Goals are hard, and it can be tempting not to just throw in the towel when you don’t know where to start, you don’t see the right results, or you start to get lost in the process. I want to fill you in on one of the projects I had been working on that made me want to just quit, and my entire process for how do I get the ideas out of my head. How do I put them on paper and how do we start to take action? I’ve also gotten a lot of questions lately about how you get started when you’re looking to reach a goal. So, I mapped that out. What would that look like if you need to get started with a workout program or a diet or just to get started healing from a breakup or a divorce, or even starting a business? I will try to merge all of those things together in a simple process. 

I feel like I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately from my community about how I get motivated. Not only how I get motivated, but how I even get started. I had an email come in from a gal saying, “I have this idea to start a business, I know that there’s something inside of me that’s more than what I’m currently doing, but I don’t even know how to get started.” I always have people coming to me saying things like, “None of my clothes are fitting. I don’t feel comfortable in my clothes, but I just am paralyzed by perfection. I don’t know where to start.” Though each situation is different, each one has to do with motivation and goal setting. 

So I wanted to write a post about my exact process that we go through whenever I’m launching a new product, because each time I go through this. We have to figure out where to start, everything is overwhelming, and we have to go through the process. My number one piece of advice would be to just start. How many times have you said, “I’ll start again on Monday,” or, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” ? Then you miss out on the next five days where you could have been taking action, seeing results, getting excited, and creating momentum. How many times? I’m guilty of this too, so don’t think that I’m immune to this. For almost a year I wanted to do a podcast, but I was too scared. I thought no one would want to listen to it. It’s funny now because you guys that listen to my podcast are hands down my absolute favorite people! It’s really helped to build my confidence and validation to just jump in and do it. 

Take Action

Once you have an idea, the biggest thing that creates momentum is taking action. So just get started. I know it can feel really overwhelming to have a million ideas at once and not really know which one to take action on. But imperfect action is still better than no action at all. So if you don’t have a perfect meal plan figured out, that’s okay. Just do a little bit better than you did the day before. If you don’t have a perfect business plan right now, no problem. Start doing a brainstorming session where you dump all your ideas onto a whiteboard, a Google doc, or a piece of paper.

Imperfect action is still better than no action at all.

I’ll give you an example right now. So one of the things I was working on was my Women’s Wilderness Retreat. We just got back, so you may have seen my posts about it. It was AMAZING, and I’m so glad we were able to pull the trigger and make it happen. We took a group of less than 20 people, including those who worked the retreat, like employees, photographers, etc. We kept it pretty small and intimate. We found this amazing lodge here in a small town in Idaho. We did some hiking, visited some natural hot springs, ate amazing food, and had some life changing conversations. We talked about my three pillars that create a strong woman: being strong physically, emotionally, and financially. 

We talked about body image stuff, balancing being a parent, and running a business. We brought in an incredible photographer, videographer, yoga instructor, chef, some side-by-sides, and did some skeet shooting. But I’ve said I was going to do this for what, two years now? I was going to do this and I just haven’t done it until finally this year I made an intention. So at the beginning of the year, I put this as a goal of one of the things that I really wanted to get done for 2019, and we’re just going to start small. We started making plans, little by little, and it actually happened!

I love being in the mountains, but maybe I hate bringing other people. I don’t think I will, but who knows? Maybe it won’t work for my business? There were a lot of unknowns, like there is with the launch of any new product. So I started very small with just one retreat. I think the mistake that so many of us make sometimes when we’re goal setting is to make these massive plans that we can’t follow through with initially. I’m not going to say I’m going to do one retreat a month all year, right? I’m going to start with one. I think the same is true with nutrition or with exercising. I’m definitely guilty of this. I think sometimes we’re like, “I’m going to see if I can run a half marathon today.” And then you’re sore for the next five days. This is a literal thing that I did! I’m telling you these stories not because I’m immune to them, but because I still make these mistakes! Really, it’s better to ease into these changes, and to start small. Maybe one day I’ll get to run a half marathon easily, but that’s not on the first day of my new goal. 

Brainstorm

With a business, it’s easy to get super overwhelmed with everything you have to do. Just start, just start really small. It helps me to bring somebody over to my house and then I just brain dump and get all my ideas out there. Then I can start organizing them. I write out a plan. So for me, when I’m writing a new ebook, for example, I just take everything inside of my brain and I dump it out. I’m a pen and paper girl, so I like to use my whiteboard and I’ll write everything down, or I’ll write everything in a Google doc. I think, “Oh, I want to talk about this and I want to share that story and I want to put this advice and I want to include this topic and I want to give this strategy,” and I’ll throw all those ideas down. It’s messy at first. 

And you don’t eliminate any ideas at this point, even if it’s a big idea or a small idea, you just write every single possible idea you have down and out of your brain. That’s the hard part, right? Getting everything. Imagine reaching into your head, pulling out each idea, and slapping it on a piece of paper. And then what you do is you start to organize it. It can be like that with meal planning, when writing an ebook, or when planning the retreat. My next step is to organize all of the ideas of every possible thing I wanted to do.

If I’m writing a book, I start to put certain ideas under certain chapters. For the retreat, I put certain ideas for each day, under each pillar. For meal planning, I put certain meal ideas under each meal of the day. For fitness, I split them into strength training or cardio, etc. You might find that something you thought was a really good idea might not even make sense to include right now. So for the workout program, for example, or meals, you could write out every single thing that you love as far as exercise goes, or all of your healthy recipes. Or you could write out all of the things that usually stop you from hitting your goals. For me, it’s alcohol, going out on dates, meeting team members for meetings, or weeks where I don’t have my kids and I feel lonely and I don’t want to cook for myself. 

List Your Roadblocks 

I’ll list out all the things that are stopping me from hitting my goals. And then from there you can create a plan to help eliminate those roadblocks. I know this is here. How can I work around that? For example, if I know I’m gonna have a big meal with my friends, I might not eat very much during the day because I know a majority of my calories are going to come in the evening. And I know that weight loss was about being in a calorie deficit. The problems aren’t gonna go away. But if you know how to tackle them, then you have a better chance of winning. I’ve even seen people do this when writing a book. They’ll put all their ideas on an individual Post-it note, and then they’ll kinda like move around all the Post-its to get them into an organized flow. 

What I do when I’m writing books, for example, is that I get the easy parts out of the way first. There’s a book called Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy and it talks about doing the hardest part of your day first because that way the hard part is out of the way and then the rest feels easier. I actually have a completely opposite mentality. So when I’m writing a book, I start with the parts that feel the easiest. I might start with my bio page, or I might start with the part where I’m just telling a story that feels really natural to me. Because, again, taking action creates momentum. So then it’s like, I’ve got three or four chapters now that felt easy. That feels good, because you can see things start to come together. And then I tackle the hardest parts at the end. 

I do the same thing when I’m writing out my meal planning for myself. What is the hardest part for me at the end of the day? Breakfast is easy. Lunch is pretty easy, I usually do leftovers. The hardest part is for me is at four or five o’clock. Again, if I want to go get drinks with friends or whatever. And I’ve already written down that drinks with friends is something that tends to derail my goals. So that’s when I’ll  try to craft a solution for that. 

Find a Mentor

So step number one is just to get started. Like right now, is there something you want to do that you’ve been wanting to do for forever? Boom. Do it. Literally do something right now today that you can take action on and it will get you closer to that goal. Okay. And then put together a game plan for it. Step two, find a mentor. Now this is one of the best things that I ever did for myself. 

So as you probably know, I’ve talked about this in a lot of my podcasts, I’m a part of Russell Brunson’s inner circle and I pay a lot of money every single year to be a part of his inner circle. He caps it at a hundred people. It’s a mastermind group where super high level entrepreneurs get together twice a year. We have a two day meeting where we all share what’s working, and what’s not working. And then we get access to the behind the scenes of what Russell’s doing. He knows you’re paying to be in that inner circle with all these other high level people that you can get help from, ask questions, and see what they’re doing. And for me, I can tell you that one of the best things I ever did was to find a mentor. 

And it’s because one, I’m paying a lot of money for it. If I’m not using the advice I’m getting here, I’m just wasting that money. It’s like the equivalent of a college education. Two, it keeps you accountable. You can have accountability buddies, you can see other people struggling and doing well. If you’re trying to change your nutrition or your workout program, hire a trainer. If you can’t afford to hire a trainer, go on YouTube, find a program you like, and stick with it. I have a program called Our Womanhood, it’s $37 a month and you get new workouts, new meal plans, new grocery list every single week. So that way you’re not ever doing the same workouts, and you’ll have access to others who can become your mentors as well. Then if you create a tribe of people that are doing the same thing, it’ll help you to stick with your goals when you want to quit. 

I recently had to hire a trainer for my fitness goals in order to stick with the changes I wanted to make instead of quitting. I was at my highest weight ever, while not pregnant. I was not happy about it. I was in the fitness space, so it was hard to get help, but it’s all a part of reaching goals. And again, I was a bag of excuses. Some of them are valid. I do think that stupid medication I was on was about half of the extra weight that I gained. A lot of my clothes weren’t fitting. It was almost summer, and I don’t hate myself or anything, but I wasn’t feeling my best. So what did I do? I hired a trainer. I reached out to the best trainer in Boise with the best reputation because I know that I do well when I have accountability and a mentor. 

I have a gym here in my house, I don’t need to go to a gym. But I think going to the gym a couple of days a week surrounding myself with fitness minded people will help me to reach my goals. Paying to have a coach that’s gonna set up a plan and keep me accountable is another thing that’s always worked to motivate me. The same is true with business. There’s eWomenNetwork, there’s all kinds of different groups that you can join and become a part of with people that have similar goals and values and missions that you do. Create a community of people that are like you, and find a mentor. So step number one is to just get started at to start organizing your ideas, and step number two is to try to find a mentor or tribe that you can join and become a part of. 

Make Your Goals Realistic

And then step number three is to be realistic. I think one of the things that keeps people stuck and makes them want to quit is comparing yourself to everybody else. And that’s why I regularly  do a social media cleanse. I go through and if there’s anybody that I follow that doesn’t make me feel good, that makes me feel like crap or makes me feel not good enough, guess what? I unfollow them. I mean, I unfollow people all the time and it’s not a personal thing. It’s just that if it doesn’t make me feel better about myself, then it doesn’t serve a purpose in my life. So if you notice I follow very few people in the fitness industry, it’s because to me, I don’t get motivated by seeing other people mostly naked. It forced comparisons in my head. Does it motivate you for a second? Maybe. But then it just kind of makes you feel bad about yourself. 

And so that’s why we don’t share those kinds of photos anymore on my page. It doesn’t make me feel better about myself. I unfollow unhelpful social media pages that seem unrealistic to my progress, and shames me into change. I think it’s much better to give yourself grace than to make yourself feel bad in order to force change. I think it’s easy to look at your mentors or people that you look up to and think, “Oh my gosh, they are so much smarter, prettier, faster, more talented, more creative, have more money,” etc. But the truth is like everybody has to have a starting point. I think I’ve shared this analogy before, but it’s because it resonates in my head so deeply. 

Be Okay with Failing 

Even Apple had to have a 1.0 version of the iPhone, right? I’m holding the iPhone right now. It’s the iPhone 10x version and it’s amazing. But if I were to hold the very first iPhone in my left hand and the 10 in my right hand, you’d look at the 1.0 version and think it’s terrible compared to the 10x. But they had to have a 1.0 version in order to even know what they needed to improve to make the 2.0. It’s the same with business. For example, if you went to my website now, you might think it’s beautiful, but I paid a lot of money to make it look beautiful. If you would’ve seen my very first website, it was terrible. It was all black with little tiny white Arial font. And I was taking flip phone pictures. It wasn’t good. But if I had never been brave enough to put that 1.0 version out there, I wouldn’t have been able to improve it. And then we made a better version and then we made an even better version. I think we’re on like the sixth or seventh version of my website right now. 

You can’t improve something until you put something out there to fix it. I think sometimes we get stuck with that idea that it has to be perfect if I’m going to do it, and that is wrong. I’ll tell you right now, if you’re listening to this and you won’t do something unless it’s perfect, you’re wrong. If that’s what you’re telling yourself, you just need to get started. 

It’s the same with your workout program. I’m guilty of this in the past. I’m not saying I’m immune to this, but I’ve been caught up in the idea that I can’t start my workout until I have it perfectly mapped out. Or you won’t start it until the kids are out of school. Or you ate an unhealthy lunch, so you abandon the rest of your healthy eating until tomorrow. Or you didn’t get a ton done during brainstorming for your book or your business, so you decide to quit all of it. Or you went on a shopping spree so you dropped the rest of your budgeting for that month. Perfectionism can really derail the process. It can make us want to quit everything. Right now is the best time to just get started. Like I said, taking action creates momentum. You don’t have to have your meal plans perfect. They just gotta be a little bit better than they were yesterday. 

Be realistic. If you are not following a meal plan at all right now, don’t go from eating like 2,500 calories a day and dropping your calories to 1200. That’s ridiculous. You’ll be starving. You’ll end up bingeing. Your body won’t respond appropriately. Instead, the first week maybe cut out like 300 calories compared to what you’re doing right now and see how your body responds. The goal is that you want to be able to eat as much as you can while still losing weight. And for weight loss, one and a half to two pounds a week is the most realistic perfect plan you can expect because that means you have a way better chance of it being sustainable long term. 

Success is a Process

It’s the same with a business, like don’t expect to make $1 million overnight. A lot of people even see my success story with my Abs, Core, and Pelvic Floor program, but what you didn’t see was the 10 years of me trying to start businesses and them failing. But I learned every step along the way. Had I not have spent those 10 years beforehand preparing myself, I wouldn’t have been ready for that opportunity when it came. So, have realistic expectations, set realistic goals. That’s still what I’m doing right now. Last year was a year of launches for us. I mean, I launched my own supplement line, I launched the podcast, I launched the pregnancy trainer, I launched a lifestyle program, I launched apparel. I mean, we were launching like crazy. I said I wanted 2019 to be about making all of those launches sustainable to make it work really well, but we still did launches on top of that. 

We launched Peak Business Academy, we launched Our Womanhood, and we launched our first retreat. That’s realistic for me at this point in my business, but it wouldn’t have been if I had just started out. Even last year with all the launches, it was crazy and stressful and you have to sometimes launch and then stabilize a launch and then stabilize. And so for me, having realistic goals has been super important and that’s why I’m super excited about where I’m at with my business. But, I still get nervous with each product. I still get scared. Every single time I launch something new, I get nervous every single time. When the email went out announcing the retreat, my stomach was turning. 

I thought, “What if, what if nobody comes? What if I freeze up and I can’t host?” Well, what if, what if, what if, what if, what if? Right? I think about those fears and sometimes I’ll even write them out and work through them. I think about the worst case scenario. Absolute worst case scenario, and I write it down. Look at that piece of paper, and list of things you’re afraid of. “What if it bombs? What if only one person signs up?” Well, worst case scenario, you break even and you don’t make any money on it, right? You can invite your team and you guys can do an amazing retreat or, you’ve learned from it and you have amazing footage that you can use to sell the next one. 

Just because you fail doesn’t mean you’re a failure.

“What if I do a terrible job and the people leave feeling like they didn’t get their money’s worth?” Okay, well then you’ve upset one person. I try to do everything in my power to make them happy and you learn from it, right? It’s a lesson. Then you know what to do better next time and what not to do next time. I’m obsessed with this idea right now, that it’s not achieving the goal that builds confidence, right? It’s actually the process. It’s the process of trying something and sometimes falling and then being able to dust your knees off, stand up, and recognize that just because you fail doesn’t mean you’re a failure. You get to control the conversation in your head and it’s actually that process of falling down and standing back up that actually creates the grit and the character necessary to be successful. 

It’s not even achieving the thing. Achieving the thing is nice when it happens, but it’s not even that. It’s the process along the way that creates the grit necessary to be successful. So if you’re stuck right now on how can you be perfect, just remember it’s not the thing. So you want to start your own business, let’s get it started, right? Taking action is going to create momentum. It’s not creating a business that’s going to give you the confidence, the grit, and the character to be successful in the long term. It’s the process.

So to recap:

  1. Just start. Not Monday, not tomorrow, NOW. Do one thing. Get your thoughts out and start planning. 
  2. Get a mentor, find your tribe, or find a support system or a community that can help to teach you or keep you accountable. 
  3. Be realistic. Be willing to fail. Take the risk. Let go of needing things to be perfect. 

So there you go. You guys just got the brain dump of the conversation I have in my own head when I get scared and I’m trying to start something new and I just want to quit because my goal setting isn’t working. This is my actual process of how I take these ideas out of my head, put them on paper and then take action to get them done. 

I’ve been in the place where I couldn’t follow through, I never kept promises to myself, and I always let my goals slide when things seemed too hard and I just wanted to quit. I spent years learning how to change this mindset. I took classes, listened to others who were successful, and discovered a process of how to push through and commit instead of giving in when you want to quit. In my 21 day challenge called Find Your Compass, I can help you with each of these steps! If you’re interested, the next challenge starts on October 1st! 

Thanks for reading!

xo Natalie

P.S. If you’d rather listen than read, I also cover this topic on my podcast. Listen HERE!