The best way to predict the future is to create it. – Peter Drucker
As we get closer to the end of the year, it’s a great time to really start thinking about those new year resolutions and goals for what you would like to accomplish in the 2018. But before we go into practices for setting up your goals for success, I want to spend a bit of time looking deeper into what your goals really are.
Keeping in mind that there are varying degrees of goals from type and long term ones to daily ones, let’s start by defining our goals.
So, starting with the first and most obvious question – what are your goals? Grab a piece of paper and jot down all of things you would love to accomplish next year. Don’t worry about how long or hard they might be to get done, write them from that place of deep desire within you and dream big!
Once you’ve done this, look at your list and start to prioritise it, taking those that are most important to you to the top and working your way down. The longer you’ve wanted a goal for, the more motivated you will be to make it happen so consider this as your prioritise your list.
Looking at the list you have in front of you, I want you to ask yourself: is this really the end result I am looking for? What might the goal be beneath your goal? Maybe your goal is to shed 10 pounds of weight. What will you have when you have accomplished that goal? Are you doing it because you think in doing so you will be more attractive when looking for a partner? Are you doing it because you want to be healthier, and if so, is it the weight loss that really matters? Maybe you want to get a raise by X amount. What will that money bring to your life when you get it? Is it really the money that will create the change you are looking for? Be curious and be honest with your answers and set a clear intention. If you find a deeper, truer goal beneath your goal, swap it out.
When considering our goals, it is important to be realistic as to whether these goals stem from a deep personal yearning or a sense of external obligation. Susan David refers to this as the wagging finger versus the willing heart in her book “Emotional Agility” and I can’t personally think of a better way to put it! Many of the things we do come from wanting to please others and seek approval and it’s the real reason why they don’t succeed. The goals you have listed that come from a willing heart will be far longer lasting than those done from a sense of duty. If there are any goals you’ve noticed stem from obligation rather than deep desire, remove them from your list. When you notice a lot of excuses around why you can’t accomplish your goal, maybe the truth is you don’t really want it in the first place – so let it go.
Looking at the list in front of you, go one by one and make a list of all the measurable things you could do towards accomplishing your goals. Consider these tangible milestones – let’s call them projects – that will get you one step closer to that end result. Work towards creating daily or weekly habits and rituals out of these projects that will help to support you and your goals. Make commitments out of them until they turn into habits naturally.
Now, think of little rewards you can give yourself each time you hit a milestone that is leading towards your ultimate goal. We all enjoy a nice pat on the back for a job well done, so think creatively of ways in which you might be able to treat yourself for your accomplishments – this will help encourage and maintain your drive towards your goal. Motivation plays a big part in whether or not we stick to them.
Next, ask yourself this question: what can you do differently to accomplish your goals – and list your answers. Instead of writing I CAN at the beginning, write I WILL. Maybe consider things like: I will not be so hard on myself if things don’t go according to plan, I will wake up 10 minutes earlier each day and find time for stillness, I will believe in myself and the goals I’ve set out to achieve, and so forth. Think of these as self affirming mantras
With a clean sheet of paper, re-write your goals from top priority to bottom. Underneath each goal, list the projects you will work on to achieve your goal, under that, list the ways in which you will reward yourself for finishing a project, and beneath your list of goals, write your “I will” statements.
We are all creative by nature, whether it seems that way to us or not. You have the ability to create your reality, you just need to believe in yourself and take action! And enjoy this process of establishing your goals – this is your future, get excited with the possibilities and make it shine bright!
The reality is, you are infinitely creative – and when you take the best of what’s inside you and use it to create from, things like success, abundance, loving relationships and meaningful legacy stop being goals to be pursued but rather become the natural fruits of your creation. – Michael Neill