Did you wake up on New Year’s Day with a resolute promise to take action or make meaningful changes in your freelancing career; vowing to yourself to embark on an intensive self-marketing plan, to start research on that hot-topic cover story, or to get down to work on the manuscript for your best-seller?
How are you doing so far? Are those query letters and outreach e-mails still unwritten or unsent? Are the leads for your cover story languishing in your to-do folder? Is your best-selling novel gathering dust on your hard drive?
If so, you are most assuredly not alone. Countless thousands of individuals with the very best of intentions embark upon a course of action or change, only to give up at the first signs of failure. Others manage to talk themselves out of trying before they’ve even begun. However, achieving your goal of taking action and making effective changes may not be as elusive or as impossible as you think.
The Pitfalls of Change
Often, we can be our own worst enemies in the process of change. Negative thoughts and self-inflicted criticism undermine our best efforts. Thoughts can be so quick, we’ve thought the thought and our mood is starting to change before we’re even aware that we’re doing it. We visualize some sort of negative outcome without even realizing it.
Another means of self-sabotage is setting unrealistic goals, which almost always go unmet, resulting again in negative thinking and self-criticism.
Attempting major life changes without a source of support is another common pitfall. For some individuals, simply asking a friend to support them may be all they need. For others, professional help is often essential.
Obstacles to change may also be found in the way we arrange our lives and our environments. What can be done in your environment to increase your likelihood of succeeding and to decrease the likelihood of backsliding?
It is also important to look at all the tasks you do in your life. Are you doing mostly what you feel you ‘should’ do, rather than what you truly want to do? How can you prioritize time amid the demands of the day to invest in your dreams?
Nine Effective Ways to Meet Your Goals:
1. Be as specific and realistic as possible in setting goals for change.
2. Try to accomplish the easiest tasks first.
4. Arrange your environment and your schedule to increase your likelihood of success.
5. Enlist the help and support of family, friends and professionals. Consider joining a group or seeking professional coaching.
6. Identify negative thinking and self-criticism. Learn to catch yourself negatively distorting reality and learn to talk to yourself in more constructive, supportive ways.
7. Be forgiving of yourself and accept that temporary setbacks are part of the process.
8. Make well-defined plans ahead of time for sticking with your goals and bouncing back after failure.
9. Remember that the most meaningful changes often happen slowly, over time.
Celeste Heiter is the author of Turn Your PC into a Lean Mean Freelancing Machine, the creator of the LoveBites Cookbook Series for Kindle Fire, and the author of Potty Pals , a potty-training book for children. She has also written ten books published by ThingsAsian Press; and spent eight years posting her recipes, food photographs, and film reviews on ChopstickCinema .