And The Three Things To Watch Out For That Can Derail Your Progress
Hey goal achievers! It’s Tuesday so it feels almost wrong to talk about Friday since we are still in the beginning of our week, but I’m going to talk about how much I love Fridays.
Fridays are a great day of the week for me in business. I usually wake up feeling super energized to knock out the last commitments I need to get done or activities I want to achieve. There’s this anticipation of the weekend coming around the corner.
Lately, on Friday afternoons, I’ve been pausing work to play golf with my husband. It’s been so much fun learning a new sport. I’m still very much in the learning phase, but I know the only way I’m going to get better and improve my golf game is by showing up, practicing those swings and playing the game, which connects to our topic of consistency.
I also love Fridays because it’s a great time to reflect and plan in my business. I love carving out some time to reflect over the week. Here are some of the questions I ask myself.
What did I accomplish?
What progress did I make towards my goals?
Where did I fall a little bit short?
What lessons did I learn?
By practicing this every Friday, I have built so much momentum in my business! I’ve been able to impact clients and produce new content. In fact, I’ve achieved things in my business that a year ago, I didn’t think were possible.
I remember listening to a podcast a year ago and thinking, “Wow, wouldn’t it be great to have my own show?” Of course, instantly, self-doubt kicked in. I told myself all the reasons that it wasn’t possible. But throughout this year – I stayed connected, had clarity about what I wanted to build, and who I wanted to impact. Then I worked intentionally to grow my confidence to be able to take a risk and act courageously.
And as you probably already know, I was able to launch my Elite Achievement podcast! It was possible because of the time that I consistently spend every week and every month, reflecting and planning.
Let’s talk about consistency.
I am a huge advocate of consistency. I know that when we move away from all of the starts and stops in the directions of our goals, we will make a ton of progress. I define consistency as repeating the habits, actions and beliefs in the direction of your goals to build momentum. And as I’ve worked with hundreds of small business owners and coached them to build their businesses, I have seen how being consistent can lead to massive breakthroughs in achieving big goals. I’ve also seen how a lack of consistency can cause a lot of struggle. It can cause individuals to give up on their goals and not reach what they set out to achieve. For that reason, it’s essential to identify some of the things we do, intentionally or unintentionally, that destroy our consistency.
The All or Nothing Mentality
I struggle with an all or nothing mentality. I’ll admit I’m a bit of a perfectionist, can any other women relate? An all or nothing mentality and perfectionism must be closely related.
I went into 2020 with an outline of everything I wanted to achieve this year. My business goals, my personal goals, my fitness goals, financial goals, family goals – I had all the goals.
I love goals, in case you haven’t already noticed. And one of the goals that I had set for myself at the start of this year was to establish and consistently execute a morning routine. And I defined this by connecting to my short-term vision, working out, reading and meditating. I was fired up to incorporate all of these elements in 2020. I had already built a great habit of connecting to my short-term vision and I love working out. But adding the meditation and reading was a new part of this year’s morning routine.
I’m going to be honest – I have struggled to incorporate meditation and reading into my routine every morning consistently. And at the start of the year, I would beat myself up. I told myself, “I only meditated twice this week. I guess I’m never going to get this new morning routine down.” How often do we all do that?
We set out at the beginning of the year or beginning of the quarter, even the beginning of a new week, and we’ve got plans. This is going to be the week for change! I’m doing it. I am going all out. Then we miss a day and beat ourselves up. The all or nothing mentality is not serving us well.
The reality is that if I consistently meditate for two days a week over the course of a year, that’s progress! But if we fall victim to this all or nothing mentality and miss a day, we can fall into a shame spiral. That’s where you beat yourself up and you tell yourself stories. You create self-doubt and lower your confidence. All of a sudden, you go from hitting the goal you set twice a week to zero times per week.
I encourage you to be aware of this all or nothing mentality as you are striving to achieve a goal, accomplish something you’ve never done or build a new habit. If you miss a day or you get off track – guess what? That’s called being human. We all are imperfect. If we continue to put these rigid all or nothing expectations on ourselves, we hinder our ability to achieve our goals or maximize our potential.
If you have a tendency to give up because you got a little behind, or you missed a day, remember, you’ve got tomorrow, you can make that change, you can get back on track. And even if you don’t execute seven days a week and that was your intention, five days is better than no days.
Let’s talk about another consistency destroyer – casual commitments. I have seen people make commitments knowing what they need to do to grow their businesses. They know the activity level they should be doing and they have a desire to do better week after week. Knowing what we “should” do isn’t always powerful enough to inspire action. These casual commitments tend to be missing a real connection to what is important or what drives us to work-hard and take risks. Casual commitments tend to lead to missed commitments. The process of setting a casual commitment and not following through can wreak havoc on your consistency.
I meet with a good friend and a business owner every Monday for a peer accountability call (curious to learn more about peer accountability calls? check out this blog post for details). Every Monday, we get on the phone and talk about what’s going well in our businesses and the obstacles we’re facing. And at the end of the call, we set commitments.
When we started these calls, I would set commitments that were somewhat connected to my to-do list because I wanted to feel good about crossing something off. I found myself hitting some commitments and missing some commitments. It was more casual. But as I’ve grown more intentional with the goals I want to achieve in my business this year, and the action that it takes to achieve the goals, I am aligning the commitments to the actions I need to grow my business. The more I reflect, plan and set intentional commitments that are directly aligned with the goals I want to achieve, the more I succeed at following through on my commitments.
As you explore consistency for your business, or your goals, I encourage you to think about the commitments you’re making.
Are they casual or are they intentional?
Do you put thought behind the commitments and why they matter?
Do you consider what result you’re seeking and what the outcome will be once you achieve your commitment?
Or, do you casually commit to what you think you should be committing to?
The more intentional you are, the more likely you are to follow through and continue building momentum consistently in the direction of your goals.
The Instant Gratification Lie
The last consistency destroyer I often see comes from the instant gratification society we live in today. I am a huge Amazon prime fan. And I love the fact that if a client recommends a book, I can put it in my cart and have it on my doorstep the next day.
We’ve become accustomed to these technological advances that sometimes make our lives easier. But they also create this false expectation that success should be instant. In conversations with clients, we often brainstorm strategies to help them achieve their goals. We’ll create a game plan and talk about next steps. In subsequent meetings, I’ll ask my clients about their progress. And many times, I will hear defeat in their voice as they describe their progress. I always listen for that initial response before going one layer deeper. Because more often than not, what I find out is they are feeling defeated, based on a small sample of size or effort.
If you are working on implementing a new strategy in your business or ramping up your activity, keep progressing. Give yourself at least 30 days to try it out and get some results. Please don’t make sweeping assumptions based on a tiny sample size. Give yourself enough data, repetitions and time for this process to work itself out.
The instant gratification belief or expectation that we have can really wreak havoc on our consistency because it inspires starts and stops. We get super fired up and excited about a new idea and implement. But, if we don’t see instant results we tend to give up. We think, “wow, it must not be working!” In reality, we might need to allow ourselves a few more attempts before determining if it does or doesn’t work.
If you’re thinking, “Kristin, this makes sense. I know that sometimes I give up because I have an all or nothing mentality. I know sometimes I set casual commitments or think that I should get success a whole lot quicker. What do I do about it?”
Building consistency goes back to clarity. The clearer your vision is for where you want to go and the goals you want to achieve, the easier it becomes to act consistently. Once you have that clarity, you can start connecting your commitments to the activities you need to execute to achieve your smaller goals. Those smaller goals roll up to the bigger goals, which ultimately roll-up to achieving your vision.
If you’re looking to build some consistency in the direction of your goals, I highly recommend writing a vision first. Once you have that vision in place, it’s critical to build in some reflection and planning time. It’s not enough to just write that vision…we need to connect to it strategically.
I love reading my long-term vision on a quarterly basis during my quarterly business planning session (intrigued? read this post to learn more about my quarterly business review). It gives me a chance to reflect, connect and ask, what do I want to do big picture this quarter to get closer to that vision? Then, every month, I complete a goal review session at the end of the month, carving out time on my calendar, rewriting my goals and asking, “Am I on track? What can I celebrate? Where am I off track? What do I need to put some focus and attention on in the next month to move closer to achieving these goals?”
All of this intentionality doesn’t mean I execute perfectly. But it helps me grow consistency. It helps me grow clarity, and it’s helping me move in the direction of my goals.
So with that goal achievers, I hope you feel inspired to set more intentional commitments and give yourself a little bit of grace if you miss one day. Connect to your bigger vision, keep celebrating your weekly wins, learning from your lessons and identifying your priorities so you can consistently pursue progress in the direction of your goals.