So, come on, how many of you, like me wrote some goals/plans down for this year, and either haven’t looked at them since or worse still haven’t thought about them since writing?
On the plus side you wouldn’t be alone, in fact you will be in good company. According to the journal of clinical psychology only around 8% of people will actually achieve their goals, which doesn’t bode well for the vast majority. Do not worry I have a fail proof plan, that is , if you follow it! Having spent years setting targets and training for a sport that required commitment and patience to wait for small improvements, I learnt the real secrets of planning and execution of a dream you may have to be better at something or to stop doing something.
Lets first start with an unusual point to start on: Failure! Why you have failed in the past will really boils down to 3 simple reasons:
1. You didn’t connect with the WHY…..
Emotion drives EVERYTHING you do, so it doesn’t matter that your head told you that you must lose weight, stop smoking or get fit. If your heart and all the pain you are experiencing with having these things aren’t connecting with your head, then this is a bird that is not going to fly! First think about what the cost of having these habits is. Then think about who is being affected close to you by these habits, (human beings, will ironically ,do more for others than they will for themselves) and really see their faces, hear the conversations that are going on, and feel the pain that this habit is causing. If,for example ,being overweight is stopping your children from being able to do things with you, think about how this is affecting them. Once you have that clear, then you can work on the good stuff!
2. You went from eating lots of chocolate, no exercise, and smoking 50 cigarettes a day, to vowing to give up smoking, run 5 miles a day and give up all chocolate!!! Aim high but give yourself a fighting chance! If there are multiple things you want to change then start with 2 or 3 and taper in, rather than cold turkey your whole life! Some moderation is required for mere mortals.
3. You didn’t set out any plan to achieve these goals, it really was a case of mouth engaging but the brain offering no follow-up logic and plan! Remember the old adage, if its worth doing, its worth writing down. Also this will improve your chances of success by around 30% of achieving your goals.
Lets move on now to success!
Firstly, think of a time when you absolutely committed to doing something and you knew there was no way you were going to fail. Using all my ‘physic powers” I will tell you that you were totally emotionally committed to the outcome of this goal, and that it came from your heart. Secondly you had a clear plan of how you were going to achieve it, and lastly you either wrote it down or someone close to you knew of your goal and progress.
Here is the secret……………….. All you have to do is follow that same pattern.
1) Get EMOTIONALLY attached to the goal. Know WHY you want to achieve it, and know it from the heart, not the head. See the outcome of achieving it and also feel the disappointment of NOT achieving it. People do more to avoid pain than they do to gain pleasure. That sounds weird but it is so very true. In other words if you want to lose weight and the penalty is that if you fail you have to stand up in a crowded restaurant and shout at the top of your voice how you are a greedy pig, the pain associated with that is pretty huge. If conversely you focus on how many people compliment you as you walk into the restaurant on how much weight you have lost, lovely as that is, the fear and pain of embarrassment is the emotion that will stop you eating the donut, not the praise!
2) Be REALISTIC, not in a “I’m going to lose lb per month” kind of way but in a way that you can see you achieving it. If you get up at 6am to go to work and hate mornings, work with yourself to come up with a better exercise solution. Time is the biggest lie of all, you just need to be honest and committed, but don’t put unnecessary barriers in the way either.
3) PLAN IT , AND TRACK IT!!!!
If you are going to change your life, then spend an hour writing it all down first along with the reasons why and how. Then the most important one is a method with how you are going to measure it and track it. Without measuring and tracking it, you really have little chance of succeeding. Set your mini milestones, then either on your phone or in a notebook, wherever works for you, look at it every morning and see how you are getting on. A word of warning: You will have some set backs. ITS OK!!!!! 99% of people have small set backs. Do not throw the towel in. Someone once told me, as an adult we don’t get a clean sheet of paper to start life over. Life is not perfect, so accept there might be a couple of set backs and get right back on the horse!
I would love to hear from you what your goals are and how you are doing. let me know!