Did you make any resolutions for 2009? How are you doing so far? Are you still on track? It’s not too soon to start assessing your progress.
If you didn’t make any resolutions is it because you know you cannot trust yourself to follow through? Many people make light of this aspect but the impact is quite damaging. Knowing you cannot trust yourself is like berating yourself. This behavior of course depletes self-esteem and prevents necessary risk-taking for growth. In addition, if you cannot rely on you, how can others?
People make excuses for not following through. As The Recovering Excuse Maker™ I’ve certainly made more than my share. Two of the most common excuses are insufficient time and money to achieve desires.
Here’s a couple of simple ways to have an immediate improvement in these areas:
1 – NO TV for one week
2 – Do not eat out (restaurant, vending machine etc) for 30 days
Some of you I imagine just became extremely uncomfortable. Good! No, I’m not sadistic. However, we know as humans we only seem to change when we get very uncomfortable. And most people have no clue of the correlation of their daily actions to their results. No correlation, no adjustment and therefore, no success.
Here are some keys to helping you achieve your desired outcomes. First, don’t make resolutions, set goals. Resolutions often are made in haste, a stupor, or just because it’s New Year’s Eve and we think we’re supposed to. Setting goals on the other hand requires thought and commitment to be effective. Ask yourself, is your desire something you r-e-a-l-l-y want or something you think you’re supposed to want? Or even worse scenario, is what you claim to want actually what someone else wants you to have, be, or do and it’s of no interest to you?
This last consideration is extremely important because commitment is needed to follow through and succeed. As obvious as that may sound, that is a missing component for many. And, if it’s really someone else’s desire or a superficial interest on your part, there won’t be commitment. There’s a BIG difference between interested and committed. No commitment, no follow through – it’s that simple!
Once you decide on a goal, write it down, share it with others (be selective here – make sure they’re supportive). Avoid uncommitted phrases such as, “I’d like” or “I’m trying” as they will only keep you stuck. Instead set intentions with conviction. I intend to . . . Make sure it’s what you want or are striving for versus what you don’t want or are attempting to overcome. For example, I intend to exercise three times a week as opposed to I intend not to be a slug.
You may think these are simplistic steps but they play a significant role in moving people forward!
Next, keep your intention alive with specific, incremental steps. Think of a baby learning to walk. Each action in and of itself often seems insignificant but without the culmination of them walking doesn’t occur. Recently, on one of my coaching calls my client scoffed at her growth based on her belief that it wasn’t of any magnitude. I reminded her that she had demonstrated more progress than she had done prior, hence progress.
Finally, you must persist. This is often a major hurdle for people (including myself) if we don’t have the proper support system in place. Much of society functions from an instant gratification philosophy – ironically, even though we KNOW it doesn’t work – once again, it isn’t what we know, what do we do? Functioning from instant gratification will not align you to achieve your desires.
Sports fans, think of it this way. You enjoy watching the game, the race. Part of the enjoyment is based on the proper execution of a variety of aspects which requires specific skills, techniques and application. Commitment and consistent practice is what allows the performance to appear effortless. The same is true for singers and entertainers.
One critical component these people all have in common is they work with a coach. And no matter what level of success they achieve, they continually work with coaches. Sure, working with a coach costs money, so does going to the movies and eating out. Which gets you closer to your desired life?
Coaches help you persist and stay on track when you don’t feel like it. They also push you to achieve your full potential instead of settling for less. Are you working with a coach? I wouldn’t be where I am today without the coaches in my life. Coaches also help you recognize important progress where most people dismiss it. This lack of recognition sabotages progress.
- Make sure your goal is yours AND you’re willing to make the commitment
- Write your goal down and talk about it actively
- Take regular and incremental action steps
- PERSIST – work with a coach
Make 2009 your best year yet!