How many times have you started off the year with great intentions of achieving all of those things that you have always wanted to? Whether losing that excess weight you promised yourself before you filled your boots at Christmas, maybe to get a little fitter, to make a change in work or even to completely overhaul your life?
Many of us set out with good intentions and then generally fail or lose momentum by the end of January. Making use of the expensive gym membership grinds to a halt as even the ironing starts to look interesting instead of heading out the door on a dark rainy evening.
So why is it that we don’t achieve what we set out to?
The answer is really quite simple but one we don’t always fully connect with.
It’s the ‘So what?’
So what if you lose weight or go to the gym? What is it actually doing for you? What difference will it make for you and how you live your life? The truth is that unless you have a concrete reason as to why you want to achieve your goals and resolutions, then your brain will not support you in the long term to keep going.
On the surface that might sound a bit silly. Isn’t it enough to want to lose weight or get fit? It is of course, but unless you have a vision firmly in place as to what difference that will make for you, your motivation will wane. For you to be fully motivated, give your ‘unconscious’ brain that drives over 80% of your behaviour, a firm picture of what you are aiming for and concrete positive reasons for the making the change.
So if losing weight means your self-esteem and confidence will increase and it will over come a health issue great! Visualise yourself when you have lost the weight and the things that you will be able to do that you can’t now. If getting fit means that you can take part in different activities that you can’t now, if it means you will be healthier and be able to run around and do things with your children, then visualise yourself doing those things. If it means you will have a better chance of leading a longer, fulfilled life where you can partake in a range of things, then hook on to that.
If you want to make a change in your life or find a new job, then work out and visualise what that will do for you. What will that mean? Maybe it will give you more time to spend with friends and family? Put you under less pressure and stress so you can enjoy down time and relaxation.
Whatever the reason, connect with it on a deep level and the positive impact it will have for you rather than just a ‘surface’ approach of ‘I want a new job’.
When you know what you want and why, when you truly connect with the ‘so what’, then you will have the motivation to achieve.
Set your goals. Be specific as to what you will do and by when. Stretch yourself but don’t be unrealistic or you will be setting yourself up for failure. Break larger goals down into smaller chunks so you don’t get overwhelmed. When you know what it is that you are determined to achieve – tell someone about it. Research shows that if we have fessed up to a friend what we are aiming for, we have more chance of succeeding. Someone else knowing about it helps your motivation and they can also spur you on. If your motivation wanes, connect with your visualisation – your ‘so what’!
Make 2016 the year when you do achieve your resolutions. Make a deeper connection as to why you want to do the things you are choosing.
And if you are happy with everything in your life – fantastic! Maybe your resolution will be to bring a little more love, joy and happiness in to other peoples lives?