Shifting Expectations Of Yourself: How To Boost Productivity Without Negativity

February 19, 2015 Updated: April 23, 2016

You’re already halfway through Q1. It’s time to look back at your Q1 goals and start making plans to meet them – or exceed them! But often when we talk about goals, negativity takes on a large role. We judge ourselves for not doing enough, berate ourselves for not trying hard enough, and eventually give up altogether. Instead, find three steps below to shifting expectations of yourself by productivity expert Nancy Snell.

Accept That The Negative Drone Might Occur And The Mute Button Might Be Broken. The first time you look at your Q1 goals and see what you haven’t accomplished yet, you’ll be tempted to fall back into the same pattern of hating yourself, beating yourself up, and giving up. But instead, take the time to acknowledge those negative voices. As Nancy Snell advises, let those feelings of judgment co-exist while also making strides forward. If we try to erase something big like our feelings, then we are destined to fail. Acceptance doesn’t mean you have to like every part of it. It’s just proof that you are on a new learning curve that will inevitably be uncomfortable at the beginning.

Making It Manageable. Period. You’ve already tried to-do lists, bulletin boards and sticky notes. Instead, Nancy recommends breaking things down into baby steps to make them manageable. We all have a lot of intentions, and they are all very real. When you set out to have a six-figure year, that felt like a real possibility. But when it comes to knowing how to reach our target, we falter because the goal seems too big. Instead, break things down into tiny steps that can be taken every day or week.

Taking The “Should” Out Of The Conversation. When we set out to accomplish a task, we often start using language like “should” or “could”. Coach Nancy Snell recommends scratching those words from your vocabulary. It’s about what you are going to do – physically – today and the next day. Take the hypothetical out and you’ll start living up to more realistic expectations. Accept that your old pattern will inevitably arise, but you are going to persevere anyway. As Coach Nancy Snell says, even if you feel like you are going to fail, it’s about continuing and doing it anyway. Experiencing yourself being successful and doing things differently will help you build new habits – one win at a time.

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