Do you remember just a few short weeks ago, when we welcomed in a new year and you were totally pumped about all of the awesome goals you set (also known as New Year’s Resolutions)? You were energized and you promised yourself that this year was your year and you were going to stick with it and reach those goals, no matter what the cost.
Fast-forward a few weeks and those goals might be on the back burner. In fact, if you’re honest, chances are good you haven’t moved any closer to some of them, despite your initial passion and enthusiasm.
Molly Cain, an executive with experience in leadership, says people often forget about their goals out of a lack of respect for themselves. She reminds them that there was a reason why they had a particular goal in the first place. She’s identified four strategic things you need to do (and may not be doing) to help you achieve any goal in your personal life, career or business.
#1 – Visualize The Goal
Cain says that the most efficient way to achieve a goal is to actually visualize it. Being able to see what you’re striving for is often a lot more effective than writing down a list of things you want to do in a checklist. I use visualization all the time and know it’s vital to achieving my own personal and business goals. Energy flows where attention goes and focusing clearly and intentionally on your goals by visualizing already having them works.
Once a year, Cain gets together with her friends to have what she calls a “vision board” party. The event involves spreading a bunch of magazines over her living room floor and then using them to help motivate their goals. Want to get a new job? Then cut out pictures from the magazines showing people having success in the job market, she tells her friends. Want to lose weight? Then cut out that picture of a bikini-clad model, she says. I’ve used vision boards for years and they’re a great way of keeping your goals front and center in you life in a visual way. Since your unconscious mind thinks ONLY in pictures, it’s a great way to feed it a picture of exactly what you want as well.
#2 – Commit Yourself
It’s important to recognize, says Cain, that when it comes to setting goals, there’s only one person who counts: you. After all, you are your own boss, and you’re the one who will ultimately decide whether you start that business or dream career you’ve always wanted. Cain suggests that you commit to a project as soon as you can, whether that means finding the accountancy course with the best CPA review, or diving right into a new business by getting a loan or selling your assets. When you commit yourself, you force yourself to take action, beat procrastination, and get the job done. Action is the key here, even if it’s a small step. What will you do this week (even today) to move even a little closer to your goal?
#3 – Be Realistic About What You Can Do
High-achievers all want to be millionaires, Cain says, but it’s important to be realistic about what can be achieved. Sure, it would be great to find the cure for cancer, but when goals are too lofty, they can actually conspire against us. Goals, Cain says, should be modest. Her advice is not to set yourself up for failure by letting your dreams run away from you. I like to refer to “teetering edge” goals. Imagine yourself standing on the edge of a high cliff, your toes just over the edge but your feet still firmly planted on solid ground. You’re a little uncomfortable and “teetering” on the edge of the cliff, but still safe. That’s how you want your goals to feel. They should stretch you without feeling totally out of reach.
#4 – Tell People About What You Want To Do
Finally, Cain says that one of the best ways to reach your goals is to make yourself accountable to your friends and family. It’s uncomfortable, she says, to discuss your setbacks. But, in her experience, people who care about you will rally around, helping you to get back on track if you do experience one. You always need a cheerleader and accountability is key to success in achieving almost anything. It’s difficult to be accountable just to yourself so enlist your “tribe” to help.
Give these 4 steps a shot and see where you are with the New Year’s Resolution goals you set this year in a month or two. My guess is, you’ll start to see a big difference in how you show up and what you’re able to accomplish once you do.
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Julie Anne Jones is a sought after keynote speaker, online trainer, and corporate business consultant. She’s an accredited life and business coach with over fifteen years of experience speaking on stages across the United States and Canada. Known as “the systems specialist,” Julie Anne can break down any concept into simple, step-by-step, action-oriented training. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and communication tools for business success. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, and to read more blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.