Do you ever plan to do something and then do NOT follow through? Why? This is what I see in so many students and in myself. Ugh. 

A coach just told me “ I have a marketing plan but I’m not doing it.”

Why are we not following through when we WANT to do something and even when we plan to do it?

Today I’m sharing six reasons why this is happening and solutions to STOP this lack of follow-through so you can do the things you want to do, complete projects, create more money, and get fully booked.

In this episode, I’ll share:

  • Two examples in my life where I’m not following through.
  • Akrasia – Its origin and definition
  • 3 categories of reasons you aren’t at your goal.
  • 6 reasons why you might not be following through.
  • Solutions for each of the 6 reasons.

The key moments in this episode are:

01:50 – My personal examples
04:03 – “Akrasia” – the state of not following through
06:15 – 3 categories of reasons you’re not following through
07:00 – 1. Practical: The Goal
08:20 – 2. Skill: Delaying Gratification
10:15 – 3. Mindset: Feeling you are avoiding
11:17 – 4. Mindset: Not intentionally producing an emotion
13:37 – 5. Skill: Accountability
14:56 – 6. Skill: Time Management
 

Your Follow-Through Soon-To-Be Expert,

Tracy Hoth's Signature

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Resources Mentioned:

James Clear’s article about Akrasia
FREE File Naming Formula Cheatsheet
Get Time Freedom with a Systemized and Organized Business 
FREE Workshop: 3 Secrets to Organize Your Digital Files 

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Transcript:

[00:00:00] Do you ever plan to do something and then don’t follow through? Why? This is what I see in so many students and in myself. Ugh. A coach just told me, “I have a marketing plan, but I’m not doing it.” So, why are we not following through when we want to? We even plan to, but why are we not? Today I’m gonna share the reasons why this is happening and the steps to take to stop this.

[00:00:25] Lack of follow through so we can do the things we wanna do, complete these projects, create more money, and get more clients. Are you ready to work less? Feel more organized and productive, streamline repetitive tasks, and implement systems that allow your coaching business to run smoothly even without you.

[00:00:45] If so, you’re in the right place. Welcome to The Organized Coach Podcast, your go-to source for practical tips and solutions. I’m your host, Tracy Hoth, a professional organizer, certified life coach, simplifying expert, and most of all, a down-to-earth fellow coach just like you. No matter if you think you’re missing the organizing gene, have ADHD, or just love anything organizing.

[00:01:10] I’m here to help you become an organized coach with a business that works for you. Pull up a seat and let’s get started. Did you know that I have a free file naming formula cheat sheet? You can get it immediately and start naming your files consistently using my formula. So grab it now. Use the link in my Instagram bio or under the show notes to get your copy of the file naming formula.

[00:01:38] Today we’re talking about this lack of follow-through. I so wish that I could say, this never happens to me. I wanna be a master at following through and have all the answers for you. But I struggle too. So here’s a couple of examples from myself. For the past several months, I’ve wanted to share my method for managing and tracking my clients through my programs.

[00:02:01] Being in business for a long time, getting coach certified in 2018, trying for a couple of years just based on hearsay and what I heard some coaches say they used. Keeping notes in different places. I just never felt like I had it together as far as tracking and knowing in an instant how many sessions we had left and where their notes were.

[00:02:22] So I created something that I have loved. I’ve been using it for the past couple of years. It’s amazing. Every single thing for my client is in this one place, this one Google Sheet. In an instant, I can see how many sessions they are on, what session we’re on, all the notes that I took from them, if I’ve sent them a greeting card, if they got their halfway gift, and all of the things I like to do for my clients.

[00:02:46] I’ve been wanting to share this with everyone and make it available in an inexpensive digital product. So, so I put it on my to-do list – make a client tracker. I’ve had it on there for a very [00:03:00] long time. I’m sure I’ve had it on my calendar several times too, and I just haven’t followed through. That’s one example.

[00:03:05] The other example is the last couple of months I’ve just been wanting to kind of tighten up my eating habits because I love that tight stomach feeling and I want my waistbands to fit a little bit looser. I’ve been wanting to plan what I’ve been eating and I printed out a meal plan and did this little halfway job, but really did not follow through on what I wanted.

[00:03:30] Those are my two examples. I want you, before we go any further, to think of something you are not following through on. Think of the goals that you have. Things that you’ve rewritten a thousand times on your to-do list or in your calendar, and why haven’t you been following through? As we go through this episode, I want you to think of your example.

[00:03:50] Just pick one of your examples for now and bring it with you as we go through these reasons and see which one stands out for you. As I was researching this topic, I found an article by James Clear. One of my favorites, and maybe one of your favorites too. He talks about follow through and he shares ancient Greek philosophers, and how they came up with this word that describes this type of behavior.

[00:04:15] It’s a Greek word called cia. The English pronunciation, which I found is rasia or aia. Basically, it’s a state of acting against your better judgment. It’s when you do one thing, even though you know you should be doing something else. Another translation said you could say that it’s procrastination or lack of self-control.

[00:04:37] The state of mind in which someone acts against their better judgment through weakness of the will and cia or raja is what prevents you from following through on what you set out to do. Let’s think about that. We have this state of acting against our better judgment of not following through on what we want to do.

[00:04:59] So why is that? I’ve come up with several different reasons because before we can fix anything, we gotta understand why. Even though really I just want someone to tell me what to do, and then I wanna follow through on doing it. But let’s just look at why we have this pattern, because then we’ll know how to fix it.

[00:05:16] And I was thinking about this example. When your air conditioner doesn’t work in your car, your mechanic doesn’t just go take action. He figures out what’s wrong first, does it need freon? Which might be like 50 bucks or does it need a new compressor, which could be upwards of 1500 or more? Ask me how I know this.

[00:05:36] It actually was a couple of years ago. It’s good that he doesn’t just take action and put a new compressor in if it doesn’t need that. If it only needs a freon. So that’s why I’ve been. Looking at reasons why we aren’t following through, just so that we can break that pattern and increase our percentage of follow through.

[00:05:53] And it depends on what the reason is what we need to work on or what action we need to take. I like thinking [00:06:00] we aren’t where we want to be because it’s just something really practical, or it’s a skill gap or a mindset gap. Meaning we don’t know the skill or we’re working on the skill, or it’s a mindset.

[00:06:13] It’s a thought that is keeping us from reaching our goal. So we’re gonna look at reasons why we’re not following through, and I’m categorizing into practicality, a skill, or a mindset. The first one is a practical thing. Is your goal clear? Is your goal overwhelming? Is your goal realistic? And really, have you decided to really own the goal?

[00:06:35] Have you decided and then have you owned it? It’s all the things around the goal. For me, my goal was to make the client tracker. That’s what I wrote down every time I put it on my calendar or wrote it on a list or put it in my ideas for projects. It was always to make a client tracker. As I was doing this, I would say, “Oh, what if my goal is to sell a thousand dollars worth of the client tracker?

[00:07:02] And even when I said that it totally ignited something different within me. It wasn’t just like, “Make the client tracker.” It was, “This is what I’m gonna create. This is the result. A thousand dollars worth of sales of the client tracker.” And when I thought about that, I knew then, “Oh my gosh, all of my coaches are gonna have the relief of knowing what and how exactly with the tool they need to keep track of their clients.”

[00:07:28] There’s going to be a relief of stress. They’re going to feel more confident, they’re going to give their clients a better experience. Because of this goal to sell a thousand versus this goal of making the client tracker. That seemed like such a little thing, just how I wrote the goal down, but it really made a big difference in my mind.

[00:07:47] The other part of that is deciding. Then owning the goal fully to being 100% all in. If you feel like your goal is keeping you from following through, if it’s unclear, if it’s not realistic, the solution to that is just to take a look at it. Play with rewriting it, play with breaking it down to a smaller goal.

[00:08:11] That could be the answer to following through for you, and then really deciding that this is what you’re focusing on. This is the decision, and you are owning it 100%. Reason number two is a skill. It is delaying gratification. The skill of delaying gratification, our ability to delay gratification, to make plans for our future self, but then at the moment we make a decision for our current self.

[00:08:39] If we could resist that, that pull of the instant gratification, occasionally, consistently, then we would be bridging the gap between where we are right now and actually accomplishing our goal. So instead of relying on willpower, you need to find other ways to automate that behavior beforehand. I like to [00:09:00] think positively about a goal, but then also go to the really negative.

[00:09:04] So we’re gonna think of what could happen, what’s gonna stop us, all of the obstacles. We’re thinking of the obstacles that are going to get our in our way, and we’re providing solutions for them. We’re automating answers for ourselves in the moment so that we don’t choose immediate gratification so that we can.

[00:09:21] Stay focused on the future on what we want to accomplish. We’ll first begin to notice why didn’t you work on your task. If you are choosing something else in the moment, what is it? Really begin to write down, take notes, and notice what it is. So the solution then is how can you solve for that ahead of time? What can you automate in your behavior beforehand?

[00:09:45] I also like to think about using punishments and rewards. In this delaying gratification to get better at that. So first is the practical aspect of the goal. The second reason that you might not be following through is that you need to practice this skill. You lack the skill of delaying gratification.

[00:10:05] The third one is a mindset. You are avoiding a feeling. This feeling might be a fear of success. It might be a fear of failure. I think for me, that it’s a fear of judgment. I’m gonna put this work out into the world and there’s gonna be people that judge it. The solution to that is to work out what pain you are avoiding and get coaching on it.

[00:10:28] Have someone look at your brain, figure out what is it that you’re trying to avoid. We only stop procrastinating when the pain of what we need to get done outweighs the pain of not doing it. So if our pain of the fear of feeling judgment is stronger in the moment, we’re going to choose something else, but if our pain of not doing the thing in the moment outweighs the pain of the judgment, then we’re more apt to take action in the moment.

[00:10:57] So how do we get better? We practice feeling that pain. Here I am putting podcasts out into the world. I am practicing the possibility of judgment and getting better at feeling that. That’s going to help when it comes to my other goal and why I might be not following through. The fourth reason is also a mindset thing.

[00:11:17] It’s not intentionally producing enough of a feeling. We’re not remembering our future reason. The future reason, as I mentioned in the beginning, of what could happen if I do this thing. I’m not practicing those emotions enough or producing them intentionally. So the solution for this is a motivation exercise. I think of myself standing in a big open field and I’m just standing there in the middle, and then 10 people create a circle around me.

[00:11:49] These are the possible 10-20 people that I sell a thousand-dollar product. Let’s say that the product, for now, will cost $49. And if I sell 20 [00:12:00] of those, I think of those 20 people standing in a circle around me… I am impacting them. Those coaches will no longer feel stressed. They’ll no longer be overwhelmed.

[00:12:09] They’ll no longer be scrambling. They’ll have a system in place. Everything they need will be right at their fingertip with one-click access, and they’re going to be able to see how to manage their clients. In turn, if that happens, let’s say three of their clients are impacted, and they have a better experience.

[00:12:29] So around each of those people, now, there’s also a circle, 20 times 3, there are 60 people around the next circle that are encircling me, and then those clients, it’s gonna impact their life. They’re gonna tell someone else or they’re gonna influence someone else in a positive way, and there’s even a bigger circle around them.

[00:12:48] When I think about that, it creates such motivation. Let’s just get this out. Let’s do it. Let’s put in the work, let’s schedule it. Let’s break it down. It makes me so motivated because I think of the impact that it’s gonna have. Let’s do a motivation exercise, and then another part of that. What would you need to believe?

[00:13:07] You’re not intentionally producing enough of a feeling. What would you need to believe in order to follow through? It will help one person. Done is better than perfect. I can perfect it. Later. I will relieve someone of the pain of scrambling with their clients. The more I’m intentionally produce feelings by thinking of those thoughts or doing this motivation exercise, the solution to number four, not intentionally producing enough of a feeling.

[00:13:34] Number five, it’s a skill. Accountability is being accountable. Now, this could be that you have no accountability set up right now for your goal. You’re not telling anybody about it. You are not checking in with someone. You’re not getting coached about it, so there’s no accountability if you know that that’s the issue.

[00:13:56] With you not following through, how could you set up the solution? Of course, is to set up some ki kind of accountability that may be putting in some false deadlines that may be partnering up with an accountability partner. I have someone I meet with weekly and we tell each other what we’re going to accomplish.

[00:14:14] I told her last week that I was going to create the client tracker. It is actually done and it’s ready for my clients.  I’m so excited about it. But maybe you need to get coaching now. I know sometimes we hear coaches aren’t there to keep us accountable. You should be able to be accountable to yourself. I kind of disagree.

[00:14:32] I think putting accountability into your life is so fun. Sharing my goals and my progress is fun for me. I love being in a program with accountability because it’s easy. I don’t have to try to be this accountable to myself, which eventually, yes, I want to be and I am in some areas, but if it makes it easier for me, then get accountability in your life or for you.

[00:14:54] And then the sixth reason you might not be following through is the skill of time management. Maybe you are [00:15:00] just ineffective o you don’t have or haven’t used the skills in time management enough to follow through on your goal. Currently, everyone’s talking about chatGPT and I do use it. I’ve used it for different things, but I’m not in the regular habit of using it.

[00:15:17]  I just don’t think about it. It’s not in my routine. I happened to be reading an article right before I started recording this podcast, and I thought, oh, I should use it. I should put in my topic and ask it to write an article or write an outline for a PO episode that’s gonna talk about this and that. It has a lot of the same things that I had already outlined. But one of the things it said with time management is to prioritize. Maybe the skill of prioritizing is not something that you’re good at yet.

[00:15:53] It also said to use a matrix. I know coaches that recommend matrixes and they work, but when I hear that, sometimes I don’t want to put everything in a matrix. I have a simple question: what will make me money? That’s a super easy, fast way for me to prioritize what I’m working on is to consume this course.

[00:16:19] This is going to make me money. Not necessarily putting this client tracker and recording a module on it, absolutely, that’s gonna make me more money than the course. So I’m gonna do that first, and then I can still do the course. But ask that question to find your solution if you’re prioritizing skills are not strong.

[00:16:37] The other thing I like to do with time management that helps me that chatGPT suggested is to break it down and create a timeline. Well, of course, but that’s gonna take time. I tend to avoid doing that and can’t think of everything that needs to be done. I like to ask what is the very, very first thing I need to do.

[00:16:56] I need to open my current client tracker and I need to make a copy of it. Okay, I can do that. I can do that in five minutes. That’s what I’m gonna do. Then I need to delete all my data from it. Okay, I can do that. So that’s how I break it down. As I’m doing it to feel less overwhelmed because all I’m thinking about is the next super simple task.

[00:17:17] And then part of time management is calendaring and how does that work? And the other part of time management is, it’s possibly just an executive function gap. It’s the weaker one for you. I suggest just getting help in that area. One of my clients feels like she’s missing that ability to break things down and to prioritize.

[00:17:39] She works with me and I help her do that. She says that I’m her little secret weapon to getting things done. Why not just get help with that area? And the more we practice, that’s the great thing is the more we practice any of these skills, they’re gonna affect all the areas of our life. So if time management is a skill that’s keeping you [00:18:00] from follow through, then you can get help with that by asking what’s going to make money, by saying, what is the very first tiny thing I need to do?

[00:18:08] Getting calendar help, or just hiring someone. Fill in those executive function gaps that you have. Our goal is to break the pattern, right? One of those patterns I said and follow through. So let’s start, I always like to just say, start. Just choose one area, which one of those reasons. And the reasons were something practical about the goal, a skill of delaying gratification, a mindset, avoiding a feeling, or a mindset of not intentionally producing enough of a feeling or a skill of accountability, or a skill of time management.

[00:18:43] Which of those stands out the most for you? And maybe you’ll notice a pattern of one of those goals that you have, but today I just want you to look at the one goal you chose. What one of those reasons is keeping you from following through, and then what can you choose to do as a solution to those things that I mentioned recently, A client was telling me that all the groups and programs and courses that we buy sometimes leave us feeling like we have a character flaw because we can’t follow through.

[00:19:13] We’re not following through like we think we should. She felt like something was wrong with her. No one has ever just walked her through it. And so she is getting coaching. She gets coaching and accountability with me and she says, this is exactly what she needed. Now it’s just testing to find what works for her in her life and in this stage.

[00:19:30] And note again, these skills have lifetime value. Begin to work on the one area that you chose to find solutions for, so that you will improve your follow-through, which will it be. If you found this helpful, reach out. Let me know what you’re working on. And of course, if you want one-on-one help with me.

[00:19:48] I’m here when you’re ready. Thanks. For listening to the episode, please share this episode with your coaching bestie and tag me on Instagram at @tracyhoth, and of course, I would be so grateful if you could subscribe and leave a written review on Apple Podcasts. It’s the number one way you can thank me.

[00:20:07] To thank you, go grab the file naming formula cheat sheet, and watch the workshop. Replay 3 Secrets to Organize Your Digital Files. Both are linked in the show notes. Until next time, have a beautiful week.

 

 

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Tracy Hoth