The one thing I find many of my clients and colleagues have in common is excuses. I often hear of goals, life objectives and hopeful achievements during our conversations and when I pose the question inquiring about the action behind the goal, I receive a slew of reasons why they haven’t achieved them.
I’ve found that generally it’s not other people getting in the way of our success, its us!
We limit our opportunities with poor excuses of why we didn’t seize them. Instead of going the extra mile to accomplish something, we delay and procrastinate. We allow unimportant things to take our attention away from our mission and goals. We overlook, we compromise and we choose to find other reasons to describe our clear lack of motivation. I know this because I too have been subjected to what I’ve labeled as “self-interference”. I define self-interference as the interruption or hindrance of activity, movement or actions caused by oneself.
In the spirit of improvement, I’ve devised a few methods to overcoming self-interference in hopes of getting you back on track towards success.
1. Schedule your success time. Yes, add it to your calendar just as you would a hair appointment or important client meeting. Use this time to go over your goals, measure your progress and tweak your strategy to include any life changes or environmental interruptions. It’s inevitable that things may not go the way we plan, but even through that, we must always stay focused on the goal. Adjust as you must, but always keep moving forward.
2. Find someone to hold you accountable. When I have writers block and my husband notices I haven’t written anything lately, he holds me accountable. He tells me “turn off the television and get to work.” I need that. Tell your friends and family your goals and aspirations. Ask them to check up on you during your process and remind you of the goals you’ve set. This will help you to get back on track. I’ve found that often people need a push from the outside to reignite the fire on the inside; even if they consider themselves as “self-motivated”. Remember, we are human too!
3. Be selective with your free time. Dinner parties, personal phone calls, last-minute invitations to gatherings, etc. Sometimes we have to pass on the fun to reach the goal. Ask yourself if these engagements and activities put you any closer to achieving your goals. Now I mention being selective because I want you to choose to treat yourself, not allow a good time to interrupt your process. Yes, it’s okay to take a few breaks. Just make sure those breaks rejuvenate, not derail you from your path.
4. Prioritize. We have meetings, events, personal time, family obligations, etc….the list goes on and on I’m sure! Try setting a “must do today” list and highlight at least 3 things on that list you will not compromise on getting done. Knock those things out early if you can. You’ll find you are mentally prepared to handle the remainder of the day once you’ve completed your tasks.
5. Prepare yourself for greatness! The last thing you want is to work hard to achieve a goal or land an opportunity and being unprepared to receive it. Lay the foundation to build on the success you plan to achieve. If you are launching a business and desire to have 200 employees, make sure your office space can allow for that, your networking is set up to receive an influx of business and your email accounts can withstand such a vast growth. The last thing you want is to have a demand for your service or product and being unable to fulfill the request.
The road to success isn’t easy, but it is rewarding. The process towards success teaches us discipline and sacrifice. These revelations humble us and prepare us; not only to achieve greatness, but to maintain it. Success is a process, not a microwave mission. Going through the process allows you to appreciate the outcome and protect it from failure.
Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. ~John D. Rockefeller
Mary V. Davids is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.