Set Yourself Up for Success

[dc]O[/dc]ver the holiday season, my home office became a bit of a dumping ground for all sorts of things. I didn’t pay it much attention since I was out and about a lot, doing errands and working from other locations.

After ringing in the New Year, however, I was ready to dive into 2013 and do some planning for my business. Or so I thought.

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get myself to focus and make any progress. I reached for all the tools that usually work for me: list making, the Pomodoro technique, meditation, etc. And… nothin’.secret to success

As I sat at my desk, I closed my eyes and took some deep breaths. I felt anything but grounded, and even the deep breathing wasn’t helping.

I opened my eyes and looked around my usually-lovely office. It was a train wreck. My desk was neat, but the other half of the room was anything but. And I was wondering why I couldn’t focus?

My energy was being consistently drained by the stuff around me. This is no way to start a new year, and certainly no way to welcome in abundance. So instead of diving into projects and tasks, my business planning started with organizing, purging, and freecycling. Ah yes, I needed to focus on some energetic marketing.

By taking a moment or two to check in and see where my frustration was stemming from, I was able to stop the punitive self talk about my being lazy and scatter-brained. No good comes from that place.

What are you beating yourself up about? To set yourself up for success in any area of your life, consider the following:

  1. Identify where you feel stuck, whether it’s a general lack of motivation, a block around a particular goal, or feeling trapped at a dead-end job.
  2. Investigate your blocks. What’s getting in the way of progress? Is it physical clutter? A draining friendship? A condescending boss? Lack of appropriate supplies? Low self-worth?
  3. Dig in. Once you’ve figured out a block, make addressing it your new goal. By doing so, you get a two-fer. You make headway on the larger goal by taking care of the smaller. In my example above, my purging and clutter clearing was, in fact, business planning. I cleared space and organized, and by doing so, sent a message to the Universe that I’m ready to receive new business. I’ve created the space to welcome it in. So while you might think that working on the block is a distraction, it’s actually a necessary part.
  4. Reframe your perspective. Success isn’t only achieved at the completion of a goal. With each step you take toward the desired result, you’re building a track record of success, and, as a result, motivation becomes your friend.
  5. Remember the rewards. When you’re working toward any goal, be sure to include some rewards and breaks along the way, otherwise that little kid inside will get bratty and really pull you off course. There’s a part of you who always needs some play, so whether you go for a walk, read for 30 minutes, call a friend, or get a massage, rewards are another key to success. Remember, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

Here’s an example to highlight what I mean in the steps above:

Let’s say you’re eager to find a romantic relationship, but are having no luck with online dating, blind dates, or anything else. It could be that your friend who calls to complain all the time is taking up too much space energetically, and therefore, you don’t have the room for a partner.

So, going by the steps above:

  1. You feel stuck in love.
  2. Your draining friend drives you nuts.
  3. Explore how you can set up some boundaries with this friend. Maybe you take her calls less often. Perhaps you offer some solutions to her problems instead of letting her just vent. Maybe it’s gotten to the point where you need to have a direct conversation with her about how you’re no longer available to listen to her complain about the same things over and over.
  4. By even considering setting a boundary with your friend, you’re energetically welcoming in love. This small step tells the Universe that you’re serious about making a change and creating space for Mr. or Ms. Wonderful.
  5. As you brainstorm your boundary-setting plan, incorporate some fun in there so it doesn’t feel too heavy.

It’s these foundational pieces that so many of us neglect or coast over, then wonder why we’re getting nowhere. By neglecting what’s going on underneath, is like putting a Band-Aid on a broken arm. You want a cast.

OK, your turn! Join the convo in the comments below. Where are you stuck? How do you set yourself up for success?

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