What year is it? The year of transformation. The year of manifestation. The year of excellence. Or is it the year of purpose? Maybe it’s the year you will eat healthy, work out regularly, find your soulmate, start a business, move to another state, value yourself more or tolerate foolishness less. Whatever this year is for you, I hope you accomplish what you set out to accomplish. I am wondering something though, and I hope you don’t mind me asking. With all the new in this new year, are you a new you? How are you different today from how you were on December 31?
Now, let me be clear, I believe in setting goals; so much so that I wrote a book on the topic. But, what I learned through my own process of setting but failing to accomplish my goals is that there is an internal change that correlates with the external change you want to experience in your life. We’re past transforming dreams into S.M.A.R.T. goals. We’ve moved beyond the process of goal-planning. We’re over letting other people hold us back from our goals. Now we’re just left with the truth. The truth that the biggest obstacle typically standing in your way is the person reading this right now.
Ouch! I know, right! Recognizing and acknowledging that I was my biggest problem was difficult for my ego to accept, but it was a realization I needed to have so I could live the life I wanted to live. Now, maybe you’re nothing like me. Perhaps you really do have it all together. I sometimes struggle with self-confidence, but maybe you know you’re always dope as &@!%. I have to challenge my limiting beliefs on the regular, but maybe your self-talk and life scripts are all positive. Maybe you always have a team of people to help and support you, but I sometimes feel like I have to make it happen on my own. I don’t always know the next step to take or have all the resources I need. Maybe you do. Maybe you never second-guess yourself. Maybe you’re equipped with the right mindset for every situation and circumstance. Maybe. If that really is who you are, you should write a book, too. It’s sure to be a best seller! But, I bet that if you wiped away the makeup, pulled off the eyelashes, wrapped up the hair, and took a long and deep look at yourself in all of your perfection and flaws, you will see that there are some things hidden below the surface that have kept you from accomplishing everything you’ve wanted to accomplish this past year. It may have been a failure to prioritize your goals over other commitments or to invest in yourself. Perhaps you didn’t believe in yourself or understand the value that you and your ideas bring to the world. Maybe you didn’t ask the right questions (or any questions), connect with the right people, take risks, take advantage of opportunities, distance yourself from people and situations that aren’t good for you, admit that you’re afraid, or accept help. Whatever it was, whatever it is, it’s all internal stuff. Until you deal with this stuff, this year may be indistinguishable from last year.
The awesome thing is that while we tend to do what we’ve always done, we also have the ability to adapt and change if we are forced or we decide to. Let’s make the decision to change. Follow the four steps below to make the internal adaptations necessary for you to accomplish your goals:
- REFLECT on the past. Spend time thinking about your habits, relationships, and obligations. Consider how you spent your time and money. What worked for you? What moved you forward and made you feel empowered? What or who positively impacted your life? What did not work for you? What or who held you back or kept you stagnate? What disempowered you or negatively impacted your life?
- REVISE what isn’t working for you. If you have habits that you know are holding you back, like procrastination, winging it, needing approval from everyone else, overthinking/analyzing, needing to be in control of e-v-e-r-y thing, identify other ways of being that will help you move forward. For example, if you need external approval for who you want to be, what you want to do and what you want to have, stop seeking that approval from people who haven’t done what you want to do, don’t have what you want to have, and aren’t who you want to be. Ultimately, the only approval you need is your own, but if you’re just not there yet, get your validation from someone who has already been validated through their accomplishments.
- RENEW your commitment to your goals. Given what you’ve done in steps one and two, you may need to rethink your goals for the year. Once you’ve done that, recommit to doing the work necessary to accomplish those goals. I recommend printing your goals, along with a declaration of who you will be and what your life will look like on the other side of your goals. Also, print an affirmation that speaks to who you need to be every day to accomplish your goals. Each of these documents serve an important purpose. The goal statement will remind you of what you are striving for which is extremely important when you feel alone, frustrated, tired, and like you aren’t making progress. The affirmations will help to renew your mindset on a daily basis by challenging your limiting beliefs and reminding you of who you were created to be. The declaration will motivate you by giving you a daily reminder of what life is like for you on the other side of your goals.
- RESIST everything and everyone who tries to distract you or detract from you. Avoid discussing your goals with people you know are negative, who always have a reason why something won’t work or why now is not the right time, and who don’t have any goals of their own. Weigh the merits of obligations, commitments and even opportunities with how well aligned they are with your goals. Know that “NO” is an acceptable response and be willing to repeat it over and over again. Delegate whenever you can and learn to determine the difference between needs and wants – your own as well as those of others who put demands on you.
I recommend going through this process quarterly to make the adjustments necessary to keep you on track with accomplishing your goals by year-end. Remember, you deserve all that you desire, but you must become who you need to be to get what you want to have.
To help you stay focused on accomplishing your goals, sign up for the complimentary Living Your Life with Purpose 7 Day Challenge at www.7daypurposechallenge.com.