It’s January and the beginning of a New Year. A time where most of us reflect on the past and make some big ‘New Year Resolutions’ for the future.
Everybody is talking about setting your 2012 goals. It happens every year, and each time you think…. this one’s going to be different; this year is THE year I am going to [INSERT BIG GOAL HERE].
But how can this time be different if you set goals like you did last year? Failing to achieve them like every year before that.
If you do the same goal setting process year after year, you will get the same results. So if you are not seeing your New Year Resolutions come into fruition time and time again…. you need to change your tactics.
I challenge you this year to set your goals like a 7-year-old child would and watch how differently your life plays out over 2012.
1. Children are always asking WHY?
When it comes to setting goals, yes you can do the SMART process – a very popular method in business. Or if you are more spiritual, you could do the ‘set goals in the present tense’ method following the Law Of Attraction. Add feeling and emotion to an outcome such as “It is now October 5th 2012 and I feel so happy I am now earning $5,000 per week.” There are a variety of methods in which you can set your goals.
All these methods are valid and can produce results. But if you have tried and tested these strategies and you are still not reaching your goals, I have the answer for you. You don’t have a big enough WHY to add to the process.
Discover your true WHY and you will never need to ‘find’ the inspiration or motivation to work towards your goals again.
Why? I’m glad you asked.
When you discover why it is you really want to achieve your goal, it comes from within, from your heart and it becomes your driving force – a momentum which is impossible to stop, because your ‘why’ is bigger than any setbacks or challenges you may encounter on your way.
The key here is to keep asking yourself ‘why’ until you get to the core reason that drives you and it usually comes from a place of pain.
For example: your goal may be, “I want to become debt free this year”.
Get a piece of paper and ask yourself, ‘Why do I want to become debt free this year?” – “Because I don’t want to have debt tying up my income”, WHY “Because I want to provide for my family in the best way possible”, WHY “Because my family are so important to me and I would hate for anything to happen to us which would hinder our quality of life”. WHY “Because I am the provider and it’s my responsibility to take care of my family”. Bingo!
Can you see how different the motivation to achieve the goal “I want to become debt free this year” has now become, now it’s not about ‘me’ but about the responsibility to provide for my families lively-hood.
Do this process for each of your goals. Keep asking yourself why on every answer until you get to a reason, which becomes your burning desire – and you will know when you get there. It stems from your heart and it becomes the passion you need.
2. Be Optimistic. See The Wonder & Excitement In Life. Use Your Imagination.
Children are constantly surprised, engaged and curious about life. Young children love imaginative play, they be whatever they want to be with no limitations. They believe in the things, which they can’t see and love unconditionally.
A child’s innocent optimism always makes us adults smile and their open-minded approach ensures they always see the best in every situation, enjoying every moment.
As adults we hold onto past hurts, past negative experiences and failures. We avoid trying new things because of what has happened before and by doing so we become a victim of our past and see life through a jaded lens. This inhibits our ability to not only see opportunity, but also prevents us in taking action.
This year approach life from a child’s perspective and watch the magic happen as new opportunities, ideas, people and events come into your life, which assist you in reaching your goals.
When you expect things to turn out well, when you set your intent each day for what you want to be, do and have…it happens.
Move from pessimistic to optimistic thinking.
As an optimist – we no longer see just the problem, as we are already searching for the solution. We endures setbacks and still make mistakes, yet we ask, “what can I learn from this?”, “how as this served me?”. We see the learning in every challenge and appreciate all life throws at us, because this is teaches us our most valuable lessons.
Open your eyes again to the wonder of life.
See opportunity in every situation. Be grateful for what you have. Appreciate the little miracles that occur each day.
“When you change the way you see things, the things you see change” Anonymous
3. Learn. Learn. Learn.
Children are like a sponge, they take in everything around them – soaking up information and copying us adults through imitation and modelling. Learning is critical to a child and they embrace this with every part of their being.
This year, become a student again and approach your life with a child-like mind. Learn as much as you can in the area you need to. Ask others for information, resources and assistance. Find a mentor who has done what you are trying to achieve, and model them closely.
Get out there and just try, be like a child and accept you don’t know, of course you don’t know! If you did, you wouldn’t be in the situation you are in.
Understand this concept clearly and remind yourself of it daily. Everyone had to start somewhere. We are not born with all the knowledge we need, we acquire this through learning, so give yourself a break….approach what you need to learn as a child, be humble, ask for support and be totally OK with not knowing.
4. There Is No Such Thing As Failure.
What would happen when a child started to walk and fell down and that child thought “I’m a failure, I can’t do this”, then proceeded to sit there, not moving, head in hands, feeling helpless with negative self-talk bringing him/her down.
Well that would be just outrageous I hear you say. Exactly! So why do you to it?
It’s crazy to think that we behave this way as adults when as children, there was no such thing as failure and a set back did not stop us for a second. We got up and gave it another go.
As adults many of us have lost this ability to just keep trying regardless of what we see as failures. We judge and criticize ourselves before we even start, our friends and family may not help, telling us we are silly and to just stick to what we know. Somewhere along the line we have decided it’s not OK to try again if it didn’t work out the first time. We are so afraid of failure, of judgment and what others will think of us. Worse of all most of us don’t event attempt the things we desire, as to completely avoid any kind of failure at all.
Then we wonder why we are not growing as a person, experiencing a better quality of life or reaching our goals and desires.
It’s OK for you not to get it perfect the first time. The pursuit of perfection can destroy us before we have even started.
See yourself as a work in progress, just like everyone else is. You are perfect just the way you are, just as you were born and it’s through learning that you continually grow and develop.
Take imperfect action. It probably won’t work the first time, and that’s ok. Try again, but differently. Keep making those small tweaks until you reach your outcome. Never, ever give up!
5. Move Past Fear
What do children fear…monsters, the dark and creatures lurking under the bed.
What do adults fear…failure, success, taking risks, honesty, giving everything we have, rejection, abandonment, judgment, criticism and worrying what others think…(shall I go on?)
When you put it like this, it looks rather silly. After all, children are so happy! Perhaps we should take a page out of their book this year.
Swap your fears with a child and notice how differently you respond to your goals and desires.
When you need to start that blog – who cares what people think. You are being you and the message you have to share is a gift to this world.
When you go to launch that new business – yes it’s taking risks. But that’s life. Moving outside our comfort zone is one of the most empowering feelings.
Push past your fears, they aren’t going anywhere until you break through them. Step Up. Step Out. Be who you want to be.
5. Be Honest.
In my experience this is one of they biggest breakdowns of communication. People are not honest with each other….about how they feel, what they want or who they are.
Children display such innocent honesty…perhaps too honest sometimes. It’s this honesty that ensures you know exactly where you stand with a child, you know how they are feeling and what they are thinking at any moment in time.
Imagine if we all could adopt this honesty, along with the maturity we develop as an adult.
When pursuing your goals this year, be honest with yourself and with others.
Having those difficult conversations is a way to break through problems and move on to opportunities ahead. Always act with integrity in the pursuit of your dreams and in return you will develop true relationships and build solid foundations in yourself and others.
6. Be Unique.
Every child is unique in their own special way. Unique opinions, personalities and points of view. As adults we accept and embrace their special qualities and encourage them to be themselves.
Ironically, as we get older we loose this trust in ourselves. We try to become like everyone else and do not embrace our uniqueness. Act like you did as a small child and allow your uniqueness shine. Write your goals with you in mind, not what somebody else wants or expects you to do and carry them out with peace in your heart knowing you are being true to your own talents, gifts and message.
7. Live In The Present & Focus On The Moment.
Young children always live in the present. They focus on what they are doing and nothing else. They are not worried about what might happen in the future, nor are they dwelling on past concerns, mistakes or experiences.
After you have written your goals, created a strategy to achieve them and made a list of small, executable action points. Focus your attention on these action points day to day, completing each one. By living in the present, we reduce our stress and anxiety, our minds become clearer and more focused and hence carrying out the necessary steps to achieve our goals becomes easier.
The present moment is all we have; the past and the future only exist in our imagination…so why waste your time and energy on what is not real? Seems rather silly doesn’t it?
The past can only affect us when we let it. It’s completely up to you if you want to blame your past or fear your future. My word of advice is to stop sabotaging your happiness and get with the present. It’s the happiest place to be.