We are about half way into the first month of the New Year and even without a pandemic many by this time would may be struggling or already have given up on their New Year Resolutions or may have not even started yet. This is something that may be a bit different this year but also that many people do over and over every year or many times throughout the year. Have you ever caught yourself feeling or thinking to yourself “What’s the point, I’m just going to fail anyways?” This expectation at the beginning of trying to achieve your goal makes it very difficult to actually get there. If you have found that you struggle with reaching your goals in the past and really want to make your Goals Easier to Achieve throughout this Year especially because of the world around you, here are 8 Simple Steps to Help You.
- Give Up the Idea of Perfection.
If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that change can happen and it can happen quickly, adapting to change and allowing ourselves to take action even when the whole world may feel differently is the best perspective to moving towards your goals.
Now you may be surprised that the first step isn’t setting your actual goals. And while this is a very important step in Goal Setting, reframing your idea that the stars need to align before you begin or that you need to get to your goals perfectly is actually even more important! This gives you permission to make progress towards your goals no matter what is going on and to be able to adjust your steps accordingly to keep moving forward without giving up. Have you ever known someone who continuously starts their diets/programs on Monday? Have you noticed that by the middle of the week they give up on the diet/program and again say “I’ll start my diet/program again on Monday”? Have you done something similar yourself?
This habit comes from the all or nothing idea which is setting you up for failure and sabotage. Try being more flexible and gentle and having a contingency plan set up for times when your routine changes allowing you to easily adjust your actions all while still making progress. For example, if you plan to wake up every day at 6am to workout but know from past experiences that you usually start to want to sleep in after a couple of days into the week, have a plan so you still are active the days you need more sleep. Maybe this means doing a shorter workout later in the morning or on your lunch or after work. Perhaps you incorporate some added activity at work those days, whatever it is having a contingency plan in place gives you permission to keep going even when your routine is disrupted and actually it helps your mind and body to keep your routine fresh with variety as well.
- Set SMARTE Goals and Work Backwards.
No, that isn’t a typo. Most of us have heard of S.M.A.R.T. Goals and if you are
just hearing it now this acronym stands for Specific Measurable Attainable
Relevant Timely goals which is fantastic and also missing one very important
part, the Emotion… Why do you even want to have this goal? What does reaching this goal do for you? As human beings, we make all of our decisions based on emotions, this makes it the most important part of the actual goal setting process… The WHY.
With your SMARTE Goals you also need to see it as starting from the end of the book and working backwards, this way you aren’t blindly walking hoping to get to your goals by sure luck. You have them as your North Star and so all of the actions prior make sense and relate to the goal. You may need to jump back and forth to remind yourself of where you want to be and where you actually are in the story.
We once had a client who wanted to quit smoking so that he could buy a boat. When discussed further we found that by quitting smoking and being able to afford the boat, he would be able to take his kids on fishing trips. Seeing himself making memories with them, feeling energized, breathing easily and hearing his kids being proud of him. He could see himself happy out on the water, making memories. He used seeing and experiencing his goal in the future that was filled with emotion to help him see the steps he needed to take right away and easily quit smoking.
- Write It Down.
It’s probably something you have been told time and again and maybe you have even experienced the difference of having written out your goals versus keeping them inside your own mind only and chances are that if you have, you have noticed at least a slightly more committed feeling to the goals written.
There is something about actually writing out what you desire to achieve that can feel like a contract with yourself. Not only this, but it also allows you to review them and make them more clear. You will notice that as you are writing them down you are imagining the experience of achieving it. This helps to keep them as a focus in your mind throughout your day.
Many of our clients find writing out their goals and placing the paper in a spot that they see often helps them to make better decisions throughout their day since they are constantly reminded of what they want to achieve. Feel free to get creative, some clients find pictures of their goals to be helpful.
For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you might have a picture of you or someone from a magazine who has the body shape and size you wish to be. You could have pictures of people having fun working out and smiling to remind you to do your workouts and see it’s possible to enjoy them. Or you may have a checklist of all the actions you need to take to get you to your goal then as you complete them cross or check them off.
Some ideas of great places to post your goals either written or pictures are places like
the bathroom mirror, on the fridge, on a hallway mirror you pass frequently,
as a screensaver on their phone or around your workspace but no matter
where you choose, make sure it is somewhere you see often throughout your day.
- Make a Realistic Action Plan with Large and Small Steps.
Your action plan is like your recipe for success. Think of it this way, if you were to want to make a dish you have never made before, you will probably use a recipe. Within this recipe you will probably see a picture of the finished product (your Goal) you will also see the ingredients you will need, and the the time it should take (Your timeframe). You then have step by step what to do instructions on with your ingredients (your Action Plan). All of these parts work together to make your Goals a lot easier to achieve by having a clear plan.
Notice that some steps are bigger and some are smaller and even some may be optional. Those optional steps/ingredients may be there if you have extra time to do them.
Your action plan may need to be different depending on the day so it is important not to cut and paste your plan for each day, this will just make you frustrated and risk the possibility of giving up. In other words, make sure that you design a recipe (plan) that you have both the time and the ingredients for on that day and then focus on that recipe! Remember that you want to use steps that get you to your goal and make sense, you wouldn’t put chocolate chips in a recipe for apple pie so make sure that the steps you have fit for the bigger picture of what you want.
We once had a client who was great at working out and really enjoyed physical activity and would spend hours at the gym but she would then gorge on pizza, chips and chocolate as
a reward. This behaviour or action did not make sense for her ultimate goal so she needed a new recipe that actually got her the outcome she wanted.
- Make Note of the Challenges Before They Happen.
How many times do you start your goals off hitting the road running only to have something happen that you either didn’t expect or didn’t plan for and BAM it feels like you are back at square one and that it voided all of your progress? It happens to many of us and it can be frustrating and make you more hesitant to try again and get back on track. But what if you had a plan already in place for just those challenges? Then you could just go to the plan you have created for just those situations and simply continue moving forward.
Now, it is true that you may not be able to know every specific situation that may occur but chances are you have a good idea of the most likely challenges that have either happened in the past or others have had so start there. Imagine whatever scenarios that could come up then add them to your list. Then simply imagine and write what realistic steps you can do to keep you moving forward or at least not moving backwards during those times. It is better to be prepared for whatever may come, it will also allow you to feel that you can adjust and be flexible to any situation even if it doesn’t make the list since you will have enough options to choose from.
If you imagine your way through a challenge in the ways that make sense toward your outcome before they happen your subconscious will remember these options and make it much easier to react the way you desire, like practicing a speech before you give it or practicing for a game before you play it. Practice within your own mind and then practice in your real life.
- Be Excited to Learn.
A fantastic belief to help with any goal or change is that “There is No Failure Only Learning” If you look back to the last year or the many years of your life, there is no doubt that you can see some amazing learnings throughout your life. Now during these learnings some may have been difficult, painful even to go through but once you were on the other side of it you can probably see how the experience brought you to know even more than you did before it.
There are many times we expect to struggle and are afraid so we quit before we have even started from the fear of failing or making a mistake but what if there was no risk because no matter what happened you would either get closer to your goals or you would learn from the situation? What if the learning from the “mistake” was a big part of helping you to shift and actually get towards your goals? Wouldn’t the whole experience of even trying just be that much more enjoyable?
Now obviously, you know that if there was a serious threat physically than fear is a valid response, so you will always have that protection ability but unless you are being chased by a tiger chances are that the fear ruling your decisions are irrational. A good acronym for fear is False Evidence Appearing Real so remember that most of the scary stories we have created to keep us from taking actions towards things we want were never really real so feel free to enjoy the experience of whatever happens from that step in the direction you desire.
- T.R.A.R, T.R.A.R and T.R.A.R AGAIN!
Take Action – Do one (or more) things towards your goals. Big or small, take the step.
Review (without judgement)- Did this step get you closer to your goals? Does it need to be changed, kept or discarded?
Adjust Accordingly – If it does need to be changed or discarded, do so.
Repeat and Add the Next Step – If you kept this step keep using it and/or add the next.
- Reward Yourself.
This is the last step and one of the most important because this is where you get to literally reap the rewards of your dedication and keep you inspired to continue. Have some healthy rewards ready for when you reach each milestone, the big steps and the small that take you towards your goals. Make the rewards big and small as well to match the accomplishments.
What would make you excited and feel good? Allow these to change as needed depending on what excites you and is realistic. Perhaps it is a new outfit or going for a walk or hike somewhere you love. Perhaps it is something that is for future travels or visits or maybe it is a day dedicated to some spa like pampering for yourself. Whatever it is, remind yourself that you have earned this and that you will earn the next reward as well, easily.
That’s it. It can be as simple as you choose and you do have a choice. You can stay stuck in the cycle of frustration, disappointment and pain OR you can try something different and prove to yourself that you can accomplish what you want now (even during a pandemic) and in the future, it may not be exact or perfect but it will be a heck of a lot better than staying in the mud of excuses and fear before. It is up to you and if you need a bit of help, hypnosis is a fantastic tool that may be just what you need for a different perspective and some great tools.
Penny, a client who came for help to get to her goals says…
“The Hypnosis program has transformed my life. I no longer feel overwhelmed by hurdles. I feel empowered and in control of how I react to people and situations. Hypnosis has helped me learn to be compassionate towards myself and I have watched as internal shifts have become external changes. I am thinking in a completely new way and feel as if I am a totally different person than I was 2 months ago!”
If you would like to find out if Hypnosis can help you, give us a call Today at 226-641-0645 or visit www.kitchenerhypnosis.com to Book Your 30-40 minute Free Screening!