I wouldn’t have made it anyway. I’m worthless. Everyone is right. I can’t do this. I’m too busy. I’ll start again on Monday. It’s not the right time. Everyone will judge me. I’m not good enough. 

These are just a few unproductive thoughts that run through some of our minds when we are trying to reach our goals. Those unproductive thoughts can be enough to derail us if we let them, which is why it’s important to nip them in the bud and recognize them as the roadblocks they are. If you’re doing something worthwhile, it probably makes you uncomfortable. It probably scares you, and, if you’re like me, it takes a few attempts before you actually do it. That’s okay, just as long as you keep making progress. 

Managing unproductive thoughts is something I talk about in my 21-Day Challenge to work on keeping promises to yourself because it can be such a hindrance in achieving your goals. When you encounter those thoughts, it’s important not to pop your other three tires, to give yourself grace, and to remember the promises you made to yourself. 

Don’t Pop Your Other Three Tires

If you’re driving and you pop a tire, you wouldn’t just get out and pop your other three, right? No, you’d get out and fix your tire, (or call AAA)! Think about that concept when you begin to think you should give up on your progress because you had one cheat day, one missed workout, one day where you overspent, one day where you lost your temper with your kids, one ineffective business plan, etc. I used to do this ALL THE TIME. I felt like if I didn’t do it perfectly, I shouldn’t do it at all. This week was a bust, time to throw this week away and start again on Monday, right? No. Those unproductive thoughts have derailed me more times that I can count, and I had to work not to give into them. 

Give Yourself Grace

Instead of popping your other three tires, work on giving yourself grace. View those setbacks as learning experiences. Allow yourself to have the day you had, ask yourself how you can prevent that setback next time, and do better TODAY. What can you do TODAY to make up for your setback? Maybe it’s making up for your workout by going on a walk after dinner. Maybe it’s making a really healthy meal to make up for overindulging at lunch. Maybe it’s writing down a plan for preventing your setback next time. Maybe it’s just identifying the triggers that caused the setback in the first place. Maybe it’s just forgiving yourself for what happened today, and working to have a better tomorrow. 

Don’t Forget Your Promises

We tend to be really good at keeping promises to others, and not so great at keeping them to ourselves. Especially for women who wear so many hats, we have the tendency to put ourselves last, and to feel super guilty when we put ourselves first. When you start to think about the unproductive thoughts that have the ability to derail you, remember your promises. Remember your goals. Remember why you started them. Don’t allow those unproductive thoughts to make you think your goals are selfish or that others deserve more of your time. Remind yourself of your promises by writing yourself a note at the very beginning of your journey when you’re the most inspired about why you want to accomplish your goal. Make a vision board that can act as a visual reminder of what you’re looking to achieve. This can help you to remember your promises when unproductive thoughts work to make you forget. 

Mindset is a giant portion of any goal setting process. It sounds simple: make a goal, create a plan, and do it. However, it’s rarely so simple. There are 100 different roadblocks that can stand in the way, and one of them is dealing with unproductive thoughts. Remember to fix your flat tire, be kind to yourself, and to always stay focused on why your goals exist in the first place. 

You deserve this!

xo Natalie 

P.S. My 21-Day Challenge to Find Your Compass is all about goal setting and keeping promises to yourself! If you want to learn more about managing unproductive thoughts, join me for 21-days of learning starting on October 1st! I hope to see you there!