If you're like many of my clients, you sometimes identify a want or need but, no matter what you do, you can't seem to get the energy or build momentum towards working towards it!
Why is it that when we set a goal, we can struggle to take steps to achieve it?
It depends. Which of the following statements sounds like something you've thought or said?
"I have no idea how to break this goal down into steps!" For some of us, we're simply not naturals at taking a big, long-term idea and breaking it down into bite-sized pieces, simple as that! You might see and understand that summiting Mount Everest is the goal, but get overwhelmed with all the pieces that enable that goal to come to fruition: training plans, acquiring gear, picking a guide, finding sponsorship, and when all those pieces need to happen.
"I have literally no idea where to start." You feel stuck, with no idea about where to put your energy. You might think to yourself, "Well, why bother if I'm not going to do it?" Or maybe you get caught up in the idea of what the "right" or "best" way to do something is, which prevents you from putting in any effort towards it. That's "analysis paralysis." You either want to do it the "right" way, or you end up in a start-stop-start-stop cycle since you find other tasks more interesting. You might think about this long-term goal but then be pulled away by the novelty and dopamine of something else, or even just the day-to-day, less important tasks. Next thing you know, you're restless, procrastinating or following only the shiny things.
"Do I even want this?" Sometimes, we just don't want it badly enough. At first, you might think you set a goal that's true to you, but maybe you find it wasn't important enough to put your energy towards. Your original goal might not resonate enough with your true values; it might not pull you forward. Many of us even feel shame for realizing that.
How To Take Action When You're Not Working Toward Your Goal
For the person who needs to break down their goals: Ask yourself: What would be the miniature versions of your big goal? You want to climb Mount Everest. Well, what are the smaller mountains you could climb first? What would it take to physically climb those smaller mountains? What supplies and support would you need, and how will you find them? Take a freelancing business. You might set a goal but struggle with always being distracted. If your goal is to land new clients, but you find that you're constantly looking for new services to offer and opportunities to pursue instead, it might help to define mini-goals that support the bigger goal of new clients that also support novelty and new opportunities. Experiment, collect the data, then channel your energy into the one that pays off the most.
For the person with analysis paralysis: Change your mindset-- what if it's not about finding the right way to do it? Instead, give yourself credit for any effort towards your goal. Reward every step; that's powerful in itself! When you know what you want, but you're stuck in how to get there, you typically deal with inner critics. You tell yourself stories in your head that keep you from taking action, and a lot of them are fear-based. You can tackle that fear head-on by doing inner critic work (which I facilitate with my clients).
For the person who isn't sure if they want it: You're starting and stopping all the time. You know how you can preserve all that energy? Actually understanding your direction. You might feel like you keep making the same mistakes since you haven't taken a meta-view of your direction. Spend time considering how your goal will allow you to be even more of yourself. Can you challenge the notion of your goal, asking if it would allow you to be more or less of yourself? Is it something you actually want, or something you think you should want?
The 4 Types of Momentum Sessions: Which is best for you?
The Reflection Session is particularly powerful for people who...
struggle with analysis paralysis (like in #2)
feel like they're repeatedly making the same mistakes or dead-ending (like in #3)
people who want to find patterns in their past behavior
people who feel constantly distracted Reflection Sessions help you press pause, reframe your perspective and get laser-focused on what you want.
The Direction Session is excellent for people who...
struggle to understand what their big goal truly is, or its blurry (like in #2)
find themselves stopping and starting (like in #3)
know they're ready to put in the work but need more clarity first Direction Sessions help you identify your values, clarify your vision, and create a detailed strategy toward impactful action.
The Action Session fits great with people who...
need to get rolling but don't know where to go first (like in #1)
know their desired destination but can't envision the full journey (like in #1)
want to address fear head-on (like in #2)
feel self doubt, impostor syndrome or perfectionism Action Sessions help you get to the root of what's holding you back, develop new mindsets and create tangible metrics to keep you on track.
The Acceleration Session supports people who...
want to build off of what's already working
are curious to examine data and dive into how past experiences have been successful and how to build off them
want to create streamlined systems and processes Acceleration Sessions help you maximize your experience and adapt your habits to propel you to the next level.