Using Nudges to Achieve Your Goals

Physics states that a ball going in a straight line will continue unless redirected.  In business the same habits and behaviors will continue to provide the same results unless redirected.  Redirection can come from internal or external sources.  In 2020 I am focusing on internal sources, specifically new behaviors that will take me where I want to go.  Many goals in life are long term such as being healthy, happy and financially secure.   Instead of massive action, many times nudges will redirect your path and move you closer to what you want.  These nudges are comprised of mental, emotional and physical elements.  

Hone your mental strength.  Stop the negative talk in my head such as I am not smart enough, I can’t do it or I don’t have time.  I set my own limits.  Others may have planted the seeds, but it is up to me to nourish them to grow.   It took me a long time to consciously hear the negative messages I tell myself.  I still struggle in certain areas of my life.  I learned to stop the negative statements.  Then ask why not give it a try?  Maybe I can and maybe I can’t or will choose not to.  I can do anything for a day.  As part of my daily planner I will add the question – how is my self-talk right today?

Use your emotions.  Emotions motivate behavior.  We can feel an emotion, however we choose how to react to it.  This takes personal awareness to intentionally react.  When my twins were born, I felt overwhelmed and incompetent.  Instead of becoming irrational I took steps to learn how to handle it – reading, volunteering at the church daycare and parenting classes.  Since I struggle with feeling overwhelmed at my business, I will apply the same logic.  In 2020 I will focus on improving my leadership skills and taking steps to build a strong and powerful team.

Taking action.  To achieve goals, we need physical action.   This is where I strive for progress not perfection.  Being overwhelmed I seem to focus on the actions I haven’t taken.  I have found that if I take small steps each day it provides the energy to continue.  I do struggle with impatience – I want immediate gratification.  As part of my daily habits I will note the items I did get completed as well as celebrate the small victories.

While I work on the internal sources to help me achieve my long-term goals, I plan to take time to watch for external sources by paying attention to what is around me.  I have a tendency to get too focused on the details and miss opportunities.  Each day I write down three things that I am grateful for and three things that I am excited about.  I will be more diligent writing down the three things that excite me.  

By applying these little nudges – checking my self-talk, working on my leadership skills and paying attention to what I accomplish – my path to success will be easier to accomplish. 

As we wrap up 2019, I encourage you to take time to look for the little nudges that will greatly improve your life.

By Mary Guldan-Lindstrom, CPA

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