One of the biggest challenges of achieving our goals is being able to stay focused long enough to see results.
Most of us feel excited and motivated when we first set our goals, and that feeling can carry us along for several days, or even weeks. But then, what happens? We begin to lose momentum. We get scattered, we procrastinate, we lose the fire that once fueled our dreams.
And we stop working so hard for what we want, even if we still want it.
There can be many reasons for our waning interest, such as not seeing visible progress as quickly as we’d like, so we begin to feel that our efforts are a waste of time. Or we lose sight of what we were working so hard for. Or we feel confused about the steps we need to take to make our dream a reality.
Since this is a common problem for many people, I’m going to offer some helpful tips to re-fuel your fire:
1) Be clear about what you want.
When we first set our goals, we know exactly what we want. We have a clear picture of the outcome in our minds, and we usually know exactly how to make it happen. But once the initial excitement wears off, we might lose that clear vision and get confused.
We start thinking that maybe that goal isn’t achievable after all, and maybe we should aim for something smaller, or change course altogether. To stop this from happening, write out your goal in minute detail!
Write about the ways it will improve your life and make you feel more fulfilled. Then make sure to read this description every single day. Even more than once a day, if you need to. Keep that vision STRONG in your mind.
2) Be clear about why you want it.
The subconscious mind can be sneaky with the messages it sends us, and we might think we want something, when in fact we really want something else entirely. How can we tell what is going on beneath the surface?
An excellent way to gain insight on this is to write out the question, “I want (insert your goal) because it will . . .,” and write exactly what it will do for you. How it will make you feel. And then keep following up with questions that go deeper into what you really want.
For example, let’s say I wanted to lose 20 pounds. I would write, “I want to lose 20 pounds because it will make me feel better about myself.”
Following that answer, my next question would be, “Why do I want to feel better about myself?” So I would write, “I want to feel better about myself because I will be a happier person.”
Ah, so my TRUE goal is to be a happier person. Can I do that without losing 20 pounds? Of course. But the key isn’t to talk ourselves out of our goals, it’s to understand what our TRUE goals really are. Because once we understand what we really want, we will be much more focused in our efforts to achieve it.
3) Set a plan of action.
How do we get to where we want to be? By defining the action steps that will get us there. This part is actually really simple. Most of us are great at planning, but not so great at taking the actions! 😉 But I do want to point out one thing here.
Remember Step #2 above, my goal is to lose 20 pounds, but it’s also to be a happier person. How can I do those things? Obviously, eating a balanced diet and exercising will help me shed the 20 pounds, but I also need to work on my mental and emotional state on a daily basis, in order to become a happier person. Just losing 20 pounds will not automatically make me a happier person.
So included in my action steps should be positive thinking techniques that will make me feel happier, such as affirmations, meditation, positive self-talk, etc. Our action steps need to be VERY detailed. In fact, with most goals, we can come up with daily action steps, weekly action steps, and monthly action steps that will keep us on the right track. Think about the outcome you’re trying to create, and then think about each step you will need to make it a reality.
4) Organize, review, re-organize again, and repeat.
One mistake many of us make is that we set our plans and call it good. But plans need to be revised every so often to keep them fresh and relevant.
Once you have your action plan set, perform a DAILY review of it to be sure you are still working toward your goals, and that your goals haven’t changed since you first made your plans.
Remember that our lives are not stagnant; they are always shifting and changing, as are we. So make it a daily practice to review, re-organize (if necessary), and you will be sure you are always moving forward decisively. You can do this first thing in the morning before you start your day, or in the evening before you retire so you are clear about your plans for the following day.
5) Act like it’s already your reality.
Finally, one of the most powerful things we can do is to act like we already have what we are trying to create. Using the example above, I would act like I weighed 20 pounds less, and I would act like I was already happy. Yes, this can be challenging to do, especially when your eyes are telling you an opposite “truth.”
But remember that the creation process begins in the MIND. If your mind is constantly telling you that you’re fat and unhappy, guess what happens? You will believe it. If, on the other hand, you keep telling yourself that you are fit and happy, you will begin to really feel that way, and you will begin to attract that result to yourself. It takes time though.
Remember that your circumstances today are a direct result of your past thoughts and beliefs, which direct your actions, which creates a certain result. If you start thinking and acting in a different way today, you will create different results tomorrow.
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