You start the new year with great intentions – to create some kind of change in your life.
But then life happens and suddenly the motivation wanes and making that change permanent becomes a struggle and you give up.
Don’t. You’re almost there.
It’s just a change in your technique that is needed.
The other day my personal trainer guided me through a series of leg raises on the machine. We spoke about how we could improve my results by either adding on more weights or changing my repetition number.
But she also showed me how changing my technique in small ways would make my work out more efficient – that is me working less but producing results quicker.
I was astounded that we went down in weights AND repetitions, yet my legs burned so much more with just a few simple technique switches.
So let’s work on your change technique for this year so you can achieve your goals and change your life for good.
What do you want to change?
You may straight up know what isn’t working in your life and what you want to change.
Whatever is the most pressing problem is the first goal you want to set.
Evaluate the following aspects of your life: spiritual, relationships, career, finances, health, personal development, free time and health.
You might just want to start with the most pressing goal to begin with, or the most important goal from each life segment.
You’re probably not going to work on just one goal throughout the year, so I recommend choosing one from each life aspect.
Sometimes you may not be clear on what it is you want to change.
What pulls at you the most? What has more priority what would have have greatest impact?
Write the ideal change story
One way you can do this is to write your ideal story.
You don’t understand how this one exercise can drastically change your life until in a few years when you look back over it and notice how similar your current life is to what you wrote way back then.
I do this task several times a year because I love being the creator of my life. You can too.
Spend 10 minutes writing your story as if you are living your ideal day in the future. Write in detail what it looks and feels like. Think about all the aspects of your life as mentioned above.
Write it in story form and as if it’s a journal entry of the day gone by.
Now read over that and choose an aspect of that ideal life that is your most compelling.
The one aspect you want to change right now. This is the goal, or goals, you can work on for the year.
Why do you want to change? (values alignment)
You will never achieve a goal unless you have a very clear understanding of why you want to change something in your life.
It has to come from deep within your soul. It needs a strong purpose and it will always be aligned with your core values.
You’ll rarely drop the ball with achieving your goals and changing your life for good if you align them with your values.
Goal achievement then starts to become effortless and enjoyable.
Normally with goals, we set them according to a specific measurable result. This is important to do BUT, there is a danger of using only numbers as your focus.
This can quickly lead to disappointment when you don’t see the numbers coming – change takes time. It can also lead to a sense of failure and a misunderstanding that is never going to happen, so you feel deflated and quit.
I stopped using smart goals (I give a new formula in my program) a long time ago because of this.
I still have numbers I attach to my goals, but it’s just to have an aim and direction.
I always add a + sign after it or a this or something better to let the Universe know I am open to change I might not be able to see as more perfect for me.
What I focus on instead is how do I want to feel. And these align with my values.
We go over this in greater detail in my program and the majority of participants comment on how life changing this has been.
My big goal this year is to lose weight, get fit, build my strength and flexibility and feel awesome and vibrant. I joined a gym to help me.
This goal actually aligned with my values of feeling vibrancy, joy and contribution.
I can’t necessarily measure these like losing 10 pounds, but why do I really want to lose 10 lbs in the first place?
To feel and look good.
So if I’m going to the gym feeling good every day, I’m going to keep doing it rather than going to the gym every day working my butt off and seeing I’ve only lost half a pound.
Can you see the difference?
Work to the long term number goal but focus each daily action step on getting the feeling. Ultimately all we want to do in any area of our life is to feel love and joy. So how can you weave that into the change you are seeking?
What are your action steps?
What action is required for you to make that goal happen?
You may want to do some research here. Find someone who has achieved the goal you have, and figure out what they did to make it happen.
If someone else has done it you can too. Now you can just replicate their steps.
Don’t worry if this takes you some time to do.
Patience Grasshopper. All good things come to those who are willing to enjoy the journey.
Your action steps can include research, working on your mindset (very important part of achieving anything), as well as specific things like do 20 push ups, plan your itinerary, or write 20 blog posts.
What are your daily action steps?
Now you know what your action steps are, what action will you take daily to achieve the goal?
You may have to think beyond action tasks specifically related to the goal at hand.
For example, I have my goal to lose weight and feel fit and vibrant again. I’m going to the gym, but some of my daily action steps, to help me achieve that goal, is to have a protein smoothie every day, and refrain from alcohol. Both of which will help me achieve the goal.
To keep me committed and mentally strong, my daily action tasks also include meditation, journaling and learning each day.
As you can read in this post on How to change your life in 15 minutes a day, these daily action steps are crucial for forming a habit.
Form small habits daily and you’ll be stunned at how your life has changed when you look back on it in years to come and connect the dots.
Schedule in these daily action steps.
My new planner for the year does a fantastic job of guiding you through your lifetime goals, three year goals, monthly goals, weekly and daily goals.
I schedule them in which helps me get them done.
And I love the positive habit markets which is an easy way for me to monitor those essential daily habits that are helping me become the person who lives more aligned with my values.
If you live in alignment with your values you will feel happy and fulfilled. I
Who do you have to be?
Who do you have to be in order to get the goal?
Sometimes we keep pushing and pushing for the realization of a goal without thinking about what qualities are essential for making that happen.
Therefore we work on the exterior things rather than going within to change so we can attract that what matches without.
Go back to your research.
Who has achieved the goal you want and what kind of person are they? Are they are a great leader? Do they have expertise in a particular area? Are they are yogi? Do they eat paleo? Are they are master speaker?
When I was planning for our blog’s future, I knew, from my research, that being seen on TV as a travel expert was going to be crucial for our growth.
I noticed that from the people I knew having great success and seeing what they were doing.
So being featured on traditional media became a big focus of ours and our daily actions steps. We’ve invested time, money and energy into it as we know the rewards will warrant it.
As a result, last year we were featured on The Today Show online, Forbes, Fox Business, Cheddar TV, Mind Body Green and Little Things.
We will continue that this year and have our eyes set on The Today Show TV.
Part of making this happen was I had to become a confident speaker and authority on travel, which has meant a lot of practice, studying and research.
Understanding who I have to be in order to make those goals happen, helps me work on myself so I can better bring those goals about.
Does that make sense?
What is your sacrifice?
Don’t aim for any goal unless you understand what your sacrifice is.
One reason I have spent so many years traveling (20+) is because I know my sacrifices and completely accept them.
Many people will start traveling and then soon go home because they miss their family too much. They didn’t understand the implications of that sacrifice.
If you don’t acknowledge and accept the sacrifice you’ll sabotage yourself.
Knowing your sacrifices will also help you refine your goals so they better suit your life plan and what sacrifices you aren’t or are willing to make.
I no longer want to sacrifice not having a home, which is guiding my goals and action steps.
We’re saving money to possibly buy a home in the next year or so, we’re applying for a Green Card, and we chose to rent an apartment in Raleigh instead of being full time nomads. (until we can get an RV, and have some stability and security)
Every goal will have a sacrifice. So think clearly what that might mean.
For my current gym goal, it means no more sleep ins. But I love and accept the sacrifice because of the greater rewards.
What will your reward be?
Some rewards are easy to figure out.
You go to the gym each day, and eat well, you’ll start feeling vibrant again and you’ll soon lose weight.
There are other rewards you may not anticipate.
For example, going to a fitness class at 5:45am makes sense for me. It ensures I can fit in my workout for the day. I do it first thing in the morning to reduce my temptation for excuses to not do it AND, the benefit is, getting up so early means I’m adding hours onto my day.
I am so much more productive now.
It’s incredible how much I can get done before the girls wake at 8am and we start school work.
It’s also stopping me from having a glass of wine each night, which you know brings incredible rewards and has a great ripple effect.
There are also the rewards you can give yourself for getting the job done. I usually only focus on intrinsic rewards as extrinsic rewards aren’t as motivating.
Make part of your reward the opportunity to build your confidence.
Each time you complete your daily action step, congratulate yourself.
Well done. You followed through and did what you said you were going to do.
There is so much reward in just doing that.
Your confidence will grow because you can trust yourself to follow through on your promises. Acknowledge the courage you are displaying by taking action.
This has a huge effect on your belief and we usually only create what we believe.
You can go the extrinsic rewards too.
If I reach my weight goal I have planned to buy myself a new outfit.
If I reach my income goals, I’ve planned to get myself a massage.
I can promise you though, those rewards never motivate me to get it done. It’s how I feel during the journey that does.
What is your investment?
This is similar to sacrifice. But sacrifice is more what you have to give up in order to achieve, investment is more what you have to put in to make it happen.
We’re looking at our resources here: time, energy, money, character.
It’s incredible how much you will tell yourself you don’t have enough time to get things done.
I kept saying I didn’t have time when I was attempting to do workouts at home through my online yoga fitness membership.
But, I as totally setting myself up to lose as I did not have the passion, the commitment and the accountability.
So instead, I’d say I couldn’t because I didn’t have time to do a 20 minute workout.
Since signing up to the gym a week a go, I’ve done an hour class every morning.
Yesterday I added in an evening hour class. This morning I did a 30 minute personal training session followed by an hour class that whipped my butt.
Where did all this time come from?
Nothing else in my life changed except getting rid of my excuses. I gave a better investment into my commitment, my focus, my interest.
One reason we evaluate the extra benefits and rewards our goal will give us is because it can help us get over the issue of investment of money.
Again, if we’re setting ourselves up for a win, we can typically find the money for the investment.
I said yes too a great deal on our gym membership and personal training sessions because I knew I couldn’t achieve my goal without the accountability of the fitness classes I loved, and without an personal trainer to help me get through the weight training, which I hate, but is important for me to build strength and lose weight.
I’ve cut out other things from our budget – like eating out – so I can cover it, but just the extra productivity alone I get from this new daily habit, will be huge in bringing me a return on that investment.
Evaluate your investment of money in the aspect of time. If I invest X amount into this, how much time can I get back?
Because time is our greatest luxury.
If I get back X amount of time, how much extra income can I make? If that is more than my investment, then it’s a no brainer.
An extra hour of productivity of a morning working on a business will earn me back my monthly gym membership costs.
And without the accountability of it, I’m not going to get up early of a morning.
How can you set yourself up for the win?
What are your limitations/challenges?
I knew if I wanted to achieve my fitness and weight loss goal for the year I had to get a gym membership.
This was the only thing that would work because I understood my limitations and challenges.
I had to set myself up for the win.
Our lifestyle is so disruptive due to travel. My workouts at home weren’t hard enough, efficient enough, and exciting enough to warrant results.
I work from home, which means exercising at home extra challenging. There are too many distractions and no accountability.
I had to make a change.
I had to return to doing what I loved, getting out of the house, and having motivation and accountability.
Returning to what I used to do when I was in the fittest and happiest physical condition was a no-brainer.
I love fitness classes. They motivate me to train hard and I rarely have an excuse not to show up. I’m setting myself up for a win by returning to it.
Belief is vital for success.
You can slug on through to your goal without it, but the real results will start to come and be permanent when you get the belief. (Most of us start without belief but staying with the journey will build it)
So when I’m pushing myself to go running and I’m slugging through it and looking to the nearest exit ramp I know this is going to b e a long and arduous journey.
And that’s only after 15 minutes.
Now at the gym, I’m hammering through a 60 minute class, 90 minutes on Weds with the 30 min extra PT session on and I’m now sneaking out of an evening for another hour class.
Where do you think my belief levels are at now?
All because I set myself up for the win. The win follows the belief.
Who will hold you accountable?
Accountability is important to making goals happen.
It doesn’t matter how motivated you are, there will be times you’ll want to quit or just not show up.
Not showing up once can quickly lead to not showing up again.
Who can you turn to for help?
A training buddy, a mastermind group, a coach, a trainer?
Find the expert who has what you want and bring them into your goal achievement journey. You will get results faster and easier.
My gym membership holds me accountable, as does my personal trainer, who I meet with once a week.
She helps me work more efficiently so I can build strength and weight loss with a training schedule I’d have no motivation to do on my own.
She’ll also be giving me a training program to follow when I am away traveling. I’ll keep up with it as I don’t want to go backwards and start all over again when I meet with her on my return.
How will you manage the chaos of change?
All change involves chaos.
It has to in order to let go of the old and restructure for the new.
What are you going to do when the chaos hits? A lot of the time you don’t realise the reward is very close to you, you think everything is falling apart and so you quit.
Knowing what that chaos looks and feels like is super important for you to achieve your goal.
If you’re strong in your commitment and desire and have a thorough game plan, you’re far more likely to stay calm, keep your eye on the reward and weather the storm.
Once you make it through, the new order will be read for you and change will be permanent.
I offer a plan for getting through it in my 30 Days to Money Mindfulness program
What will some greater benefits be?
As mentioned before, my fitness classes are getting me up earlier, which leads to greater productivity.
This greater benefit actually motivates me more to get up and go to the gym then the immediate benefit of losing weight and getting fitter.
Another example, is that recently we went out to hand out blankets out to the homeless in Raleigh.
The girls have been distressed about seeing the level of homelessness in America so we decided to do something small to help – donate and hand out the blankets.
If it wasn’t for our travel experiences, the girls wouldn’t be exposed to social issues like this and wouldn’t understand the power they have in doing something to help.
If we didn’t have the time and the money because of our business we’d be in a lesser position to help.
All of these are greater benefits of our goals to travel more and have our own benefits.
What would the greater benefits be for your goal?
Think beyond just how it benefits you and more at how it contributes to the greater good.
Remember, you changing how you feel – more loving, joyful – has a very impact upon the greater good.
That’s an energy the world needs more of so go grab it and do your part!
How can you grow after you meet the goal?
It’s important to not get caught in the trap of always striving. We need time to pause, absorb, reflect and just be in the moment.
However, we are evolving beings so we must also continue to grow, otherwise we slip into complacency and become parked cars that do nothing else but collect tickets.
What do you envision doing next after you have achieved the immediate goal?
This can be a very motivating step for recognizing possibilities.
The more you can see is possible for you, the more inclined you will be to make the initial goal happen.
So after I achieve the fitness I am looking for and have lost the extra weight I have put on, my goal after that will be hard-core boot camp, a minute of on your feet push ups, and to perfect a handstand.
I do not have the fitness or strength yet to even attempt these goals.
There is no point me focusing on that right now as I’ll quit due to the impossibility nature of it.
But, once I build up that strength, it will be a possibility.
Knowing I might get there one day, helps to motivate me now to continue going to the gym.
So now you have a very clear understanding of
- what you want to achieve
- you’ve connected it to a deep values based why
- you’ve painted the picture of what the end result will look like and how you can go even further after that
- you know your actions steps
- you have a plan to overcome your limitations and set yourself up to win
- you know what you have to give up and invest to do it
- you’ve scheduled it all in and have some mentors and accountability partners in place.
That’s how you achieve your goals and change your life for good. Time to get started.
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I want to help you stay accountable. Tell me in the comments below:
What your desired change is, why you want it, what are you going to do and who will make you accountable?