We make excuses such as “a lack of time” or “other things got in the way”, but really it’s about lacking the will power to stick to our goals and make them a reality.
So how can you boost your will power to carry through those intentions that are going to positively impact your business and your life?
Here Graham W Price, after working with business owners, suggests that there are ten sure-fire ways to boost your business will power:
- Goals: Set clear goals, write them down, make sure they’re SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable, time-based). Write down a time by which you plan to achieve each goal
- Motivation: Write down the benefits of achieving each goal. Visualise the goal as being achieved. Set a reward for yourself when it really is achieved
- When-then games: Spot any unhelpful when-then games you’re playing and stop playing them (“when I have more clients, then I’ll take action”; “when the economy is stronger then I’ll make a start”). Drop them now and start taking action
- Commitment: If the goal is important and challenging, make a commitment (a promise to yourself that you can share with others) that you’ll do whatever you need to do to achieve it
Act as If:
a) If you believe you might need more ‘get up and go’ to achieve the goal, think of someone you admire who’s achieved the same goal or something similar, or could easily achieve it. Ask yourself what they’d be doing in your situation. Then do it
b) If a lack of self-belief or any other limiting belief is holding you back, ask yourself what you’d be doing if you had a more positive belief. Then do it
- Bold action: If a one-step-at-a-time approach isn’t working, take bold action. Do something courageous or imaginative
- Time management: If it’s a big important goal, set some time aside every day to move it forward, irrespective of whatever short-term priorities may be competing for your time. Create space by dropping tasks that don’t need to be done and won’t contribute significant benefits
- Accept the feeling, choose the action: If uncomfortable feelings get in the way, accept the feeling (be willing to experience it and tell yourself it’s just a feeling that needn’t stop you and won’t do you any harm) and do whatever you’d be doing if you didn’t have the feeling. Doing this repeatedly will unwind the unconscious beliefs that are driving the feeling. If you’re fearful or anxious, and you know your reticence isn’t justified by any real danger, accept the feeling and do whatever it is that’s making you anxious. For example, if you have a fear of speaking to groups, then find a Toastmasters club near you and start taking action now. When you’ve eliminated fear from your life, use the same approach to deal with any other recurring uncomfortable feelings
- Focus on contribution: If you’re stuck on a goal, ask yourself whether it’s because you’re just focusing on your own needs, wants and perceived limitations. If so, try rephrasing the goal in terms of what it will do for others. This takes the focus away from your own so-called limitations and gives a new impetus to the goal. For example, many years ago I was hesitating starting to run trainings. Was I sufficiently prepared? Did I have all the answers? Would I be appreciated? I realised these perceived limitations were all about me. I rephrased the goal in terms of what it would do for others. It was immediately clear to me that my audiences would benefit enormously from the material I already had. I began running trainings straight away!
- Take control: Identify anything that’s mediocre in your life and take steps to eliminate it. Get fit, spend more time with the children, eat healthily, create a sensible work-life balance, lose weight, keep the desk tidy, quit smoking. Use the nine tips above to make it happen.
These tools aren’t universally applicable. Some ‘when-then’ games may be sensibly cautious. Taking some bold actions might be unduly risky. But utilising the tools appropriately will give you the willpower to achieve your business goals and ensure you generate the success you deserve.
Graham W Price is a chartered psychologist, therapist, coach and development trainer and is author of “What Is, Is! The Power of Positive Acceptance” published by HotHive, outlining all the above tools and others needed for achieving satisfaction, resilience and success.