It’s that time of year again, when you start to dream and even plan to make 2017 your best year ever. You have a New Year resolution for self-growth, further your education, lose weight, manage your finances better or improve your relationships. You feel excited, motivated and know that it’s not going to be like last year (or the year before, or the year before) – BUT this year, THIS YEAR you are going to achieve all your New Year goals!
You are going to be part of the 8 percent of American that achieve their New Year goals. It’s going to be different this year, and I’ll tell you why.
You’re going to meet all of your goals this year because I am going to help you understand why you haven’t stuck with your goals in the past, I am going to give you the 3 no-fail strategies to make this year your best! Oh yeah, and I’m even going to give you a simple, step-by-step guide for implementing the strategies.
Strategy #1: Be Clear on Your WHY Before Getting Stuck in the HOW.
You must be clear on why you want to achieve a certain goal and make sure it is aligned with your core values before you start the process of figuring out the HOW. We often make the mistake of creating a means goal such as “I will lose 10 pounds before March 1st.” But there’s no gusto behind this. It’s an empty promise. Is there a reason you need to lose 10 pounds? Is it a good reason? Is it someone else’s reason or your reason? Is the goal based on one of your values?
You need to start with an ends goal first. How do you want to feel? What type of experiences do you want to have? This is your WHY. Using the above example, an ends goal may be “I want to be healthy, have energy and feel confident in my own skin so that I can be present with my children until I’m 100 years old.”
The first goal of losing 10 pounds was so limiting with only a certain number of ways to reach the goal. The second goal of being healthy and having energy has an unlimited amount of paths to reach the goal. Each day you’ll be making a choice to live healthier because you are motivated by being present for your children (a much more motivating goal than buttoning your favorite pair of jeans). With this new mindset, I’ll also bet that you won’t only lose 10 pounds but you will also reach your real goal of being healthier, having more energy and feeling more confident.
Strategy #2: Ensure That YOU Really Want The End Result.
You are probably thinking, “Valerie, why would I have even created this goal if I didn’t think I could reach it!?” The truth is that at some conscious or subconscious level you really do want to meet your goals, but if your honest with me and yourself you probably have some deep hidden (or not so hidden) doubts that you’ll reach the goal. Let’s break down some different scenarios here.
You set a goal in order to meet someone else’s expectations – not your own. Society puts so much pressure on us to be a certain way, act a certain way or look a certain way. So we often set goals to meet societies expectations – even though we may not really care (i.e., lack of motivation). Do you want to lose those 10 pounds so you’ll feel better, or so other people will think your healthy? Do you want to make more money because you value finances or do you want to keep up with the Joneses? If the goal is based on ANYONE else’s expectations or values – then YOU don’t really want it.
You set a goal that is aligned with your values but there is a fear holding you back. The main types of fear that keep us from reaching our goals include a fear of rejection, fear of ‘not being good enough’, fear of failure and fear of achievement. Look at some past goals that you didn’t meet and ask yourself which fear held me back from meeting this goal. For example, maybe you haven’t gotten a raise at work because then you would make more money than your husband and you don’t want to outshine him (fear of achievement). Another example would be that you wanted to start a new business but you’re stuck in inaction because you are scared of making the wrong move (fear of failure).
Your self-talk is sabotaging your progress. To reach any goal you have to create new habits in your life. However, that little voice in the back of your head (let’s call the voice ??) keeps telling you that it doesn’t want a new habit – it’s perfectly content with the habits that you have developed over the decades. Bitty continues to sabotage any chance of developing a new habit by telling you it’s okay to start tomorrow – no-one will know. It’s okay to take one bite of that brownie or smoke just the one cigarette. Each time you give into Bitty, she gets more and more annoying. BUT, every time you ignore Bitty you are one-step closer to a new habit and reaching your goals. Make a DECISION to create the new habit and tell Bitty to get lost.
Strategy #3: Get Rid of Negative Energy from the Past.
Most people don’t think about the past when planning for the future – but that’s a big mistake. You need to understand where you’ve been to see where you’re going. Once you’ve clearly seen your past you need to let it go. This means letting go of any resentments and hurts that are keeping your soul’s energy low. Resentment is a feeling of disgust and anger based on a belief that someone did something to us or against us – making us a victim. If you feel like a victim how will you have enough power to reach your own goals? The answer – you won’t.
Holding onto past resentments keep you in a negative state of anger, anxiety and depression. It can also lower your self-confidence, make you more judgmental of yourself and others and sabotage your current and future relationships. It’s time to take ownership of your life, raise your positive vibes and let go of resentments. Start by making a list of any resentments that you are holding onto, people that you are upset with, circumstances that have hurt you. Then go through each of these items one-by-one and start going through the process of forgiveness, acceptance and letting-go.
What's your #1 Goals for 2017? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!