As a teenager I loved the idea of making New Year’s resolutions. It was fun thinking about all the things in life I would like to change. I viewed this process much like asking a fairy godmother to grant me three wishes, that somehow, just by asking, I would be granted my request.The idea of hard work and focus to bring about change did not enter my mind. I am sure my list read something like lose weight and save money. This makes me chuckle today since I was not overweight as a teen, and without a goal for saving money I was not motivated to save – what was the point?
Like many teens, I did not realize the value that personal reflection and planning had to direct my life. Over time I did give up making meaningless New Year’s resolutions in favor of setting believable, measurable, and challenging goals that would define my destiny.
Start With the End in Mind
Why do you want to achieve a particular goal? The more fully you can answer this question the more motivation you will have to achieve it. To set a financial goal that you would like to save for retirement, while being important, may not be enough to motive you. Take time to think through what you would like your retirement to look like and then research what it will take financially to make that a reality.
Pictures are powerful. Consider creating a visual storyboard of what you envision your life looking like when you achieve your goal as a way to help you stay motivated.
Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude
Many goals are defeated by negative self-talk that fuels a defeatist attitude. A positive attitude is vital for achieving your goals.
Write your goal out as though you already have achieved it using positive and motivating language. For example, “I look forward to my daily workout. It is fun! I love how I feel and how all my clothes fit.” Post this where you can read it every day. Words are powerful and how you speak about yourself and your goals will either motivate you or defeat you.
You Are Who You Hang With
Surround yourself with people who will support your goals. If your goal is to improve your food choices for better health, hanging out with those who load up on soda, fast-food, and large portion sizes may be a challenge. Find a friend who loves to work out, eat healthy, and enjoys a fit lifestyle.
Spend time with people who have mastered a goal you are working toward. Their influence and example will prove to be motivating and inspiring.
The beginning of the year is a natural time to reflect, refocus, and reframe your life. Take some time to think about what you would like your life to look like next year, in five years, and twenty years. The choices you make today will create the life you will live tomorrow. Here is to your success!
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