5 Steps to Inspired Goals That Stick

There is an excitement of new beginnings in the air this time of year.  September rings in a transition to a new season and the beginning of a new school year.  It’s also the start to a new year of my life on this planet (otherwise known as my birthday), so I’ve always felt a little extra sparkle this time of year.  But if you’ve ever perused the September issue of Vogue or partaken in Fantasy Football, you’ll agree this month is significant.

With new beginnings, often come new commitments.  How many times have you started off the New Year with a resolution to finally lose the weight, start eating salads, and make it to the gym five days a week?  This time of year, we often think we’ll start new healthy habits once we’re back in the Fall routine before the holiday madness begins.  Then, pretty soon your coworkers position their bags of Halloween candy directly in your route to your desk.  And, when we set our clocks back, leaving work when it’s dark out may make you want to skip your spinning class, order a pizza and catch up on your favorite TV shows.  Sound familiar??

I had a similar experience on my 30th birthday.  I was brilliantly inspired to create a list of 30 things I wanted to accomplish in my 30th year.  It was going to fuel my transition into my fourth decade and I was going to finally fulfill so many little projects, curiosities, and goals that I had for myself.  It sounds great, right??  Well, there was one problem.  I never got around to creating the list, let alone follow through on all the things I hoped to put on it.  So, my inspired moment turned into just that … a moment of inspiration that never really turned into anything and the year passed.

I see this all the time with my clients, friends, and family.  They’ll share with me an exciting goal that they really want to take on and then it’s as if that intention vanishes as they move into their flurry of responsibilities, appointments, and long days.  Sure, they’ll think about it from time to time, but the thought never really translates to action.

In my work, I’ve found that there are 5 steps to putting an inspired goal into action.  But, before I share these tidbits with you, I ask that you first think of something you really want to do for yourself.  A juicy goal that you want so badly, but haven’t been able to move forward on.  Hold that in your mind, and let’s begin …

The 5 Steps To Creating Inspired Goals that Stick

1) Make It Tangible. Intentions, thoughts, commitments, lofty as they may be are fleeting.  You have up to 60,000 thoughts per day – so how can you expect yourself to remember a single one of them!  Putting your goals on paper is essential.  Create a list, make a vision board, or draw a picture.  Writing down your goal makes it clear, defined, and real.  Whatever you do, be as specific as possible (you want to fit into your favorite dress comfortably and look fabulous vs losing weight) and create something that will inspire you when you see it.  While a doodle on a restaurant napkin is better than nothing, you’ll get extra credit for creating something that you’ll enjoy looking at regularly.  Then post it someplace where you’ll see it at least 3 times per day.  On your front door, bathroom mirror, next to your computer, you get the idea.

2) Envision Your Vision. Your mind is powerful beyond measure, but you have to use it to your advantage.  Creating a laser-focused vision means that you can imagine yourself stepping into your future goal.  What will you be doing?  What will it look like, smell like, and taste like?  How will you feel?  What will other people say to you?  When I’m coaching clients and they shift from having a cloudy general goal to a specific juicy vision, it’s as if big bright light bulbs go on!  By imagining yourself accomplishing your goal, you subconsciously believe it is possible.  Your brain cells turn on their internal radar system to guide you towards your goal.  A mind is a terrible thing to waste!

3) Take the First Step (or Leap!).
Once you are clear about your goal, you’ll want to start the ball rolling in the right direction.  You’ll often experience the most resistance when it comes to taking the first step.  It’s Newton’s First Law of Motion – an object at rest will stay at rest until it is acted upon by an external force.  So, now is the time to use some force and take a step towards your goal.  If you begin to get that uncomfortable uneasy sensation in your belly (can I really do this? who am I to do this?), then you’re on the right track! Enlist some external support from an expert to get you off the launching pad with some momentum, while having the comfort of someone holding your hand.  Now’s the time to book your ticket to Paris, sign up for those guitar lessons, or hire a coach.  If you’re shaking in your boots at the thought of this, then think of the next best step … make an appointment with a travel agent, ask your rock band buddy for a casual lesson, or reach out to a coach for an intro session.

4)  Get Backers.
Ok, now that you have the vision and are in motion, you need your backers.  These are the people who will hold you accountable, celebrate your accomplishments, and lend an ear when you’re wondering what you got yourself into.  The founders of visionary companies like Facebook and Google immediately got financial backers to support their grand ideas.  If they thought about cutting loose, they had other people to report to that would keep them on track.  This can be as simple as telling people what you’re up to — an email to your family, a conversation with your best friends, or a simple Facebook post.  Let the people who matter know what you’re up to, and something funny will happen … you’ll actually follow through.  It’s amazing what we’ll do to save face, so use that to your advantage.

5) Create Checks and Balances. You may have heard a common saying “The best laid plans often go awry.”  While it’s true that there will be unexpected twists and turns as your plans unfold, creating a system to keep you on track is key so that when you get off course you can get back on before it’s too late.  This might mean scheduling regular times to review your plan, adding milestones, or creating a system to get you there.  For instance, if you’re you’re working on a savings plan, you’ll want to review your bank statements monthly or set up an automatic transfer to your savings account.  If you’re wanting to get to bed earlier each night, create a little log by your bedside to note the times you’re hitting the sack every night for a few weeks.

So, this year I’m taking some of my own advice.  I’ve created my “31 for 31″ List and hung it next to my computer.  All of a sudden, it felt like all these good ideas floating around in my head became real and I knew that without a doubt I’d accomplish everything on the list.  I’ve already begun daydreaming about a potential move (#2), traveling to Italy (#19), and what I’ll wear to dance class (#31).  I’ve ordered The Alchemist from the bookstore (#16) and Gone With The Wind (#15) is on in my Netflix queue.  And, after mentioning this to my hubby, my mom, and a friend, I’m now sharing it with all of you!  I’ve scheduled a review on the last day of each month, so I can see how many “checks” I have on my list and can put plans in place for the next month.  I’ve got a year full of awesomeness ahead and it’s exciting to think that each of these experiences will open up a new set of dreams and desires that I can’t even begin to fathom while this list of 31 things is occupying space.  You’ll likely hear more about this journey along the way, and thank you in advance for backing me up!

If you’re ready to create a game plan for inspired action towards releasing the extra weight that’s bogging you down and stepping into a body that represents who you you really are, then register for a Weight Release Discovery Session to get clear about what’s holding you back and simple shifts that get you to your ideal weight naturally, without dieting.  Click here to learn more and register.

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