Now that a few weeks of 2018 have passed, it’s time to make some serious progress on the intentions for the year ahead.
Even if you feel that last year was a total failure, more often than not we do actually make small improvements in our lives on a year to year basis. These improvements can be hard to recognise, as it’s more like a see-saw of improvements in each area of your life.
You may have spent extra energy focusing on ‘the work’ area in your life. Removing stresses, earning more, feeling fulfilled in your purpose and then everything starts to feels like it’s moving in the right direction, a lightness comes into your world.
Then, in the few seconds that you spend to relish in the moment, you look to your left and find the ‘health’ and ‘family’ areas are in shambles. This process is very common, it happens month to month, week to week and day to day, leaving you feeling exhausted from your efforts but no mind shattering results to show.
To avoid seeing this year after year, your goals and focus need more depth in the setting phase and require constant accessing throughout the year. Work through the process below with a few of your own goals and you will feel an energy towards creating a better life like never before!
Accepting that your current situation is based on your thoughts and actions.
This is a huge step that should be taken before setting any new plan. Especially in the New Year when we move straight to the wish list and assume that we are a totally new person, a ‘NEW YOU’. Not meaning to disappoint but you are the same person you were last year and the year before. The point here is to acknowledge that we are the chief operator and our thoughts and actions have landed exactly where you sit now.
The very good news is that if you take responsibility for the daily habits. It may be food, being unhealthy, not being present with your kids, not working to your best ability or not helping others. Whatever these are for you personally, once you make that step, you will empower yourself to change those very same habits.
Build goals in actions terms not outcomes of those actions.
“My goal in 2018 is to lose weight”
Great, don’t eat sugar for a week, goal achieved!
Setting vague goals that are the outcome of actions is a sure way to never change. A goal like this has little substance, thoughts, and actions behind it and it’s why only 8% of people that make resolutions keep them.
Think of a goal that states actions, actions that intend to deliver results! They are a powerful commitment, not a flimsy wish. Wishes are easy, commitment is hard and only those who are committed deserve the outcome.
“My goal For 2018 is to workout for an average of 3 times a week. These workouts need to be of a higher intensity than a walk.”
From this, you can figure you have 150 workouts to get through in the year. This accounts for high weeks and low weeks, sprints and slow periods. Consistency across a year is the key to success.
Another example of an unsupportive goal.
“I’m going to save more money this year”
What’s more? $1 or $10,000?
Where will you be saving into?
Have you considered that you aren’t actually willing to give up buying coffee, or eating out with a friend?
Maybe you shouldn’t give up those things because they are the best part of the day.
What are you saving for?
Do you earn enough to save more?
Is the thing you are saving for actually important to you?
Or is it just because it’s the next thing?
A bigger house?
A new car?
These questions about a single goal may seem extreme but not asking them is the reason you have been setting similar goals every year. This process is about uncovering what is actually important to you or what has been pushed in your mind from social constructs.
Ultimately, if you haven’t achieved something you have ‘wished’ for. It means it’s not a priority for you. That may seem like a foreign concept and maybe even hard to grasp because you feel it is a priority. If you haven’t made progress on it or achieved it, it may still be important you but other things are more of a priority.
After we establish some actionable goals and examine the intended outcomes, it’s time to think about what feelings we are wanting to feel when we achieve that outcome.
It may be a new concept to think about future feelings but if you have been wanting or craving something in your life. That thing may represent what you are missing in your life right now.
Don’t react to every little thought that pops into your mind, as every thought isn’t the solution. I know many people that have made a huge improvement in health and body, pursuing happiness and confidence. Unfortunately, they are still unhappy despite the changes they’ve made.
We can’t predict the future so you can’t know how to change the feeling of being lost and unfulfilled without taking action. It would be like trying to navigate a giant maze from the opening without ever stepping inside.
Our worlds and imagination can be limited by our ability to describe them. Below are words to assist you visualizing your future self. Go over the feelings and picture yourself in situations where they would apply.
The final step!
When you are in a heightened state, it’s time to take any small action that moves closer to that future feeling. No action can be too small, it could be to text a friend for a workout (a friend that you are too scared to cancel on) or finally filling out that application to go back to university.
The little actions are the key, not the motivation. If all the inspiring and motivational stuff you currently consume doesn’t change your life, it’s just entertainment. Not any different to watching netflix. It’s just watching others, distracting yourself from true feelings and the life you deserve.