4 Tips to keep you focused on your goals
If you missed your chance to fulfill your goals last year, don’t let that hold you back. Here are 4 Tips to keep you focused on your goals this year. Now is a good time to renew your resolve to be better. Let bygones be bygones. No amount of worry will change the course of your future, only action will.
The psychology of a new beginning every January serves initially as a motivator so we typically set goals with all the right intentions but without always fully committing or thinking through the actions we need to execute to make those goals happen. We also forget to inject a dose of reality when setting goals so a few days, weeks or months down the road, we throw in the towel and just go back to our old ways and forget about the goals we had so solemnly set. Then comes December when the guilt of inaction comes to bite us as we approach another new year. We sink deeper into the realization that we might have just squandered our precious time with little to show for it; our own mind taunts us and reminds us of all the setbacks we could have handled differently to improve our outcome.
This revolving door is the reality of many and is some times magnified when we all of sudden are put in a situation where we look at our accomplishments and they fall short of where we thought we should be. That feeling can reel us back to an unhealthy state of mind but why let it? Instead of repeating the cycle or beating ourselves up about what we could have done differently in the past, how about just doing a few things now that will help us feel better come December this year?
Perk up and get back on track with these 4 tips to keep you focused on your goals
- Face your worries: First and foremost, you have to confront those nagging worries that are putting a sour patch to your mood. Analyze and address each worry as follows:
- Write down or speak out your worry (don’t try to do this in your head)
- Why are you worried about this issue? (State it as “I am worried about [State Worry] because [State Consequence]”)
- Is there any action you can take right this moment to improve your situation? If your answer is “Yes” then take immediate action and don’t procrastinate. If your answer is “No” then ask yourself if there is any action you can take in the foreseeable future to improve your situation and if there is, then put down your action item and execute as soon as possible. If however, the situation is hopeless and there is nothing you can do to change it then close the chapter on this worry and plan forward. No need to give yourself an ulcer on something outside of your control.
- Paint a picture of your muse: Instead of just setting goals, paint a picture of what you will like your life to be like 12 months from now. Throw in the embellishments that will get you excited. Mentally walk in those shoes and enjoy the ride for a moment. Let that picture of your ideal self come December 2015 be your muse. Think of your fitness at that time, your financial situation in 12 months, the adventures you would have lived through, your relationships, your accommodations etc. With your muse visualized, craft no more than 5 goals that if accomplished by the end of the year will get you to where you want to be.
- Let your imagination be your motivator: With your goals defined, let your resolutions be a commitment to small actions that if consistently executed will naturally morph into your goal. Once you have that all sorted out, commit to your actions and be consistent. For example, if you see yourself 10lbs lighter come December 2015, then ask yourself, what do I need to do every week to get me there. Once you have identified your recurring commitment, only focus on the actions you have to take today.
- Stay with it: Change is hardly ever easy and breaking old habits can be tough. With that said, if you want a happier you at the end of the year, then do something about it and if you start faltering, let your muse serve as a reminder of the prize that will await you in 12 months if you only do your part and stay committed to the course. All you need to do is stay true to the commitments you set today and tomorrow will be a better day.
With these 4 tips, it is my hope that even if your life is feeling dark and gloomy right now, you won’t get stuck with regret but instead focus on each step that will take you closer to your goal. Getting from today to a fulfilling December is all up to you now. The choice is all yours. Just remember that when you do nothing, you get nothing.