We’ve all been there. You have goals—important ones—and maybe even a plan that seems do-able.
And yet, when push comes to shove, you just can’t get your butt in gear.
Whether you struggle to get started on your path to accomplishing your goals or whether you feel like it’s been a steady diet of false starts, “restarts,” and “do-overs,” you are not alone. Many busy high-achieving women struggle when it comes to figuring out how to take better care of themselves or focus their time and energy on something that’s important to them.
If you’re wondering where your mojo went or why you just can’t seem to prioritize your goals and make them happen, here are five important areas that might be what’s holding you back:
- Do you need more motivation? If you aren’t getting where you want to go, it’s important to ask whether you really want it bad enough. Making lifestyle changes is hard and if you are doing something just because you “should” or to make someone else happy, your motivation, passion, and drive are going to falter (if not fizzle out all-together). We make changes (and stick to them) when we have a workable plan and a compelling enough reason or a juicy enough reward to stick with it. If you are stuck or feel like you are moving in circles, ask yourself what’s motivating you these days? What’s the incentive? When do you get to celebrate and reap the rewards? Sprinkle these in liberally—even daily—so that you’ll have frequent reminders that what you are doing is paying off. Oh—and don’t just read this, nod your head, and skip this whole “reward” step. That’s one of the biggest mistakes too many smart (but stuck) women are making.
- Do you have enough energy? Are you energized and replenished enough to pursue this goal? Are you being realistic about what you can do and are you well-rested enough to achieve it? Many of my clients (busy women with a lot on their plates), not only expect a lot (often too much) of themselves, they expect to be able to function with less than everyone else. Big mistake. Before you set off in pursuit of any goal. Ask yourself if you are chronically exhausted or sleep deprived. For 99.9% of us, long term success will not happen on 5 hours of sleep a night. Make the first step toward getting your butt in gear the step of consistently getting 7.5 hours of sleep a night. Your productivity, your creativity, your focus, and even your metabolism will thank you. This is one mojo-enhancing step where the payoff is HUGE.
- Have you said no so you can say yes? Another note about high-achieving busy women: just because you want to do it doesn’t mean you can stretch time to fit it in. Every yes requires a no in order to make space for it. If you are wilting instead of thriving with your goals, ask yourself whether there is room in your life to move forward. It’s a hard question for many, but what are you willing to say no to so that you can block out the time and the energy that you need to create success? Consider your success an incredibly valuable investment. Just as you save money for big purchases like a car or a house, you need to carefully save and preserve your time and energy (and yes, sometimes your dollars), so that you have them to invest in the valuable prize (success!) that you are seeking.
- Are you hearing voices? One of the biggest drains on your energy, your mojo, and your potential for success can be the way you think and talk to yourself. Perfectionism, self-blame, frustration and anger with yourself can all sabotage your ability to start and stick with the changes you are trying to make. Are you too hard on yourself? Do you struggle to put yourself first or flounder with the idea of how to prioritize your needs? My litmus test is pretty simple. Would you talk to your mother the way you judge and talk to yourself? Do you believe that you can achieve the change that you want? If your mindset and your self talk are getting in your way, don’t despair—but don’t ignore it either. Focus on practices that build confidence and effectiveness and target beliefs that limit success.
- Who can help? There are few things more discouraging than feeling stuck or ineffective. The payoff for moving beyond this is huge. Consider how you feel when you achieve or win or cross whatever finish line you have set for yourself. If you aren’t making progress and you can’t get motivated or aren’t seeing the results that you want, it’s an important success strategy to consider whether some assistance, instruction, mentoring, or coaching is in order. Do you need more tools, a fresh perspective, or a shoulder to lean on? Who can help you with that? One of the most self-sabotaging mindsets is the belief that “I should be able to figure this out myself.” Sometimes we can’t do it alone (or will be better off and more successful if we don’t). Instead of feeling “weak” or incapable, look around. You’ll see that the most wildly successful people have mentors and a strong foundation of support.
What helps you get your butt in gear?