Struggles with finding life balance

Struggles with finding life balance

Finding life balance is an ongoing task that we should all pay attention to.

The right balance can transform your life from feeling average to joyous – whether your life is a three-ring circus, a high-wire act or you are in charge of cleaning elephant dung.

Life has to be a balance between our preferences and our necessities. But the balance needs to align with who we are and where we want to be. It should be a more holistic (and deeper) consideration than just work and life. 

Balance in life should be between your fundamental priorities. This will give you a life that feels personally successful.

To achieve this balance, you will need to start by reflecting on the life you are living now and what you want from it. This should be done in the context of your life’s key ingredients so you can discover guidelines to live your version of a personally successful life.

These key ingredients to consider include:

  • Happiness
  • Core values
  • Meaning & purpose
  • Personally aligned goals

Finding the right balance between these could be the difference between a life that feels… blah and a life that feels fulfilled.

Finding Life Balance

A balanced life is a successful life

A life with the right balance will feel personally successful. But, do you know what your personal definition of success looks like? 

Do you know what you need for your life to feel happy, meaningful and perfect to you?

It is not unusual to be confused about what is truly important in our lives. We can easily create a life with missing ingredients when we are focused on work, family, etc. 

So, it is important to take the time to check in with ourselves to make sure we are on the right path (a successful one that we feel proud of.)

Finding life balance involves happiness

Happiness is hard to define. But, you know what it means to you and you know if you have enough. 

In your busy life, this can be an easily overlooked ingredient. But when you make sure you have the balance right, happiness can make a huge difference in your life.

Take the time to think about what makes you happy. Consider how often these things happen in your day-to-day. Are you happy with this balance?

Values are at the core of finding life balance

Another important part of life’s balancing act is your core values.

Core values are the fundamentals of how you understand yourself and approach the world.

Living a life aligned to your values can help you feel content with your day-to-day. For example, if you value creativity – days spent being creative may feel ideal.

It is important to understand what your core values are and how they show up in the way you live your life.

Purpose is needed for life balance

A sense of purpose is a key ingredient in a life that feels fulfilled and meaningful.

Purpose in your life can take many forms. They are activities that give you a “worthwhile” feeling. They can be the opportunity to engage your skills and your passions. They can fully absorb you and make you lose track of time. They are the things that give meaning to your life.

We are creatures that seek meaning in our lives. Without this – we can feel lost.

It is important to understand the role of purpose in your life and ensure that it is part of your life’s balancing act.

Your goal to find life balance

Goals are an essential component of a life that feels good. They give your life essential structure, direction and a sense of achievement that helps you thrive. 

However, all goals are not created equally. The key to goals that enrich your life is that they:

  • Are manageable and practicle in your busy life
  • Fit in with your personality and the way you live your life
  • Are built the right way and set you up for success

The key to finding life balance

It is easy to get caught up with your roles and responsibilities. As a result, you can easily end up in a balancing act that doesn’t actually align with who you are and what is important to you. 

If you self-reflect and look at your life as a whole you can make sure you are tending to the key ingredients of your life. And if you are not you can set your goals accordingly.

You might find that your life is not the juggling act you want – maybe you would prefer to be shot out of a cannon?

Start your balance journey for free

Finding life balance is something I am passionate about. Because, I have lived an unbalanced life that felt… blah.

If you are looking for help to find balance in your life, check out this free course that will support you to explore all the areas in your life and take a step towards a life you love.

This is not about finding more time in your busy life. It is about making sure your busy life is constructed from the right ingredients – the ingredients you need to fire the perfect cannonball.

Ready to feel like a better version of you?

Start living a successful life – filled with the right balance of purpose, value and happiness today.

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    Dealing with imposter syndrome – 10 genuine tips

    Dealing with imposter syndrome – 10 genuine tips

    I don’t have a problem dealing with imposter syndrome. People are just constantly mistaken about how good my achievements are…

    If you are dealing with imposter syndrome you may feel that you do not deserve your success, you don’t have enough experience, or you are deceiving people about your abilities. You may feel like a fraud that may be “found out”, or have complicated feelings about achievements and perceived skill levels.

    Research (which admits there are holes in the current data) says that the occurrence of imposter syndrome is up to 82% of the population. 

    However, I was recently at a conference with almost 200 coaches and 100% of the group reported experiencing some form of imposter syndrome. The group also expected to see manifestations in all of their high-achieving coaching clients. So anecdotally, I think this is something we all struggle with.

    Originally, imposter syndrome came to light in a study of high-performing women in the 1980s. So, some consider the effects to be associated with gender. But, recent studies have shown that everyone can experience its effects.

    There are a number of things that can contribute to imposter syndrome. Factors such as internal beliefs (“I am not good enough”), emotions or personality can be relevant. Symptoms may be influenced by past experiences, relationships and perceived skills. Or, elements in the external environment such as culture, hierarchies and societal stereotypes (eg. the feelings from being a minority in a room) can contribute.

    dealing with imposter syndrome

    5 Types of imposters

    Valarie Young in her book The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It (Crown Business, 2011) proposed there are 5 types of imposter syndrome.

    • The Perfectionist: Who strives for perfection and is never satisfied with their work. Feels negative about perceived flaws.
    • The Superhero: Who pushes themselves hard and tries to do it all. Feels negative emotions if they feel they are not handling things perfectly and easily.
    • The Expert: Who is never satisfied with their level of understanding. Often highly skilled. Feels negative emotions if there is a lack of knowledge.
    • The Natural genius: Who sets big goals then feels negative if they don’t succeed the first try.
    • The Soloist: Whose self-worth comes from productivity. Sees asking for help as a sign of weakness which creates negative emotions.

    Chances are you identify with one major type. But, it is common to identify with other types to a lesser degree as well.

    The effects of imposter syndrome can be felt throughout all areas of your life. Including: 

    • Your emotional and psychological health
    • The trajectory of your career
    • Your relationships
    • Your performance in tasks and work
    • Your physical health and wellbeing (stemming from emotional issues)

    Given these far-reaching effects – it is important to deal with imposter syndrome if you feel it is a problem for you. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do.

    10 tips to help you deal with imposter sydrome

    Identify your thoughts & beliefs

    The first step is to understand how the negative emotions associated with your imposter syndrome come into play. Chances are if you are reading this you already have some idea. Do you know what triggers these emotions? Do you know what effect they are having in your life?

    A great place to start is to self-reflect on which of the 5 types of imposters show up for you.

    Reach out

    If you have identified that imposter syndrome affects your life – reach out to someone. 

    Discuss it with your friends and family or reach out to a mentor. Finding support will remind you that you are not alone and help to take action.

    Seek treatment

    Imposter syndrome or phenomenon is not a psychological diagnosis. But it is recognised as a contributing factor to anxiety and depression, which can be addressed with professional interventions. 

    So, if you are struggling, seek professional psychological support.

    Remember your health

    There are a number of ways that the emotional stress of imposter syndrome can impact your physical health. So, looking after yourself and having healthy routines is important.

    Understand your purpose

    Knowing why you do what you do is important. If your actions and achievements are grounded in a sense of purpose it can give you the strength to push through negative emotions.

    Deal with your thoughts

    There are a number of ways to deal with the unhelpful thoughts that accompany imposter syndrome. Search for evidence to support your feelings (often you will find there is none there), acknowledge thoughts and accept them for what they are (thoughts not facts to ruminate on) and reframe thoughts more positively (see things for the opportunities that they are). 

    Seek resources to move forward

    Reach out to a coach or find other material to help you move forward. There are lots of great resources that are a few clicks away to help you on your journey.

    Measure your successes

    It is important to understand what success means to you and how you can measure it. This will allow you to track your progress against meaningful benchmarks rather than relying on external feedback that may trigger complicated emotions.

    Fake it ‘til you make it

    Confidence will always catch up with you. So, don’t shy away from new opportunities. Take risks and leaps forward when you can and your (well deserved) confidence will follow.

    Accentuate the positive

    Along with the negatives of dealing with imposter syndrome, there are positives that you can harness. For most of us, imposter syndrome drives us to work hard to overcome our perceived issues. 

    Embrace this work ethic and use it to your advantage (while reframing those negative thoughts).

    Are you actually a genius?

    There is one last thing I want to say about dealing with imposter syndrome. And for me – it is the most important.

    When you are feeling like a fraud, or people are overplaying your achievements, which of these options are more likely? 

    a) That 100% of the people around you aren’t smart enough to realise you don’t deserve to be there or they are lying to you about your achievements. Or, 

    b) 100% of the people around you are correct and you have some imposter syndrome to work on?

    If you have fooled 100% of the people around you to believe you are something you are not – you aren’t a fraud – you are a genius!

    Which type of imposter are you? Let us know in the comments!

    Ready to feel like a better version of you?

    Start living a successful life – filled with the right balance of purpose, value and happiness today.

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      4 Tips you need for scary changes

      4 Tips you need for scary changes

      100% ready for a scary change in your life but freaking out 100%? I’ve been there.

      Big changes in your life that you want, are ready for, and are excited about – can still be super scary. 

      There are a number of reasons for this and there are a number of things you can do to ease the transition.

      In this post, I have gathered my top 4 tips that have helped me take big scary leaps into the unknown.

      1. Accept change is scary

      A change in one area in your life can send ripples (or even tidal wives) through the foundations of how you understand yourself in the world.

      To illustrate this point, let’s consider the six logical levels of change – used by neuro-linguistic programming practitioners. This proposes the following hierarchy of personal change.

      1. Purpose and spirituality
      2. Identity
      3. Beliefs and values
      4. Capabilities and skills
      5. Behaviors
      6. Environment

      These elements are intertwined and a change in one level may result in an adjustment in others. 

      So, if you are embarking on a change in your behavior – like quitting your job, you may feel ripples through how you perceive your purpose, values, beliefs, identity, competency and environment.

      This change just could rock (your perception) of the world. This is scary by anyone’s standards. But that’s okay. Accept this is part of the journey and look forward to the positive changes that will no doubt come.

      Preparing for scary changes in life

      2. Understand that scary changes stress your brain out

      Your brain is not into change. Scary or otherwise.

      Cognitive dissonance is the theory that describes your brain’s quest to maintain the status quo of your attitudes and behaviors (cognitive consistency). A disruption to this state causes brain chaos (cognitive dissonance). This can result in anxiety and stress.

      According to a Harvard professor of psychiatry, change, even when positive, creates cognitive dissonance. The main reason for this is uncertainty. This can drive you to retreat to old habits. And, due to your biological impulses, defaults your brain into negative bias. (Glass half empty anyone?)

      So, if that voice in your head is telling you to abort your new life mission, ignore. That grey little guy is not excited to co-pilot on this one.

      3. Have a scary life change plan

      Having a plan in place for your scary changes is your greatest defense against uncertainty (and your stressed-out brain).

      The more of your journey you can plan the smoother the transition may be. Make sure you consider planning for the following areas.

      • Plan of action: Plan the steps you are going to take on this journey. The more detailed the better. If you are having trouble, visualise your end goal and work backward to break down the steps to get there.
      • Contingency plan: Scrutinise the road ahead for any potential bumps. And then create a plan for them too.
      • Plan for your assets and resources: Make sure you understand what resources are needed to bring your plan to fruition and get them ready. This could include $$, skills, knowledge, contacts, etc.
      • Plan for your definition of success: To ensure this journey is personally fulfilling – make sure your plan strives for your personal definition of success. This should align with your ideals of value, meaning, and purpose.

      4. Think less “scary changes” and more “awesome changes”

      Make sure you don’t let the scariness turn into doubt and negatively.

      Embracing a positive mindset can help deal with your scary thoughts. Below are a few tips.

      • Remember the glass is half full: It is important to notice when you are slipping into negative thoughts and emotions. Use this self-awareness to reframe these thoughts positively. (eg. don’t think of the unknown as scary – think of it as an exciting opportunity!) If you need a hand stopping your negatively check out this post.
      • Visualise the outcome: Research has shown that visualising your goals can support you to achieve them. So, take the time to visualise your dream goal journey to improve your chances and your mindset.
      • Build a pros and cons list: A solid pros and cons list will help you prepare for change, as well as, creating an inspiration tool to refer to later. 
      • Know the “why”: The key to great goals is for them to be grounded in the understanding of “why” they are important to you. Referring back to this, when things are tough, will remind you why it is worth it.

      Now you are ready to rock some scary changes

      So – go forth and good luck!

      I can think of a bunch of cliches that I could write here to send you on your way…

      But, I think the one thing that you really need to know is: You can do it.

      Ready to feel like a better version of you?

      Start living a successful life – filled with the right balance of purpose, value and happiness today.

      Grab your FREE 5-day email course!

        Have you tried any of these tips? Drop a comment below with your thoughts!

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        Are you feeling discouraged? 15 Tips you need

        Are you feeling discouraged? 15 Tips you need

        15 tips to help you get back on the horse – when you are feeling discouraged with your goals.

        Feeling discouraged or disheartened is something we all experience during our goal journeys.

        When this happens – doubt can creep up on us. We can worry we will never reach our dream goals. We can get concerned all our effort will be for nothing. It can stop us in our tracks. 

        We can find ourselves struggling to tread water, wondering why we chose not to take a bridge.

        I have been there. Honestly – I have been there often. In fact – I find myself today.

        In an effort to paint a picture of what it was like to feel discouraged – I went looking for a definition of discouraged:

        Having had one’s confidence and determination reducedCollins Dictionary

        However, this doesn’t seem to capture the gravity of the situation. 

        So, then I looked up some synonyms

        Crestfallen, depressed, dismayed, pessimistic, beat, blue, dashed, daunted, deterred, dispirited, down, beat-down, caved-in, come-apart, down-in-mouth, downbeat, downcast, glum, gone to pieces, in a funk, in blue funk, in the dumps, lost momentum.


        In my glum and crestfallen state today. I am finding myself pessimistic and deterred with my goals. But, although I am feeling daunted and down in the dumps – I don’t want to completely lose momentum. So, I will try to get out of this funk by providing some tips.

        These tips can help you brush yourself off and keep going – if you are feeling discouraged with your goals.

        So, if you are also feeling beat by your goals – don’t feel dispirited and cave in. Check out this list of 15 quick tips – and take the reins back again.

        Tips for when you are feeling discouraged with your goals

        1. Lean into it

        That’s right. Just let yourself feel discouraged.

        According to the research you will benefit from accepting negative emotions and thoughts and just letting yourself feel them.

        This is a great time to start journaling or phone a supportive friend – and vent, process, and lean in.

        (If you are venting to a friend they might like to read this post: Being a good friend – The tips you need)

        2. Remember this emotion is normal

        There is nothing wrong with you if you are feeling discouraged. 

        Remember, it is normal to feel ups and downs during your goal journey. So be kind to yourself.

        3. Avoid catastrophic thinking

        If you are anything like me – this is a tough one. But, don’t let your mind run away with itself. A bump in the road does not mean there is a 100-mile sinkhole on the horizon.

        Just because things feeling disheartening today – doesn’t mean you will never reach your dreams goals.

        4. Look after yourself

        Now, is the time for self-care.

        When you are feeling discouraged – you can feel fragile and down. Take this opportunity to get stuck into your practice self-care. 

        So, whether this means, reading a book, having a massage, or an aggressive gym workout. Do what you need to take a break and look after yourself.

        5. Get a hug

        There are many benefits to hugs that can help you relieve stress. So, find someone to give you a 20-second cuddle. 

        If you can’t get your hands on anyone – don’t worry. You can still reap the benefits by just giving yourself a squeeze.

        6. Help someone else

        Intentional kindness is a great way to get out of your head and embrace some good vibes.

        So, take the opportunity to help someone else. Even small efforts like holding the door open for someone can get you out of the gate.

        7. Remember it’s worth it

        Remind yourself of your ultimate goal. It’s fantastic right!? 

        Being able to reach your dreams is going to be worth a few short-term hiccups (like the one you are experiencing now).

        8. Believe in yourself

        The fact is – you can reach your goals if you put in the work. So, know it – and believe it. 

        It’s important to be your own cheerleader and master of the self-pep talk during your goal journey.

        9. Search for your positivity

        Positivity will help you and your brain to start working on your goals again. So, start thinking about positive things. 

        Take a moment to remember your past successes, listen to your favourite song, or think about your favourite person.

        If you have trouble seeing the glass as half full – check out this post: How to stop being negative.

        10. Practice your gratitude

        Gratitude is another great way to up your feelings of positivity and get you moving forward with your goals. 

        Gratitude increases your positive affect (mood) which research tells us has multiple advantages for you and your successful goal journey.

        11. Ensure your goals are right for you

        Sometimes we can pursue goals that aren’t right for us. It is imperative that you are truly excited and personally motivated to achieve your goals.

        If you are feeling like you can’t get your goals off the ground – check out this post: Obstacles in achieving goals – Is your brain sabotaging you?

        12. Sharpen your goal focus

        Sometimes we can feel disheartened when we are galloping after vague goals. Make sure you have focused and clearly defined goals that are right for your current situation.

        Need a hand focusing on your goals? Check out this post – The life changing goal setting tip

        13. Check your definition of success

        Make sure the success you are trying to achieve – aligns with your personal definition of success. 

        If you are chasing the wrong dreams – you will never feel successful.

        (If you need to recalibrate your definition of success check out this article)

        14. Learn from it

        There is a good possibility that something has led to you feeling discouraged. So, take this as a learning opportunity. 

        Take the time to self-reflect so you can learn from this experience. You might discover something that can help you.

        Related post: Why self-reflection is important

        15. Get back to work

        The best thing to do when you have fallen off the horse is to get back on again.

        If you need some tips for resaddling – this article provides pointers to get you working again.

        So, next time you are feeling discouraged about your goals – use these tips to get yourself trotting again.

        Hopefully, you’ll be feeling the breeze in your hair in no time.

        (End of lame horse riding analogy [pun half intended])

        Ready to feel like a better version of you?

        Start living a successful life – filled with the right balance of purpose, value and happiness today.

        Grab your FREE 5-day email course!

          Do you sometimes feel discouraged when pursuing your goals?

          Drop a comment below

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          The life changing goal setting tip

          The life changing goal setting tip

          This goal setting tip is the secret sauce for your goals

          This goal setting tip will ensure you choose the best path for your goals. It can craft the vaguest goal into a well defined path. A pathway that is completely aligned with your values and priorities.

          I call my #1 tip to rock your goal-setting world – Analysed goal setting.

          This process involves brainstorming all the possible options to achieve your goals. Then, selecting the best path – based on your personalised criteria (which is done through a quick and easy analysis).

          Now, you can do this on a bit of paper or similar. But, if you would like my fully loaded spreadsheet with preformatted formulas. Grab it below.

          Ready to make your goal into a reality?

          Grab everything you need to craft your goal into a path of success.

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            Superpowered goal setting tip in action

            The reason this is my #1 goal setting tip is because I have used it to change my life.

            At the time, I was unhappy with my job and I was ready for change. But, I had no idea what I wanted to do.

            There is always a danger when you are not sure what change you want or need – you do nothing. You may just sit back and wait for something to change. (And this was the road I had taken… for years.)

            However, unfortunately, (unless you are really lucky) doing nothing often has the unsurprising effect of nothing changing…

            So, thankfully for my lacklustre life – I used this exercise. 

            I started with the loose goal “I need to do something about my life” and ended with a clear picture of my various options. Plus, an understanding of how each stacked up against what was important to me.

            And perhaps the biggest takeaway at the time – the trajectory I was on – was the least aligned to my priorities.

            So, today I want to walk you through the process – so you can change your life too.

            #1 Goal setting tip kick off – the prerequisite

            The first thing you need for this exercise – is to decide on a goal. 

            Maybe it’s a new job, greater life balance, a passion project – or, maybe you just know you what something different.

            (If you need help deciding on a goal this article has got your back: Wellness wheel activity = game changer)

            The key is – to be ready to make a change. Scratch that. You are excited to reach your goal.

            Once you have your goal (as vague as it may be) – you can use the analysed goals setting process to flesh it out and choose your ideal path.

            #1 Goal setting tip step 1: Brainstorming

            Now, I am sure we are all familiar with brainstorming – so I won’t teach you to suck eggs.

            But what I will say is this should be the wildest and wackiest brainstorming sesh you have ever had.

            For example – if we use the loose goal of “changing jobs to something better”. 

            You would list obvious options (including stay in the current job) but if you have ever thought of being Prime Minister – put that – if you have wished you were a 1950s housewife – put that – Astronaut – ditto – professional couch potato – samesies.

            The idea is to completely clear the options out of your head – the practicality of your options sort themselves out in the next steps.

            Goal setting tip

            #1 Goal setting tip step 2: Criteria

            The next step is to decide the criteria you will use to rate the suitability of your options. This will allow you to calculate how they stack up against each other and your priorities (ie whether they are winners or not).

            As part as your criteria – I recommend you use your core values. 

            These are the boxes that you must have ticked in the ideal world. Or in this case – your ideal job. 

            These are your foundational priorities that will make you feel fulfilled and content.

            (If you have never done a core values exercise, or it has been a while, I recommend doing one now. If you would like access to mine – check out Day 2 of my free email course).

            To use me as an example – my core values are:

            • Learning (ie. I always want to to be learning)
            • Challenged (ie. I always want to have challenges to unpack)
            • Helping (ie. I am happiest when I feel I am helping people)

            And given the nature of our wild and wacky brainstorming – I would add another:

            • Practical (eg. it’s probably not practical to think I could turn back time to the 1950s)

            You might like to have additional criteria relating to ease, cost, time etc.

            #1 Goal setting tip step 3: Analysis

            Now you have a set of criteria – you will use this to rate your brainstorming options.

            So, review each option and give it a score for how well it meets each criteria.

            My example: Astronaut (I will use a score of 1-4)

            • Learning – 4 (I imagine you would be learning all the time)
            • Challenged – 4 (I think it would be ridiculously challenging to be an astronaut)
            • Helping – 2 (I guess you might be helping the world in the broader sense with your achievements – but it wouldn’t be like a teacher who helps people directly every day)
            • Practical – 1 (There could be many reasons for this – but I am going to go with the fact that because I am ridiculously claustrophobic there is little chance I could do anything spaceship related [I haven’t rated it 0 because there is no required time travel])

            So total score: 11

            I would now go on to score the rest of my options.

            #1 Goal setting tip step 4: Review

            Now that you have a score against each of your options – you will be able to look at your highest-rated options and see which options align best with what is important to you and why

            From this list you can pick your most suitable goal.

            The next step would be building a plan to start putting your perfect goal into action.

            If you need a hand – check out this article to build a 6-week action plan: Goal setting challenge = wildly transformative.

            From lacklustre to sparkling

            So – rewind to when I knew I had to do something different with my career and I didn’t know what.

            I completed this exercise and was completely surprised that my current role scored pretty terribly against my core values when compared to other options.

            At this point – the writing was on the wall (well in the spreadsheet) that something had to change. And, it gave me the courage (or at least convinced me) to make assertive changes in my life.

            So, this is my #1 goal setting tip because it set me off on a direction that helped me leave my lacklustre life behind. And put me on a fulfilling and value based path.

            Consider this exercise as the special sauce in your goal-setting menu of options.

            Having trouble setting your goals?

            Drop a comment below so we can help.

            Ready to make your goal into a reality?

            Grab everything you need to craft your goal into a path of success.

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              Obstacles in achieving goals – Is your brain sabotaging you?

              Obstacles in achieving goals – Is your brain sabotaging you?

              Do you find obstacles in achieving goals? You are not alone. You might come across them during the goal-building journey or in the process of pursuing them. 

              But, if you have trouble getting started on your goal journey or find your goals forever changing – your main obstacle may be your self-sabotaging brain.

              The key to this problem is to make sure your goals are deeply rooted in your understanding of why you want to make this change.

              Below are two examples of self-sabotaging obstacles you might face and what to do about them.

              Obstacle 1 – Your brain isn’t ready for change

              If you have a goal that you can’t seem to get started – think about whether you are really feeling motivated and ready to make changes.

              I recently asked my friend who is an exercise physiologist (a qualified professional who trains their clients to recover from injury, lose weight or reach other exercise related goals) – whether she can generally see a difference between her clients that are likely to achieve their goals and those that aren’t.

              She told me that she can work out a client’s likelihood of success within the first two minutes of meeting them. The difference between clients is how they talk about their goal.

              For example, if a client says “I am here because my doctor says I need to lose weight” – there is probably a 0% chance they will meet their goal.

              If a client comes in and says “I want to be able to lift my grandchild without pain” – there is a much higher chance of success.

              This can be explained by the Stages of Change concept. This tells us – you will only succeed with your goal journey if you are truly motivated and ready to do so.

              Stages of change - goals

              These are the Stages of Change in a nutshell:

              1. Precontemplation – You do not intend to change (may be unaware of or underestimating issue)
              2. Contemplation – You begin to contemplate change (aware of the issue – may still be ambivalent)
              3. Preparation/Determination – Ready and starting to make a change (Goal setting time!)
              4. Action – Making change & intend to keep going
              5. Maintenance – Sustaining new behaviour & intend to keep going (working to prevent relapse)

              So from my friend’s perspective – she can tell within 2 minutes what Stage of Change you are in and whether you are ready for the journey.

              Can you think of a goal that never seems to get off the ground?

              Ask yourself – Are you feeling ready to make change or maybe you are still feeling ambivalent?

              Obstacle 2 – Your brain is sabotaging you

              If you have decided that you don’t need to achieve your goal anymore – it might not be that your intention or goal has genuinely changed. It might be because your brain has put it in the too-hard basket.

              To make life easier for you – your brain has the (slightly unhelpful) ability to convince you that you are in fact happy with the status quo and the hard work of your goals is unnecessary.

              Example goal – Trying to lose weight

              Losing weight is the easiest thing in the world – said no one ever.

              Weight loss is hard.

              Obviously, there are those people that love to eat healthily and exercise – I’m not talking about those lucky sons of b*ches here. I’m talking about normal people.

              I personally think there are two main reasons this is so hard:

              1. Food is pretty much the best thing ever – so having to reduce things or modify the diet that makes us happy sucks &
              2. Exercise (of the proper weight loss variety) is hard and often not terribly enjoyable – and who wants to do something hard and not enjoyable.

              Now – to make matters worse – our brain can dislike participating in these weight loss activities so much – it can convince us we are in fact happy at our given weight. This way it (and we) can avoid the unenjoyable hard work of reaching our weight loss goal.

              So – regardless of how much your body doesn’t want to play the weight loss game – your brain isn’t that interested either.

              Have you ever found yourself giving up on a goal – because you decided that it didn’t matter anymore? Have you ever decided the hard work required to achieve a goal wasn’t worth it – because in fact the status quo was okay?

              Obstacles in achieving goals

              How to fight these obstacles in achieving your goals

              Before you start taking action on your goals 

              Next time you are setting goals – ask yourself:

              • Do you have the correct mindset to dedicate yourself to this goal?
                • Are you feeling really motivated and ready to make this change?
                • Do you know why you want to make this change?
              • Do you feel excited and ready for the challenge? 
                • What excites you the most about achieving the goal?
                • Will it be worth all the hard work?

              Remember: If you aren’t in the right Stage of Change – you can save yourself the effort (& time & money) because you won’t have the mindset to drive you to your goals.

              If your goal has dropped off the radar

              Self-reflect to ensure that it isn’t your brain sabotaging you – by going back to the beginning of the goal-making process.

              Remind yourself what your goal is and why it is your goal. Ask yourself (again):

              • Why is this goal important to you?
              • What are the benefits for your life if you achieve this goal?
              • What will it feel like when you achieve this goal?

              Re-clarifying why this is your goal can re-invigorate your motivation and this might be enough to spark you back into positive action.

              But if things still feel lackluster… Start again! There is nothing wrong with starting the goal-making process again – if you have lost your enthusiasm.

              So – next time you are struggling to get your goals off the ground. Self-reflect and make sure your brain isn’t being an obstacle in achieving your goals.

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                Do you have trouble getting your goals going?

                Drop a comment below and let us know your struggles.

                (Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash)