I find it particularly inspiring how many people really take the time to reflect on the past year and create goals for the new year. Yet why is it, that after the first few days, weeks or months, we often fall back into our old ways and lose momentum towards our goals?
When you were in school, did you cram for a test the night before, or learn the information bit by bit weeks in advance? Most people cram. If you were to be tested on that information now, what is the chance you will get the same grade on the exam? Not likely. Whereas, if you had really put all of your effort into really fully understanding the information and learning how to make it part of your vast knowledge bank, you would probably ace that exam for the rest of your life.
The same goes for changing any way of life, thought process or habit pattern. It takes time, effort and work. Ultimately you do learn it, and it does become part of your knowledge and lifestyle, and you will know it and live it for the rest of your life.
This is why people fail when trying to achieve their goals; they aren’t prepared to really put in the effort to “study long term”, and they want to take the easy way out and cram for the exam. Then when next new year rolls around they have to try again toward the same goal they never achieved.
To actually change a particular way of life, we need to put real work and effort into creating new thought and habit patterns. In order to get new patterns to stick, we need to figure out how to stay focused and intentional until it becomes second nature. We all have fears, and the little voice in our heads coming up with every excuse as to why we shouldn’t “go to they gym”, but people who ultimately achieve their goals figure out how to manage and overcome those parts of themselves, rather than listen to and believe them. I have compiled a list of questions to help you get ready and clear headed to accomplish your New Year’s goals.
- What is the most important thing you have accomplished in the past year?
- How did you stay focused toward this goal?
- How did you handle your fears, doubts, anxieties, worries, and negative self talk?
- How does it feel to know that you accomplished the goal in spite of these parts of yourself?
- In what area of your life have you been focusing the most attention? Work, Relationships, Social Life, Physical Health, Inner Health (psychological, emotional, spiritual) etc?
- Are there areas of your life that you have been neglecting? If so, why?
- Are there any specific things you would like to improve in these areas of life?
- What are the small, daily tasks you will need to do in order to achieve your ultimate goal? Be specific.
- What have you tried in the past? Did it work? If not, what can you do differently?
- What is your inner “stuff” that will try to keep you from sticking to your plan? (i.e. fears, worries, doubts, negative self talk etc.)
- Can you specify the things you will say to yourself to push you off track? (i.e. “just one more bite, I’ll start eating better tomorrow”) Make a list.
- What do you need to remember in those times? What are things you can say to that self sabotaging part of yourself? Be KIND and POSITIVE. (i.e. ” I know you want candy and that it would taste really good right now, but think of how good it will feel to achieve your goal, so take a deep breath and put down your fork.”)
- Is there a person or a tactic you can use to keep yourself supported, motivated and focused in those hard times?
- I highly recommend finding someone to share your inner process with. Find someone who can help you challenge your inner demons, and congratulate your little accomplishments.
- Plan to stay on track with this very detailed and intentional process for 3 whole months, and there is a very good chance you will create a new habit pattern to enjoy for the rest of your life.
I’m going to be brutally honest here…..If you aren’t planning on doing the real work (which can be fun, motivating and uplifting and very well worth it), you can kiss your goal goodbye. So be honest with yourself, and get the support you need to really overcome your internal “self sabatoger”; a study buddy to make sure you truly learn the information for your “exam”.
Much love for this exciting new year….