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New Year Goal Setting

New Year new start; Give yourself the best chance to make your plans happen!

Many people start the new year with a renewed focus or goal whether that be in relation to their health, work life, relationships or something else. We remind ourselves how great it is going to be when we achieve that goal and the difference it will make, so we start to take the first steps very enthusiastically, and for some they achieve what they want and sail off into their sunset. For others that feeling and motivation wanes and we lose interest, work gets in the way or any number of other excuses that we give ourselves….

Well lets look at what you can do to make sure you get what you want!

And that’s the first place to start. Be clear about what you want and why. Don’t think about the ‘how’ at this point but simply the end result. Start by briefly reminding yourself what you don’t want or what you want to stay away from happening if you don’t take any action. Then begin to imagine what it will be like when you have got what you do want, as if you are already where you want to end up. How will you know you have been successful and achieved your goal? So be specific; really think about the top five to ten things that will be different about your life when you are fitter, or have achieved your new career goals, or are in that new relationship. It’s usually easier to write them down. Think about what will be different about the way you feel and in what kind of situations specifically? How will you look differently to yourself and others? What will people say to you that shows they notice you are somehow different? What will you excitedly be telling the people you care about that has changed for you? Thinking about these things should leave you feeling compelled to move forward and excited at how much more positive your life will be when you get to that end goal. If you don’t feel like that then you need to revisit these questions, and enjoy spending the time imagining what it will be like, to make sure they are really compelling for you.

If this is still a struggle for you then it’s quite possible there is something you perceive about your current situation that you will have to lose or give up. It might initially appear that there is even a fear attached to making a change, and that might be because it seems you will be losing something when you move forward into a situation that appears unknown. So have a think on what it might be. It will usually be something that you place a value on, which is important to you and a part of your current identity. It could be of a physical or emotional importance. For instance smokers quite often enjoy smoking because it still gives them a sense of rebellion and a feeling of power. By recognising what this might be you can decide if it’s important enough to keep or perhaps look at other ways you can have this met, allowing you to pursue your goal. You might find my previous post on Accessing Your Inner Strengths and Resources helpful on this too.

So now you are clear about what it’s going to be like when you get to where you are going, you can start to make sure the journey of getting there is a relatively easy one! Here are a few helpful pointers for you to focus on.

1)                  Look at your environment and lifestyle and make sure that whatever your chosen method of getting to your goal fits into that. So if it’s yoga what are your options on where to go, the times of the classes, which classes might be busier than others, how realistic it will be to fit in the classes around your life. Plus recognise there might be some areas of your life you don’t want to change so make sure you can work round them. If you need to make some adjustments to your schedule are they realistic and will you stick with them?

2)                  What will you actually need to be doing in this new situation and is it something you have the skills and capabilities to do? If it’s something you haven’t done before do you know what to expect and what level of skill, expertise or knowledge is required to get the results you imagined in the exercise above? Readjust your expectations if necessary and check again that this is still something you want to do. If not is there something else that will get similar results that is a more realistic option?

3)                  What resources will you need to get to that end result? These type of resources could be practical such as financial investment, training requirements and then inner resources such as motivation, commitment and persistence. How much of these resources are needed. Realistically are you ready to commit to these resources. Check to make sure that you are really willing to make that investment in resources against the value that you put on the end result?

4)                  What positive beliefs do you have in relation to what you want to achieve? Think about all the good reasons why the end result is important to you. Now honestly think about any reasons that you believe stand in your way of getting to that place. Be very clear about what they might be and then look for evidence in any other situation in the past that proves to you that you have overcome that belief. You can also come up with a strategy that will help support you in times when that belief will challenge you, such as getting the help of a friend, rewarding yourself with something, or have a picture that represents what achieving your goal means to you.

5)                  Finally think again about all the positive things that you imagined in the first paragraph, as if you have achieved your goal. Now acting as if you have achieved your goal create an empowering statement, starting with ‘I am…’  that represents all that is important about getting what you want. So it might be something like ‘I am feeling healthy, strong, and buzzing with energy’. Make it personal to you.

Now think about the first two or three things that you need to do to get yourself moving towards that end goal. They could be book the first yoga class, buy a yoga matt, tell a friend what you are doing etc… and then take that first step!

Please contact me for your free telephone consultation 

By Lawrence Michaels

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