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 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 for you. You are already ahead of the game because you are thinking about what you want to create. Whether it’s a feeling you want to have, 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!), when you get intentional about what you want to create, it’s way easier to see what the next steps are.
Let me insert here, that this is NOT about 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 recognizing how great everything already IS, and allowing yourself to imagine what else is possible? 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.
Nature does this all the time in amazing ways.
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.
We are that. We are Nature. This post if for you so you can Tap into Your 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 was a Goal Study at Dominican University (the oft-quoted Harvard and Yale studies are urban myths, but this study was really done) with 267 participants ranging in age from 23 to 72 from 6 different countries, including the US, India and Japan. Participants were divided into 5 different groups.
Group 1 simply thought about their goals and rated them in terms of difficulty, importance, skills and resources available, their commitment to achieving the goals, their motivation for achieving them, and any thoughts about how others had succeeded or failed to achieve these same goals.
Group 2 typed their goals and rated the above aspects in an online survey.
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? Of course, you’d choose the option with the better odds. Statistically significant, measurable better odds.
I want you to succeed because it’s really so easy. So I have created this free worksheet you can print out daily and use for your success. Send me your goals. I’ll be your accountability buddy and I’ll help you get there.
SEVEN SIMPLE STEPS FOR SUCCESS
1. Think about your goals – let yourself fantasize about your dream life. No editing. No judging. No limitations.
2. Write it down – journal, computer, email a friend, doesn’t matter, but DO write it down. Even a napkin will do.
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. This is an opportunity 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, even posting on FB lets your commitment be witnessed. We all need 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, to heal family frictions, to build sustainable businesses, to find their perfect partner and so much more. Share your goals and up your odds of success.
6. Track your progress regularly.
I practice these 7 steps daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly. I’ll admit that I’m a quantified self kind of nerd. I like to measure my progress and track my success daily because it keeps me focussed on doing the most important stuff and the results are really incredible. Beyond my wildest dreams come true incredible. 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. And then a bunch of stuff that I thought was out of my reach DID happen for me. And it’s continuing to happen. As long as I’m getting results, I’m going to keep doing this. Another thing I love about daily tracking is that it helps me stay present to what is. I’m focussing every day on what do I want to create today? How am I feeling today? Who am I serving today? What’s the highest impact activity fro my business today? Did I get exercise today? (the answer is always yes!) Daily tracking helps me to not waste my precious energy ruminating on the mistakes I made yesterday, or all the things on my to do list that still aren’t done. instead, I stay present to what is happening now. I do one thing at a time to the best of my abilities now. I take consistent action that moves me towards my goals every day. And then I move on to my favorite step, step 7.
7. Celebrate!! This is really underrated and it’s so important to give yourself credit. You got $h*t done! You took action! You focussed on what you wanted and that’s empowering! Now you are one step closer to your goal! You did something that challenged you and now you are stronger for it! Now you can cross it off your list! Now you get to go take a break! Have a dance party in your office. Go for a swim. Play with your dog. Have some 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.
This is not black magic or spiritual voodoo. It’s neuroscience. Your mind will focus on whatever you tell it to. So concentrate your attention on what you want, instead of what you don’t want, and watch things materialize from thin air. When you live daily in this confident, action-oriented, productive state, your brain loves it and rallies to support you! And pretty soon, it becomes the new normal and you realize you love setting goals because your goals are your dreams that come true.
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear about your experience with this powerful practice.