Following Through with Your Goals
Ep. 239
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Everyone focuses on teaching you how to set goals. But what happens after you set it? We all know that the hard part comes from following through. Most of know what we want to do but we just feel like we can’t get ourselves to do it. On today’s podcast, I’ll teach you why that’s a myth (you really can follow through) and how to start doing it. 

Show Transcript
Hey, welcome to Lessons from a Quitter, where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you've spent getting to where you are. If ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams. Hello my friends. Welcome to another episode. I'm so excited you are here. Today we are going to talk about following through with your goals. Actually following through. If you didn't listen to last week's episode, I would suggest starting there because I have a very strict rule that you can only have one goal a year and that episode covers that. And that's sort of the basis of how to approach goal setting. Like some of the way I want you to think about the goals that you're picking and then you pick the goal.
And we all know what happens. We've all heard this story, we've all been this story a million times. You set a goal, you have motivation for like two weeks. You're all gung home and then you lose that motivation. The thoughts creep in and it's not worth it. Nothing's really happening. I'm not gonna stick to this. And then you give up. In fact, yesterday I was looking at statistics as one does for fun and there was a statistic by a social media platform for athletes, I guess a app that's for athletes. They did the study in 2019 and they found that 80% of people had given up on their goal by the end of the second week in January, two weeks. That's it. That's all they got. And then they quit. And they call it quitter's day, which you know, I love a quitter, so I don't like that they're using that date in a negative way, but it's mindblowing 80%.
That's insane. And so that's why I wanna do this episode about following through and really get you to think about it maybe in a different way. And I will let you know at the end, I'll talk more about it. But my whole month in February in the Quitter Club is how to follow through. And I'm gonna teach a masterclass on February 1st that teaches you a step-by-step process for how to follow through. So everything that we talk about today, if you're like, I just don't know how to do that, it sounds great, I'm still not going to, I want you to join me. And it's not just the masterclass. I mean the masterclass will get you to completely rethink how you think about it. And it's so much easier than so many of us think it is. But you get an entire month of coaching, right?
You're gonna sign up for the membership and you get that month of coaching. As we work through in a challenge for how to follow through, how do we practice the skill, you'll be able to see like what it gets in my way. Because information is one thing. All we needed was information. Then all of us would have the bodies we want and the lives we want and the degrees we want. And we would just like get up and do it. But we don't because our thoughts get in the way. And so I know that I can give you all the information you want. And this is the problem with when we, we sign up for a class or something and we just learn the information cuz we don't go home and implement it. And so we're gonna implement it together for a month, we're gonna coach on it.
You're gonna see that it's not just you, it's not just your brain. There's nothing wrong with you, there's nothing defective. You're like everybody else. And even that in and of itself takes off so much of the shame and guilt and helps you start getting curious and doing it as an experiment and thinking about why am I not following through what was coming up for me? And you'll have a framework to put it in and it will change everything. And I'm telling you that it is the skill that you need in every area of your life. Like everything you do, it's not just goals, right? If you think about the fact that you procrastinate all the time, if you think about the fact that you can't just do the to-dos that you have on your list, if you put off that task that is gonna take two hours, but you've put it off for two months, this is the skill you're lacking, okay?
So just come learn it so that you can get on with your life and you can start keeping your word to yourself and you can put it on your calendar and know it will get done. It's life changing. So by the time this comes out, , I did that whole rant and then wanted to mention that the doors for this month will close tonight cuz it's January 31st and we start February 1st for the month of the quarter club. So getting today, and if you're listening later, you can always go back and listen to the call. Once you join, it'll be in the call replays. But if you are listening, you all know that like we don't go back and do things. So come now and do it live and do it with us and make sure you get it in. And if you are gonna go back and do it later, if you're listening to this later, then give yourself 30 days to really go through all of the calls and all the challenges and do that.
Okay? That's a nice spiel on that. This is why I wanted to do this episode is because as I was creating this class, I was like, ah, this is such a needed skill because I'm already coaching people in the credit club on it. Like we did the goal setting class and then people will come to coaching and say like, yeah, I have my tasks, I scheduled it out, I know what I'm supposed to do, I'm just not doing it. And so this is what we're gonna work on. Okay? So here's the thing. What I just mentioned too is like what I wanna start off with is just so you know that there's nothing wrong with you. We love to create a story. We love to beat ourselves up. We love to find anything to like solidify this belief that there's something wrong with me. I'm not good enough.
It's just me. Everybody else has all the motivation in the world. It's just me. That's not true. This is why when I say this problem, this story of setting up a goal, having motivation, giving it up and quitting is so universal. It's why everybody listening to this can resonate is because all of our brains work that way. Congratulations. You have a human brain. And I say this because so much of what stops us from figuring out why we don't do the things we want or why we're not reaching our goals is because we have so much shame around the topic. We make it such a moral one that like there's something wrong with me. I'm not good because I can't stick to my workout routine or I can't get the job that I wanted, or I can't save the money that I wanted. There's no morality in any of this.
Any goal that you set is not because you're gonna become a better person if you do it. It's just cool to see if you could do it. That's all it's, it's like, do I have the capacity? Am I able to, can I become the person that does this? Can I grow? Could this be fun, right? It's so much lighter when you approach goals like that when it's like my whole self-worth isn't on the line. And so I want you to know if you have a shame story around the fact that like you didn't stick to something, I want you to let that go. And I'm gonna tell you why. What? I mean, it's just a lot. I just want you to know it's a lie. We'll start there because so many of us love to believe that we're not disciplined or we're not consistent. We love to tell this story.
So many people telling me this, I just can't follow through. I know what I wanna do, I just can't do it. Okay? That's not like a universal truth. And I'm gonna prove it to you right now because every one of you gets up every day and goes to work. Well, maybe not every one of you, but you know what I mean. I'm certain that there are many days that you don't have motivation to go to work, and yet here you are being consistent. Every day you wake up and hopefully you brush your teeth. I'm certain that you're not super jazzed and excited every day to brush your teeth. You likely don't even think about it. It doesn't even register. It's not even a choice. You're not like, Hmm, should I brush my teeth? I don't really feel like it right now. You're just like, all right, get up.
Brush our teeth. That's what we do. Get dressed, go to work, right? Follow the rules. Do the millions of tasks I have to do every single day. Go through my to-dos, work all day, get home somehow I've managed to buy groceries again, there's food in the house. Make dinner. Oh my God, I managed to feed myself and my children. Look how consistent I am. And I mean, I joke and I'm obviously like being a little bit snarky about this, but it's like it's fascinating for us to see what our brains do is like we will take 90% of the information and just disregard it and hold on to 10% and be like, Nope. See, look, this is evidence that I'm not consistent because I also said I was gonna work out and I didn't. So it doesn't matter that 99% of my day I did everything I said I was gonna do, we're gonna look at that one and we're gonna create a story and we're gonna tell ourselves there's something wrong with you.
It's just you. You just don't know how to follow through. You're lazy, you're not disciplined, you don't care enough, right? It's hogwash, . I didn't ever think I would use that word on the podcast. And yet here we are. It's just ridiculous. So we're gonna stop that. We're gonna stop these stories. We're gonna stop the shame. And I want you to realize that like all this is, is that you've just never been taught why you don't follow through. You've never been taught about your emotions, you've never been taught about your thoughts. And so a lot of us think that procrastination and motivation, all these things are somehow like time management tools. And we go through finding the hack, right? It's like all these hacks of like how to do more as if that's the, that's not the issue. That is not the issue at all. Because again, like I just told you, when something's a priority, when there's something that you know you have to get done, when there's something that you've decided to do, you do it.
You find the time, you figure it out. Isn't it amazing how like all these things where you never have the time, just somehow get done, food gets cooked, your kids' birthday parties get planned, you get your work done, bills get paid. Seems like we have the time, right? Seems like we know how to manage our time. Maybe we waste some of it, which I don't even like saying wasting. Maybe we do things that are pleasurable for some of it, but most of us are using our time. And so I wanted to realize it's like it's not a time management issue and it's not a willpower issue, it's not a motivation issue. Every one of us has motivation for a lot of things. And a motivation has been proven for every single human to Wayne, right? Willpower gets depleted. It's just not something anyone, it doesn't matter how much you love it.
This is why I talk about the 50 50 of when you start a career, let's say you're, you start a business that you love as well is like it's gonna be 50 50. You might be super stoked about your business and that motivation's gonna be great for a little while and then it's gonna run out. Cause that's what motivation does. Your thoughts about it are gonna run change. That's all it is. That's all motivation is, is you used to think really great thoughts about it. Like this is gonna be so fun. I can't believe I'm starting my own business. I love this. I have so many ideas. People need this. And then after a couple weeks where you have to like show up on social media, your thoughts start becoming, this is too hard. I can't do this. People are gonna judge me. What are they gonna think?
And then all of a sudden that motivation starts waning, right? So we know it's already a thought work issue, but again, I just want you to know it's not like unique to you. It happens with everybody. Even if you love the thing, after a while your thoughts become like, Ugh, this is mundane. I've already done this. I don't wanna do it. It's too hard, it's boring. I wanna do something else. I don't like this part. Whatever it is. Okay? And then there are some things that we just never need willpower for, right? Like you don't need to muster up a ton of willpower to sit down on the couch and watch Netflix. That's never happened. You never have to be like, ah, I gotta really get myself in the right mind space. Why do you think that is? Why do you think your mind doesn't put up resistance when you need to eat ice cream or scroll your phone?
There isn't resistance there. Okay? So I want you to just sort of understand that something is happening in your brain and it's putting up resistance with some things that typically it encounters as hard or difficult or has some negative aspect to it and it doesn't with others. And so it doesn't bring up resistance. So it's not hard. So you never lack the motivation, you don't lack the willpower, you don't need it time management tools to figure out how to do things. Okay? And so I want that to be our baseline to really understand that like you're just a normal human with a normal brain and your brain is doing what it's supposed to do. And that will often lead to procrastination and lack of, of motivation because your brain is looking for dopamine hits, your brain is looking for things that feel good. Your brain is trying to keep you alive and keep you away from things that feel negative.
So as soon as you want to do a task that has a lot of negative thoughts around it, a negative stigma, and that might just be this is boring. Two, like I'm dumb, I don't know how to do this, this is never gonna work for me. It's going to create a lot of resistance to that. And then your brain is gonna say like, Ugh, this feels terrible. Let's go do something fun. Let's scroll Instagram, let's watch tv, let's go exercise, right? Let's work on this other thing. Let's do all these tasks that are quick, we can buffer. And by that I mean like sort of numb out or resist the feeling that we don't wanna feel with anything, with overworking over drinking, overeating over netflixing, over exercising. It's just like this other thing feels better to me, so I'm gonna go do that. And so the problem here is that it's not a time management issue.
It's an emotional management issue. [inaudible] say you don't have a time problem, you have a feeling problem. Yeah, you're not feeling your feelings, you don't know how to feel 'em yet when the feeling of boredom or dread or inadequacy or shame or embarrassment or whatever comes up for you, you don't know what to do with that feeling. And so you try running away from it. And that never works by the way, in the long run. You eventually have to deal with it and it feels terrible and you create so much more stress because now you've wasted so much more time and you've put it off and you've made it bigger in your head and you create way more negative emotion. But that's the only problem here is that you've had a problem feeling that negative emotion. And so what we wanna work on is how do we feel those feelings and do the thing anyway.
Now, obviously if you have listened to the podcast and you listen to me regularly, you know that I am all about changing your thoughts and doing thought work, right? If you can change your thoughts, then you can feel differently. So if there's something that's causing dread, you can change your thoughts, let's say theoretically and not feel as much resistance. And that's true. That's where I would start always with anything, right? Is really examining what are my thoughts that are creating these feelings for me and how do I change that so I don't have as much emotional charge against this thing that I wanna do, so I can make it easier and like reduce the resistance. The problem arises. The fact that we have been thinking these thoughts for decades, often they're so subconscious, they're automatic. It seems as though it's just like an automatic reaction to something, even though it's just been a thought that I've had for decades and decades.
And so thought work doesn't just happen in an instant. If it did, all of you would have changed everything about your life because you just listened to the boss and you get the idea and you have the thought and you're like, yeah, I should change my thoughts. I'm just gonna go ahead and do it. But we all know it doesn't work that way. It takes practice, it takes lifting that muscle. Just like if you would go to the gym and you wanna change your physical appearance, your physical, the way your body has physically moved, it's not like you go one time and all of a sudden your back pain is gone or all of a sudden you have a six pack, you start lifting that muscle over and over and over and over again until it forms to the way that you want it to.
It's the same thing with your brain. So we wanna do thought work, we wanna figure out like where is the issue here? What am I thinking to create this? But the thing is, none of us have all day to sit around working on our thoughts over and over again until it changes. Sometimes it takes six months, a year, two years for a thought to really like dissipate for it to completely go away. And we don't get that kind of time. We have goals we have to hit, we have things we wanna do, I gotta get that project in. I can't wait until my thought is like, oh, I'm so good at this. This is wonderful. I can do this. Even though those are probably true, and it would make it a lot easier if you thought thoughts like that, but you don't. So this is why it's so crucial to develop this skill of learning how to follow through when you don't want to.
It's not that you don't use thought work and you you should use them in conjunction with each other. It's just that sometimes we just gotta get on with our day, right? It's like I can do some thought downloads, I can do self-coaching and then I'm gonna encounter 20 other things throughout the day that I don't wanna do. And I have to get really good at understanding like where am I gonna really take the time to evaluate and think, no, this is really causing a very like disproportionate reaction. Or I wanna know why this is causing me so much negative emotion or pain or whatnot. I'm gonna spend the time doing the thought work on figuring out why this issue comes up in my life all the time. And we might do that for some things. And then other things, it's like, okay, this isn't that big of a deal.
I don't need to get my thoughts on board with a loving taxes. I just don't, I don't do it that often. It doesn't come up that often for me. I'm sure I could, I'm sure I could get myself to get to a place where it's like, I am pretty good at this and I am smart and I can figure this out, but like I don't have all day. I have a lot of other issues in my life that I'd rather deal with. So you know what? The once a year when it comes for me to sit down half a day or a whole Saturday and do my taxes, I'm not gonna wanna do it. And I'm not gonna spend all my time doing my thought work around it. I'm just gonna accept, okay, I don't wanna do this. I have a lot of negative thoughts around it.
That's okay, I'll keep those thoughts. It doesn't hinder my life that much, but I can learn how to follow through anyway so that I don't miss the tax deadline so that I'm not panicked and needing to ask for an extension. So I'm not adding so much stress to my life because I'm so resistant to the idea of doing this thing that makes me maybe feel inadequate or makes me feel dread or just is something that's unpleasant. And when you start learning the skill of how to follow through, how to feel your feelings and do it anyway, how to keep that word to yourself, then you don't need to do thought work for everything, right? You can start discerning where is it that I wanna do thought work and where do I just wanna do the work and where is it like I'm gonna do thought work and I'm still gonna have negative feelings?
Like I may be super stoked about running a marathon and I may be all on board and my thoughts might be great about it. And I actually might think, you know, I am very capable and I am athletic. Let's say if I'm there still when I have to get up at five in the morning in order to be able to get a 10 mile run in before I go to work, I'm gonna have resistance. My brain is gonna be like, yeah, let's just sit this one out. Let's just lay in this bed please. And I have to know how to follow through. I think that for so many of us, like I said, we obviously do follow through, but a lot of times I hear from clients and I felt this way too, it's like almost like you're Frankenstein where like someone else is controlling your brain.
I hear so often when people tell me like, I know the thing, I wanna do it and I truly want to do it. Like I want to work on my side hustle, I want to work on my business, but I can't, I don't know why. Right? And this is what I mean is like a lot of times we just have not been given the guidance of like what our subconscious is doing, what our thoughts are doing, what are our feelings are doing. And so it feels like we're not in control. It feels like I don't wanna pick up my phone, I don't wanna sit on the couch for two hours and watch Netflix. It just happens. And I want you to know that's a lie that you're telling yourself. You're always in control. You can always do it. You always know how to control yourself.
You just don't know why you're doing the thing as you're doing and why you're not doing the thing as you're not doing. And I'm gonna, again, I'll give you another example. If you wanted to sit on the couch and watch Netflix, but you had promised your friend that you were gonna help them move and you were gonna be there at, you know, 10:00 AM on a Saturday and they were waiting for you, what do you think you'd do? Do you think you're gonna be like, I honestly, I wanted to get there. I just don't even know what happened. I just couldn't get myself to get up. I couldn't get myself to get in the car and come over there Like no matter what happened, I was just sitting on the couch. No, that never happens because we're great at keeping our word to other people and we're great at following through with other people.
And it's funny how you all of a sudden have control when that's happening, but when it comes to yourself, you think like, oh, I'm so out of control. So we try these hacks, we try all these hacks of like, what is these like blocks that we've put on our phones to the app? We can't access the apps. And all of these really fascinating and kind of extreme measures in my mind where it's like I sort of have to have other people step in when it comes to me, even though I can do it with other people, I just can't do it for myself. And learning how to just feel the feeling, be able to identify it, be able to figure out why do I keep grabbing my phone? What is that feeling that's coming up? What would I have to feel in order to feel that?
Once I can master that, it becomes so much easier to be like, oh of course I cannot pick up my phone. This is why I'm choosing to do it. This is what I'm feeling. And so that's what I want you to focus on, whether you come to the class or not. What I want you to realize is that setting a goal is like 10%. It truly, it's like there was a, there's a quote, I don't know the exact quote, I don't have time to look it up, but it's something like, you know, ideas are a dime a dozen. Execution is what matters. It's a quote in like business because so many people think they have a great idea and it doesn't matter if you have a great idea, everyone has great ideas, nobody executes. And so how you execute it is really what matters is the same thing with goal setting.
You could pick 20 goals, okay, great. And then you're not gonna follow through with them. So what was the point of going through that exercise, right? This is why I force you to pick only one because it makes it easier for us to figure out what you're following through with and what you're not. And it makes it easier to manage your mind and feel your feelings. But 90% of the work is just following through. It's not picking the goal. It doesn't matter what goal you picked, if you're not gonna follow through, who cares? You see like so many classes and so many templates and all this stuff focused on goal setting and nobody's really talking about like, okay, well now that I have the goal, now what? Now how does this work day in and day out for the next 365 days of the year?
And so I want you to focus on the follow through. I want you to figure out what feeling am I avoiding by not doing this and how can I feel that feeling and just do it anyway? I want you to start getting conscious of it. That's all following through is by the way, I mean in the masterclass when you come, I will teach you a framework. I have like the four P's I call it, and I will take you step by step on how you start identifying these, what you look for, what you can put into place so that you can overcome that resistance. And the more you start practicing it, the more automatic it becomes, the easier it becomes. The more you do it in your head, the more you're like, oh, I can see exactly why I'm not doing this thing and I can choose to do it anyway and I can learn how to feel these feelings.
And I want you to just think about how much changes when you learn how to do that. When you stop procrastinating and shaming yourself and beating yourself up and going through that whole cycle day in and day out. What happens when you stop adding all this extra stress because you waited till the last minute cuz you think you need pressure in order to do work. You don't. You're just used to it and you're used to that like needing that adrenaline and that cortisol and that stress to get you to do stuff. But that's only because you don't know how to follow through. So like what would it feel like to do things in a calm manner to do things when they're supposed to be done? What would it feel like to keep your word to yourself and not just to other people, to stop letting yourself down?
Honestly, I think that learning these concepts and this class really does change your understanding of your brain and how you approach things. And I think that is critical, but I'm telling you, I think the month after is what is more important because I'm gonna go ahead and tell you right now, even when you learn the information, even after you listen to this podcast, even if you're like, oh yeah, I could just feel my feelings, you're not gonna do it. You're gonna do it a couple times and then you're gonna stop. Cuz we all do because it's hard. Cuz if it was easy, you would've done it by now. You would've already known how to do it. Nobody needs to teach you a class on how to eat ice cream, how to sit down and watch Netflix. Like there's not a lot of master classes. I'm like, how do you watch more Netflix in a day?
Because you don't need that. You already figured that part out. Okay? So when you figure this out, it's gonna be difficult to continue on. There's gonna be days you're not gonna do it, that's okay. There's nothing wrong with you, you're just learning a new skill. And I want you to be in the quitter club so that we can coach on it. So we can figure out what is coming up, where are you getting stuck, what are your thoughts around it? How do we change that? How do we practice it? And how do you do that in an, the more you do that in an environment with supportive people that are also doing it, the more you are to likely stick with it. Okay? So as we're going to February, I want you to really intentionally decide that we're not giving up on our goals in January.
We're not gonna leave those in the first month of the year. We're taking them into the next month and we're learning the skills and we're practicing it for the whole month so that the next 10 months of the year we actually accomplish those goals. Okay? So if you're listening to this on the day that it comes out, I want you to join me in the Quitter Club. You can go to lessons from a club, and if you're not going to join me, I want you to just focus on what am I feeling that is causing me to not want to do this task and how can I just feel that feeling and do it anyway? Just practice that. Just start there and see what comes up for you. And when you're ready to join the Quitter Club, join and I'll coach you on whatever stops you at any time.
It doesn't have to be during this month. All right, my friends, I can't wait to do this class with you guys. I hope that this was helpful. I hope it helps you at least reframe how you think about why you give up on your goals and why you don't do things you wanna do and why you procrastinate. And I hope to see you in the credit club. If not, I will see you next week back here for another episode. Hey, if you are looking for more in-depth help with your career, whether that's dealing with all of the stress, worry, and anxiety that's leading to burnout in your current career or figuring out what your dream career is and actually going after it, I want you to join me in the Quitter Club. It is where we quit what is no longer working like perfectionism, people pleasing imposter syndrome, and we start working on what does and we start taking action towards the career and the life that you actually want. We will take the concepts that we talk about on the podcast and apply them to your life and you will get the coaching tools and support that you need to actually make some real change. So go to lessons from a club and get on the wait list. Doors are closed right now, but they will be open soon.