You may have read my recent post, I Hit the Snooze Button on my Goals this Month. If not, feel free to go ahead and read it to get caught up. This post is a bit of a follow-up. (Sidenote: If you’re here for the Make a Habit, Break a Habit link up, skip on down to the bottom)
Since I wrote that post I’ve been thinking of other goals and dreams I’ve pushed the snooze button on. Some are long term goals- ones that it’s appropriate to “snooze” for a bit. Others are fully relevant in the here and now. So why do I (and why do we all) find hitting that metaphorical snooze button on our dreams so tempting sometimes?
Here are a few of my ideas on the subject:
1) We are not fully invested in the goal.
Meaning that the goal is not fully important to us yet. It’s a lack of internal motivation. This sounds like a really bad thing to me. Almost shameful. (“You’re just not motivated” is a terrible phrase, isn’t it.) But, I really don’t think this one is as bad as it sounds. Everyone goes through a process of internal negotiation when faced with a goal that requires change of thought or behavior on our part. Change doesn’t always come easy. It’s natural to embrace the status quo. (There’s all kinds of studies on this actually.) Accomplishing a goal requires a shift- and it requires internal motivation to make that shift. Increasing our personal investment in a goal can help move us away from the snooze button and toward realizing our dreams.
2) We think later is better.
We often set our goals around our circumstances. We might say, “When my child goes to kindergarten, then I’ll start to write my book,” or “When the weather gets nicer, then I’ll start exercising,” or any other number of “when this happens- then I’ll do this” statements. Again, this sounds like a bad thing- but I don’t think it is necessarily.
There are plenty of very logical, legitimate reasons why you might delay a goal. And I think some of those are perfectly appropriate- however, if you’re delaying a goal, I think it’s a good idea to really look at your motivation for the delay. Do you truly believe that later is better? Is there anything in your current life that could allow you to make steps toward your goal now? Are you using your current situation as an excuse to “hit snooze”? Have you made a plan for how to accomplish your goals once “later” arrives?
Once you’ve decided that later truly is better. (For example: Maybe you’ve decided to start your own business once the kids are in school.) Then it’s time to let yourself off the hook and stop feeling guilty about pushing off your dream. Everything in due time is a perfect motto for you.
However, if you’ve figured out that “later” is just another form of the “snooze button”- then it’s time to re-evaluate your investment in this goal.
3) We’re Tired.
We hit the literal and figurative snooze buttons when we are worn and out tired. Sometimes life demands our attention and energy, leaving us with little leftover to chase our dreams. It’s up to us to discern what are the necessary tasks and what are the unnecessary life-leaching demands we have competing for our attention. It’s great to simplify a bit. Set boundaries in your life so that you don’t feel consumed by energy snatchers. Invest your time and energy into people and activities that energize you and move you closer to your goal.
4) We are not fully confident in our ability to accomplish our dreams.
Fear of failure is truly paralyzing at times. If we don’t believe that we will be successful, then we will have little motivation to pursue our ideas. Simply telling yourself that “you can do it” and pinning some motivational quotes on Pinterest is not going to cut it when it comes to truly increasing your self-confidence.
There are lots of ways to increase your self-confidence- one would be to break down your goal into very small, manageable steps. Another is to make a list of everything you have going for you- your personal strengths, your resources, your “resume” of past accomplishments, your support network- I bet you have a lot going for you that you didn’t even realize! And That is a great reason to get out of bed in the morning!
So Tell Me:
1) Do you have any goals or dreams you are currently hitting “snooze” on? (Care to share what they are?)
2) Which of these reasons for hitting snooze most hit home with you?
3) Now that we’ve discussed reasons for hitting snooze– what are you going to do about it?
P.S. For more hints on reasons #1 and #4 – check out my Top 2 Tips for Accomplishing your Goals.