Text on picture of woman working at desk: 6 tips to complete the goal pushes against your comfort zone

6 tips to complete the project or goal that feels uncomfortable and pushes against your comfort zone

Last week I shared that I broke my habit of running around trying new projects and things that didn’t work by focusing on a project that forced me to learn and exercise a critical business skill that I lacked.

Working on that project was uncomfortable, pushed against my comfort zone hard, didn’t come naturally to me, and I wasn’t always motivated to keep going.

And yet I did, and the project was a success in the areas I needed it to be.

So, how did I do it?

The truth is there wasn’t just one thing that allowed me to complete this project. It was a combination of things.

Below I’ll share what I believe were the most significant contributors to completing the project.

My future success depended on me learning this skill.

While I wasn’t motivated to do this project specifically, I knew that not doing the project would mean I’d continue to have crappy results in my business. Basically, this skill was so important I knew that all my future success would be built on what I learned through this project. Not doing this project would mean my business would not move forward.

I was clear about my deadlines.

Because the project was uncomfortable and pushed against my comfort zone, it was super important to be very clear about what needed to be done and when. This allowed me to put on blinders to the larger project and only focus on the specific task in front of me.

Knowing that I wanted to start sending invites x days before the project began meant those deadlines weren’t moveable. Once I sent the first invites out, I was now committed to the date. It was out there.

I spread the work out over time.

I also made sure that the work was getting done, but was spread out. This allowed me to keep my energy up. I generally have more energy and attention in the morning, so I made sure those uncomfortable tasks came first.

I regularly reviewed my progress.

I gave myself time to review what worked and didn’t and adjust. Because the skill I was learning didn’t come naturally to me, I paid attention when something felt more in line with me (more down my alley, more me) and made a note of it to repeat later.

I had clearly defined tasks.

I was very clear about the tasks that needed to be completed. My task wasn’t to “invite people.” The tasks were to “make a list of at least 25 people that I think will benefit from this” and “personally invite that list of people via a phone call.”

It helped to focus on today’s task (or tasks) for the project. And because I spread the work out, I usually only had one 30-minute to 1-hour block of this to do each day. Once it was done, I could move on to tasks that felt much easier.

The bonus was how great it felt to have the task done and be able to move on.

I remembered my bigger goal when things felt hard (my why).

When things felt difficult, I’d take a deep breath and remember what I saw on the other side of this project. I’d remind myself why it was important to do this.

This sounds a bit like my first reason above, but this one is a bit deeper. The first one, my future successes depended on me learning this skill, is more of a nuts and bolts reason.

This reason is more of a mindset shift. It was about reminding myself that I could do these hard things and why it was important to step into being a person who did this hard thing and what that would do for me.

Again, it wasn’t just one of the above reasons that allowed me to complete the project that, on some levels, I did not want to do. It was the above reasons together that made the difference.

I’ve read multiple places that what makes a goal successful isn’t just about remembering why it’s important to you. It’s about putting the systems in place that support the work of doing hard things—remembering your why is one crucial part of that.

What questions do you have around doing projects in your business that feel uncomfortable or push against your comfort zone? Or share your experiences with this. Let me know in the comments.

Text on picture of cute hiding cat: How do you tell when you're avoiding things and when it's something to put your heart and business into?

How do you tell when you’re avoiding things, and when it’s something to put your heart and business into?

Last week I shared details of the pattern of avoiding something with an exciting new project.

It can sidetrack you from doing the work in your business that you need to be doing.

This week I said I’d share how to recognize this pattern.

Sidenote: a project can be almost anything you do in your business that is multiple steps. It might be a marketing plan, program, class, or any number of things.

So, how do you tell when it’s a project or idea that allows you to avoid other things, and when it’s something that you really should be putting your heart and business into?

It can be difficult to differentiate because it can feel the same at the beginning of both types of projects.

One question to ask yourself is, “Why do you want to do this new project/idea?”

One answer to look more into is, “I want it to be easier” (your it might be any number of things).

Sometimes making things easier is a legitimate reason. 

You might be adding a needed system to your business to make it run smoother, or you recognize you’re spending more time and energy on something than you need to be.

Sometimes making things easier is legitimate, but isn’t actually a priority.

Moving your email marketing system from your current system to a more expensive and robust system might be something you’ll need to do when you get to a certain point. Still, if you’re not going to be using even half of the features, it’s probably best to wait a bit.

Other times making things easier is a way of avoiding something in your business.

If things are falling through the cracks and lots of important tasks don’t get completed, you can decide you’ll only focus on that one big project for a while. However, without the skill of knowing how to keep track of the things you want to accomplish in your business (this is a skill, most of us aren’t born knowing how to do these things), you’ll feel even farther behind after the project is over and you still have all that other stuff to do.

This is the pattern for most answers to “Why do you want to do this new project/idea?”

Some of the reasons are legitimate, some are legitimate but not a priority, and other reasons allow you to avoid things.

At one pivotal point in my business, I realized that I was hopping from one great idea to another to avoid learning essential business skills by telling myself that this new thing would quickly bring in money. It never did.

I needed income, and it felt like nothing was working.

I did what I tell my clients to do; I took a step back and evaluated what worked and what hadn’t worked.

The good news was some things worked that I didn’t realize.

The bad news was that skill that I was avoiding was holding me back in almost everything else.

I created a new project for myself that made learning and using that skill a priority. I knew it wasn’t going to make me immediate money, but not learning and being comfortable with that skill was costing me a lot (and later, I invested in a program build on that knowledge).

I still found myself evaluating this project periodically because I kept wondering if this was my new distraction. It wasn’t.

Here’s why I knew the new project wasn’t a distraction:

  1. It helped me build and exercise a skill that I needed to move forward in my business. 
  2. I knew it wasn’t prudent to move forward with any other projects until I completed this one.
  3. I had clear goals and tracking metrics created to track my progress.
  4. I gave myself more time to set it up and do it. This didn’t mean I waited months. In reality, it meant instead of going from idea to release in 2-3 weeks, I did it in a little over four weeks (in this case, that extra week really did make a big difference).

If these things had been present, it might have been a distraction:

  1. If I do this, it will make all my other problems disappear (the magic pill or magic wand type of solution).
  2. The feeling of I must do this thing now, while the idea and motivation are fresh. If it’s a good idea, it will continue to be a good idea even when the idea/motivation is no longer fresh.
  3. I’m ignoring a skill I know I need to learn.

Doing the project was uncomfortable. It pushed against my comfort zone, I was learning something that doesn’t come naturally to me, and many days I was not motivated to keep going. 

Next week I’ll share what I did that allowed me to complete the project despite the uncomfortableness and lack of motivation.

Are you wondering if your new idea or project is a distraction or not? Bring it to the Your Productivity Break meeting on Wednesdays at 1pm Central (join the FB group, Productivity for Women Entrepreneurs, for the details) or send me a private message.

Start with a doable goal that leads you to the BIG goal you're dreaming of

Start with a doable goal that leads you to the BIG goal you’re dreaming of

You might have heard me say that I don’t set BIG goals.

BIG goals don’t motivate me.

They tend to feel so outside my realm of possibility that it feels futile even to try to attempt them.

When I do set BIG goals, I make grand plans and then do nothing.

Instead, I focus on doable goals.

However, recently I realized that I do have BIG goals for my business. I want to help a lot of people and make more money too.

I also know that I can’t get there from where I am in 30 days.

Success builds.

I focus on a doable goal that will be the foundation of the next goal.

You won’t have an $8,000+ month until you have a $5,000+ month. And before you have a $5,000 month, you might need to set your sights on a $4,000 or $3,000 month. And before those, you had a $500 month and $1,000 month.

That’s a lot of numbers to say this: start with a doable goal that leads you to the BIG goal you’re dreaming of.

A mistake I made early in my business (and I hear my clients say that they’ve done this too) was setting a goal to make $5000 in the next month because I didn’t want to “play small,” but I’d never had a $1,000 month at that point.

Instead of celebrating that milestone in my business (WHOOHOO! I had my FIRST $1,000 month), I beat myself up for only accomplishing 20% of my goal.

I served those clients and didn’t do anything else because I felt like a failure and fraud.

What if I had celebrated instead?

What if I had recognized that this was a huge accomplishment for my business at the time and could be a building block for future successes?

My business would be much different now.

I wish that my experience was a rarity.

But it’s not.

When I do goal setting with my clients or the Next Level Business Mastermind members, I suggest that they set doable goals so they can feel a sense of completion and celebrate their goals. Sometimes hear a sigh of relief at this.

Success builds.

Success builds on experience, failure, ideas, and it builds on itself.

I encourage you to set a doable goal for your business this month with an eye toward the BIG goal you’re dreaming of.

I’d love to know your doable goal and the BIG goal it’s leading you to! Leave a comment and let me know.

Insights to getting things done #121 / What to do when you don't feel like setting goals

What to do when you don’t feel like setting goals

Have you ever had a period in your business where you didn’t have any goals?

You were just trying to figure out what worked and what didn’t and you’d set your goals when you had more information or data.

I know I have and I’ve seen some of my clients go through it.

It can come from having too many weeks or months of not meeting the goals you set for yourself. So, you’re not feeling a sense of completion and maybe even wondering if you’re cut out for running a business.

Feeling like that or going through those times does NOT mean that you’re not cut out for running a business.

What it does mean is that you might need to tweak a couple of things.

This can be:

  • Evaluating the things you’re doing and noticing what’s working, what’s not working, and what could be working better
  • Noticing the things that are on your do-later list that you actually want to be doing now
  • Noticing the things that you’re not doing because they’re outside your comfort zone
  • Setting a super doable goal for yourself this month so you can feel that very important and confidence-building sense of completion
  • Noticing any patterns around where you tend to stop moving forward
  • Looking at the goals or intentions that you’re not meeting and asking what information, skills, or connections do you need to more easily meet that goal

When you’re feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, or like things just aren’t working out for you give yourself some grace. Acknowledge what you’re feeling and get curious about what might be going on.

Having someone else to talk to through this can be super helpful.

If this is something that’s happening for you right now, reach out & let’s talk. The easiest way to do that is to leave a comment or fill out the Contact Me form here http://www.oneinsightcloser.com/contact-me


PRODUCTIVITY FOR SOLOPRENEURS: INSIGHTS TO GETTING THINGS DONE #121