Tag Archives: goals

Be the spider – Dealing with Failed Projects and Goals

If you are like me, making goals and starting projects in the height of excitement is easy.

Real life picture of me setting goals and sharing the excitement with my buddies – May 2019

Yet, of course, sometimes those goals or projects fail.

If that happens too often it can sap our energy. What is the point in creating a goal if you are not going to achieve it?

I came here for spiders…

Ok, ok.. let’s talk about spiders.

A typical 8 legged arthropod spends a lot of it’s time building cobwebs.

Every now and again, a big storm comes and takes that sticky little trap away.

Or.. one of us walks straight through the middle of it, spitting and cursing as we go.

“What did you do to my cobweb?” – Mr Spider

We don’t think twice about destroying this masterpiece.. and the key to this conundrum is that neither does the spider.

He checks the coast is clear, picks up his tools and goes about creating a brand new one.

When we start a goal or a project, we don’t know what might happen. We can’t predict the future.

If a change in the market makes your exciting new software project redundant, can you let it go?

If you dive into that pizza instead of the gym, can you start again with the same enthusiasm in the morning?

This topic is something I have been working on recently. Too many missed or delayed goals can have an impact.

It is my intention now to let them go, and start again with the same energy and excitement as before.

But.. there are a few things we should watch out for.

Tread carefully with your new goals, like this dog sneaking across an accordion

Don’t Repeat Past Mistakes

What is that saying about insanity… doing the same thing more than once and expecting a different result?

The spider won’t build it’s web across a doorway twice.. and neither should you.

Take a look into your goals and projects before you start them again.

Enjoy the process

I have never (to my knowledge) been a spider, but I suspect it gets some kind of spidery satisfaction from creating that cobweb.

Can you also enjoy the process of your goals and projects, without being too fixed on the result?

Accept Your Fate

The latin phrase “Amor Fati” sums this one up nicely. It is the idea that we can love (or at least accept) our fate, no matter what happens.

Instead of regretting the failure, can you accept it as a necessary lesson? Can you find the positives and focus on them?

Watch Your Energy

If you find yourself low on motivation for your next goal, or you feel like just accepting what you have now “because I will never get XYZ”..

.. then you might still be holding on to something negative.

If that was me, I would write down how I feel about the goal, analyse what went wrong, write what I would do different and forgive myself for any mistakes.

After that, I will make a better plan for how I want to achieve that goal or project.

In Conclusion..

As with most problems I come across, the answer lies in how we perceive it inside ourselves.

It doesn’t matter what other people think of our failure to stick to that diet, to meditate every day this week, to launch our latest product in Q1..

.. because it is our ultimately choice whether this becomes a burden to bear or a step forward, nobody else’s.

Can you turn that failure into a brand new, bigger, better, faster cobweb?

The Five Minute Journal Review

Last year I tried something new.

I started writing every day in The Five Minute Journal.

My personal Five Minute Journal review and experience with expressing gratitude every day.
My personal Five Minute Journal review and experience with expressing gratitude every day.

This is my experience and review of The Five Minute Journal after using it (pretty much) every day for over a year.

What is the Five Minute Journal?

You write in the journal every morning when you wake up and every evening before you go to bed. It takes less than 5 minutes after a few days of practice.

In the morning you write three things you are grateful for and three things you want to achieve that day. You also write a positive affirmation about yourself or your life.

In the evening you write three great things that happened that day and 1 thing you could have done better.

Every day you get a new quote, and once a week you get a challenge like “Go for a 30 minute walk on your own” or “Watch this TED talk”.

The journal also includes about 40 pages of instructions, examples, details on why this works and how it will benefit you.

Ok… but why?

This is about finding appreciation, peace, happiness, a more positive mindset and helping to achieve our goals.

Studies show that practicing gratitude boosts our general mood and gives health benefits including stronger immune systems and decreased brain aging.

There are also links found between the amount of gratitude expressed and the risk of depression or anxiety developing (i.e. reduce your risk by expressing more gratitude).

How long have you used The Five Minute Journal? Does it work?

I started using this journal around April 2015 (1 year prior to this review).

Yes, it works. I feel calmer, more appreciative of what I have in my life (instead of focusing on what I want), I value my friends and family more, I sleep better and I feel more in tune with what I really want.

I look forward to writing in it, I take it everywhere with me and I rarely miss a day.

BONUS FOR TRAVELERS: I travel a lot and week to week my life can be very different. Having this journal keeps me grounded and gives me that little sense of routine.

If you travel a lot or lack routine, The Five Minute Journal can give you an anchor in your days and make you feel more in control.
If you travel a lot or lack routine, The Five Minute Journal can give you an anchor in your days and make you feel more in control.

Is there anything you don’t like about it?

At $23+ it is quite expensive. If you are not in USA then the price is even more prohibitive; add another $20+ for shipping to the UK.

EDIT: It looks like they have cheaper shipping rates now and to the UK you have a $9 option. Check the “shipping calculator” in your shopping cart.

I would like to see an extra section for the end of the day writing; a request to my subconscious. When you are sleeping you are decompressing the day, making sense of thoughts, recharging and recalculating.

Quite often I have woken up with answers or better perspectives on situations. Having a place in the journal to request something like “Why am I worrying so much about X?” or “What is the best way to solve Y?” would be really beneficial.

They also have an App, but I feel that it really defeats the purpose. Physically writing and taking the time away from your phone/tablet is crucial to this process.

Any other tips or advice?

If you are not sure if this is for you, try it out with a normal notepad. However, be careful.. spending the money will give you a real psychological commitment to follow it through.

Use the coach.me app to form the habit of writing in this journal and ask questions to the community of people also using The Five Minute Journal.

I highly recommend using Coach.me to help form any new habits, track your progress and get support from a community also following that habit.
I highly recommend using Coach.me to help form any new habits, track your progress and get support from a community also following that habit.

This makes a great spontaneous gift for an open minded friend – this is the kind of simple thing that can really spark a big positive change in your life.

Where can I get it?

Buy online from http://www.fiveminutejournal.com/

This small habit has caused a massive, positive change in my life; I strongly recommend getting this journal and trying it out yourself.

What about you?

Do you use the Five Minute Journal or any other methods for gratitude? Let me know in the comments below: