This is the time of year for reflection and New Years resolutions. When looking back at the various events that have transpired, it is easy to focus on the negative aspects. One thing to remember is that there is always a bright side if you wish to see it.
The new year brings opportunity to accomplish new goals or retry past ones. Mistakes are lessons to learn and can provide energy to succeed. In reading “The Power of Full Engagement” and following “The Energy Project” by Tony Schwartz, I found valuable insight on goal attainment. In achieving a goal, here are a few steps that could help. I will use the popular goal of working out and improving fitness levels.
1. Why are you making the change?
Unless your motivation is strong, there is a lot of temptation to be thrown off course. There are positive and negative aspects to all decisions in life, I find that writing them down allows for quick reference and enables focus in challenging times.
2. Select one or two specific changes to make.
The will and discipline required to successfully accomplish your goals are usually underestimated. Making a physical or behavioral change is a lot of hard work and will require your undivided focus to make it a permanent part of your life.
3. What are your steps to success?
Stating a goal is not enough to successfully drive change. Using the popular “Improve my body” goal, the reality is that in this day and age most people have full schedules. Saying you’re going to exercise is great, but without commitment, it can easily be relegated from priority status to “if I have time.”
Success is in the details. What days will you be exercise, what time and for how long, what exercise will you do? This will provide a schedule to follow, but ultimately the responsibility is yours and you must be committed to follow through.
4. Tell people about your goal and empower them to keep you on track
This works on the level if you have someone to keep you on track and accountable, it will provide motivation when exercise is the last thing you want to do. I have found that telling people works as a motivator because there is a level of pride involved and I don’t want to not follow through with what I say. If people are aware of your goal, they will likely want to help you achieve it.
5. Create a mantra for your goal.
Come up with a saying that represents the goal you want to achieve. It should be short, positive, and personal. This will keep you focused when your motivation level is low and you need some inspiration to continue.
Examples could be: “I’m getting healthier every minute,” or “Pain is temporary, quitting is forever.”
6. Keep track of the positive improvements.
The most frustrating part of making a successful change is that it never happens soon enough.
I have found that writing down progress is helpful in that it allows for a quick way to remember how far you’ve already come. This also acts as a motivator when you feel like the workout is hard, remind yourself that you have succeeded in these exercises before and won’t stop now.
Best wishes in the New Year and success in your goals,