Will you become stronger? More resilient? Mentally tougher? More agile?
Your 2014 accomplishments largely depend on what you do today. By setting realistic, timely, and challenging goals, you can stretch yourself to new possibilities.
Striving for excellence, according to your own values and standards, is key to creating a rewarding and satisfying life. When you set goals and a plan to achieve them, you’re creating a better life for yourself and those around you.
But goal-setting is more than just stating your intentions (though that is a big part!). It’s also important to identify and remove the barriers to progress. As the old saying goes, “Plan your work, and work your plan.” Let’s look at some of those things that may stand in the way:
Though it’s good to shoot for the stars, expecting instant gratification or immediate results can lead to frustration and letdown. A weight-loss goal, for example, may take weeks, months, or even years to accomplish, and progress is not always linear. Instead of giving up the first time the scale numbers go up instead of down, look for opportunities to celebrate each step of progress in the right direction. Allow yourself to learn and grow from your mistakes and wrong turns, and use setbacks as opportunities to become wiser and stronger.
It’s also important to have realistic expectations of others. Your goal is your own; expecting others to change in order for you to accomplish it is not only impractical, it’s also unfair. Though you may be trying a 30-day vegan challenge, your teenage son may not be on board. Share your goals with your family and ask for their support, but also be considerate of how your goal impacts them.
Goals can make us feel empowered and excited. They can also make us feel guilty, fearful, angry, confused, anxious, and overwhelmed. These negative emotions have a lot of impact on us - limiting possibilities, narrowing our thinking, preventing us from taking calculated, educated risks and interfering with living fully satisfying lives.
Emotions are real. But they will also pass. Remember that when you want to throw in the towel.
Great decisions are not made when emotions are running high. Learn to become mindful of your feelings, notice them, and feel them - but do not be ruled by them. Create some perspective. Distance yourself from the emotional situation. Wait until you are calm, cool headed and clear minded before making decisions.
Strive to be kind and fair towards others, but learn to be okay with not pleasing others. You may run into people who are not supportive of your goal, who may even be mean-spirited when you talk about your ambition to run a marathon or go back to school. You can’t control how people feel about your goals, but you can control how you respond to negativity. Don’t give in to the naysayers - stay focused on your positive changes, and know that taking risks will have it’s own rewards.
Learn to say no to the people, places and things that drain your energy, distract you from your goals, or don’t offer positive support. When you become more mindful of your surroundings, you will have greater ability to effect change for yourself.
You are in charge of your time, perceptions, communications and behaviors. When it comes to achieving your goal, actions speak louder than words. Lay out a plan that allows you to take action towards your goal every day – small, manageable, calculated steps in the right direction.
You are also in charge of your behaviors when things don’t go as planned. Will you waste time and energy complaining about a bad circumstance, or will you evaluate the situation to learn from it? Will you throw yourself a pity party when you fall short of that day’s goal, or will you look to how you can be better tomorrow? Will you compare your progress to others’, or will you learn from their successes and ask for their support?
Attitude is a way of thinking and feeling reflected in your action patterns and behaviors. When we fill our brains with negativity, complaints, and hopelessness, our actions follows suit. Conversely, when we fill ourselves with appropriate levels of confidence, we’re able to effect change on our own behalf.
Establish a mantra that will remind you of your goal, your assets, and your worth. Use this mantra to center you when you are in need of an attitude check.
Life is filled with challenges and work. Generating success will take effort. Continue to apply your effort, track your positive progress and keep trying until you get it right. You will be rewarded with a deeply satisfying and rewarding life, filled with earned pride and contentment.
If you want a collaborator, someone to hold you accountable for following through on your goals, check out True Form Coaching and make your desires a reality in 2014! Live in your True Form!
Like me on Facebook
Connect with me on LinkedIn