I’m lucky I haven’t been stuffed into a wheelie bin

January 11, 2024 in ADHD, Goal Setting, Personal Development

I was almost unbearably chipper on my first day back at work in 2024!

If I lived with any normal human I’d probably have been stuffed headfirst into a wheelie bin, but Kev was happy to see me bouncing around itching to get going on the new working year. 

We spent a lot of time before and over Christmas getting goals sorted for the year ahead, and learning from all the stuff that didn’t go so well last year. 

I’d say learning from the not-so-good stuff is just as important as celebrating what goes well. 

In fact, I’m really happy that I didn’t achieve everything I wanted to last year because it means I’m pushing myself beyond what I know I can do. 

Goals are there as a guideline, not to be used as a measure of self worth. 

The actions you take towards the goals are more important than the achievement of them. 

If you’re being deliberate about choosing a direction for yourself and you know you’re giving it your best efforts, then that really is the secret sauce to long-term happiness. 

Most importantly, you need to get really good at patting yourself on your own back, and I’ll tell you why:

External rewards such as praise from others, likes on social media, and even what you’re paid are both wonderful and dangerous things in equal measure, and when you know the danger you’ll be fully armed against the inclination to give up on yourself. 

In a classic experiment conducted at Stanford University many years ago, researchers observed a group of children and identified those who loved to draw the most. 

They then gave gold stars to these children for their work. After a while, they stopped giving gold stars to these children to see what would happen. 

Those children drew less. 

Their pleasure in drawing became entangled with extrinsic reward and when that reward dried up, so did their motivation to draw. 

Your brain works in the same way. 

If you rely on external rewards to make you feel good, you might lose your love for what you do, whether that’s at work, hobbies, sports or even keeping fit. 

You need to make your own plan and recognise when you’re achieving milestones along the way. 

That’s why journaling can be so good for your general wellbeing. 

If you set a goal without reviewing your progress, all you can see is a distant end point. 

If you’re noticing what’s happening along the way - all the little things you can tick off every day saying, “I did that!” or “I learned something really valuable from that” - then you get regular little buzzes that keep you going when things get tough. 

You get intrinsic motivation that’s fuelled by the little dopamine hits of feeling good about yourself. 

Towards the end of last year, I was talking to a client who was feeling a bit fed up that a new business venture wasn’t going their way. 

I told them how when I first qualified as a coach it seemed to take an absolute age to make any progress - I went without making any decent money for months and months.

I felt like a failure at times.  

Sadly, that’s the point at which many newly-qualified coaches give up and go back to their day jobs. 

They don’t sit with the problem long enough to sort it out, because they measure success in terms of their bank account too early, rather than giving themselves credit for the qualification they’ve achieved and the realisation that the qualification alone doesn’t guarantee an income - you need to get good at selling yourself, too, which is an entirely different skill set, and it almost always takes longer to learn than becoming a coach. 

(By the way, our client didn’t give up and started getting some traction right at the end of the year! YAY!”

Have you started 2024 with big ideas for yourself? 

Remember - intrinsic motivation is more important than extrinsic motivation when it comes to getting down and dirty with your plans in the months ahead. 

If you’re thinking about starting a new business, or you know someone who is, and you/they don’t have the cash to invest in coaching yet, then go ahead and treat yourself to our free Rock Solid Growth ebook here - https://28day.biz/

It’s packed with tried and tested ideas and information that we’ve used to help our clients for years. 

Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s free - if you’re smart you’ll grab it and devour it. 


The author 

Vicki LaBouchardiere