January is almost over. If you made a New Year’s resolution this month — or if you have ever set a goal — the data indicate that you probably did not achieve it.
According to research conducted in January 2018 by Statistic Brain, 41% of Americans usually make New Year’s Resolutions but only 9.2% are successful in achieving them. Why do the majority of people fail to do what they say they want to do?
There’s a big difference between goal setting and goal achieving.
It’s easy peasy lemon squeezy to set goals and not follow through. That’s why almost 92% of people choose that route. It’s the path of least resistance. Your brain wants to conserve energy, and getting uncomfortable and bushwhacking your own path is harder than doing the same old same old.
If you do the same thing you have always done, you’ll get the same results you have always gotten. If you believe the same things you have always believed, your results will always be based on those beliefs. Change your beliefs about what you are capable of achieving, and everything changes.
Do you set goals for yourself and then not achieve them?
Do you sabotage yourself before you even get started by coming up with all the reasons why you will fail?
Do you believe it’s possible for other people to succeed but not for you?
Do you consistently argue for your limitations?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I have good news and bad news for you.
The good news is that you’re already ahead of the game because at least you are thinking about what you want to create. You may not be taking action on your goals — in fact, you may subconsciously be doing everything you can to fail — but at least you are aware of your desire of wanting to change something in your life for the better.
The bad news is that if you are setting goals and then not achieving them, it’s because your subconscious programming — your lizard brain — is not in agreement with the analytical, higher level part of your brain — your wizard brain — that decided something needs to change.
Because your subconscious mind accounts for up to 99% of your brain’s activity, the ancient programming wins. Every time. It’s doing its job to keep you safe.
If you set a goal for yourself and don’t achieve it, it’s because your desire to stay right where you are is stronger than your desire to get uncomfortable and create a new habit.
It’s worth understanding your motivation to stay stuck. If you don’t see the roadblock, you just keep running into it. Once you see it, you can drive around it.
- Why do I prefer to NOT achieve this goal?
- What am I getting out of staying right where I am?
- Who do I get to be if I remain broke (if your goal was to heal your relationship with money) or overweight (if you goal was to release some weight) or single (if your goal was to find your beloved)?
If you have a habit of coming up with all the reasons why you will fail before you even get started, know that this is your brain’s clever way of keeping you safe. If you look for proof of why you will fail, you will surely find it because you will go out of your way to create evidence that you are right.
If you look for proof of why you will succeed, your brain will create that evidence for you just as readily.
This is not black magic or spiritual voodoo. It’s neuroscience. Your brain cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality, so you might as well imagine what you really want instead of on what you think you should or what you think is possible. Possible is just one option. What else is possible?
It only seems impossible until you do it. The difference is one apostrophe: Impossible becomes I’m Possible.
Our brains are wired to scan for danger. Your brain’s number one priority is to keep you safe. So, if you shattering some financial glass ceiling is going to rock the boat in your family of origin or your marriage or your community, you won’t do it.
The subconscious fear that people will judge you and hate you for making a lot of money will actually stop you in your tracks and you won’t even take the first step. No one wants to be judged and hated so you’ll do whatever it takes to avoid that.
If you stay broke, you’ll keep on receiving the love and approval of your family, friends and community. Love always wins. Underneath the fear of being judged is your desire to be loved.
We don’t take action to shift something that is familiar because we are running a belief system that is polarized. If we believe that success will be painful, we won’t pursue it.
Do you see why it’s so important to clear your subconscious programming and rewire your belief system so that you can take the actions that will create the results you want?
The universe is always in agreement with you, so whatever is happening is always exactly what you asked for.
If you are not proactive about your future, you get someone else’s version of the future. When you don’t take a stand for your own preferences and desires, you let other people make decisions for you and you live out their preferences and desires instead of your own.
Whether it’s a feeling state you want to be in, or a book you want to write, or a destination you want to visit, or a dollar amount you want to have in the bank (or all of the above!), you need to get in touch with your burning desire to have it.
“When a man really DESIRES a thing so deeply that he is willing to stake his entire future on a single turn of the wheel in order to get it, he is sure to win.”
When you get intentional and deliberate about what you are creating, you’ll actually go out and create it.
Let me insert here, that this is not about ditching the present and living in the future. This is not about making a list of all the things that are wrong with you and that you don’t have. This is about you getting clear on what you want to create NOW.
The present creates the future. Every thought and belief you are running in your subconscious right now is creating the chemistry in your body that either feels scary and stressful in a bad way, or scary and stressful in a good way. The context you attach to your feelings determines if you’ll bail on yourself or forge ahead and boldly go where you have never gone before.
That’s the beauty of being the Creator of your own reality. You are large and in charge. You want to get into the internal terrain you have never explored because that’s where creativity happens. If you are just copying someone else, you’re not being you. You’re being them.
If you use the excuse that you haven’t done it before so you don’t know how, high five yourself and get on with it. Learning happens at that exact edge. If you have already done it, it’s not novel.
We love those edges where there’s ambiguity. Imagine a rocky shoreline. A sandy beach. A lightning storm. The Northern lights. Magic happens at the edges where Earth and the sky meet. The space between the finite and the infinite.
This is where you are when you get to the place of “I don’t know how.” That’s simply the edge of what your analytical mind already knows. This is a perceived limitation and it’s not really the end of the road for you. But you think it is. And your thinking is wrong!
When you get to the place of not knowing, that’s exciting because it means that what’s now available to you is pure creativity. You get to make it up from here. How liberating and fun is that? Unless of course, your programming tells you it’s scary for you to have any authority over your own life. In which case, hiding and pretending to be powerless is your best option.
It’s written into our biology that growth is part of the process, so this is an opportunity to decide where and how and in what direction you want to grow. Create your life in your terms. I don’t care how weird and wacky and unbelievable your terms are. All that matters is that you believe in them.
Nature does this all the time in amazing ways.
Photo courtesy of www.deborahfryer.com
For example, this tree is growing out of a rock. This looks like an impossible situation for growth, right? And yet, the tree is doing it anyway. Rooting right where it is and starting from there. The tree did not think (assuming trees think), “This is so unfair. That aspen down there has nice fertile soil and shade and all I got was this crappy rock.” Well, even if it DID think that, what’s obvious is that it decided to grow anyway. It’s thriving in its environment. It adapted. It’s making it work.
Here’s another example: The wind created incredible arches like these all around Moab. The wind! Invisible, but look how powerful! Breath by breath, the Utah winds cut through stone. Amazing. Again, it seems impossible that air, which seems so light, can be stronger than stone, which seems so dense and permanent, but here’s proof again, that Nature with her limitless creativity figures out a way no matter what.
Photo courtesy of https://unsplash.com/@solotravelgoals
We are that. We are Nature. Figure out what makes you uniquely you, figure out your unique strengths and gifts, and then go for it. No one else can be you the way you be you.
How do you start being you? You deliberately take time every day for you. You imagine what the fullest expression of you would be like. Who would you have to be to grow into that vision of yourself? How would you feel? What would you be creating?
There’s a well-known Goal Study that found some proven ways to up your odds of success. The study involved 267 participants from 6 countries and ranging in age from 23 to 72. The participants were divided into groups and assigned varying levels of accountability.
Group 1 just thought about their goals and rated them in terms of difficulty, importance, skills and resources available. They thought about their commitment and motivation to achieving them. They thought about others who had succeeded or failed to achieve these same goals. In other words, they just thought but did not act.
Group 2 wrote their goals down and actually rated how hard it would be to achieve them.
Group 3 did the same as group 2, but added action steps/commitments.
Group 4 did the same as group 3 but added sharing their goals with a friend.
Group 5 did the same as group 4 but added weekly progress updates to their friend.
Group 1 achieved only 43% of the goals. Remember, these folks just thought their goals but didn’t write anything down.
Group 4 achieved 64% of the goals they thought about, wrote down, rated, and shared with a friend.
Group 5 achieved about 76% of their goals. In other words, by taking the extra steps of writing their goals down, rating the challenges, creating action steps, having accountability and tracking their progress.
If someone gave you the choice of 43% likelihood of success or 76% likelihood of success, which would you choose?
7 Simple Steps To Accelerate Your Success
1. Think about your goals — let yourself fantasize about your dream life. No editing. No judging. No limitations. Get clear on what you really, truly, in your heart of hearts want. It’s ok to want what you want.
2. Write it down — journal, computer, email a friend, doesn’t matter, but DO write it down. Even a napkin or post-it note works. Writing things down longhand activates parts of the subconscious brain and allows you to think bigger and brainstorm more creatively than you do when you are just thinking quietly to yourself. Get it out of the mind and onto paper where you can see it every day and remember this is your dream.
3. Rate the Challenges. This is an important step a lot of people miss. Take time to anticipate what potential thought-forms, skills and beliefs you have that could derail you or help you.
All too often, we focus on what we don’t have. For example, if you want to make more money money and you write down a money goal, your subconscious mind will go to town coming up with all the reasons why you can’t earn that much, why you are not qualified, why it’s wrong to want more money, and more. All clever smokescreens to keep you underearning and frustrated.
There’s value in writing down all the objections you have to your success so you can clearly see what you have to work with. None of those objections is strong enough to keep you broke — unless you let them. Unless you give them power over you.
When you write down all the reasons you might fail, they have less traction. You’ve seen them. Called them out. They skitter away like spiders when you turn on a light in the basement.
Once you’ve written down all the reasons you are sure you’ll fail, write down all the reasons you’re sure you’ll succeed. This exercise is a great way for you to get clear on all the skills, talents, resources, and connections you have that could actually help you! It’s an empowering piece of the process.
4. What actions steps could you take to get there? Brainstorm, think out of the box. It’s your life and your goals so you get to create how you go about making them real. Be honest about potential challenges and pitfalls and then come up with creative solutions you could get around them. Nothing is impossible unless you believe it is.
5. Share with an accountability partner — a friend, a coach, a mastermind group, your partner, your dog, or posting online in a forum are all great ways to stake your claim for yourself. When you let others witness your commitment to yourself, your motivation skyrockets to follow through.
We all want to be witnessed and heard so don’t skip this step! Send your goals to me and I’ll help you get there. I have helped many a client break through to six figures and beyond, heal family frictions, build sustainable businesses, find their perfect partner, create location-free businesses and so much more. Share your goals with someone and you’ll dramatically up your odds of success.
6. Track your progress regularly. I’ll admit that I’m a quantified self kind of nerd. I like to measure my progress and track my success daily, weekly, monthly and yearly because it keeps me focussed on doing the most important stuff first. I can see where I’m on track, and where I’m off-track so that I can get back on the highlighted route I have chosen for myself.
When I started doing this, I thought skeptically to myself; How can writing something down make a difference? Other people can be, do, feel, have X, Y and Z. But not me. That will never happen for me.
This was all my subconscious programming speaking up and challenging me. I rewired my brain so that the old programs no longer had any traction — they stopped dis-tracting me! This allowed me to get traction and go in the direction I wanted to go.
Tracking your goals helps you see how far you have come and where you are on the journey. It turns out that successful goal setting and goal achieving has a lot to do with how fun the journey is. How much confidence and vitality and freedom do you discover along the way that’s a result of you making progress towards that next greatest version of you?
I believe this is the real reason we set goals: we want to discover the truth of who we really are.
Another thing I love about daily tracking is that it helps you stay present. Every day ask yourself: What do you want to create today? How do you want to feel today? Who are you serving today? What’s the highest impact activity you’re going to do for your business today? What’s the most loving thing you’re going to do for yourself and your family today?
Daily tracking helps you to not waste your precious energy ruminating on the mistakes you made yesterday, or all the things on your to do list that still aren’t done. When you hold yourself accountable, you stay present to what is happening now.
Do one thing at a time to the best of your abilities to completion. Then do the next thing. Take consistent action that moves you one step closer towards your goals every day.
7. Celebrate! This is really underrated and it’s so important to give yourself credit. Celebrate it when you get $h*t done! You took action! You focussed on what you wanted and that’s empowering. You did something that challenged you and now you are stronger for it.
You moved the needle on your confidence, your finances, your weight, your relationships, your peace of mind. Celebrate that you stayed consistent with your vision of who you want to be.
Step away from your computer. Have a dance party in your office. Take some deep breaths. Go for a swim. Play with your dog. Eat some dark chocolate. Take a nap. High five yourself.
It’s important that you validate yourself every little step along the way. Encouragement and congratulations feel great, so give it yourself whenever you accomplish any little task that has moved the dial closer to your goal.
Confidence is a result, not a prerequisite.
Confidence is a result of taking action. It’s not a prerequisite to it. When you take time to celebrate that you took the next step, you build your confidence muscle. Concentrate your attention on what you want, instead of what you don’t want, and watch things materialize from thin air.
“Your thoughts matter
More than matter
Because they create matter.”
~ Gordana Biernat, #KnowTheTruth
When you live daily in this confident, visionary, action-oriented, productive state, your brain loves it and rallies to support you. With consistent practice, this state of ease, abundance and productivity becomes your new normal.
Make your subconscious mind your ally and fall in love with setting goals because the achievement of them is right around the corner.
Call to Action
Do you want some help rewiring your subconscious programming so that you stop sabotaging and you can make your success inevitable? If so, check out my new book Best Brain Hacks: 108 Scientific, Spiritual and Sensual Strategies for Success.
Click here to download your copy right now. Change Your Mind. Change Your Life.