By Sally Higgins, Accelerate Now
It's that time of year again - time to road test the New Year Resolutions. Off we go, clutch engaged, engine on, tank fuel of motivation and determination, headlights on full beam pointing to where we want to get to......now where did I put that damn map?
New Years is always a great time for evaluation, reflection, goal setting and clean slates. January is peak time for new gym memberships and enrolments to weight-loss programmes. The air is alive with chants of "4 days without a cigarette" and "I've lost 2 kilos". Yet all this excitement, commitment and activity can fade within a few short weeks or months of the year.
What is the secret to success? What can you do that will ensure that you achieve your desired outcome?
The first step is to examine what it is that you want to achieve. Are you seeking to achieve a positive outcome or seeking to avoid a negative outcome? Does your goal indicate something that you want to move towards, or something that you want to move away from?
For example; a person who wants higher income could either state that they want 'to enjoy financial freedom' (moving towards a positive outcome), or alternatively that they 'don't want to struggle financially anymore' (moving away from a negative outcome).
In the first example the person is focused on what they want to achieve. In the second example the person is focused on what they do not want to occur. The universe will always deliver what we focus on. Setting goals in the positive, (what we want) not only increases our overall 'chances' of successful achievement, it also provides a nicer view in the headlights!
The second step is to consider the reality of your goal. In order to be realistic your goal must tread the fine line of being achievable and of being challenging. Imagine yourself standing at the centre of a children's see-saw. On one side is a far-fetched outcome, on the other is an outcome you can achieve with ease. Now weight your goal so that it perfectly balances between these two alternatives. Goals which are too difficult or too easy are soon abandoned and forgotten.
Take the reality check and ensure that you can answer 'yes' to the following five questions;
The final step in setting the goal is the measurement, or the arrival point - the 'what?' and the 'when?' How will you know when you have arrived at the outcome? When will you get there? What will you be seeing, hearing and feeling that will tell you that you have arrived? Take time to actually visualise the outcome you are seeking, tapping into the sounds, thoughts and feelings as you do so.
Now that you have a clearly defined, measurable, realistic, positively stated goal, it is time to get out the street directory and work out the nitty-gritty of the roads. How are you going to get there?
This is your road map - your directions. The more effort you plan into your journey, the easier the journey will be. If you have ever headed off in the car and travelled blindly into the city with a vague idea of your destination, you will know just how much chaos those unforeseen one-way streets, no right turns and pedestrian zones can cause. At best they cause delays, at worst they involve cancelling your plans altogether. Taking time now to plan your journey will ensure that you arrive at your destination on time and by the easiest route.
In planning your journey, consider what it is that you need to do, who is involved, what obstacles might hinder you, what are the steps along the way, etc. Incorporate your answers to the following questions into your plan;
Write your goal and your actions down and put them in a prominent place to maintain your focus. Oh, and one last thing, just like we celebrate New Years Eve, make sure you plan now for your celebration for achieving your goal.
Happy New Year and Happy Travelling!