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There is nothing more refreshing than the opportunity of a NEW YEAR! A fresh outlook, clear mindset, new goals. As you know, goal setting is one of my favorite things to do. Update the vision board-set some lofty goals for the year to come so I feel inspired when I am at my desk.
It is always exciting to think about and do the initial work, right..? But how do we follow through and keep ourselves accountable to actually reaching our goal?
We have all done this, I used to do this. I will lose 10 pounds in January, I am going to go to the gym 7 days a week, I am going on the honey and cayenne pepper cleanse. Yes, I have done them all. Guess what, two weeks in and it really isn’t all that exciting. This time of year is somewhat frustrating to me as my workout classes are completely full (although it is great that people are taking the first step for change). It usually doesn’t last. This is the same feeling I get when I go to a conference and people are all excited about how incredible this is and how they are changing their lives forever. Unfortunately the thought in my mind is how many of them are not going to actually do the work to reach their successes. They get back home into their old environment, life sets in, the old habits and routine creep up and shortly after, you have given up on your goals usually with an excuse that you have to rationalize in your head. I get it, but what has changed for me? Although some of these concepts may sound ridiclious, they have allowed me to follow through to see my vision come to life.
First off-set ambitious goals, but they have to be realistic for you. If you set a goal that is too crazy and out of sight for your lifestyle, body, financial capabilities or values, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Create an environment that is going to support you and your goals. For me, I need to be organized in my home and work space in order to have a sense of peace and clarity to move through my days. I purge my closets, drawers, the entire house to get rid of anything and everything that is just cluttering up my life. I do some shopping, getting the things that I feel I need to support my new endeavors or that make me feel good.
Last year I invested in noise cancelling headphones- LIFE CHANGER. This year I indulged in a new espresso machine, some fun new clothes that inspire me & make me feel beautiful, a stock pile of my favorite spiritual candles that I burn daily at my desk. I also re-evaluated my daily schedule, my husband’s schedule, and our nanny schedule. My hair appointments are scheduled-for the year! I have quarterly facials scheduled, a workout schedule in place, and selected the books I am going to read in the first quarter. Now I won’t be upset when I am too late to schedule an appointment and my stylist is booked, and I have created a routine for myself that, after a few weeks, will be engrained and easy to stick to.
Write your goals down and look at them daily. I am a visual person so I write my goals. My vision board has now expanded to the entire wall in front of my desk. I see it EVERY DAY.
Break your goals down in to action steps with a execution/completion date. Get rid of your long to-do list-burn it, trash it. When we have a list of 100 things, we get lost in the details. I have used daily worksheets in the past that stress the importance of your top three priorities each day. Only three! In reality, if you want to complete your tasks mindfully and done well, three priorities is all that you can handle in a day.
In addition, I have learned to say “no.” very well. There was guilt initially when I said “no” to activities that I felt obligated to, whether work or personal. I have learned to only say “yes” to the activities that are going to move me in the direction of my goals. You can’t do it all and you can’t make everyone happy. The wonderful thing is that eventually people understand and will support and respect that without feeling “hurt.” There is nothing selfish about this, it is our life and happiness and everyone is entitled to that.
In addition, you must learn to master your mornings, whatever this means for you. Some people are early risers and others struggle with this concept that I must wake up at 5am in order to be successful. Do what works for you, but I believe morning routines are powerful. When you wake up, you have the most amount of cognitive energy. You only have so much to use within the day before your tank is empty. Focusing on your most important tasks early on in the day and tuning out the constant interruption and noise around is so important. This paired with a priming routine (personally I have a gratitude and breathing exercise that I do) and a workout to get your endorphins pumping will forever change your life.
Lastly, DO IT. You have to do it. When it is hard and you don’t want to or your are tired or whatever nonsense your mind is making up, that’s when you need to know how strong your mind is. Take control and do it.