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New Year Resolutions Count Down: 3 weeks to go
December 13, 2010
3 weeks to go
How did you go?
Last week I asked you to think about yourself on your death bed, and how do you want your life to be remembered? How do you want YOU to be remembered? What achievements do you want to have achieved? And more importantly, think about what makes you happy. When are you at your happiest and what are you doing? What is your passion?
These are all critically important questions because, coming up to the New Year Resolution show-down of 1 January, you need to realise that fewer than 10% of people who set New Year Resolutions actually achieve them. Why? Because they don’t know what they really want, that’s why.
So please, don’t fall into the same trap.
But New Year Resolutions can be successful, as long as you make them the right way. And the right way is to make sure your Resolutions are in sync with what you really want – perhaps subconsciously – from your life.
And you need to consider all parts of your life. Goals are traditionally focussed on health and weight, finances and career. But you also have dreams and aspirations about family life, social life and maybe even spiritual matters – so you should also have goals in these areas, to keep a balanced approach.
As well as the ‘death-bed’ approach, a good way to work out what you really want is to close your eyes (don’t do this when you’re driving) visualise yourself in your perfect life. You probably want to visualise a few different scenarios – you at work, you at home with the family, you in a social setting, and so on.
For each scenario you visualise, write down a detailed description of what you see (or record via Dictaphone) – What are you doing? How are you behaving? How do you feel? What are you wearing and what do you look like? What are the people around you doing and who are they? What do they think of you? And so on…
Once you’ve written this all down, read it back to yourself and imagine if this was REALLY your life – it should make you feel happy and maybe even a little excited about the prospect of living your dream.
So if this is a visualisation of your perfect life, then your goals need to reflect how to achieve it.
Now, what does your life look like now, and how does this compare with your dream life? Looking at the gap between where you are now and where you want to be can help you identify the goals you really should be setting for yourself.
It’s also important to reflect on your life as it stands and ask yourself, when are you at your happiest? What do you really love about your life? And, what makes you the saddest about your life?
The answers to these questions may also be able to help… but a word of warning: Most goals that are set in response to something negative, are difficult if not impossible to achieve as it’s very hard to develop enthusiasm and momentum from a negative emotion. It is always easier to move toward something positive, rather than away from something negative.
For example, how can you get excited about losing weight, because it requires deprivation of food that probably gives you great pleasure currently, and the discomfort of exercise. It's a negative response to a negative emotion about your self image and health. Studies show that people who succeed at losing weight and maintaining weight loss have usually been motivated by a dream much bigger and more positive than just losing weight. They see themselves living a healthy lifestyle, or perhaps they see a positive physical achievement such as climbing a Mountain. And they start to act and think like people who are in good health. In this case, there is more of a deep-seated change in the person's thinking and actions than you see with most resolutions. And it wouldn't be possible to make and maintain such a radical change unless the person is motivated by a big dream that is positive in nature.
Similarly, how can you get motivated about a goal that someone else tells you to do? In reality, you can only be truly inspired by the things that YOU are passionate about. And it is in these areas of personal passion that you’ll have the greatest success in setting and achieving your goals.
So, there’s some food for thought. Make a commitment this week to determine what you really want from life – discuss it with your partner or someone else important in your life, get excited about what the future can bring and maybe even get a little scared by the big dreams your dreaming.
Next week we’ll start to look at HOW you can change your mindset, and get you heading in the right direction towards your dream life.
If you need some help getting all your thoughts down, Mind Mapping is an excellent tool to untangle all your thoughts and get them on paper.
Here is a FREE E-Course on how to Mind Map – it takes longer than a week, but even the first few lessons will give you enough of an idea on how to apply it to this exercise.
And don’t forget, you can try one or more of the following FREE resources to help you on your journey:
So until next week, happy thoughts and dreams. Let’s see if we can help you achieve them.
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