How to achieve the things that are most important to you:
At the start of every year millions of people will be making New Year Resolutions with the intention of making positive changes in their lives. Yet it's well known that within just a few weeks (sometimes only days) the vows, promises and desires made fall by the wayside.
How can we stick to the changes we want to make and not end up giving up so soon? What do we need to do to make sure that we stick with them and successfully achieve them too?
It feels very demoralising when the things we desire with all good intentions doesn't come to fruition. It's easy to then assume that making goals doesn't work and worse, begin to doubt in our own ability to influence our future in any way.
Tip 1: Motivation or Intention?
In preparation for making your new year’s resolutions stick, consider whether it's motivation or intention that will ultimately lead to success.
Let’s take exercising as an example. Loads of people decide to start a new fitness routine at the start of the year.
Everyone knows that exercising will improve your overall fitness, probably help you to lose a few unwanted pounds and support good heart health.
However, does knowing about these benefits make you want to leap out of bed in the morning put on your running shoes or get down to the gym?
Maybe for a day or two but then those future benefits soon fade in favour of staying in bed a while longer or you say to yourself, "I'll start tomorrow." (Hands up who has said that before 🖐).
However, studies have shown that by formulating a PLAN that you write down stating when, where and how you intended to implement what you want to accomplish, you are twice as likely to fulfil it.
Twice as likely to fulfil it - that's HUGE!
So, whenever you find yourself stating, “I’m going to X…X” (fill in the blank) if you really mean it, then write it down in a statement such as… “During the next week I will do [type of] exercise for [time duration] on [days] at the time of [time].” If necessary add a location or any other relevant detail.
Or if it is a class or workshop you need to arrange, then set the day and time, the research or the person you need to connect with.
We are all creatures of habit and to start something we are not familiar with will take more than a wishful statement if we are to follow it through to a successful conclusion.
Tip 2: Is Now The Right Time?
Whenever you decide upon a new goal or a new course of action it will automatically take up your time and energy, in terms of the actionable steps and the thinking/creative space that a new goal naturally occupies.
Any other goals that you may have ongoing or that urgently need your attention, can only be achieved according to the amount of time and energy you put into them.
How often have you started a new goal – or made a New Year’s Resolution – only to give up because you didn’t have time to fit it in?
You may have then felt as though you had failed at your goal or had no resolve to see it through. When in fact, what may have happened is that your new goal was being crowded out by other important matters.
To avoid setting yourself up for failure, decide whether now is the right time for this particular goal. For instance, you may want to get fit, but do you have a particularly heavy schedule right now that will take your time and energy? Would starting this new exercise plan be at the cost of other things?
You may wish to lose weight but are you also currently experiencing anxiety? In which case, dealing with the anxiety would probably be the better option and may also have some bearing on the weight loss goal.
A word of caution however. I’m not suggesting this can be used as an excuse not to follow through on your goal – you’ll need to be honest with yourself if you think you might be doing that.
One good way of deciding if now is the right time for your goal is to ask yourself, “If I do this goal now, what will be the benefit to me and or others.”
Another question to ask is, “If I do this goal now, what else might it interfere with?” If your answer is nothing, then go for it! You have now at least eliminated anything unforeseen that may otherwise crop up and lead to you not sticking with your goal or resolution.
If you do then falter on your goal, you’ll know it’s not due to the reasons you’ve already taken into consideration.
Tip 3: Why is This Goal Important to You?
Everything we do we do for a reason. If you’re not clear on WHY the goal is important to you then you could find yourself losing momentum or losing interest.
There's nothing wrong with realising that what you thought you wanted isn't that important after all, but it's a shame to realise that further down the road when you've spent your time on it.
So, write down WHY achieving this particular goal matters and why now, and make a list of absolutely everything you can think of. You may want to take several days on this as doing so allows ideas to surface in your mind that may not have been evident right away.
Once complete, pick your top three "Why's", write them on a post-it sticker and place where you’ll see it. The fridge, bathroom cabinet or your pc are good places you go to daily.
Having a clear understanding of why achieving your goal is important will almost certainly keep you on track. It's otherwise all too easy to lose sight of why you want to achieve something with all that we have going on in our lives.
Tip 4: Write Your Resolution/Goal Down.
Most people tend to state a goal either verbally or mentally yet fail to put it in writing. A written goal is far more powerful and here's why writing down your goal matters.
- You can take your time to craft your goal statement carefully.
- It remind you of what you want to achieve.
- You will focus upon your goal in a consistent and positive way.
- You will retain clarity of your goal.
- By keeping your goal fresh in your mind you'll stay focused and more likely to take actionable steps.
When writing your goal use the SMART goals formula, which stands for:
- SPECIFIC - clearly identify your goal for achtionable steps.
- MEASURABLE - how will you know you are making progress?
- ACHIEVABLE - stretch yourself but be realistic.
- RELEVANT - is it what you need to persue now?
- TIME-BASED - when do you want to acheive it by?
Here’s an example of a SMART goal. We will use a fitness goal as our example:
As from (insert date) I am improving my cardio fitness by walking/jogging for a minimum of twenty minutes, 3 times a week. (Even more specific would be, on Monday's, Weds and Friday's during my lunch break).
Now write down your goal and see how much more effective it will be by using the SMART method above.
Tip 5: Visualize Your Goal
To visualize is to form mental images or pictures in your mind and is an effective way to turn your written goal into a reality.
Visualisation is a technique used by many world-class athletes - because it works! The daily practise of visualizing your goal as already complete can rapidly accelerate your achievement of them.
Here are some more reasons for using visualization:
- It activates your creative subconscious mind to give you great ideas!
- You’ll be more aware of valuable resources and opportunities you might otherwise not notice.
- It will draw the people, resources, and circumstances you will need.
- You’ll feel greater motivation for moving forward with your goal.
Using visualization for example, to exercise more, by seeing yourself at the gym, lifting weights, or maybe it’s walking you want to do more of, makes it feel real to you.
Your unconscious mind doesn't know the difference between what it images and what is real, which is why visualization or hypnosis is such a powerful way to achieve the things that are most important to you and to make sure that your goals or New Year Resolutions stick.
Do you already use visualization? If so, then let me know what kinds of results you get.
Book a FREE consultation with me today and I will send you my "Create Your Ideal Life" guide and template with my compliments.