ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST!
(Insert famous Queen anthem…better yet, strut across the floor like Freddie Mercury. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch the youtube video for Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust. Then STRUT!)
It's that time of year again…when we start to reflect on how the past year went and what we want for the year ahead. Lessons learned. Celebrations. Disappointments. And a clean slate.
Maybe you're thinking back to this time last year and what you said you wanted for the year we're about to end.
Were you one of the 8% of people who successfully accomplished their New Year’s Resolution? If you were, WOOHOOOO!!!! But there are so many of us who didn’t succeed…not because we can’t, but because most of us are doing it wrong. I've been there…I've started off the year with the best of intentions, only to find myself lacking motivation after just a month or two, falling back into old habits, and eventually losing sight of what I wanted in the first place.
Change is hard and it takes more than a gym membership, a vision board, or a SMART goal to be successful. There's a wealth of resources out there on goal setting, but the truth is there is no ONE cookie cutter way to set your goals or to accomplish them. You have to find YOUR way. Below are a few strategies that I’ve found to be helpful for both myself and my clients.
One of my favorite thinkers on this topic is Danielle LaPorte, the author of The Desire Map. She highlights how most of us seek to accomplish goals that are outside of ourselves, and that's where we go wrong. She challenges us to first get clear on how we want to feel and then set our intentions and plans for our life around the feeling.
I know, I know…this might be a little too mushy for some of you. Just stay with me for a bit.
Let's take some of the traditional external goals…
- I want to lose weight.
- I want a promotion.
- I want to be the top performer on my team/in my role.
- I want to double my income.
What might be the underlying feelings behind these external goals?
- Maybe you want to feel sexy…
- to feel valued…
- or to feel like an expert in your field.
If you can get clear on the feeling you are after, then there are millions of external ways you can feel that way.
"Stay anchored to the desired feeling, and open to the form in which it manifests." - Danielle LaPorte
GETTING WHAT YOU WANT
Getting clear on how you want to feel isn't where we stop…it's just the beginning. Next, you must decide where you want to focus.
In what area of your life do you want to be bold and courageous?
Is it your career and livelihood, health, relationships, learning, spirituality, or is it something else? Zero in on the area(s) of your life you want to focus on for the coming year. Pick two or three areas max…the more areas we try to focus on, the less likely we’ll be successful. Maybe you want to chunk out the year and spend each quarter focusing on a different area? Whatever you decide, make sure you are clear on why you’ve chosen this area and keep that front and center...you can write it on a sticky note and put it on your bathroom mirror…leave notes around your home/office/in your wallet as visual reminders of what you want.
Another one of my favorite thinkers on this topic is Mike Dooley, a featured teacher in The Secret and author of Infinite Possibilities. Mike highlights the tricky part of getting what you want…to get into the planning of details without attaching to them.
Yes…think about the end results you want in your focus area and come up with a detailed plan for getting there, shoot…even create a vision board for what those end results could bring you (fancy car, six pack abs, passing test scores, extra cash in the bank). BUT recognize that the how is flexible…be open to unplanned challenges and even accomplishing better results than you imagined. The details for how we get there are immeasurable so it's ok if your original plan shifts a little.
Once you've visualized your plan, then it's time for baby steps. Identify one small action at a time that will get you closer to your goals…. maybe it's one action a day or a week, but stay in motion towards what you want. The key is to continue taking action…even the babiest of steps is still progress. Just don’t stop.
TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
You've probably heard the saying, "What gets measured gets done." It essentially means that when we keep track of what we're after, it maintains our focus and informs our decisions to improve results.
Perhaps you could use a 90 day plan…If you’ve got a yearlong goal, what would progress look like over the course of the year. Identify specific targets for each quarter of the year and specific actions to get you there. Check in regularly to see how you’re doing and adjust your plans based on the data you have. Maybe a yearlong goal is too far out…create a 90 day goal, identify actions, track, and determine what your next goal will be as you close out the 90 days. Make the process yours.
WHAD DO YOU WANT YOUR MOST COURAGEOUS FEAT OF 2017 TO BE?
- Get clear on how you want to feel (keep your decisions and actions grounded in these feelings)
- Determine what area of your life you want to focus on and identify a goal (go ahead and stretch yourself…get outside of your comfort zone…you got this!)
- Create a plan for getting what you want (be open to various “hows”)
- Take consistent baby steps towards your goal (JUST. DON’T. STOP)
You might be like me and do better with some form of accountability (I am on day 5 of holiday workouts with a group of friends…something I probably would never do on my own, but the fact that I get to laugh with my friends during a workout totally motivates me). Find an accountability partner…maybe a friend, a significant other, or even a coach. A coach could even help you with getting clarity and creating your plans. (Guess what…I’m a coach and I can help! Just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to talk more about coaching.)
PS—There’s still time to sign up for next week’s Virtual Intention Setting Workshop.