Welcome to my first post for 2014. I love the New Year because it signifies a new season and another opportunity to make a difference in my life and the lives of others. Today I want to look at how purposeful you’re approaching the year ahead.
At the beginning of a new year many people make personal promises and resolutions about the life goals they want to reach. They promise themselves that they’ll dramatically lose weight, take a stab at a new career or business idea, improve their company sales, become more appreciative, become a better parent, spouse or friend and many other life changes. Although these initial projections are a great place to start, unfortunately the statistics show that at least 74% of people keep their New Year Resolutions for the first week but after 6 months that number drops dramatically to 46% or less.
This proves that even with the best of intentions, for any life change to become habitual it must be accompanied by a number of practical and purposeful actions. Being purposeful about where you want to go or what you want to achieve in life is the only way to truly see any tangible results.
Mindset Change – Whether you call it a changed mindset, paradigm shift or change of belief system. There must renewal in your mind before there’s a change in your behaviour. The battle many people have to lose weight is a perfect example. Years ago when I first joined my first gym, I distinctly remember the long line at the membership payment desk at the beginning of the year. I dreaded the heaving car park and the fact that you needed to get to the aerobics classes at least half of an hour before the class started to get a decent spot.
Come the middle of March, you could take a casual stroll, have a coffee and do a bit of shopping and still get in the front row for aerobics because by that time the numbers would have dropped off so dramatically. It was evident that for many of the members that had dropped out after 3 months, the practice of healthy living had not yet touched their mind centre so that health and fitness could become a lifestyle.
Habitual Change – There are certain things we do habitually that deter us from seeing growth and significant change in our lives. Sometimes just the act of doing something differently, hanging out with a different crowd or moving to a new environment can make all the difference. I remember many, many years ago my first attempt to give up smoking. I knew what I wanted to do and I even gave myself a timeframe to do it. What I hadn’t spent so much time thinking about was how I was going to cope with so many other people smoking around me.
I had to make some drastic changes to my environment and stop hanging around the smokers at break and lunch times. I had to monitor my environment at all times and make sure I wasn’t setting myself up to fall off the wagon. I also had to ditch my then unhealthy lifestyle and adopt a lifestyle that was much more spiritually and physically beneficial. All of these quite drastic changes over time ensured I was able to quit the habit and keep it that way for over 26 years.
Purposeful Change – Being purposeful about your goals is key to actually achieving them. Those extra Christmas pounds are not just going to fall off on their own. Your bank account will not just start growing unless you adjust your spending. Although the new exercise bike you bought for Christmas looks great in the living room, you’re going to have to get on it and set a schedule for working out before you see any results. There’s a single-mindedness and determination that must accompany your new year goals and resolutions otherwise they’ll just remain as pipe dreams.
So how do you make your goals a bit more purposeful?
- Make sure the goal is really something you want to do and not someone else’s pipe dream
- Set the goals with objectives that are (SMART) Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Sensitive. This is a practice that when followed really works
- Resolve your level of willingness to make the necessary changes and sacrifices needed for your goals to become a reality. Our goals and dreams come with a price so make sure you’re willing to pay it
- Make sure your goals are compelling enough for you to still be excited about them in a few months down the road and years to come
- Define what some of the barriers may be to reaching your goal and how you will overcome them
- Decide if your goal is going to involve others and get agreement from them on how much involvement and support they’re willing to give
- Prepare yourself for setbacks and failure. They will happen because life is not linear! These are both vital ingredients to goal setting
- Along the path toward your goal, measure your level of satisfaction. Boredom, frustration and bewilderment are sure signs that the goal is no longer fun or engaging
- Remember that the goal is not the ultimate. It’s who you are becoming on your way to reach it that’s important!
This list is not all encompassing but it’s definitely helped me move toward my goals and dreams with a whole lot more purpose.
I’d love to hear from you on some of the ways you plan to make your goals more purposeful this year, so feel free to drop me a line here. Your comments are always a great way to help others that may be reading this post.
Thanks for dropping by!