The only thing I love more than setting goals is achieving them.
I’ve made a couple goal planning and tracking printables over the years (see them here and here), but there’s one thing many of us tend to do that’s preventing us from getting where we want to be. Yep, we’re sabotaging our goals without even realizing it, and we need to stop.
The biggest mistake we make when setting goals is waiting for motivation to start or continue working towards them.
Motivation is wonderful, and it’s definitely easier to do things when we feel like we want to and are interested in doing so, but the problem is we aren’t always interested in doing what our goals require.
Motivation won’t arrive nicely packaged on our porches from Amazon. If it was that simple I’d be hoarding boxes of motivation in my basement… next to my magic wands.
Sometimes the motivation to do something is a by-product of doing the work first.
Have you ever read a book or watched a helpful show and heard someone say that sometimes you have to go through the motions and let the feelings follow? I’ve heard people say that if you aren’t happy or in love, sometimes you have to act like you are without actually feeling like it. I’ve also heard that the simple act of smiling or laughing can make you feel happier.
Our feelings sometimes follow our actions, and that’s the case with goals and motivation too.
At this point in the Declutterathon, almost 8 weeks in, I’m sure many of us have lost our motivation at some point. I say “us” because I have too. The novelty of a new project and goal has worn off as has the excitement, and the drudgery of actual work has caught up with me. Every week that I’ve promised to deliver a before and after for you, I’ve waited until the last minute possible to actually do the work. It’s much more fun to do just about anything else, but if I’m serious about wanting a beautiful, uncluttered home I can’t wait until I feel like decluttering to get to work. Waiting is what’s gotten me in this situation in the first place.
Writing this blog and being publicly accountable for decluttering has forced me to work even when I don’t want to so I highly suggest finding at least one person who will keep you accountable. The best thing about getting to work is seeing progress and feeling the motivation to do more.
So let’s get to work. I’m heading to my laundry room. If you don’t hear from me soon, it’s safe to assume I’ve been buried in a clothing avalanche. Please send a search and rescue team.
What’s one way you’ll stop sabotaging your goals and start working towards them today?
Emily this is perfect! Seriously words right out of my mouth. Being a health and fitness coach I tell people all the time that I can only motivate them so far and after that it is up to them to find it within themselves. Thank you loved all of this post!
Unfortunately, it’s so true, but if I could pay someone to get me into shape and clean my house I totally would!
Hi Emily, this is so true! I find myself all ready to go tackle my to-do list in the morning right after one or two cups of coffee, but have to work hard on keeping the pace later in the day.
Love your blog, look forward to exploring it!
Literate For Life (Pamela Hall)
I like the quote about motivation is sometimes a byproduct of doing the work. This is so true. I find that action gets me motivated. Action overcomes fear of failure. Great topic. I came here via Motivation Monday link up. 🙂
Pamela – Literate For Life
One way to stop sabotaging my goals? Focus more on the goal at hand, and rid myself of the distractions.
Yesterday, I read somewhere to get up and write for 10 minutes before checking social media or checking e-mail. I tried it this morning. I wasn’t satisfied with the writing unfortunately…but I got a fair amount done. Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow?
Removing distractions is key! Great tip
This is so incredibly accurate! I’m in my last semester of college and the motivation level to complete assignments is pretty low when I still have to clean the house, work on my blog, and take care of my son. The trick I use is to make a list of very small tasks that I need to complete. I then decide upon one task to complete. Usually the motivation to complete the to-do list happens after I complete one task. I just need to kick myself into starting something small.
This is so true. Thanks for the reminder!
Great post! I agree with everything you said! I’m still working on the self sabotage part and have not mastered that yet! Thanks for sharing!
I’m feeling inspired to clean out my storage closet… (: Thanks for sharing this.
Visiting from http://www.andieconn.com/lazy-proof-day-5-habits-build/ and would love a visit back.
Emily, my goal for my own blog this year, is to gently motivate my readers to save more by insourcing in the home. I have just started my own shiny little linky party, and I’d love you to share this with us. It’s so much a part of what I write albeit on money saving, moreso than decluttering. But still imminently appropriate. Would you join me? Mimi xxx
Thanks for inviting me, Mimi! I’d love to 🙂
yes! Although de cluttering isn’t my Achilles heel, I am a procrastinator my nature. Your words were something I really needed to hear today.
Oh good, I hope they help. I’m a procrastinator too. I bought a book years ago about how to stop procrastinating. Surprise, surprise, I haven’t read it yet!
I’m with Carrie on the procrastinating. Funny thing is I didn’t used to be… Anyways like you said, it is all about getting to work! And not waiting until the last minute to do so. (o:
Gilly @ Colour Saturated Life
Great advice……I am always waiting for motivation and find that once I start a project I get so caught up in I forget that I procrastinated for months!
Me too! I always think, “What took me so long?!” 🙂
Life Breath Present
I know I have to keep working at different things I’m interested in or I get too sidetracked or blase about whatever it is I want to do. Sometimes I let fear or anxiety get in the way, but it helps to keep working anyway 🙂
Working definitely helps, and I’m the queen of getting sidetracked!
Jenny @ Unremarkable Files
Great to remember, stopping by from Wonderful Wednesday. It might seem like a “duh” thing to say, but things really don’t get done unless you, you know, just start doing them!
Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been looking closely at my goals and I feel it’s time to take them seriously once and for all. 🙂
Oh, Emily, I wish you were on my call list! I love your post here and thank you for writing it. I am featuring you on my blog next week at the Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop. Thank you for linking through MY site and I can’t wait to see what you bring next week! Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow
Thanks, Carrie! 🙂
Stella Lee@ Purfylle
I am totally guilty of this.
Lydia @ Thrifty Frugal Mom
Absolutely true! Sometimes you need to “just do it” and then the motivation gradually appears. My mom-in-law has lived a very busy, full life and I often wonder how she managed (she had 10 kids, they were missionaries for 10 years and had LOTS of guests etc.). When I ask her how she manages during busy seasons of life, she always says, “I just do the next thing. I can’t wait until I want to do it or think ahead to all that needs to be done. I just need to do the next thing.” I realize that is a tad different than what you are talking about here, but it seems to also be connected!
That’s what I need to do, just focus on the next task at hand. That’s a really smart way to deal with tasks and probably helped her from becoming overwhelmed. 10 kids is amazing. I have 4, and I’m sometimes not sure how I manage. Thanks, Lydia.
Hi, I should be commenting on your content, but I really loved your Canva image. It was Canva, I assume. I am getting inspired.
Thank you for coming to the Inspire Me Monday Linky party and linking up with us this week.
I’m Janice, one of your hostesses.
Thanks, Janice. It was actually picmonkey, but canva’s great too. I need to use it more.
I looked at it again for the content. Interesting, a twist, and inspirational.
Janice, Inspire Me Monday
Thanks for your very inspirational post!
Apart from my obsession with decluttering and redecorating my home, I have recently decided to start my own cosmetics company (as a soon to be PhD in Materials Science). However, now that I’m setting up everything, making products and trying to figure out how marketing works – things have slowed down from my initial rush to create fabulous natural cosmetics (with added health benefits).
Your quote hits the nail on the head. One tip that I find really helpful to motivate myself when I’m not ‘in the mood’ to start working on my to-dos is the 5-minute-rule. I set a time limit of 5 minutes for myself to work on task X and then I can technically go back to ‘procrastinating’ or whatever I was going to do otherwise. This technique really works well to overcome the first activation barrier to start/continue a project and you will notice that you don’t even realize when your 5 minutes are over (i.e. you will just get into the flow of your project after a few minutes).
I’m looking forward to many more great blog posts! Maybe I will start my own blog soon as well 🙂
That’s a great tip! Starting is always the hardest for me, but “5 minutes” sounds like nothing so I’d probably be more willing to start. Good luck with your business! Over the last couple of years I’ve really worked to reduce the chemicals in our home and in my cosmetics and personal care products (where they’re being absorbed through my skin!!) so I’d love to hear more about your business when it’s up and running. 🙂 As for starting a blog, I highly recommend it! If you have any questions or I can help you get started in any way, please let me know. I’m actually working on some “How to start a blog” posts as we speak.