Do you write down your goals and set deadlines, but oftentimes fail to achieve them?
You might get disappointed in yourself. Feel frustrated. Wonder what’s wrong with you. It shouldn’t be this hard, right?
Then, you might go into “excuse mode”. It might sound something like: “I just don’t have enough time” or “I don’t have any choice but to do these other things instead”.
The good thing with goals is that they give our brain direction. But goals can also to bring up negative emotions. Why? Because our brain’s focus is to help us avoid pain, seek pleasure and conserve energy. It’s biology. It’s how we humans are wired.
So when negative feelings like doubt and overwhelm kicks in, your brain comes to the rescue and try to get you out of the pain. It might suggest that Netflix or eating chocolate sounds like a better idea because that will give you some pleasure.
In addition, setting goals might mean that you have to do things that requires you to think in new ways. Thinking in new ways takes energy and because the brain’s focus is to conserve energy, it suggests you think thoughts you already know instead. It’s easier that way. The problem is those old ways of thinking might not move you towards your goal.
But remember, your brain is just trying to do its job.
So how to you start working with your brain instead of against it?
What- and How-Questions
One way of working with your brain is giving it questions. Productive questions. Like what- and how-questions for example.
Here are some for your to try:
What would it mean to me if I achieved this goal?
How can I make this goal exciting?
What would change if I achieved this goal?
How would I feel about myself if I achieved this goal?
What would I have to think to achieve this goal?
What actions would I have to take to achieve this goal?
What will I do today, this week, this month to work towards it?
How will I make sure it happens?
What will I do when I run into obstacles?
How will I keep myself motivated?
What will I tell myself when I rather feel like watching Netflix or spend time on social media?
How can I think differently about this?
How can I come up with the time needed to achieve this goal?
How can I make this easy?
It might seem very hard or impossible to answer these kinds of questions, at first. Your brain might tell you: “I don’t know”. If that’s the case, ask yourself: “If I were to guess, what would be the answer?”
Practice makes perfect. So practice, practice, practice!
What if “what-and how-questions” could be a game changer for you?
What if this how you’ll start to finally accomplishing all your goals?
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