Questions that will lead you to success

It’s that time of year again when our minds turn to making plans for the year ahead. It’s well researched that when you have something to look forward to, you’ll feel happier. Having optimism and an eye to the future is a great way to keep you motivated, and the feeling of pleasure and pride when you achieve them is a great rush of endorphins.

I’m curious about how you go about deciding what you want to do? Maybe you already have a long list of things you want to achieve? Perhaps you’ve written your list of resolutions? How are they going? How did you plan how to achieve them?

In thinking about what you’d like to achieve, I’m guessing that some of the ideas you had you dismissed straight away for any number of reasons - ‘I can’t afford it’, ‘I don’t have time’, ‘I can’t do that!’, ‘that’ll never work’ etc etc. Now, whilst there might be some truth to any or all of those things, quite often I hear these things from clients who actually just don’t really want to do the thing in question. Rather than acknowledging that we don’t want to do it, or feel we can’t say no, we can come up with all of these reasons (excuses?) instead.

Reassessing your goals 

The thing about goals or resolutions is that if you don’t really want to do it if you’re not fully committed, the chances of you actually achieving it are reduced. Already, your mindset is not forward thinking to make things happen. You’ll already be searching for reasons why you don’t want to take action. Even now, you’re dismissing the chances of achieving your goal. And, then, you’ll end up feeling disappointed that you’ve not achieved what you wanted, and this will put you off taking control of your future.

If you hear yourself saying these things, and you’re not quite sure whether it’s because that’s the real reason (are you short of money? Do you not have enough time? Do you really not have the skills to do that thing?), or it’s just an excuse because you’d rather say no, then try substituting ‘can’t’ or ‘don’t’ for these words:

  • won’t
  • don’t want to
  • might
  • want to
  • should
  • will
  • don’t need to
  • would like to
  • need to

Here’s an example. Instead of saying I can’t lose weight, try ‘I want to lose weight’ or ‘I don’t need to lose weight’ etc. Instead of saying ‘I can’t do that qualification’, try ‘I don’t want to do that qualification’, or ‘I might do that qualification’. Do you see how it works?

It’s better to say them out loud rather than writing them down. Try sharing them with a friend; they might be able to give you feedback about your body language as you say them too.

When you’ve done this for each of your goals, see which substitution feels most comfortable. This will give you a much clearer picture as to whether you’re making excuses or whether there’s something you need to tackle first. Go with your first gut feeling; don’t over think it, and be honest. Do you really ‘want’ to or is it a ‘should’? Then, make a note of the goals that you really want to progress, and start action-planning. Perhaps you could use the ‘Smarter than Smart’ technique in the other articles here. 

As for the others, if you feel you really ‘have’ to do something with them, then there are many ways that you can set about them to help increase your chances of success.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Prudhoe, Northumberland, NE42
Written by Tracey Hutchinson, MSc, NLP MPrac, Happy Brain Coach/Trainer, Advanced Hypnosis
Prudhoe, Northumberland, NE42

Tracey is an experienced coach, trainer, and facilitator who is successfully helping people make positive and permanent change across all areas of life. When you're ready to find out how easily and quickly Tracey can help you find your best self, contact her @Tracey_Hutch or at or

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