Do you have a project you’re working on, but can’t seem to get it done?
Do you have goals set, but can’t seem to work towards them?
Why is it so hard for many of us to follow-thru on what we say we want? Maybe we’re afraid. Maybe we’re lazy. Or maybe we’re just not really clear on what we want or how to go about getting it.
Here are three simple steps to help you follow-thru on your goals. For the month of March, I encourage you to follow these steps and see what happens. If they don’t work for you, drop them. But at least give it a shot.
Step 1 – Write Your Goals Down – But There’s a Catch
Let’s look at the goal of “losing weight”. First of all, if you want to lose weight, what do you hope to gain from it? In other words, what do you REALLY want?
You probably want to have more energy, be healthier, have more vitality, and maybe fit into an old pair of jeans. So, rather than write “I want to lose xx amount of pounds”, try writing what you really want. Which might sound something like this:
“I want to have more energy, be healthier, have more vitality, and fit into this pair of jeans”.
Ok, so we’re getting a little more clear on what we want.
Step 2 – Write Your Goal Down as Though You’ve Already Accomplished It, and Thank God for Your Blessing
Try this. Instead of writing “I want [goal]”, try writing “I have or I am [goal]”. So, using our example above, you could write:
“I have more energy, I am healthier, I have more vitality, and I fit into my old pair of jeans!” Thank you, God, for this blessing.
Feel the difference? When you state your goals in this way, something magical happens. You begin to feel like you do have more energy; that you are healthier. The following story helps illustrate why this works:
Imagine being in a restaurant and the waiter comes over to take your order.
“I’ll have the filet mignon, please”.
He says, “very good, how would you like that cooked”
You interrupt him and say, “no, you know what, I’ll have the chicken, please”
“ok, very good”
“No, wait a second, could I just have the Caesar salad, please”
By this time the waiter will probably be annoyed with you, and may even mess up the order.
Now, imagine yourself talking to the Universe, and asking for what you want when you don’t really know yourself. No wonder life seems confusing at times – it’s because we are confused.
We can ask for what we want, and, then we can act as if we’ve already attained our goal by focusing on our behavior.
Step 3 – Focus on your behavior not benchmarks
If you focus only on the number on the scale or the number of calories you eat, you are focusing on the benchmark – the goal of losing xx amount of pounds – and that’s not what we want. That’s like a student focusing on grades rather than studying the information in front of her.
Improve your chances of achieving your goal by focusing on your behavior. What do you do every day towards your goal? When you want to reach for a piece of cake or a bag of chips, re-read your goal aloud. Literally say “I have more energy, I am healthier, I have more vitality, and I fit into my old pair of jeans!” Thank you, God, for this blessing.
Maybe get up and walk for 5 minutes repeating this in your mind. (Regardless of your goal, getting up and walking – even for 5 minutes – is an excellent way to improve your energy and introduce new ideas).
When you’re done, if you still want the cake or the chips, then enjoy them. Eat half a piece of cake and savor every bite. Or put a handful of chips in a bowl, close the bag and put it away. Then, enjoy the chips.
Obviously, it’s not wrong to enjoy snacks – in fact, it’s probably wrong not to enjoy them. Because that leads to mindless eating, and mindless eating isn’t what we want.
Behavior is a process – and that process becomes a habit. Focus on the small steps you take every day. Be aware of what you’re eating, and enjoy it in smaller portions than before.
I’m not saying this is easy, but it’s important. Working towards something that we truly want puts a process in motion that brings us more energy, more strength, and more enjoyment in our life. Every outcome we achieve in life is created by a process. These three steps help you develop a new process for yourself that, if followed, will lead to your attaining your goals.
Here’s to living life fully,