How To Avoid Shiny Object Syndrome and Get Laser Focused On Your Goals

Create A Vision Board That Works

Download the FREE Big Vision Reflection checklist to build a vision board that will help you create MIRACULOUS change in your life.

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Out of all the addictions in the world, I've been fortunate enough to be totally addicted to podcasts. They helps me feel like I have friends when I'm riding in the car by myself and be more well rounded (I know a lot more random facts thanks to This American Life and Planet Money). The most uplifting thing my podcasts teach me (though most distracting) is entrepreneurship.

After listening to four podcasts about how four different entrepreneurs created six-figure businesses - while raising kids, getting married, and buying their first home with no debt - I'm always looking for new ways to change what I'm currently doing in my business, personal life and finances.

I mean, seriously, why don't I have a six-figure business + a hubby to Netflix and chill with + a home with no mortgage? (Clearly, I'm not podcast material.) I can't help but think, maybe I should create a course, start coaching and create a Facebook group to cultivate my audience, like the entrepreneurs on the podcast. There must be something I'm missing, right?

That feeling - the one you just read - is textbook Shiny Object Syndrome.

It's the moment where you see something that could potentially be more lucrative than what you're currently doing and you feel the urge to chase after it. Nine times out of ten, when you do follow these "shiny objects" you'll go down an endless rabbit hole and end up right where you began, often with less energy, less money and a little beaten up by the world.

Here are my top tips to say NO to Shiny Object Syndrome.

 

Switch to the 12 Week Sprint Strategy

The easiest way to fall out of love with your goals and get distracted by a shiny object is by creating a goal that's so far away it doesn't seem tangible. Even if you're taking tiny steps toward your goal, it can sometimes feel so far away that you feel no sense of urgency around it.

In the 12-week sprint strategy,  you break down your goals into small, bite-sized pieces. (For example, rather than get 100 customers, focus on getting your first customer.) You'd set 3-5 small goals and then spend 12 weeks, approximately 3 months, striving to reach those goals.

This is a great way to re-think your big goals and push yourself to accomplish them, one small step at a time. Plus while you're juggling your 5 goals, you won't have time for shiny objects. #winning.

 

Create habits that are in line with your goals

OK - there are a ton of habits you can create. I've seen everything from elaborate morning routines to one-hour long night routines, but the habits I'm talking about are functional. Create a set of habits around your ongoing projects. If your brain always knows what to do next, you don't have idle time to follow random tips from the shiny object gurus. 

For example, every morning when I wake up, I post my scheduled Instagram post. While I watch TV on Friday nights, I also pin on Pinterest. I send out 3 pitches per week. I block every Sunday as a working day. For my blog, I have an annual calendar and every Wednesday night, I just hop over to my list and write the next post on the list, no thinking necessary. (Side note: If you want to create an annual blog calendar, grab my FREE workbook.)

 

Cherish Your Brutally Honest Friend

I know all too well about getting distracted from your ultimate goal. I have an accountability partner that I chat with every other week and I talk about what my goals are and what I'm striving to reach in the upcoming weeks for Thrive Lounge. While I have very many "yes" friends that think I can do no wrong, my accountability partner will totally call me out on my BS. She's the first person to ask me why I'm doing something or how it aligns with my brand vision. She challenges my thinking around my business and forces me to get back on track.

 

Take a vacation from podcasts/blogs/social media

Shiny object syndrome usually goes hand in hand with FOMO, which goes hand in hand with social media. Sometimes consuming too many blogs and podcasts and watching what everyone else is doing online can distract you from your ultimate goal. When you stop watching social media and take a step back, you can get clarity from what you actually want - with no outside help from the gurus. Your next move will be based on an idea that you came up with and something that you're excited about. 

 

create a shiny object list

Create your own personal "I might do this one day" list to create a home for your shiny objects. That way, every time you see an idea of a new product, a new marketing tactic or a new revenue stream you have a place to save it without actually pursuing it at this time. 

 

Shiny object syndrome is alive and well, but at the end of the day, you get to choose what you do with your time. Choose with your big vision in mind and you'll never go wrong. 

What Magazines Should I Use For My Vision Board? Effective List of Do's and Don'ts

vision board magazines.png

Every December, I tend to go a little over board with the vision board parties (I usually end up doing about 5 every winter). In all my years of creating vision boards with friends, there are some magazines that get passed around the table several times and get picked over and cut out until there are only a few pages left. Then, there are reject magazines - the ones that no one bothers to touch and even if they haven't completed their boards, no one wants to take these magazines home.

How do you decide on what magazines to use for your vision board? Us get-it-done-gurus really don't have time to look through crappy magazines, do we? #AintNobodyGotTimeFoThat

Here's a straight-to-the-point list of do's and don'ts to help you create your next vision board effectively - with the right magazines. :-)  

The Do's

Magazines with BIG, BOLD images and titles.

Think about how your vision board will be structured. You want a combination of visuals and text that represent what you want to achieve throughout the year. Selectively flipping through magazines BEFORE you buy will give you a good feel of the magazine's layout and style.

 

Use magazines that align with your goals for the year.

I always recommend setting your goals before you create your vision board. Knowing your vision ahead of time keeps you from suffering from shiny object syndrome when everyone around you is setting lofty goals that sound really fun but have nothing to do with your vision. The other benefit to knowing your goals before creating your vision board is that you can now be effective in choosing your magazines. For example, if you know you're setting big money goals like paying down your student loan debt, you can shy away from the home decor magazines and go straight for the jugular (ahem.. I mean Money magazines).

 

Celebrity gossip magazines.

Trust me on this one... The gossip magazines come in handy when you want to put your she-ro on your vision board. If you want Rihanna, Beyonce or Michelle Obama, she will be in the gossip magazine - every week - slaying. 

 

Anything Oprah.

Every issue of the O magazine is vision board gold. It doesn't matter if you get the most recent copy or an older issue, the layout of this magazine was created to inspire your inner creator, builder and lover of life. (Yes, all of that was necessary.. and true.) You can't go wrong with the O magazine so if you're standing in line at the Walmart and you can't make a decision, buy 2 O magazines. #truth

 

The Don'ts

Time and The New Yorker.

I don't care if your goal is to become more learned and intellectual - these magazines will definitely help you do that. What these magazines won't do is give you that magical one-liner in a big, bold beautiful font that you can put on yoru vision board and glance at from afar. The wording here is brilliant, glorious, and tiny. It will not serve your vision board well, my friend. 

 

Retail Store catalogs

OK - I have been to several vision board parties where people just grab the catalogs that have been sent to their house all year and bring them to the vision board party. Yes, on occasion, people are just looking for a well-dressed person to put on their board. However, your J.Crew catalog hardly cuts it for most people's big hairy audacious goals. I promise you that Michelle Obama waving in a fab dress most of us can't afford will make it on the board instead. #WeDreamDifferent

 

Free city magazines from the grocery store

No explanation necessary. 

Crafting your vision board, whether you're by yourself or with a fab group of ladies, is a time of reflection on the successes of the past and a moment to dream about future possibilities. Choosing the right magazines gives you the opportunity to brainstorm and share stories with uninterrupted inspiration. 

May 2017 Blog Goals + Traffic Report: Defining My Version Of Success

May was a month of celebration with family and friends graduating from various high schools and colleges and my first Ruth B concert with my daughter (seriously guys, if you haven't checked this girl out, you're missing out on life). I even made it out to Preakness for the first time in life - for the experience of a lifetime (like, open bar unlimited steak and crabcakes... I wasn't ready.) Summertime brings out the sun, the good weather, the cookouts and the celebrations and in the midst of all that, I had a difficult time reaching my goals. #obvi

In my defense, I spent a lot of time community building (at least that's my rationalization for taking all this time off :). Here's the goals I set for this month - and once I get into how I did on these goals, don't judge me. 

THE RECAP - May GOALS:

- Start LIVE Interview Series
- Create Sponsorship Materials
- Reach Out To Potential Conference Sponsors

Start LIVE Interview Series

This month, I created a LIVE show called Office Hours, where I interview successful women who are building profitable blogs + businesses and thriving in their careers. I want Thrive Lounge to be a success accelerator for women with drive like you. :-) Last month, I did some interesting interviews including: How To Take The Leap Into Entrepreneurship Full Time and How To Monetize Your Passion With Affiliate Marketing. (Follow Thrive Lounge here to make sure you get weekly updates on our latest Office Hours interviews.)

Create Sponsorship Materials

OK. I'm going to be honest with you ladies (and the few brave men that read this pink-covered website with confidence), I have EVERY TOOL THAT I NEED to create my sponsorship materials, but I haven't done it yet. I am getting comfortable with the idea that there's no way I will always accomplish all of my goals all the time, but that doesn't mean this goal goes away all together. I'll be putting this goal back on the table for next month and by the end of the month, I'll have a link to the finalized deck share with you all. (I promise :)

Reach Out To Potential Conference Sponsors

This was one goal that we did not reach at all.... like no where close. While I do have a nice list queued up and ready to go, I realized after taking Stacey's Sponsorship course last month that there were a lot of things I didn't have in place before reaching out to the big brands.  I'll need to make sure I come correct from a legal standpoint before I move forward on that, but I'm making progress towards those goals as well. 

Page Views:

Last Month: 436 Total Page Views
Goal: none set
Actual: 633 (45% growth)

Email List:

Last Month: 315 Total Email List Subscribers
Goal: none set
Actual: 348 (10% growth)

633 Page views, 326 Facebook Likes, 348 Email List

TOP TRAFFIC SOURCES:

42% Social media

- 58% comes from Facebook
- 36% Pinterest
- 5% Twitter
- 2% Instagram

39% Direct link
16% ORGANIC SEARCH
7% CAME FROM RANDOM PLACES ON THE INTERWEBS

TOP PAGES VISITED THIS MONTH:

- So, You've Created A Vision Board, Now What? (This post has been getting some good press on Pinterest! woot woot!)
- 5 Day Vision Challenge
- Events
- Mid-Year Check-In Brunch

EMAIL LIST:

The meetup group is still serving the email list growth very well (so well that we're thinking about starting a second meetup group). In the past month, we've been able to meet millennial women creators in person and have great conversations about their goals throughout the year. It's also a great way to help you put a face and personality to your brand's personas.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Believe it or not, social media is not one of our goals this year. Instead, we're focusing on building our email list. The thinking behind this is that we do not own our followers on social media (ie. Facebook can change their algorithm whenever they want and they decide what followers see each post), but we do own our email list.  While we continue to track our following here, it's just to have full transparency. However, rest assured, if we have a random jump, we'll be sure to let you know why!

If you want to know how we got to our first 200 followers, take a look at our first month of blogging recap post.

WHAT ELSE HAPPENED THIS MONTH:

I'm teaming up with the Branding Boss Masterclass in collaboration with Starlight Social and Cristy Batta Designs. (If you want to learn how to create amazing brand visuals, build your brand online and create systems to put your branding on autopilot, register here.)

I was selected as a speaker for Blogger Week UnConference in Washington, DC this August. I'm super excited to be giving a talk on how to create a BHAV (Big Hairy Audacious Vision) for your blog. I was a panelist at this conference two years ago and they do an amazing job at selecting premium speakers so I'm honored to be selected to join the amazing speaker lineup.

- Fill the branding boss masterclass and have a successful event!   
- Create Sponsorship Deck (like, for real this time)
- Research Speakers for VisionCon 2017 (We won't be doing a call for speakers, but if you want to make my research easier, shoot me a note and let me know you're interested. #TIA) 

WHAT WE LEARNED:

I'm quickly learning the summer time is going to be a struggle to stay focused on Thrive Lounge. I'm not going to lie, ya'll. I LOVE building Thrive Lounge, but I seriously love being outside in the summer sun. (Last week, I even took my computer down to to the Washington Harbor just so I can work and be on the water at the same time. #TheStruggle) I'm learning that my business will have seasons - because I'm not willing to give up living life to it's fullest. #TradeOffs

But now that I know that, I can make sure I'm laser focused on producing amazing things in the winter because that's when I want to be in the house and I have no interest in being social (I love ya'll but I really do hate the cold #SorryNotSorry). 

This month, I learned that I get to define what success looks like for me - and that's building a community - on my own terms and on my own time. In my mind, I'm already successful. #Winning

Create A Vision Board That Works

Download the FREE Big Vision Reflection checklist to build a vision board that will help you create MIRACULOUS change in your life.

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