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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.
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.
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Chantl founded Thrive Lounge to give women the kick in the pants they need (lovingly, of course) to uncomplicate their goals, stop making excuses, get productive and start living the life they always wanted. Her book, Goal Doing: Practical Advice For Goal Setting, Action Planning and Achieving Your Dreams, gives women a step-by-step guide to create, plan and achieve their grandest goals.