Goal Setting

4 Simple Ways To Stay On Track During An Unproductive Summer

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The more I focus on my goals, talk about goals, write book about goals I realize that a lot of us are going through the exact same emotional roller coaster with our ambitions. 

In January, we feel rejuvenated after spending time with family over the holidays and are overly inspired by the idea of a new year and an opportunity to create a brand new you.

In Feb - May, we pursue our goals. Somedays with passion and others with reluctance. But... we try.

Come June-July we realize the sun is out and in full effect and we can finally emerge from our winter slumber... mostly to look really good in a bathing suit on a beach somewhere. Or go to brunch. Or finally start dating again. (Just me?) 

Even though I literally wrote the book on goal setting I'll be the first to admit that ever summer I struggle to stick to my routines with the constant allure of brunch + happy hour + looking-really-good-in-a-sundress.

Instead of writing, I'm scheduling drinks with friends. 

Instead of creating a companion course for my book, I literally went on an impromptu 10-day couch surfing trek through my hometown spending time with every friend I haven't seen in a while - provided they had an empty couch.

Instead of planning out my next speaking gigs, I've been going out on dates like I'm a contestant on the bachelorette.

Yes, #TheStruggleIsReal.

 

How Can We Continue To Crush Our Goals Through The Summer? 

The answer to this question is obvious, but not intuitive. 

Choose the one goal that you want to accomplish... then slack off EVERYWHERE ELSE. 

Seriously, you're not required to be an all-around life badass all the time. It's the summer, the sun is shining bright - and there are far too many rooftop bars in New York to sit in the house worried about every possible goal.

 

How I'm Applying This Philosophy

It's obvious I've lost track of my routines and have been trending away from Superwomen towards super-slacker, but my primary goal for 2018 was to get out of student loan debt.

After paying off 10K in 2017, I started off 2018 with $32K remaining in student loan debt and one goal - to pay it all off. In the first seven months of the year, I paid of $10,647 in student loans! 

student loan payoff

 

Through the summer, I've continued to make the same large payments on my student loan debt to continue working towards my big goals.

So even though I haven't been productive, I haven't started my next book or course, I've been eating like crap and not exercising,  I've been drinking entirely too much wine (Yes, that's possible)....

I have continued to pay off my debt. 

That's all that matters. 

Related: How This 28-year-old Increased Her Net Worth By $20,984 in 13 months

 

How Can You Win The Summer? 

If you're looking at your summer and wondering what happened to your ambition, you're not alone. Here's a couple of ideas for what you can do to get your goal-getting life back on track: 

 

Lean Back

Make a firm decision that this is not a goal-getting year for you.

Sometimes we just need a break from life all together. If you firmly decide to take some time for inner reflection, you can stop feeling guilty for not pursuing a goal and enjoy your moment of intentional slowing down.

 

Course Correct

There is always time to get back on track.

If you have a clear goal for where you want to go, figure out where you are in progress towards it. Next, make a list of all the steps you need to take to get you there. Finally, take out a calendar and plan out when you're going to do each of these steps

Once you do that, get started!


Start From Scratch

It's mid way through the year and you really haven't done anything towards your goals.

That's perfectly fine! The best time to get started is always today. If you don't have a goal yet, but you're really feeling like a couch potato start with figuring out what change you want to make in your life and why you want to make that change.

Related: How To Set The ONE Goal That Will Change Your Entire Life

Once you have your goal, you can start taking steps to reach it.  


Stick To The Plan 

This is for the folks that are well on their way, but might be getting a little bored with their goal. (Trust my I'm super tired of my budget! Sometimes I want to go out and order a glass of wine without thinking about my student loans, but these days that just doesn't happen!)

Focus on the reason you're pursuing this goal. Remind yourself what your life will look like at the end of the journey. That vision will keep you going. If you created a vision board, take a look at your dream goals - and if you didn't create one maybe you should. :)

 

The beautiful weather, endless events and opportunities to see friends and family do make it very difficult to put all of your goals first. Don't feel guilty about taking this time to yourself. Instead, find a way to enjoy this moment by intentionally choosing what you're going to focus on ... and what you will ignore. 

 

Get Crystal Clear On Your Grandest Goals

Download the FREE Goal Setting Clarity checklist and set goals that will create MIRACULOUS change in your life.

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About Chantl

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.

Ready To Make Your Dream Goal A Reality?

Map out your dream goals and create your action plan with this FREE one-page dream goal planning worksheet.

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4 Quick Tips To Get More Done (In Less Time) With Deep Work

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

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How many times do you check email throughout your work day? How about checking social media?

As a social girl with a lot of friends, I often end up on social media just answering questions that people have or liking a hundred cute baby pictures when I need a short break from work. It only takes a minute or two and it seems harmless, right? 

In Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport discusses how my constant email-checking could be crushing my productivity. 

What is Deep Work? 

Deep work is the ability to spend hours at a time focusing on a difficult task. 

For example, if you're a writer, then your deep work would be writing. If you are an analyst, your deep work will be analyzing stuff.

It seems quite obvious what we need to do to make a difference in our careers (or side hustles) but we often interrupt our own workday with non-deep-work activities. Instead of blogging, us bloggers are scanning social media, click-bait websites and sending text messages to friends and family.

While it seems totally harmless, those activities can distract us from spending that focused time our brain needs to make progress on a difficult task.
 

Why Do We Need Deep Work? 

Cal Newport's book dives into the idea that if people focused on strengthening their ability to do deep work and focus less on these shallow activities, we'd all be able to get more done in less time and do our most important work better.

That sounds like a win-win for everyone, right?

 

How Can Deep Work Enhance Our Life?

If you set aside more focused time during your work day, you would able to get more done. As a writer, you would be able to write more books one presumes would directly lead to making more sales. If you work for someone else then you would be able to turn around your deliverables faster and also tackle more difficult tasks faster and with greater accuracy. 

How often do you take work home? When you focus on deep work, you increase your ability to get your work done during your work day.

Through out the book, Cal Newport discusses how he is able to publish more peer reviewed academic papers than other professors, and he really works after 5 p.M. The ability to do deep work can put you in a similar position where you no longer work those after hours shifts at night to catch up on work that you were not able to finish throughout the workday.

With those extra hours, you might actually be able to shut down your lap top when you get home (gasp!). You could spend that time having dinner with family, engaging in conversations with your close friends, or have extra time for self-care. 

 

How To Get More Deep Work In Your Day? 

Most of us have become incredibly attached to social media and our email boxes and our ability to do deep work and focus for long stretches of time has dwindled to next to nothing. With so many distractions are vying for your time it is difficult to sit down for 3 to 4 hours to focus on a demanding task so how do you get more of that deep work into your day? 

 

Disconnect your internet while you are doing deep work

Sometimes you can't get around this and you absolutely must log on to the internet to get information or follow up with someone. Try to shut down the internet as much as possible. If you know you have to do reasearch. Do your research first and then print out any articles that you need. That way you can start spending longer stretches of time without clicking social media or clicking your email. 

The ability to do deep work grows over time so the more you can train your brain to focus, the more successful you will become.

 

Time for attention restoration

While deep work sounds great, it's impossible to do deep work all the time. You have to take a mental break to restore your ability to do hard tasks. Rather than letting a distraction dictate when you take a break, schedule your break into your day. 

That way you get to decide the optimal time to take a break from your work.


Create a shutdown ritual for the end of the day

At the end of the day, write down all of the activities you need to do later on in the week. Then take your list and compare them with your calendar to see when you'll have time for each activity. Finally, plan out the activities that you want to do the next day. 

This practice will help you mentally close out "work mode" so you can enjoy the hours in the evening care-free knowing that you have all of your work-related responsibilities taken care of. 
 

Change the way you communicate

Have you ever gone back and forth for 6-10 emails trying to find a good time to meet with a friend or colleague? I definitely have.

When you send email, make sure you guide the recipient in what they should do next. That way, you don't get a ton of email flooding your email box with unnecessary emails. 

For example, instead of saying "let me know a time that works for you."

You could say, "I am available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 2PM. Let me know which of these days works for you or send over alternative dates and times." If you're super tech savvy, you can even set up an online calendar where people can choose their own dates and no further communication is needed on your part at all.

Sending more focused email with better directions can help you decrease the amount of back and forth you need - and results in less clutter in your email box.

 

We lose a lot of time in our work day simply by switching from one task to the next. The constant social media and email checking can seem pretty harmless, but when you add that time together - and then compare it to the time you could've been doing more important work you have to ask yourself: "Is it worth it?" 

I'd definitely rather spend my time in deep work.

 

Ready To Make Your Dream Goal A Reality?

Map out your dream goals and create your action plan with this FREE one-page dream goal planning worksheet.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

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About Chantl

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.

5 Strategies To Reach Your Life Goals When You Suck At Following Through

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

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Ready To Make Your Dream Goal A Reality?

Map out your dream goals and create your action plan with this FREE one-page dream goal planning worksheet.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Ever wonder why some people are super bad ass in school, but once they enter the "real world" all of a sudden they totally suck at adulting? I have. 

That was my story.

I was at the top of all of my classes, ran social clubs, teachers pretty much drooled over my brain and presented me with the best opportunities. I was the definition of cream of the crop and, for me, it was a freakin' cake walk. 

Then I graduated. 

I struggled miserably with finding a job, got rejection letters from every medical school I applied to and then dug myself into a deep hole of debt.

I kept wondering...

"What happened to me?" 
"Is this really my life?"
"I know I'm smart. Why can't I get through this?"

Unlike school, real life doesn't come with a well-crafted curriculum, teachers to guide you or classmates that you can lean on for support. 

BUT...

You can create the same type of support system in your adult life to help you hit every goal on your list. 

 

talk to A Mentor

A mentor is someone who has already accomplished the goal you're pursuing and can give you solid advice on how to get to the next step. 

Your mentor will invest their time sharing their wisdom with you. You are less likely to feel lost and overwhelmed while working towards your goal because you'll have someone you can go to with questions, concerns and set backs. The best mentors that have been there, done that and lived to tell the story will let you know exactly where they messed up and inspire you to keep going when your goals get rough. 

If you have no one in your life that you can turn to as a mentor, you can take a FREE live class on creativelive.com. There are classes on everything from personal finance to freelancing to creative pursuits taught by top industry experts. They can mentor you on the internet - and you don't have to spend a dime.

 

Join A Social Group

I'm not talking about a networking or bird-watching group (or whatever else you're into). Join a social group that brings together people working towards similar goals. Goal-focused social groups surrounds by other people having the same conversation. 

For example... 

  • Join a financial freedom community if you'd like to get out of debt, learn frugal habits or start saving more.
  • Join a photography group if you want to learn more about your camera or how to be a professional photographer.
  • Join a public speaking group if your goal is be more charismatic when you deliver presentations.

The other people in this group will have different levels of experience with your same goals. Some will be just starting out, others will be well on their way (and happy to share what's working for them). There will be some who are already successful at paying off their debts and can share their story of how they did it and what to watch out for along the way.

At any point in your journey, there will be people at your same level that can support you emotionally, people that you can support with your experience and others that can answer your questions.

(Pro Tip: Here is where you can find a mentor! Keep an eye open!) 

 

Get An Accountability Partner

An accountability partner is someone that you touch base with periodically to talk about your progress on your goals.

Achieving any long term goal can feel like you're working on it in a bubble, with no one from the outside world to talk to about it. If you fail, no one knows except you. There's no one to hold you accountable to those goals except yourself. 

Your accountability partner help you set meaningful goals and stick to them over the long term because they'll be the eyes that see if you fail. Having someone there to watch your progress triggers your brain to keep going (even when you feel like sitting on the couch with a big ol' glass of wine). 

Related: How To Have Productive Calls With Your Accountability Partner

 

Join A Niche Group Online

I love in-person interactions, but it's inevitable that you'll have questions or start struggling with your goal at the most random times. You'll be researching a topic and have a question about your goal or want to know someone's personal experience about a certain strategy or solution.

In these times, it's important to have an online community that you can go to to ask questions, celebrate your wins or even get inspiration and learn different methods people are using to tackle their goals. 

 

Create A Daily Affirmation

An affirmation is a sentence that helps you stay aligned with your purpose. I've personally used affirmations to create an abundance mindset when I felt like giving up on my long term goals.

You can have all the tools and support in the world, but your ability to get up everyday and work towards your goal starts with yourself. You have to believe that you can make a difference in your life. If you don't, it'll be harder to push yourself through difficult times or to find the answers to the challenges in your way (because I can guarantee you there will be challenges). 

Affirmations are like personal taglines that empower you in your goals.

Here are some examples: 

  • I am capable of making a difference. 
  • I have everything I need to be successful. 
  • I will find a way around any obstacles I encounter. 

Your affirmations will help you stay grounded in your beliefs. 

Related: Top 10 Quotes Guaranteed to Inspire A Kick-Ass Day
 

Setting a goal is easy - we always know what changes we want to make in our life. Following through on that goal is hard, but it's even harder when you're doing it alone. Creating your own support system as an adult can give you the expertise, community and emotional support you need to guide you from start to finish (no school necessary). 

 

Get Crystal Clear On Your Grandest Goals

Download the FREE Goal Setting Clarity checklist and set goals that will create MIRACULOUS change in your life.

Powered by ConvertKit

takephoto.jpg

About Chantl

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.