Saturday, January 12, 2008

Getting It Done

A New Year is upon us, and with it come the expectations of what can be.

Did you set a goal for yourself this year? And if you did, was it the same thing you said last year?

This is an extremely common problem. Let’s say your resolution was “I want to loose weight this year”. This is probably the same resolution you have had for the last 5 years. Why do you suppose you haven’t achieved your goal yet?

First of all, it is just too vague. A goal is much easier to achieve if it is very specific and focused. So it is better to set a goal such as “I will lose 5 pounds by February 14.”

Did you also notice the difference in language? Rather than “I want”, the second goal said, “I will”. Focus and intention are very important. If you keep your perspective positive, you will achieve positive results. If your perspective is focused on the negative or indifferent, your results will match. I know everyone has heard about the law of attraction, and this is a great example.

So now you have a specific, positively stated goal. Next you need to decide on some smaller steps to help you achieve this goal, and then take action and start accomplishing them, one by one.

Let’s look at our weight loss goal. To accomplish this, it would be a good idea to cut back on calories, incorporate some exercise, use some visualization techniques, and establish some form of accountability.

Now this sounds like a lot of work to do all at once, and is probably an overwhelming task for many, so guess what happens – nothing. You go back to your same old eating and exercise habits because they are comfortable and easy.
You need to break things down more, and schedule yourself (use a calendar or that funky Blackberry you have!) So tomorrow, plan to have one piece of toast for breakfast, rather than your usual two. That’s it – that’s your goal for the day! The day after, plan a 20-minute walk with a coworker over your lunch break (while still only having one piece of toast).

That night, while brushing your teeth, look at yourself in the mirror and compliment yourself on your beautiful eyes, or your great posture, or whatever you see. You can also visualize what your ultimate goal will look like, feel like, be like. See yourself slim and fit, running up the stairs two at a time. Really put yourself in the moment.

The key is to accomplish little mini goals, which all eventually add up to your big goal.

I have used weight loss as an example, but this process is the same no matter what your goal, be it learning a new language, training for a marathon, or organizing your photo albums. Break the big goal up into little mini goals, and then take action on them and nock them of your list, one by one.

Before you know it, you will have accomplished your goal or goals, and be looking forward to what 2009 will bring!

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