I often see entrepreneurs feeling defeated, worried that they may never get their business off the ground. They continue to tell me the many reasons that things won’t work and the many things that keep getting in the way. Often they find that they are working harder and harder, hoping it will solve the problem, never looking at what that problem truly is.

One thing I have discovered is that in times like these, you need to stop and take a look at what is happening. If you are telling me you have a goal and vision for your life but are also telling me all the reasons it won’t work out, you are not in alignment with your goals. In fact, you are resisting the very thing that you say you wish to achieve, making the entire process harder on yourself. To move forward, you need to get clear on your vision, your goals and the energy you are putting out into the world.

Get clear on your vision

If you don’t have a clear vision of where you want to be, you can’t possibly feel confident to put yourself out there in a big way. You will play small and lack clarity in your message. The first step in everything you do is to get clear on your vision. Your vision should light you up and brings joy to your life.

If you haven’t taken the time to define your vision for your life and your business, take a few minutes to do that. It’s a simple exercise and one that I like to revisit a few times a year.

Picture your ideal day five or even ten years from now. Write down everything about your day from the moment you wake up to the moment you rest your head at the end of the day.Think about what you do and where you spend your time.

Write about it like you are telling a story. Where do you live, what does it look and feel like? Who do you spend time with? When and where do you work on your business? Who are you working with? Doing this helps to create a vision of the life you want.

Set authentic goals

Often we set our goals based on what others expect of us, not our true desire. Often we don’t consciously let others limit our goals and beliefs; it has been ingrained in us over the years through our experiences, family, friends, even our community.

Your goals are personal and need to be in alignment with your overall vision. They also need to be realistic. You need to believe in your goal, deep down in your heart, that you can achieve it. If you don’t feel confident in your goal, it’s a sign that you may need to change it. Your goal may not be in alignment with your overall vision or may need to be adjusted into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Be aware of your energy

The energy and expectations you put out are what you are going to attract. If you focus on the negative, you will attract more negative. Similarly, when you stay focused on the positive, you will attract more positive. This is true for all areas of your life. The same is true for what you expose yourself to. If you surround yourself with negative people who zap your energy, it will affect you.

I realize this sounds simple, but whatever you want (and whatever you don’t want) can exist for you based on what you direct your attention to. It’s the law of attraction. If you believe it will be too hard or that things won’t ever work out, you’re probably right. With this mindset, you will continue to work harder and harder. You will spend more money, waste more time and eventually burn yourself out. I know because I have been there!

A belief is just a thought you keep thinking – Esther Hicks (ask and it is given)

Over the years, I learned from my early mistakes, shifted my mindset and the way that I approach everything in my business and my life. I went from feeling overwhelmed and stuck, to going to bed each night excited to get to work in the morning. I started loving my business again, feeling more productive and feeling more balanced, while also enjoying time off with family and friends.

Get yourself in a positive, happy place. There are days when things are out of your control, I get it. Just remember that you control how you react to your circumstances. Do you let circumstances get you down or do you look for the good or the lesson in every experience?

Give consistent attention to your goals

Once you have the clarity of your vision, focus on it consistently. You can use a vision board, goal cards – even just a note on your desk can give the consistent attention, expectation and observation on what it is that you desire.

Remember that every thought and emotion you experience sends out energy and that energy should be in alignment with your goals and your vision for your life. When you think about your goals and desires, you send out the energy to attract it. When you’re feeling good and happy, you attract more good things into your life. When you’re feeling awful, you’re angry or complaining, you will attract more negative things into your life.

Focus on getting yourself in that positive, happy place to receive that positive energy back in your life. Try not to use excuses, but keep moving forward with your positive energy.

Need a few more hours in the day?

How we think we spend our time and how we are truly spending our time, can be two very different things.

When we have a good understanding of where we spend our time and how much time is used for each task, we can begin the work to use our time more effectively.