“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 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 experience has taught me that our greatest strength in making a change come when we decide with everything that is in us that we’ve had enough. We you’re TIRED TIRED…things start to move. You skip right past goal setting, you rewrite your vision, create a plan, and you execute with all you have. Why? Because their is not other options. You don’t give doubt or fear time to creep in and take up residence because you have something to do. The only thing you have time for is time to do the work. When changing behaviors and habits that are deeply rooted, you have to fight the internal struggle in your mind. The thoughts you tell yourself… “I can’t do this”… “I’ll start again tomorrow”… “I’m too tired”. Stop giving your brain time to talk you out of it. Do it anyway. Change requires consistency. It isn’t easy, but it was worth it.
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 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 achievable tasks or strategies, 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.
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 nonsense.
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 by negative 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. People that will hold you accountable when you need it most.
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!
This is the year of growth and prosperity! Go for it all!