The Essential Ingredient in Achieving Your Goals
Ok, so you turn the calendar to a New Year and suddenly you think something should change. You'll get those pesky 20 pounds off once and for all! Or you'll definitely get promoted or change jobs this year. Or perhaps this is the year you will have a better relationship with your spouse - or your kids - or your parents...
The list goes on and on. But, as we all know, even with the best intentions, New Years Resolutions fade after a few short weeks - if not a few days!
There are several reasons for this.
1. Most of the resolutions we make for ourselves at New Years are not real goals but rather they are "shoulds". You "should" lose those few pounds. You "should" be promoted. You "should" make amends with your mother. You "should" treat your husband or wife better. You "should" quit smoking.
But you don't really want to.
2. Perhaps you're really not clear about what it will actually take for you to succeed at the resolution. This means you don't have a clear plan of action outlining the necessary steps required.
If you don't know what to do, how can you expect to follow through?
3. Change requires effort. It requires that you change something about yourself, not just your circumstance. You generally have to improve and develop yourself in order to make the change happen.
And you don't want to do the work. Not a bad thing - this is not about judging you. The reality is simply that you are not yet willing to do the work required to make the change. It's much easier to accept this about yourself rather than give yourself a hard time.
4. Many goals - especially New Year's resolutions - are often made abruptly, without much thought or visioning.
If you don't know what you really want, how can you expect to get there?
Setting a goal or making a New Year's Resolution needs to be done with thought and consideration. Choosing the wrong goal based on someone else's ideas of who you should be or made out of guilt or shame will not be enough of a motivator to get you off your duff to do the work needed to accomplish your goal.
So what DOES it take to achieve success with your New Year's Resolutions? Well, with any goal there is ONE KEY INGREDIENT that can make or break your success.
If you are committed, then you will take the necessary steps to achieve success.
You will envision success because you are serious about achieving the end result.
You will create a plan of action so you are clear about the steps required to get there.
You will take the actions required in order to turn your vision into reality. You will be internally motivated to take action toward your goal.
You will let go of the old "you" and develop into the "new you" so that you are prepared for the success to come. The person you will become when you achieve success will be different. Commitment helps you embrace and accept this new you NOW.
You will learn to let go of old beliefs - limiting beliefs - and strengthen your self-esteem. You will learn more positive and empowering beliefs and use positive self-talk.
You will persist when the times get rough. Without persistence, you will give up as many people do. Commitment includes persisting to the end.
You will get the needed support - a coach, mentor, or friend (even a therapist) that will keep you focused and on track until you reach your destination.
You will do whatever it takes because you are committed to reaching your goal.
With commitment, it's easy to give up the junk food.
With commitment, you are willing to learn and practice using empathy with your spouse or your mother. With commitment, you are willing to learn what it takes to get promoted - even return to college for additional educate if needed. You'll do whatever it takes.
But without commitment, it's not a Resolution OR a goal; it's a wish.
And without commitment, you will torment yourself with negative comments "See, you will never lose those 20 pounds. Your marriage will always be just mediocre - it will never be amazing. You'll never be able to get that promotion." Blah blah blah
So if you really want to improve your life in some way this year, take the time to choose what you will commit to. If there is something in your life you really want, then commit to doing whatever it takes.
Do you have the necessary resources - the time, energy, and perhaps finances? Is now the right time for this goal? Is this worthwhile for you? What will you gain? What will you have to give up? How will this add value to your life?
If after doing the due diligence, you decide you don't want to commit, let yourself off the hook! Give yourself permission to stay as you are. It's okay! Life is much less of a struggle when we are willing to let go of old goals, "shoulds", wishes, and hopes. They are future focused and are not about the present moment, which is all we really have to experience happiness and joy. Be grateful for what you are today and for all you have to enjoy. And when you are ready to commit to a change, go for it with everything you've got. And I'll bet not only will you succeed, but you'll enjoy the process of getting there.