Let’s be honest, our commitment to our New Year’s resolutions is about as solid as our promise to “get together for coffee” with a former colleague we never liked. Unfortunately, we don’t always follow through on our plans during the year. Studies show only 12 percent of us actually keep our New Year’s Resolutions. Apparently, we are doing something wrong — over and over.
So how do we make our dreams a reality? How do we implement all of our plans? How do we move from words to actions? Where should we start?
First, to have the answers to these questions, you need to understand whether or not your chosen goal is truly a dream. Maybe it’s just the desire of your family or a temporary feeling that arose from the suggestion of well-meaning friends. But once you are clear on your dreams and goals, it’s never too late to follow through on them.
I can help you actualize your goals by taking 5 easy steps.
1. Strengthen your sense of urgency-No matter how great the goal is, you need to be motivated to start acting. However, you can’t wait for motivation to just show up. That’s why you must create the necessity for change. Take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the changes you want to make. Then think about how not acting on your plans will negatively impact your life. Write down everything on paper and don’t forget to set a deadline for achieving your dream. Having a firm date by which you commit to completing your goals will light a fire under you.
2. Take it one step at a time- If you don’t know how to fulfill your resolution right away, that’s okay! You don’t have to have a clue; usually it’s a learn-as-you-go process. The only thing you need to do is ask yourself, “How do I figure out which foot to put forward next?” You move forward one small question at a time.
3. Talk about your resolution– talk about your resolutions, to whoever will listen. One of the most effective ways to get yourself to stick with your goal is to start telling stories about it. The catch is you don’t have a story to tell unless you follow through on your ambition. Saying what you hope to accomplish “some day” gets boring, fast.But, telling people about your wins and setbacks in pursuit of a goal keeps your audience hooked. And once we have people’s interest, we don’t want to lose it.
4. Find new emotions-Perhaps, everyone has experienced this — you start to follow through on your ideas, and then you burn out. The reason for this is that you disconnect from the positive emotions that inspired you in the first place. The emotions behind the dream or goal are the fuel that propels you to take action and move forward. Without that fuel, you fizzle out. Sometimes you need to manufacture more emotional fuel to re-launch your plans.Envision the most pleasant and exciting aspects of your plans. Then write those down on a paper and stick this paper on the fridge, computer or wherever you can see it regularly. Make a colorful photo collage or dream board. Cut out pictures of your dreams, it may be a dream home, a car, a place to visit, etc.
6. Reward yourself-Every step along the way, celebrate your accomplishments. It’s hard to commit to on-going action and habit change. Remind yourself that you are doing the work necessary to create a better life and reward yourself for your efforts. List your daily actions toward your goal or habit change. Every time you take action, put a gold star on the day. This sounds remedial — but it is truly very satisfying. Think of some other small rewards you can give yourself each time you finish an action — a piece of chocolate, a 10-minute break to meditate, a walk outside. Be sure you attach positive. reinforcement to every action you achieve
Don’t hesitate, think of some motivation that will help you to move forward and begin to follow through on your plans right now.
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