The Power of a Changed Mind
"There's nothing as powerful as a changed mind" -T.D. Jakes
You know how you get really excited about starting a new goal, whether that be taking on a new fitness challenge, writing a book, or pursing your inner girl boss, and as time passes you find your motivation dwindling day by day...by day...by day, until you've completely forgotten about what you set out to accomplish. Before long, doubt and negative self talk come rushing in, flooding your mind with nonsense until you eventually give up and stop trying. Now you find yourself in a "why bother" mood. No one likes to be disappointed and feel like a failure. While adult-ing is hard, changing behavior is much harder.
If you're craving a change in your life, I'm here to tell you that you have what it takes to create the life you want. The hardest part of reinventing yourself and the space you're in is deciding. My "new year, new me", started the moment I decided to stop pursing my future career as a medical doctor. That was 3 years ago, and still one of the hardest decisions of my life to date. It is also one that opened so many more doors and opportunities for self discovering and growth personally and professionally. You see, since I was 13 I knew I was going to be a surgeon. I did everything right. I volunteered, shadowed the top professionals in my fields, challenged myself in the hardest classes offered on campus, earned more degrees than a thermometer (and the debt, gosh Uncle Sam won't let me forget the debt), yet I found myself rebelling once I obtained my spot in the promise land that is medical school. My mind, body, and soul literally went haywire as I fought an internal battle of do I stay where its safe, or do I risk it all to...be happy. While many people thought I was insane, I truly believed that I was meant to do something else. Something more. It wasn't easy. My experience has taught me that our greatest strength and influence to make a change often comes when we perceive ourselves to have hit rock bottom. Broke, over educated, and uncertain about the future, I had no other choice but to rewrite the vision, create a plan, and execute to create the life I wanted. This required changing behaviors and habits that were deeply ingrained. It wasn't easy, but it was worth it.
"When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up. Let your reason get you back up". - Les Brown
When you actually decide to make a change in your life, avoid the "wish list" tactics that often appear in new year resolutions and vision boards, and work on changing your default setting. Real change becomes achievable the moment you become vested, defining your why and laying out an action plan to achieve the outcome you desire. It requires consistent, targeted work, and evaluation of progress along the way. Willpower is great, however, you cannot sustain on it alone.
Below are 7 decisions that will help you maximize your full potential and achieve your goals this year.
1. Write the vision and make it plain.
Setting intentions gives your life direction. Grab a sheet of paper and write down your vision. Think big picture. How do you see your life going? Where do you want to be professionally, financially, and personally. Who do you want to surround yourself with? What are your dreams and aspirations? What do you want to create for yourself or others? These are just some of the many questions you can ask yourself as you draft your vision.
2. Ditch the new year resolutions & develop a concrete action plan.
The one concept I've fallen head over heals for in my role as a project manager is the value of an action plan. Action plans allow you to clearly define your outcomes, deadlines, and resources available. How can you use this year to get you closer to what you envision? The next step is to write down your goals for this year. What do you plan to achieve on a personal level? What are your goals in the family, friends, relationship category. Other categories to consider include: heart and spirit goals, financial goals, work, career, or study goals. After you have your goals written down, give each a deadline. Take it a step further and break your goals into achieve tasks, with deadlines. This task list is now the beginning of your daily to do list. Purposely create space in you schedule to complete a task each day that gets your closer to the life you want.
Take a chance
Do what scares you
3. Assess where you are, and leverage what you have.
After you have your goals in mind, create a list of resources. What or who do you need to team up with this year? What do you already have that you can use to get you to the next level. Don't discredit your past experiences, they were not in vain. What talents, skills, and connections have you made that you can use in this moment?
4. Increase the motivation, decrease the Bullsh!t.
Be mindful about what you feed your mind, body, and spirit. What you put in, you get out. Assess what comes into your life on the daily. If your are constantly surrounded my negativity energy, gossip, and hate it will occupy space in your mind, leaving little room for you to truly focus 100% on your goals. There is nothing more powerful or will bring you greater peace than minding your own business. Control your day, start your mornings off with something motivational and thought provoking. My favorite (and free) ways to set the tone for my day is to hit up motivational videos on youtube. Start surrounding yourself with people that push you to be a higher better expression of yourself, people who are there to motivate and encourage you to keep going, and people that will hold you accountable when you need it.
5. Stop wasting time & just do it.
We waste so much time, doing absolutely nothing that leads to a return on investment. Monitor where you waste your time and energy. When you are aware of your pitfalls, you can easily divert your attention when you find yourself getting distracted. Unplugging, or logging off, is a technique I've found particularly helpful this year. Whether you do it for an evening, the weekend, or months, give yourself space and time to deliberately work on yourself.
6. Invest in yourself.
Investing your time, energy, and money into bettering yourself is always worth it. Find new ways to challenge yourself. The day you stop learning, is the day you stop growing. Read, listen to podcasts, find a mentor, enroll in classes. Now is the time to be a sponge, soak up as much information as you can, and execute your plans.
Throughout your journey its important to constantly evaluate your progress and make adjustments as needed. Evaluation is a way to hold yourself accountable, maintain momentum towards your goals, and measure your success. Do it!
I hope these tips help you kickstart your year of growth and prosperity off right! One of my major goals this year is to release 4 e-workbooks on raisedonramen.com, designed to coach you through the process of reaching your goals, developing a healthy lifestyle, and becoming a boss babe in your field. The first e-workbook will be released in Feb. 2018. Subscribe to get the inside scoop when its released!