about it. If I’m really serious about it, I tell my friends, my family, everyone on Facebook, strangers at the grocery store, anyone and everyone. Why? Because this helps to hold me accountable. Everyone knows what I’m doing, the very last thing I want to do is fail. They may not even be holding me accountable, but they would all know that I failed. And that is just unacceptable!
Bonus: You probably aren’t alone! As you tell people about your goals, you will find people trying to accomplish the same thing. Join forces! Expand your group of friends that support you.
The 10 techniques to succeed at your goals:
- Clearly defined goals
- Outlined the steps necessary to achieve each goal
- Break each step down into daily actions
- Track and measure progress
- Don’t let fear stop you
- Develop a routine
- Fuel your body with foods that make you feel good
- Find your support tribe
- Seek accountability
- Download the goal setting workbook by visiting the free resource library. See how to access the library below.
- Write out your short and long term goals.
- Take one of your goals and go through each of these steps.
- Clearly define your goal, break it down into daily action steps.
- Think about your why and how your why will overcome your fear.
- Chip away at your goal every day.
- The next thing you know, you’re out of steps and you’ve reached your goal! Another goal bites the dust!
TIPS: Be sure to set up a system to track and measure your progress, this will keep you motivated and make it fun when you see changes happening. Take a real honest look at any fear that could be holding you back. Come up with your purpose, your why, the reason you want to achieve this goal. This purpose will be enough to overcome any fear holding you back. If you struggle with routine, go back to your daily action steps, schedule them into your day (yes, put them down on your calendar and set reminders) and the routine will follow. Do your best to eat well and get some exercise in, it will energize you to keep up momentum. Lastly, tell your loved ones what you are trying to accomplish, they will support you and help to hold you accountable.
Now go accomplish your dreams! Use the comments section below and let me know how it goes in the comments section below!