Whether it’s the beginning of a new year, new month or simply a Monday morning, the promise of personal or professional improvement is an exciting and hopeful time. Setting goals or making resolutions energize our intentions and jazz us up to create positive change in our lives.
Our goals and resolutions are accomplished by creating habits that support us. Habits are actions consciously and repeatedly taken over and over until they become engrained in us by repetition. Positive habits keep us focused and lead to the success desired. Negative habits are actions we take that move us further away from our goals. For example, if the goal is to become stronger and more fit, but you find yourself spending every morning scrolling through social media rather than beginning the day exercising…you may be unwittingly sabotaging yourself.
By following the steps outlined here, you’ll set yourself up for success anytime you have a new dream, goal or resolution:
- Reflect. In the place of newfound desire and excitement most people forget to reflect on what led them to the current state they seek to shift. Ask yourself, what habits or actions have led you to where you are now? What needs to change? This very important step of reflection holds the key to understanding what will help you successfully accomplish goals and what may hold you back.
- Identify the feeling. How do you want to feel? The truth is that while we have important goals, what we’re really after is HOW we will FEEL when we accomplish the goal.
- Know your WHY. WHY do you want to FEEL this way? Longevity, travel, energy to play with kids or grandkids, a sense of pride or accomplishment, deeper relationships? Our heartfelt why or desire is what keeps us motivated when we need it the most.
- Choose your goals or make resolutions. Keep it simple. Any more than 1-3 will invite overwhelm.
- Act as IF. Step into the identity of someone who’s already embodying the goal you have. Imagine what habits they have or actions they take that connects them to achieving the goal.
- Take small steps. Establish a few easy habits that will lead you closer to your desired outcome. Break down the goal into do-able actions.
- Keep going. When life happens and gets in the way of your actions or habits, take a deep breath and keep going. A common misstep is to wait until the next week, month or even year to start over. Remember you’re human. It doesn’t have to be “all or nothing”. This type of thinking leads to the graveyard of dreams and desires.
Accomplishing goals leads to feelings of pride and satisfaction. Be willing to get uncomfortable as you challenge yourself to grow in new ways. Growth is what keeps us energized and motivated. Now, et going…you can do it!