Now that all the hoopla of resolutions seems to have faded (and flocks of new gym members have reneged) it’s time to stop and reassess. Clearly, all the good intentions in the world mean nothing unless they result in concrete action. And clearly that action means nothing unless it’s sustained. There’s a reason we fail and a way to get ourselves closer to success.
“A ship is safe in the harbour, but that is not what ships were built for.” – Admiral Grace Hopper
Get real. Nothing in life changes until you admit there’s a problem that needs fixing. But it seems we’re good at pulling the wool over our eyes, often blaming others for our shortcomings or choosing to get distracted by frivolities in the outside world. We need to stop turning to food, sex, alcohol, drugs, work, shopping, and the internet to make us feel better. We need to stop running away from our problems and start embrace the pain.
“The follies which a man regrets most, in his life, are those which he didn’t commit when he had the opportunity.” – Helen Rowland
Get angry. This may seem like a step in the wrong direction, but anger can be a great motivator. In fact, feeling a sense of frustration and dissatisfaction with our lives is often exactly what’s needed to push us to the next level. It all comes down to the fact that everyone is driven by a combination of pleasure and pain, i.e. the proverbial carrot and stick. Focus on the pain of where you are and the pleasure of where you want to be. Decide that it’s about time you raised your standards and refused to accept mediocrity any longer. Decide that things absolutely have to change and that they absolutely have to change right now.
“There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.” – Carl Jung
Get clear. Starting with one goal at a time is the best approach to keep focused and avoid getting overwhelmed. Pick the one thing that will make the biggest difference in your life right now and in the lives of others. And make sure it’s something you can control. Spend some time thinking about why you want it and what it will do for you before blindly rushing out. Write the goal down, cut out relevant pictures, and keep it in plain sight so you see it everyday. Most importantly, always remember that it forms part of a bigger and more compelling picture. Doing so is all the motivation one needs.
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers
Get going. Anthony Robbins often talks about bridging the gap between where we are and where we want to be requiring consistent focus and consistent action. That means getting over your concerns and doing whatever it takes to achieve your goal. Yes, it’s scary, but I’d rather risk failure than guarantee regret. Set yourself up for success by surrounding yourself with the right people and a supportive environment. Then work toward your vision one step at a time. Reward even the slightest progress as you constantly strive to learn, adjust, and improve along the way.
“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavour” – Henry David Thoreau
Confucius said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Truer words could not have been spoken! Achieving goals isn’t hard if you know what you want, why you want it, and have a solid plan to get there. Ultimately, we all have a desire for growth and this desire must be satisfied. Choose a vision for your life that is meaningful and work towards that vision everyday. And remember to take it one day at a time. Wake up every morning with the conscious intention to go out and “maximise” each moment that comes your way. It really doesn’t have to be any more complex than that.