What’s your goal? I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t want to improve some aspect of their lives, or themselves. Becoming the very best version of myself and the continual pursuit of developing, discovering and using my talents is my definition of success. To live a fulfilled life is to live a life with purpose, on purpose. Yet it is one of the hardest things to achieve.
In a world of instant gratification, and so many choices, it is so difficult to identify your goals and stay motivated to achieve them. The reason that achieving goals is so difficult is that it requires us to change something in ourselves or our lives, and to give up something to gain something else. Unless you understand the reality of your goals, or choices, it can be very difficult to maintain that motivation to keep going. There are so many techniques that can help you stay focused and achieve your goals, but the only person that can really make them happen is you. The changes need to be internal (the way you think and feel) and external (the things you do), to really last.
Visualization is an incredibly powerful way to create a mindset of success. To visualize you achieving your goal, feeling how you will feel, acting like you will act, looking like you will look, all create a change in your internally. You see your brain can’t differentiate between what is real and what is imagined, so visualizing success creates a memory in your mind as though it has happened. You create the same emotions and hormones as if you had actually achieved, which may result in happiness, excitement, joy or even pride. Think the laws of attraction or the power of positive thinking, it all taps into this. I often ask clients to describe what success looks and feels like, so that that get a clear picture of where they want to be.
Of course visualizing success isn’t enough. You need to take action.
You don’t wake up one day and suddenly find yourself at the finishing line of the London marathon, or wandering around the peak of Everest. That might be the image you visualized, but certain things need to happen to get you to that point. You may need to train, or buy equipment, or find a partner or coach, read some books and book some tickets. It’s the same if you want to change jobs, lose weight, or get better balance in your life, whatever your goal is, you need a plan.
Identifying your sub goals or milestones really helps you turn a dream into reality. Write them down and get clear on what you need to achieve and by when and make them realistic. Nothing will demotivate you more than setting an unrealistic goal and failing at the first hurdle.
Simply telling someone else what your goal is, and sharing your plan will give you an increased chance of success. Some of that is pride and peer pressure, some of it is simply speaking the words out loud and making it real. This is why joining a group or getting a training buddy or a coach really works. You commit to yourself, but also you are kind of committing to others too. You could simply share your goals on social media, or tell your boss, or email your goals to yourself via futureme.
If you take some time to get clear on the benefits of achieving your goal, you will increase your chances of success. Going for a promotion may increase your income, which may enable you to get more security, or have more experiences, or buy more stuff. You may learn more, grow and develop as a result of the promotion. It may take you one step closer to your dream job. These are all benefits that will help you stay motivated.
Equally, being conscious about the costs, or the things you will have to give up in order to succeed is important. Know that losing weight will mean that you may need to give up chocolate or takeaways, or you will give up couch time to exercise time. To get the job you may need to study, or be away from home more. No action happens without giving up or making changes to your life. This reality check is vital to succeed.
The goal at the end is of course a reward in itself, but don’t forget to give yourself little rewards along the way. Each time you reach a milestone, find a way to celebrate or reward yourself. Perhaps you could buy yourself a new bit of sports kit, or treat yourself to a new suit if you get an interview, or even allow yourself to have a cake if you have reached a sub goal. Change is hard, and takes time, so make it fun and rewarding too.
If you approach your goals with a bit of vision, a little planning, a touch of reality and a lot of fun along the way, you are so much more likely to succeed.
Lucy Barkas helps clients make positive changes in their lives and their businesses to enable them to reach their potential.
To enquire about working with Lucy email Lucy@3wh.uk.com
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