Let Your Goals, Not Your Feelings, Determine Your Actions
I’ve been sitting here trying to write a blog post for today. I’ve challenged myself to blog everyday for 30 days which since turned into 60 days. I’m on day 44, more than halfway through, so I’m committed to blogging tonight. I’ve started posts and then abandoned them – leaving them to sit in the drafts folder hoping for a chance to come to life. The flow wasn’t there. I want to do the topics justice.
The truth is I don’t feel like blogging today. Have you ever committed to doing something whether to yourself or someone else and when the time came to fulfill your commitment you didn’t feel like it? I know I have. All the time. And you know what, most people will simply back out on their commitments and give way to their feelings.
I’ve been sitting here trying to write, waiting for a topic that flows from me. I mean if blogging feels like work I’m not interested. No thanks. So I’ve just been sitting and staring and occasionally writing. I picked on a set of cards, The Living Leader, from my desk scrolling through for inspiration. Nothing.
I made a commitment and I didn’t want to break it. So although I could have thrown in the towel and mingled with my couch for the evening I remained seated in front of the computer waiting for something, anything to write about (effectively). This might even seem like a waste of time to some, sitting in front of the computer making no progress toward the goal. But it’s not a waste of time. It’s personal integrity. It’s discipline. It’s planning my work and working my plan (even when it’s not the easiest).
“I already know what giving up feels like. I want to see what happens if I don’t.” – Neila Rey
So even though I didn’t feel like blogging and I really didn’t have a clear topic to blog about I pushed through anyway. Why? Because feelings can’t dictate your life if you truly want to be who you say you want to be. If you really want to achieve what you say you want to achieve how you feel in any given moment doesn’t matter. Your feelings have no credibility. They’re fleeting, selfish, and lazy.
Plus, your feelings can be paranoid, emotional, inaccurate and all sorts of crazy, unhealthy things. Side story – I sat on a jury once. A man shot and killed another man because he thought he was having an affair with his wife. In actuality, his wife had never met the victim in person. Only on Facebook! Extreme example, but feelings can and do lead you astray.
When you want to achieve something your decisions, goals, and values have to dictate your actions. Not your feelings. I made a decision to blog everyday for 60 days. My decisions (in alignment with my goals) have to be a stronger motivator than my feelings. What happens if I never feel like blogging? Or exercising? Or cleaning the kitchen? A lot of things in my life would be a mess, huh?Goals have to be a stronger motivator than your feelings. Click To Tweet
What’s even scarier and a big motivator for me is the fact that if I don’t finish this 60 day blogging challenge it will be that much easier to skip out on other personal commitments as well. I don’t want to skip out on what I want in my heart of hearts. I don’t want another year to go by wishing I had achieved my goal weight or my goal finances, or whatever. I want to do what it takes now.
You have to do what you have endeavored to do regardless of whether your feelings decide to cooperate not. Goals outweigh feelings. At least if you want to actually achieve the goal. Sometimes we act as if our feelings will just change later. “Oh I don’t feel like it right now.” But like I said your feelings might not ever cooperate. You move first and more often than not your feelings will follow.
And even if they don’t follow, so what? I don’t especially feel like blogging right now (even though clearly I’m blogging right this moment). I still have to create images and send out to social media. My couch is calling my name and perhaps a fruit smoothie with coconut milk. But I’m still doing it. I’m still moving closer to my goal. I’m still honoring the commitment I made to myself for myself. And when I’m done, relaxing on the couch with my smoothie in hand, it won’t matter how I felt. It will only matter that I did.If you want to achieve your goals, your goals must outweigh your feelings. Click To Tweet
There are many times I don’t quite feel like blogging or walking the dog or insert other activity here. What I know to be true is that most of the time when you get started your feelings catch up. And then you are proud of yourself for not letting those wishy-washy feelings hold you back.
It’s important not to give your feelings so much power over your life. If you let how you feel stop you from doing something today chances are you will let it stop again tomorrow. If your feelings prevent you from doing one activity you know would be advantageous to you your feelings will also prevent you from doing another activity that would also be advantageous to you.
“Don’t let your emotions distract you from doing what needs to be done. Control your emotions or your emotions will control you.”
If my feelings stop me from blogging they can stop me from reading the bible. If they can stop me from reading the bible they can stop me from exercising (which they have been) or cleaning the bathroom.
When you learn that your feelings are just suggestions and that your goals are mandatory you position yourself to achieve your goals. You develop discipline.
“Discipline is doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done when we don’t want to do it.”
If you don’t feel like doing what you know needs to be done try these:
- Start anyway. Let your feelings catch up.
- Give yourself a pep talk. “Come on you can do it!”
- Remember why you’re doing it. See yourself achieving the goal.
- Visualize what will happen if you don’t meet your big goal. (Not today’s goal because nothing will likely happen if you miss one day. But cumulatively it adds up quickly.)
- Call in reinforcement. Reach out to an accountability partner or coach.
- Seek out inspiration.
- Get yourself in the mood. That could be listening to music, praying, dancing, etc.
- Honor yourself and your personal commitments
Regardless of what don’t let your feelings control your life. If you can’t control your feelings you can’t control anything. Lead your life with your goals, values, and personal commitments. That’s how you achieve your goals. That’s how you reach your fullest potential.
Also check out these articles on achieving your goals!