Unconscious Goals Could Be Ruining Your Success

If you’re serious about making positive changes in your life, learn about the concept of unconscious goal setting.  The idea is not complex. It is simply that if you don’t set and work towards conscious goals you’re working towards meeting your unconscious goals.   

Unconscious goals are undefined with no specific direction.  Here are reasons why goals must move from unconscious to conscious to bring success to your life.

1. Unconscious goals are not specific. Everything you do in life is a forward motion. That is it takes you from where you are currently to another place.  If you don’t set specific goals for that movement you won’t have control over the outcome of that forward movement.  You’ll go somewhere but without consciously setting where you want to go; however, you’ll still get somewhere. 

2. Unconscious thoughts blame outside forces. Many people go through life just taking things as they come along.  If the day goes well, it’s one for joy.  If the day goes bad, it’s normally attributed to an external source such as  “bad luck” or to the activities of others people such as those that “don’t like you.” When you leave yourself open to whatever comes it’s a conscious unconscious decision.  No one is to blame except you as the opportunity to take control of your thoughts is your own.

3. Unconscious thoughts control the day. The brain doesn’t turn off simply because you haven’t consciously used it during your day.  Thoughts continue to take place. In fact, you’re thinking at all times about something.  Like other muscles of the body, a brain that doesn’t get exercised gets flabby.  Flabby brain, flabby thoughts.  Flabby thoughts don’t have the muscle tone for a firm foundation. That means your thoughts and ideas can be shifted and turned at the whim of outside forces or the attitudes of those that surround you.

4. Unconscious goals have no pattern.  Because you haven’t stopped to think specifically about what you want to do and how you intend to achieve, your life tends to go up and down with no pattern.  Because you don’t’ know what you want to achieve each day, anything you do is good enough.  Sometimes, you might have to stop to think if you got anything of importance done for the day since you didn’t plan to achieve anything.

5. Unconscious goals are vague. Goals you’re not conscious of are vague.  When you think in vague terms about what you want such as that you’d prefer to live a better life or have more money for instance, but without setting a specific goal your mind can’t create the ideas needed to guide you toward your goals.  Instead, “more money” can be a few pennies more than what you had yesterday.  A better life might mean getting through one more green light driving home than you got driving to work in the morning. Vague has no substance on which to build success.  

6. Unconscious goals waste time.  Having no pattern to your achievements or not knowing where you want to go or why creates the consistent frustration of having a starting and stopping motion in life. First you want where you’re going then you change your mind.  It’s like trying something on then deciding to change your clothes three times before being able to walk out of the house.  You don’t know exactly why you take specific actions so nothing seems to work.  This starting and stopping wastes time and lets you feel you’re taking two steps forward and five steps back with every action.

7. Unconscious goals are costly.  What are your income goals.  Unconscious goals will say “I want to be wealthy” or “ we really need to bring in some money today.”  These type of goals cost you the possibilities of actually reaching income goals. What is wealthy in your definition?  Unless you are specific about this, wealthy might be having an extra $20.00 bill in your pocket.  Now you are wealthy because you have that much more money.  Bringing in more money today could result in getting one sale but if it is the first and only sale for the month, you’ve reached your unconscious goals but could still face bankruptcy in another two months or less.  There is no reason for the mind to create ways to bring in more funds since you haven’t determined what you really need.

Hopefully these examples illustrate the power of unconscious goals for the detriment of your success.  It also gives you reasons to take the time to think through your goals and create goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and time oriented.  

Maybe You Need a Break

Do you sometimes find yourself drifting into the world of wasted time during the work day? It could be something like following a link in your email to a newly uploaded YouTube Video of your best friends grandchild’s new dance video (and the child is only 13 months old – go figure)? 

Maybe you follow a legitimate response to a post on your Facebook but instead of making a quick response, you start reading other Facebook postings for the next hour or two. 

By the time you look up, you’ve wasted time doing things that have kept you totally distracted from your business goals.

Identifying Distraction Behaviors

The way to get hold of this behavior is to take control of what you do during the day.  Start by finding out why and when you become distracted. Here are some steps to help.

Start by making a chart of what happens to distract you in your daily planner.

  • Put the time that the distraction started
  • What the trigger was for the distraction. 
  • Then mark the time when you came out of your stupor and realized what you were doing. 

What you’re doing is starting to recognize trigger behaviors that distract you from your goals. Charting the information isn’t to make you feel guilty. It’s to let you recognize where you need to adjust your work schedule to be more disciplined in sticking to your goals. Here’s what you’ll learn when you chart this behavior.

  1. Are the certain times of the day when you become most distracted?
  2. Are there certain types of events that trigger the distraction? For instance, are you more susceptible to distractions if you read an email post or if you check your Twitter account – or both? 
  3. Do you spend more time on certain distracting activities than others? For instance, are you more distracting by reading emails or Tweeting?
  4. What makes you break the hold of distraction and come back to reality – or do you break the hold?
  5. Is there a certain time of day when you’re more vulnerable to distractions?
  6. Are there certain activities you’ve been doing that make you more vulnerable to distractions? 

Make a chart to keep track of this information over a period of time. At least one week will be good. It’s tedious to track these details at first but it’s worth the time.

Analyzing Your Results

What you’ll find out is that you probably get most distracted when you’ve been concentrating on a task for a focused amount of time without a break.  If you’ve been on one task for an hour and you get a chance to break the focus you’re giving yourself a break from the task. 

What you can find out is that you might need to get better at scheduling breaks during the day to regroup, rest and revitalize yourself to stay on track.

You might find that certain times of day make you susceptible to distractions.  If you have the bad habit of sitting for hours in front of the computer without taking a break, you might learn that a lot of time is actually wasted time instead of productive time. 

Because you don’t give yourself a break your brain and body beg for relief. Distractions let the brain change courses, thereby giving it a “recess” from working so hard.

Instead, you might just need to schedule in a break. 

Maybe You Need a Break

After analyzing your weekly tracking of distractions, you’ll find the patterns in what’s happening.  Here’s some action steps to help keep your working day more productive

A. Review your daily working schedule and schedule in sufficient rest times.

Do you even have a daily working schedule?  If you work at home each day, you probably never think about creating your work schedule, similar to what you’d have if you worked in an office.  That means you just do what you do without knowing what’s coming.

That means you never know when you’re going to get a break. You haven’t set goals to achieve over a certain period of time. You might just keep working until you wear out.   Some people actually find they sit down in the morning and work until late afternoon or early evening without ever getting away from the computer. 

That’s the worse thing you can do. When you start to track your day, you’ll find that a lot of that time is wasted time because you can’t stay focused that long. So create a work schedule that a business person needs to follow.

B. Schedule sufficient breaks.

On your daily planner, put in the breaks you’ll have during your work day.

  • For each two hours of work, schedule a minimum 15 minute rest break. Use this time to freshen up, get some coffee or tea, 
  • For each four hours of work, schedule a 30 to 60 minute lunch break. Use this time for exercising, eating, napping, whatever, but take it. 

These are just guidelines for taking breaks during your work day.  You have to do what works for you to keep you productive.

Keeping Track

To be sure you take your breaks, use some type of method to alert you to break time.

  1. Purchase a basic alarm clock for the office and set it to alarm for the break time.
  2. Use a basic kitchen time and set it for as long as needed.  Some of these only go for 60 or 90 minutes so set it accordingly.

You could always take a five minute break every 60 minutes too instead of trying to go through two hours before taking a break.  You have to work with your personal rhythm to do what’s right for you .

If you’re not accustomed to taking a break, you might need more or fewer ones during the hours than you think.  But don’t take breaks that you don’t need.  Stay focused on your work day and keep moving.

How to Keep Track of Tasks

You might worry that taking a break will get you off track in your tasks.  That’s a real concern so here’s how to leave what you’re doing and then get back on track.

  1. Write down on your daily timer exactly what you are doing just before you get up to take a break.  Then you’ll remember what you need to go back to do.
  2. Highlight in RED on your document online (Using the color tool) where you stopped in your process.  If you can’t use a color, BOLD the point so you can identify it immediately. 
  3. Have an anchor tool such as a favorite rock, pen, paper or other symbol that triggers where you where physically or marks your place.

Now, what if you’re writing and in the “flow”? As a writer this is extremely important as flow is when the ideas are pouring out.  Instead of losing the thoughts use these ideas:

  1. Write the keys words into an outline for the rest of the ideas flowing to you.  If you know this will let you get back on track do this technique. 
  2. If you need to, talk into a digital recorder and speak your thoughts instead of writing them.  Then you can go back, listen to the ideas and either transcribe them or write the ideas as they come to you.
  3. Take a note pad with you in case ideas come so you can jot them down.  Even if you don’t “get” anything, having this gives you a peace of mind that you won’t forget a fleeting idea that’s just great. 

If these don’t work find your own system for keeping your ideas.

Overall, start make a case study out of yourself and find out why you’re not reaching your goal or why you get distracted during  the day.  This will help you develop a daily operations system that works for you and lets you start making money in your business by sticking to your goals.

Confidence Through Mastermind Groups

Confidence in business is a necessary characteristic for success.  But staying focused and ready for success is not always easy.  Working with a mastermind group can be one of the most important business decisions a professional can make in a business career. These ideas give ways working a mastermind group can build confidence for business success.

1. Mastermind groups consist of a group of people with the same goals that come together to support each other to reach their individual goals. Finding a mastermind that works for you provides an effective ways for you to stay focused on your goals. If you have a problem setting goals the mastermind group can help.  

2. Mastermind groups help you to maintain the self-discipline to get moving towards your purpose each day. Being in business often means feeling tired and burned out. If you feel like stopping in your business pursuits, your mastermind members are there to keep you on track and help you develop business routines for success.  

3. Mastermind groups provide a place where you can be accountable to reach your goals. Because you check in on a regular basis with your group, you will soon begin to feel accountable to report on your goals to the group. You will enjoy having the other members recognize the efforts you made to reach your stated goals. This helps to build your self-esteem because you will be sharing your successes on a regular basis. They can also help you through the tough spots without being judgmental.    

4. Mastermind groups hold you to the expectation of doing what you set out to do in business. They are supportive when you want to implement new ideas or try creative concepts. You have a sounding board of people who can let you know whether or not they feel your idea needs some tweaking or is fine as is. This lets you have more confidence to try something innovative before introducing it the world without this type of feedback.  

5. Mastermind groups often share insider information that you wouldn’t be able to find in other settings. That is because the focus is usually very tight and the members are professionals in the same area. You can expect a level of confidentiality that is respected by each group member so you can speak freely bout your issues. Of course, be sure this idea of being confidential is a stated policy in your mastermind group before sharing too much.  

6. Mastermind groups provide a mentoring atmosphere which means you are supported to understand the nuances of your profession that only come through a close mentoring relationship. Everything can’t be taught or passed along through books or even public training sessions. Some have to come through a mentoring situation and the mastermind can provide that setting in your industry.  

 7. Mastermind groups could help you to establish life long friendships and business partners that you wouldn’t find in other situations. Mastermind mind members get to know each other in a way the general population doesn’t. Members want to see each other succeed and often provide support and resources only with other mastermind members that could make the difference in building a business quickly an defectively.  

Mastermind groups are one of the most important concepts for helping a professional grow a business and build personal self-esteem and confidence to succeed. When you know you are working with a select group of people who care about your success, hold you accountable and support you no matter what, you naturally grow in the confidence to reach you stated business goals.

Change Your Marketing with Changing Times

Marketing your business can still influence consumers in any economy.  In fact, you can change how you market your business and maintain a customer base when others are hitting hard times. What you need are new and innovative ways to bring attention to your business instead of depending on the old ways to get people to learn about you. Use these ideas to  increase your market share and see your business take a turnaround. 

1. Go personal by increasing your personal networking opportunities. Shake hands, meet people, and follow up with new acquaintances. Networking is the best way to let people know more about you. Look for opportunities you might have missed before and find new ones to make personal appearances and to meet people. Get those business cards and brochures with special offers updated and ready to distribute. Remember you have to let people see you multiple times before many make a buying decision so find new ways to get in front of people more often.  

2. Repurpose what you do instead of approaching people in the same way. The brochures you’ve always had look like the same ones everyone else is handing out. Just because you’ve presented your business in one format before doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing now. Instead of sending print newsletters, try audio and video. Instead of just handing out business cards and brochures, offer to do a demonstration of your products or services to give instant information. Be the first to be different by taking what you have and using it in a new way to attract attention.

3. Go live by providing informational seminars and workshops on topics related to your product or services. Hold workshops for free or low cost to introduce what you do to groups then shoot for individual clients. Give actual training events or spend one to two hours providing new insights into topics related t your business. Have your special offers ready to go at the end of the event and offer discounts for immediate sign-ups.  

4. Get your name in front of potential clients by donating products or services to groups and associations even if you’re the only one giving for that particular event. Tell the group organizers you are offering a door prize for their members that will help to increase the value of their meetings to members. Who could resist a free way to increase their member benefits? Make this a regular offer and continue to increase your exposure. If others follow suit, you’ll still be the first to make the offer.  

5. Look for ways to partner with other professionals and develop new package offerings of products and services. For example, maybe you have a skin care line and she has a stress reduction program. Together you offer a “look better and live longer” package at special pricing.    

6. Create the opportunities you need by organizing an event that lets you highlight what you have to offer. Reserve a room at a popular café or restaurant and invite several businesses that compliment but don’t compete with yours to join you in an evening of live demonstrations and information sharing. Make it a regular happening in your community that people come to expect and enjoy the increase in visibility for your business.    

7. Develop your reputation as the professional in your field. Write articles for the local newspaper get on public television and public radio and do a regular show for the community. Then get involved with Internet media shows. Of course you have to promote these offline shows on the web and the Internet marketing shows through offline means. This helps you to expand your reach and increase your frequency of exposure which are the two major keys to successful advertising.   

Marketing your business in new ways is more important than ever if you want to succeed in challenging economic times. Competitors are closing their doors which means more potential customers for the businesses that survive. Take steps to revamp your marketing efforts to respond to the needs of your target market. 

Be flexible and creative in how you present what you have to offer and be willing to put in the time and effort needed to make personal contacts. Be willing to think outside of the box and your business will be able to survive and thrive during times of economic challenge.

Top Motivation Busters to Avoid

Motivation busters can sap the energy out of you as soon as you foot crosses your business threshold.  Being successul in business means finding ways to stay motivated to reach goals with or without outside support. You might have to work alone in this effort as you pursue professional opportunities.

Become more aware of ways you might be losing your motivation by understanding these top motivation busters that all business professionals need to avoid. 

1. Waiting for others to motivate you. If you need others to motivate you in order to reach your goals you will soon find that you won’t be getting much support. People are busy and few people take time to consistently provide others with the motivational words they need. Reach into your leadership background and find ways to set short and long-term goals that keep you going to reach goals all by yourself.  

2. Keep doing what you don’t like. Few things are more de-motivating the continuing to do activities that you really don’t like to do. When you have a lot of skills and talents, don’t waste precious time in life pursuing activities you don’t like. Wrap up your obligations if necessary and move on to activities and adventures that keep you excited and happy instead of struggling with activities you are not excited about doing.

3. Take criticism from others to heart. It is common for others to share more negative words than positive. If you let yourself be discouraged when others criticize you or what you do, you will find yourself down and out most of the time. Put everything you hear in perspective. You are not what others say; you are what you say to yourself. Learn positive self talk and speak truth to your mind on a consistent basis to drown out the negative criticism that might come your way.  

4. Procrastinate and increase your stress. When you fail to complete tasks you increase your stress. Procrastinating until the last minute or to the point when things really get out of hand is a way to only cause more problems in your life. Set a schedule and face difficult tasks one step at a time. Get things done ahead of schedule and give yourself relief and time to do your task correctly.  

5. Fail to have confidence in your decisions. If you consistently worry about decisions you make learn to look at all of the available alternatives and review the pros and cons of each prior to making a decision. If you have time, don’t make a hasty decision but give yourself time to really think about what you’ll decide. If you have to decide quickly go with the decision that will cause the least harm. Then take a course on decision making so you can feel better about the necessary decisions you will inevitably have to make.

6. Give up easily. One of the best ways to lose motivation is to be in the habit of giving up when things get tough. Instead of being a quitter learn the self-discipline necessary to stick things out to completion. No doubt about it, you will face some very tedious tasks as a leader. But you can’t lead if you can’t finish. Decide to reach the goal and analyze the steps you have to take to complete a difficult task. Be ready to reach the goal line or don’t take on the leadership task.  

7. Maintain bad habits.  A habit is an action you do without thinking. In order to change a habit you have to be conscious of your activities and then deliberately do something that changes that behavior. If you have a habit of telling yourself negative things you have to consciously know how to change that self talk into something positive. If you have a habit of quitting you have to change that to create a habit of completing activities. It is possible to change habits but like anything else worthwhile it can also be hard to do; but as a leader you are up to the task.

Learning to stay motivated is an important skill in business. Sometimes you can be doing things that you are not aware of that take your motivation away.  By recognizing these motivation busters you can learn to be conscious of when they strike, avoid them and  increase your self-motivation. In this way, you take control of becoming a more successful professional.