Have you bailed on your resolutions yet? If you haven’t, this would be the opportune time to buy a lottery ticket because you are one in a million! For the rest of us who have high hopes, big goals, lofty aspirations, but low goal-meeting abilities, here are some new, killer techniques:
1. Build Your Habits & Schedule Around Your Goals.
We all have the desire, but do we have the #sticktoitiveness? I’ve read just recently, “If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the road to heaven is paved with habits.” – Jay Heinrichs (by the way, this is not a comment on theology, but a writers attempt in making an extreme point. 😉
Have you ever driven to work or school and realized you don’t know how you got there? You did it by habit. Habits are uber-powerful, we all know this. But the question is, do we use them to our advantage?
Build your habits and schedule around your goals. I used to do my schedule first and then try to fit in my goals around everything else. But, that only works as long as I am not too busy or feeling super motivated. But, when I build my habits and schedule around my goals, that’s what gets done, before everything else.
2. Commit to the process, not the results. The results are merely a by-product. (credit: Michael Hyatt)
Oh, am I guilty, guilty, guilty of this one! How many of us have made the goal to lost 10 pounds and failed big-time. Reason? Because we didn’t even have a process! It was all about that goal. How about committing to a process that you enjoy, like walking a 10,000 steps a day with your FitBit? Or, researching and using creative new healthy recipes? Or joining a tennis/volleyball/swimming/running (i.e. anything active) league? The results will naturally follow, because you are committing to a process. The process will be enjoyable, which will be one more insurance net that you will actually meet your goal.
3. Reward yourself immediately.
I’m naturally a morning person. But, this year my goal was to take a long, brisk walk every morning…outside…in Chicago…even in THE WINTER. I don’t care how much I loved mornings, some days it was just brutal to peel back those covers and brave the cold. Thankfully, my
annoying adorable dog drags me from my nice, cozy bed. We walked almost every day this winter, even on the coldest days. It was great! And once I was outside, I loved it. But, getting there, my brain needed something more to look forward to. For me…it was a big, steaming cup of coffee. YUM.
The reward doesn’t have to be big, expensive or fattening. It just has to be a treat that you enjoy and can enjoy immediately. (Your brain triggers pleasure sensors every time you get your reward, making the habit even more habit-forming! Use it for good. 😉 )
4. Dream Big.
What is it that you really want? Do you want to write in a cozy little house in the south of France. (ummm, yes, thank you for asking!) Do you want to quit your job and live in a nudist colony? (umm, no I do not, but again, thank you for asking.)
I actually did this exercise and realized that many of the things that I dreamt about did not require me selling my house, quitting my job and flying to another destination. I had to clarify what is it about writing in the south of France that I dreamt about? (sun, Mediterranean, writing in front of a window looking out at nature, walking distance to a coffee shop)
The next step is to figure out how you can get the bulk of your desire, in the life you currently live. I live in walking distance to a coffee shop! I have windows that I could write in front of, looking out into the nature of my back yard. The sun…hmmm…I’m in Chicago, so that part could be a little dicey. Maybe I will just get a heat lamp. ha. The nice thing about this is you clarify what it is you want. And, you look for creative ways to use what you already have in your life.
5. Write Down ONE or TWO Next Steps.
This has been a major game-changer for me. I’ve always been a big “goal-writer-downer.” But, didn’t even know how to go about achieving them. The thing that would frustrate my efforts was that I couldn’t define my goals from beginning to end. Writing down just my next one or two steps is now what I do. And then, when I accomplish those, I usually know what the next few should be. Just working away at my next steps found me miles ahead of where I would have been if I had waited until I knew all the steps in the process.
WITHOUT NEXT STEPS:
- Write New Year’s Resolutions: lose weight, write a book, be a better person kind of stuff.
- Read this goal next year. Feel discouraged.
- Write it on my New Year’s Resolutions again, but with much less hope.
- Find the list in 10 years. Decide I’m a failure. Move on. Give up.
WITH NEXT STEPS:
- Begin with one or two next steps. It could be as simple as buying something that you need to help you accomplish your goal, make a phone call, or begin your research with a board on pinterest.
- Accomplish those one or two steps.
- Feel great about making progress.
- Write down one to two more goals.
- Accomplish those…
- Keep making forward motion…
Do you see how you have a much better shot at accomplishing your goals, if you make a start like that?
I hope these few things help you in achieving your goals. For me, they have been a total paradigm shift. If you would like to read more about setting and achieving goals, read:
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What helped you reach a tough goal? We would love to hear your ideas and thoughts, please post in the comments below.
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