It’s that time of year again where we reflect and look at the changes we would like to see in our lives in the New Year. Perhaps you have this great desire to save money, get in shape, start that business you’ve been dreaming about or quit smoking. The New Year brings a fresh start. This year you are really going to do it, not like last year. I mean, you tried but come on, none of your friends exercise and at least you cut down on the fast food. And the gym… well, it was always so crowded when you went – who wants to exercise with all those people watching?… Saving money?… Honestly with your salary and the cost of living and lattes, for that matter – how could anyone possibly save?… Seriously, what business could possibly survive in this economy?…
Does any of this sound familiar? All of your reasons and excuses that you have for not achieving your goals can be there again in 2010, and quite frankly they’ll be there as always in the absence of an interference pattern. Or, you can choose to commit no matter what and find ways to connect to and develop – a new level of self. Let’s explore what it will take to transition your vision into a reality.
Get to The Truth – Take a thorough look at the reality of the situation you would like to transform. Tune into the impact of overspending, binge eating or having little time for your family. Ask yourself; who do my choices impact and in what way? Is my current lifestyle reflective of my value system? What will this change mean to myself and those around me?
Plan – One of the reasons New Year’s Resolutions fail is due insufficient planning. The first thing you must do to successfully prepare for any new endeavor is to make a plan. A plan consists of all identifying the specific action steps necessary to fulfill on your vision. This is incredibly helpful especially so on days when you may not feel like taking action; simply look at the plan and follow instructions knowing results will eventually arrive. For weight loss your plan may include limiting or even eliminating sugar and fast food, eating smaller portions, adding fruits and veggies, exercising and increasing your physical activity level. The specifics offer you clarity on the behaviors that are essential to your results.
Be Inspired – People rarely succeed on discipline alone so get in touch with why you want what you want. Is it to start a business to make a difference in peoples’ quality of life? Perhaps some of your lifestyle changes are inspired by the desire to be a better role model for a child or to heal an illness. Tune into the emotion of how you’ll feel when you’re finally organized, healthy, or financially free.
Benefits – By tuning into the benefits of achieving your target you will naturally intensify your motivation to continue to make choices consistent with the outcome of the goal. Look at it this way. Would you give up your impulsive shopping habit, in favor of a little lakeside cottage?… I thought so. Keep in mind you will become more inclined to budget yourself when you have a clear vision of what it means to your life over the long term to do so. Make a list of all the compelling reasons to meet you New Year’s Resolution.
Design a team – of people that will encourage you and nudge you in the right direction if you wavier. This could be a coach, a buddy, a partner or even a mastermind group. Make sure your support person or team is in tune with your intentions and can encourage you in a positive way. Share your goals with family and friends and ask them to remind if your actions are inconsistent with your goal. Have them hold you accountable for your actions around them. If you find yourself reaching for that piece of chocolate cake at a family get together, your partner can gently remind you that perhaps you would prefer a healthier alternative.
Specific Measurable Results – How do you know when you are on track? Having a plan is essential along with specific measurable results. Be specific. My diet beings January 1/10 and by February 25/ 10 I will have lost 5 lbs through healthy eating and exercise. By May 01/10 I have lost a total of 10 lbs and am now proudly sporting a size 10.
Circle of Influence – Your circle of influence are the people around you that you consistently spend time with. It is important when you are developing your new lifestyle or habit to align your circle of influence to support what you want to achieve. If your best friends are smokers and you have decided it’s time to quit you will need to ask them to under no circumstances offer you a cigarette. You may want to consider spending time with them in a non-smoking environment for the first month or two until you feel more confident and stable in your new lifestyle.
Forgive Yourself & Re-commit- so you had a piece of cheesecake, you missed the gym for a week, you blew your budget or had a cigarette at a party. Use this as an opportunity to re-commit, not to quit. One, two or even several poor choices does not mean you are unable to achieve your goal. Stop looking for excuses to throw in the towel! Look for the wisdom in your lapse. Any change and new behavior is a success – even if it didn’t stick. Remember the Edison philosophy, there is no failure but a process of elimination of what is effective. Waiting for next years for a fresh start is ridiculous. Stay in the game even when it’s tough.
Visualize - Many athletes use visualization techniques to achieve an outcome. Create a clear mental picture of you having achieved your goals. How does it feel and what are people saying to you as they congratulate you? Replay this image regularly. The more details the better! Visualize what it is like having achieved your goal. Visualize you are living it – taste it, feel it, smell it, see it, revel in it.
Affirmations – An affirmation is a positive statement about a result you would like to manifest. State each affirmation as a positive, the most powerful affirmations begin with “I am”. This triggers your un-conscious, governing mind to create a result aligned with the affirmation. After repeating the affirmation approximately ten thousand times your mind will then unconsciously engage in behaviors to support the affirmation. I know, ten thousand times sounds like work right? If you consider we have upwards of 70,000 thoughts a day – you’re having thoughts anyway so direct them to be resourceful. Also, ideally include a feeling and an action word in your affirmation for maximum results, such as “I am enjoying making healthy choices consistent with my health goals.” Affirmations are best repeated in the first 30 minutes and last 30 minutes of your day. This is when your mind is most susceptible to a programming. Replace negative self-talk/beliefs with life-enhancing ones.
Write it down – Create a few believable positive power statements that will keep you on track. Make them juicy enough to excite you and keep you motivated. Use the present tense and write them down so your unconscious will start working on them. There have been many longitudinal studies on goal manifestation that all support the importance of writing down your goals and “planting the seed” so to speak. Do IT! Statistics show people who write down their goals have over an 80% higher success rate of achieving them. Start an action journal.
Action- Make sure you do at least one thing every day that takes you closer to your goal, whether you are going to the gym or simply re-writing your Bucket List or chanting an affirmation.
Keep the Goal in existence – Each morning review your goals, your compelling reasons for new results and check in with your plan. Just like a child learning to walk this will take practice so address it with enthusiasm. No excuses- make your goal a priority and remember to repeat your power statements throughout the day.
Celebrate your success – It is essential to acknowledge any and all efforts, attempts and actions you take towards your goals. Get excited people! This is your life, be enthusiastic about what you’re up to and have some fun with it. Constantly remind yourself to place your attention on the progress you are making. A thousand mile journey always begins with one step. Take one step at a time until you are skipping along your path.
Robin is a Life Coach and the author of ‘Thinking Your Way to Happy!’ click the book to buy it now!
Tags: 2010, achieve goals steps to, achievement, be happy, change, goals, habits, habits overcome, happiness, how to, life coach, new year, new years resolutions, resolutions, robin h-c, success, top 10 way to goal