It’s not just what you do, it’s how you show up for what you do that counts.
Those of you that watch my weekly videos on my social media channels will have seen that I have been talking about goal setting and how to overcome the many pitfalls that can catch us out when we set about on a new mission for change. January is traditionally a time when we set ourselves goals for the year ahead. Lose weight, drink less, exercise more or spend less money. This is a positive move and yet how many times have our grand plans withered and died and ended up in the graveyard of dreams? This year, let’s make sure these goals hit and stick. I have a simple three stage approach that will help us all stand up in the face of goal fails and get to where we want and need to be.
1. Mindset for Success – The Dream Builder
The easy bit is setting the goal. A little self-reflection and self-awareness goes a long way when deciding what goals to set. Once we’ve set our goals it’s time to build the strategy or the plan for how we’re going to get there. We have our tactics for how we will execute our plan and go for it. At this stage be ambitious – stretch yourself to be the best you can be. Nobody does anything exceptional by being half-hearted. Set audacious goals and you’ll get big results.
But how do we stick with it and see the plan through to the end. Reaching our goals can be a slog and requires more than just desire – we need belief. I will come to that in a minute, but first we need to be aware of things that can hold us back…
2. Excusitis – The Dream Killer
Look out for this – it’ll ‘get you’ when you least expect it! “I’ll just have a slice of cake, it’s your birthday”, “One more glass as it’s Friday” or “I’ll miss my gym session today, just as a one-off because I had a late night last night”. Do these kinds of phrases pop into your mind sometimes? It happens to all of us. The problem is that too many people beat themselves before they’ve properly begun their journey.
The fact is that nobody likes to fail, so instead we create excuses. But we are only really kidding ourselves because nobody else really needs convincing or, if we are brutally honest, is probably too bothered whether you succeed or not. Don’t be fooled, your mind will protect you from the pain of failure by concocting these excuses and so we give ourselves permission to turn a blind eye. We need an antibiotic to kill the excusitis and to stand guard at the gates to the graveyard of dreams. Step forward belief!
3. Belief – The Dream Saviour
The people who are most successful in completing their plans and hitting their goals underpin the whole process with belief. You have to believe in what you are doing and not allow your mind to turn on itself and hinder your outstanding progress. If you can dig down into your belief and focus on why you are doing what you are doing, you’ll find the journey a lot less arduous and you will be surprised how much easier it is to succeed. Note I said easier not easy – to use the old quote, nothing good comes easy.
We will have times that will challenge us and when we are vulnerable. The third Monday of January has been labeled ‘Blue Monday’. There are a number of theories as to why this particular day has been labeled as such. The bills begin landing after Christmas, the days are short and we begin to feel the cracks appearing in our resolutions. I wonder, however, whether it really is a ‘thing’ or if we choose or are conditioned to make it a ‘thing’.
Without belief, we can only try and do the tasks we set ourselves. As a Headteacher, my work was underpinned by a belief in the young people and community I served. I believed that I was helping to make the difference to their lives and the community in which they lived. A sports coach will pick players because he believes they are the best. World record-breaking adventurers conquer impossible new frontiers because they believe they can do it and believe in exploring the planet to further our understanding of our environment.
When the excusitis begins to grow like a weed, use your belief to kill the weeds. Belief runs deep and will hold you firm like a tree, remember it like this:
“Be-leaf is a tree that needs deep roots”