If so, it’s time for a change! Explore what’s missing that you’ve wanted to do, see, or change. Step out of your comfort zone. Look for something new and embrace change.
What do you want to change? Something small – like changing your hair style or make-up? Or something big – like moving to a new home? According to a recent survey from MORE Magazine, here are the top ten things readers said they wanted to change about themselves.
- Travel more
- Make new friends
- Try a new sport or fitness routine
- Change your job or career
- Change your living space or location
- Take a class or go back to school
- Change your hair or make-up / find a new romantic partner (tie)
- Change the way you dress
- Start a business
What’s on your Top 5 list? Pick one of your top 5 and commit to it. Whether it’s joining a gym or taking a cooking class, get started today! If you need support for making a big transition – like changing your job or career – contact me for a complimentary 30-minute coaching consultation.
What one change will you commit to? Please share with other readers.
- Lose Weight
- Get Organized
- Spend Less, Save More
- Enjoy Life to the Fullest
- Stay Fit and Healthy
Yet despite our best intentions, within a few months many of us will fall back into old habits. Forty-five percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, yet only 8% actually achieve them (Journal of Clinical Psychology). How can you be part of the 8% and keep your resolutions? Here are three steps for success:
- Make realistic, attainable goals and develop a specific action plan – Don’t just resolve to lose weight; set a goal to lose a specific number, say 20 pounds, and to drop a pound a week.
- Establish confidence in your goals and publicly share your resolutions – The social pressure creates accountability, because you don’t want to report back about a failure.
- Track your progress regularly and reward success – For example, weigh yourself on a weekly basis and reward yourself with a manicure or facial for every five pounds lost.
- Use slip-ups to strengthen your resolve – Avoid self-blame during times of weakness, but resolve to do even better.
- Cultivate social support – Find an accountability partner who will support you in your efforts to make lasting changes.
- Create a plan to deal with slips – Stick with it. We all fall victim to temptation. The difference between successful resolvers and failed ones is the ability to bounce back from relapses.
- Think of your goal as a marathon instead of a sprint – Remember it take three months for a change to become routine.
“If you don’t know where you’re going, then any road will take you there,” said the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland. That is so true! Some people just wander aimlessly through life, living one day at a time. Then they wonder how they ended up where they are – stuck in a rut. These people lack purpose, direction and vision.
True success is following and achieving your dreams in life. It starts with a dream. Having a clear vision of what you want out of life is the first step towards success. You need to know what is important, what motivates you, and what you want to achieve. Every successful person starts with a vision. They visualize their desired end result in every venture. This applies to all facets of life, from a completed project to a successful business or a happy family. Stephen Covey, author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” calls this Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind.
What do you want to accomplish? Visualize yourself getting your book published. Visualize yourself getting a patent for your invention. Visualize yourself taking a trip to Europe. Your vision gives you a sense of purpose and direction. It provides focus and acts as a motivating force to help you succeed.
Our minds are very powerful. Oftentimes, what we focus on is what we get. So focus on success. Visualize yourself achieving your goals. Do so in great detail. For example, visualize yourself earning the recognition of your peers at an awards banquet when you receive the Top Employee of the Year award. The Master of Ceremonies has called your name, everyone is applauding and you walk up to receive your plaque. How do you feel? Probably pretty proud of yourself! Not only see yourself being successful, but feel it too.
When you stay focused on a positive outcome, opportunities oftentimes come your way. Jim Carey, comedian and actor, took this a step further. He wrote himself a check for ten million dollars for “Services Rendered”, dated it, and kept it in his pocket. When times were tough he would sit on a hillside overlooking Hollywood and imagine himself as a famous movie star. Then he’d reread his check as a reminder of his goal. A few years later he signed a deal for more than ten million dollars to star in The Mask. The date? Almost identical to the one written on the check that he kept in his pocket. This shows the power of visualization combined with an intense focus on your goal.
Visualization can be very powerful indeed. What do you want out of life? Visualize yourself living the kind of life you want. Having a crystal-clear vision is the first step towards success. Visualize your desired end result, stay focused on your goal, and you will achieve it. And you’ll experience the satisfaction that comes with achievement.
For more information on goal achievement, listen to the CD “Beyond New Year’s Resolutions: How to Set and Attain Your Goals“
Jessica set a goal at the beginning of the year to eat right and exercise more. She joined a gym and started a new exercise program. Jessica was motivated to lose those excess pounds she had gained over the holidays. She exercised four times a week and made healthy eating choices. Then just eight weeks into the New Year she was lucky to make it to the gym just once a week. Work kept her so busy that she often ate on the run — gobbling down donuts and coffee for breakfast and fast food for lunch. What happened to her motivation and determination to improve her health?
Jessica’s story is not uncommon. Oftentimes we start out “gung ho” about our goals, but then lose momentum and motivation along the way. How can you stay focused on your goals and priorities, whether they involve growing your business, strengthening your marriage or improving your health? Here are tips to help you focus on your goals.
Visualize the desired end result. If, like Jessica, you want to lose weight, imagine yourself 20 pounds lighter. Imagine how good you’ll look and feel in a bikini this summer. If you want to earn a promotion to management, imagine yourself as a manager of employees. Imagine yourself leading your team to success.
Review your Goals
Review your goals on a regular basis. Ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing right now helping me to achieve my goals?” Always keep your goals in the forefront of your mind. Review your progress. What steps are you taking to achieve your goals? Give yourself a pat on the back for making progress.
Work with an Accountability Partner or Coach
If you know you need to report your progress to someone else, you’re more likely to follow through. By having an “accountability partner” you can help keep each other on track. Choose someone who is also striving toward a goal. Meet once a week to check in. Share what you’ve accomplished in the past week and what step(s) you plan to take in the coming week to achieve your goal.
Better yet, hire a professional coach. Coaches are trained to help you succeed. They not only help you stay accountable, but also help you see the bigger picture, overcome obstacles by exploring different ways of doing things, and give encouragement and motivation to succeed.
Choose a reward for attaining your goal. Be sure to choose a reward that is motivating and commensurate with the effort required to achieve the goal. What is rewarding to you? For one person it may be an elegant dinner out or a weekend getaway. For another it may be a shopping spree at Nordstrom’s or a full-body massage. Choose something that you’ll really look forward to, which will increase your motivation to succeed.
By visualizing success, reviewing your goals, working with a partner or coach, and rewarding yourself, you’ll stay motivated and focused on your goals. Only by focusing on your goals will you actually attain them. So keep on keeping on!
For more information on goal achievement, listen to my CD on How to Set and Attain Your Goals.
Monica is a free-spirited individual who likes to operate “by the seat of her pants”. But sometimes her lack of planning results in unanticipated setbacks that put her into “overdrive”. Unfortunately, Monica’s mode of operation creates a lot more stress in her life as well.
Successful companies create plans, and so do successful individuals – whether they’re planning an event, writing a book, or managing a family. Planning gives you a roadmap for achieving your goals. Therefore, you’re more likely to achieve your goals and achieve them more quickly.
Some people reject the idea of planning because they think it takes too much time. However, in reality it’s quite the opposite. When one fails to plan, they can experience unanticipated delays, may not complete the task or project right, and then have to do it over again. Therefore, by not planning, a project can take much longer. When I write a book, I spend more time researching and writing the proposal and outline, than I do writing the chapters of the book. By planning my book project, the actual production phase goes faster.
Plan for the short-term as well as the long-term. Planning on a daily and weekly basis will help ensure that you focus on your most important priorities. Planning for the long-term, say a monthly or annual basis, will help you achieve your long-term goals. Set deadlines and measures for all you plan. By selecting a measure, then you’ll know whether or not you’ve been successful.
Then review your short-term and long-term objectives periodically. Break the big projects into smaller, doable steps. Schedule the tasks in a realistic way – within the available time in any given day, week or month. Anticipate any obstacles you may encounter, and come up with a back-up plan.
By following these tips for planning, you’ll avoid crises and last-minute time crunches … and the added stress that goes with it!