Did you make New Years Resolutions this year? How is that going so far? Personally, I don’t like resolutions because they typically don’t last. We have great intentions, but for one reason or another, we don’t stick with our changes long term. Most people break their resolutions after 2 weeks.
However, I’m a big believer in setting goals and well-defined intentions. Change is healthy and necessary, and the fast-paced world in which we live is constantly changing. If we fail to adapt and commit to change, then we will fail to thrive in life.
If you sit down and reflect honestly, you will probably observe that change is the only constant thing in our lives. It is imperative that we learn to adapt and commit to change. Here are a few ways to help you set your intentions and achieve goals that last.
1: Define your commitment
The first thing you want to do is define what type of change you want to commit to. If you don’t know exactly what you are committing to, then you’ll be wondering around aimlessly not knowing if you’ve made any progress. Be clear and be honest while defining your commitment. Make a plan by defining why you are doing this and how are you going to do this. You can even use a notebook for this purpose.
Let’s use the example of health. If you don’t like the condition your body is currently in, you might decide to change it. You must define why are you doing this; be as clear, honest and detailed as you can. Then draft a plan regarding the methods you are going to practice to achieve this, such as improving your eating habits and increasing your physical activity.
This will make you aware of what you are actually committing to and prepare yourself for the work ahead.
2: Define your WHY
It’s great to set goals and get clear on what you want to accomplish. But you will likely fail every time if you don’t have a strong WHY behind your commitment. Your WHY is what keeps you going when things get tough. It keeps you from giving up. It helps you push through the discomfort.
Define your commitment but then define your why. Your why will probably be very emotional. It may make you cry, it may make you feel really excited as you envision your life after you’ve accomplished your goal. Search deep down and really uncover why you want to make this commitment.
3: Deconstruct your goal
The next thing you need to do is make a plan for how you will go about achieving your goal. I find it’s most effective to work backwards. Start with your end goal, the thing you are committing to. Then break it down into bite-size action steps that are needed to achieve it.
For example, let’s say you want to commit to writing a book in 90 days. That’s a great goal but it may also seem very overwhelming. To make it more manageable and to have clarity on what is needed each day to achieve this, you want to break it down by month, week, and daily tasks.
Let’s say you anticipate your book to be 40,000 words. To get your book finished in 90 days, you’ll need to write about 13,300 words per month, 3,300 words per week, and 444 words per day. 40,000 words sounds like a lot, but 444 words per day is so doable!
4: Take Action and Implement
In order to achieve your goal, you must take action. It’s easy to get caught up in the planning and preparation but fail to implement. This is usually a result of fear getting in the way. You can say all day long that you want to commit to change without participating in the effort. That does you no good and it causes you to doubt yourself. Commitment is an obligation that you cannot fulfil if you do not fully engage with it.
You can do this new thing part-time or full-time, but you can’t do it sometimes. It doesn’t work that way. You must completely invest yourself in what the change requires. I encourage you to time block and set times each day that you will focus on implementing your goal.
5: Be persistent and consistent
Commitment requires persistence and consistency. You can’t quit because you are finding it hard to adapt to change or if the change is not immediately working out for you. That is not how it is done. To acquire great results from the change, you have to practice persistence. My business partner always says, “You can quit but not on a good day.” I love this because you’ll never quit on a good day. It’s the tough days where we want to give up, but don’t allow yourself that option. Take it one day at a time and be consistent with your efforts. If you feel fear creeping in and holding you back, lean into the fear and do it scared.
6: Refresh your motivations
Motivation is not permanent; it requires revisiting and refreshing. Go back to your notebook where you defined your commitments and your WHY. Re-read those reasons and plans that you wrote down while you were defining your commitments when you were powerfully motivated. This will reignite that spark. If your motivations have changed, draft your plan again and add some new reasons to the list.
Committing to change—any change—is significant and can be daunting. Take some “baby steps” with these tips to get started, and remember that slow and steady wins the race.
Did you set goals or resolutions this year? Please share the steps you’re taking to accomplish them!