It's now December 31, 2013 and you're looking back on your life, on your achievements throughout the year and by now you have ticked all the boxes you had blank on the first day of January — lose 10 kilos of weight and keep it off (tick), give up smoking (tick), attend church regularly with my family (tick), start my own business (tick), find a soul mate (tick), donate to charity (tick) â€¦ and the list goes on.
How do you feel having accomplished what you had set out to achieve throughout the year? Elated? Excited? Chuffed? Proud?
What does that day, the last day of December 2013 look like for you? Are you in your office looking at your list with a broad smile of satisfaction across your face? Are you at the beach? Are you with friends celebrating? Are you on holiday with your family somewhere? Are you in your study at home? Who else is with you? What colour shirt or dress are you wearing? What's the weather like? Is there music playing?
What is your energy doing having read the above? If you did imagine yourself or chose to ride with the emotions, did you feel your energy rise together with the feel-good hormones as if you're really experiencing that moment?
Or will you be like many people feeling disappointed, dejected, subdued, depressed or sad, having failed at your New Year resolutions and goals again? Or perhaps, you have no care in the world whether you get there or not because life is one big struggle for you and nothing seems to work?
As a life coach, goal setting and making your dreams come to life is the backbone of my work. I wouldn't be where I am right now had I not put into practice the principles of goal setting in my life. Goal setting itself is a large topic, but I want to share with you some simple things you can implement in your life right now so you can have a better 2013.
Here are my tips:
1) Destination: you must know where you want to arrive at even before you start and be clear about what you want. Eg. if you want to lose weight, a goal like this, "I want to lose weight" will not inspire you at all. It's not clear. Steven Covey in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People says "Begin with the end in mind".
2) Believe that you have already accomplished your goal even before starting. This is putting faith into action. It will inspire you. A great gift we each have that most are not aware of and don't know how to use to attract what they want is what's referred to as our 'sixth sense', our gift of creative imagination which puts all our 5 senses into play; sight, touch, taste, feel, hear, and the most powerful of all, our emotions. Notice, I helped you use your creative imagination in the first five paragraphs above. To put it into use again in the goal in number 1) above, it would sound something like this, "I am so excited that it's now December 31st 2013 and I am a healthy 72 kilos and feeling absolutely fabulous." It's not December 31st yet, but when you can imagine you're there already by seeing what's unseen, all the positive emotions you will feel then having accomplished your goal surface now and the more times you go into this imagination phase bringing all the feel-good emotions up, the quicker you will pull that goal towards you and you attract it faster. Powerful strategy!
3) Change something: Prepare to make changes congruent with what you're aiming for. Eg. if you want to incorporate exercise into your life, get up earlier than usual to go for a walk or to the gym. Some people want their life changed, but don't want to change anything â€¦ their habits and behaviour and the influences they allow into their life remain the same. Albert Einstein once said, "Most people continue doing the same things over and over again expecting different results. That's called insanity."
4) Right support: Find the right people to support you on your journey, those who have gone ahead of you and know more about the journey. Distance yourself from those who will hinder your desire to improve the quality of your life. They are often referred to as "dream stealers".
5) Write them down: Never underestimate the power of a written goal. Most New Year resolutions don't come to fruition because people ignore or are not aware of this crucial point. A goal starts as an idea in your head. To move it from your head to reality, you must write it down. By doing this, you are sending a message to your subconscious you're serious about your goal and you have declared it to yourself in writing (like you're writing a contract to yourself), making yourself accountable. A building didn't just appear. It started as an idea in someone's head then a plan was drawn up and builders were hired to bring that idea into life.
6) Celebrate and reward yourself for little achievements along the way instead of waiting to celebrate at the end. Your "inner child" longs for regular recognition, praise and applause. The more you give it what it wants, the more it will do for you just like with any child, making you a much happier being. It's a win for you.
* Kelera Kotobalavu is a life coach
in Sydney, Australia. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.