We’re all just fabulous at making promises to ourselves each New Year to change this or that in our lives. We decide to break this habit, form that habit, achieve this goal or improve this aspect of our life.
While this is a great approach to life, all too often we then brush our plans to one side. We start out all gung-ho but finish off disillusioned. The effort required seems beyond us. Our naysaying Inner Imps such as Doubt and Laziness manage to convince us that we’re fine in our cozy little comfort zone with things how they are: that bad habit isn’t SO bad, that good habit won’t make that much of a difference, and as for that goal… who are we kidding, there’s no way we’ll ever achieve it so why put in the effort?
So, what can we do to make all those good things happen; ensure we reach our goals and make that all important move from talking about something to making it a reality?
One – Start Small
All too often we fail because the goal we set ourselves is too big. Start small and work your way up to bigger dreams and goals.
Two – Stop Procrastinating
New Year isn’t the only time you can resolve to make a change or go for a goal. Procrastination is personal achievement’s biggest enemy and a tool your Inner Imp Laziness will not hesitate to make use of. Don’t wait to lose weight before you start exercising or go on that diet. Don’t wait for the right time to start looking for a new job. Start now with a small, achievable activities and then make sure your Self-Discipline and Perseverance life skills have the will-power to keep you going.
Three – Discipline your Self-Discipline
All too often your Inner Imps Fear, Doubt and Laziness will manage to convince Self-Discipline that it’s okay to give it a miss just this once, skip practice, eat that cream cake, smoke that cigarette, not bother to study or write any job applications this weekend. Work on your Self-Discipline to make sure it’s strong and turns up to get the job done and your Self-Discipline will keep you working towards your dreams.
Four – Make a Plan
No matter how big or small your goal, make a plan. Break down the whole into smaller, more easily achievable tasks and put a date on when to achieve them. By putting a date on things, you’ll be subconsciously making yourself accountable for something to happen.
Five – Enlist Support
Accountability counts! Get positive support from those around you. Show them your plan and make yourself accountable to them – it’s one very good way to push you to persevere when things get difficult.
Six – Think Positive
Really believe in yourself and your ability to achieve your goal. Make use of every trick in the book when it comes to visualising yourself at goal’s end, enjoying the fruits of your labours and being where you want to be. This positive thinking will impact on your physical feelings and add that little extra to your will-power when things get a little tough.
Seven – Have Back up Plans
Every plan will present you with an obstacle at some point. Try and consider these obstacles objectively while you’re in gung-ho planning mode and full of enthusiasm. If you can come up with back up plans and potential re-routes while you’re in a positive frame of mind, you’ll be better prepared to obliterate any obstacles when you encounter them and your frame of mind is a bit wobbly.
Eight – Just Start Already
The hardest thing about embarking on change or a new plan is making a start. You’ve set your goal, you’ve laid down your plans, enlisted your support and planned contingencies, now stop putting it off: get on and make a start already.
Nine – Build New Habits
Failure with their plans also happens when we’re too accustomed to old habits and the nice little comfort zone we’re inhabiting. Making change and experiencing successful personal achievements means learning new habits to facilitate change. If you want to get fitter, develop the habit of walking the kids to school or biking to the shops. Revamp a few small, everyday habits and they’ll help you achieve your goals as a whole.
Ten – Take a Bow and Pat Yourself on the Back
Making change is hard. Reward yourself for your efforts when you reach pre-determined stops along the way. Give yourself a pat on the back and take a look back at how far you’ve already come.
How do you make good things happen in your life? Why not share your tips and tricks in the comments and give another CANDo get-up and go-goer a little motivation?