Did you set a resolution for the year? Are you confident that you will achieve it? If not, you are definitely not alone. I have set resolutions for many years and – not much happened. I got frustrated and disillusioned, because I could not seem to move ahead. But luckily I was persistent enough to discover the three mistakes that held me back and how to move around them.
Mistake #1: My heart was not in it, but I committed to it.
Often when we set goals, we think about what other people want us to do or to be. The problem is that if you decide to do something, because other people tell you so, you are very likely to quit once it gets hard. Or if you do accomplish it and you realize that this is not the life you want, will you be satisfied? Would you really want to become what other people want you to be? Or wouldn’t you rather become more of who you truly are?
Solution #1: The Airport Test
Because we can be easily pulled away into a thousand directions by outside distractions it can be hard to see what we want. Luckily there is a very effective tool, we can use to identify what we want. I discovered it in Pat Flynn’s book “Will It Fly?” and he calls it “The Airport Test”:
Let’s say you’ve climbed into a DeLorean time machine and zapped yourself five years into the future. You find yourself at the airport. As you sit in the terminal, waiting for your next flight, you feel someone tap your shoulder. You turn around and your face immediately breaks into a huge smile as you recognize an old friend from school. Your friend exclaims, “I thought that was you! It’s been too long since we’ve connected!”
“Yes,” you agree whole-heartedly. “I’ve missed you!”
With some time to kill before each of your flights, you both decide to catch up over a cup of coffee. As you settle into a table, your friend asks you, “So how’s everything going? How is life treating you these days?”
You respond with, “AMAZING! Life couldn’t get any better.” And you really mean it.
Now her comes the key question:
What’s happening in your life five years from now that makes you respond like this?
Now take a sheet of paper, fold it two times. Write about four areas of your life that are most important to you: for example family, professional, finances, health.
There area a lot of things that I have written down there, what came out as a recurring theme was that I want to build teaching and exploring into a lifestyle.
Mistake #2: I did not know how set an effective goal.
When I started out with setting New Year’s Resolutions it did not know how to set effective goals. I just had a vague idea or feeling of what I wanted to accomplish. But nothing specific I could work towards. I had a look at a couple of goal-setting techniques and honestly speaking, it took me two to three years to find one that work for me and to learn to set and accomplish meaningful goals.
Solution #2: Best-Year-Ever Goals-Setting Process
The best solution for setting effective and meaningful goals is Michael Hyatt’s Best-Year-Ever-Process
It helps you set goals that are right for where you are right now in your life and to identify and connect to your key motivations which is vital to accomplishing your goals.
Here is one example:
One goal I set for Q1 2018 is:
Sell 10 copies of my “Courageous Connection” course by March 31, 2018.
And the key motivations behind it:
- I have a bigger reach and impact.
- I put my skills on the market and profit from them.
- I open another stream of income.
Mistake #3: I did not set up a support environment.
Goals have that huge power once you set them. There is an excitement when you create that vision of your future self.
But after a month, a week, or sometimes even a day, that appeal is lost. And it is difficult to keep going. This happens to all of us and it is essential to prepare for this stage.
Solution #3: Setting up your support environment.
Here are the things that I have found most helpful to keep me going when the going gets tough. It is called volitional scaffolding, you intentionally build up things that support your willpower. This is a very smart strategy if you want to crush it.
Out of sight, out of mind. Keep your goals and your motivations visible. I printed my goals and key motivations and put them in multiple places at my home where I will see them by chance. I find it very helpful to read the motivations and to imagine myself being that person. It keeps me emotionally connected to my goals.
To get going, we need vision. To keep going day after day, we need habit. Create a habit that you love and it will support you even when you would rather quit.
- Choose a nice place: Choose a place that you love and where you will not be distracted. I work in my wonderful cozy working room.
- Designate a regular time: Regular times are important for habit building, over time your bodys internal clock gets conditioned to working at that time. I schedule every morning from 7-8 a.m. for working on my goal exclusively. I work on my goal on other times as well, but this time is reserved for it exclusively.
- Select an inspiring song: The first time I read this, I thought that was stupid. Until I tried it. Music helps us make that emotional connection. Now I have a repeating alarm at 6.55 a.m. that gets me going. My current soundtrack is an instrumental version of “The Final Countdown”.
- Choose a physical item wear or use it only for that goal. It could be a piece of clothing or something you need for your goal. Choose something that you love and put it in a prominent place. It will remind you of your goal and will nudge you to work on your goal. I bought a pair of headphones to wear exclusively when I work on this goal. They look, wear and sound great, I simply love them – and they remind my of my mission.
The myth of the self-made man is really strong. But in reality, all achievements are inspired by others and often done together. It is also more fun to have somebody share the process with. Find a peer group who is working on a similar goal and share your struggles and challenges with them. They will cheer you on and help you to pivot when you feel stuck. I have a small mastermind group where we talk about our goals and it has made a massive impact on my progress.
Find someone who has done it before you and learn from them. I have found guidance in books, people I have talked to, coaches and online course. For my goal, I signed up for an online course that teaches how to build an online course that delivers tremendous value to the students.
It has two major benefits:
- The course shows a very clear process I can follow step-by-step
- It includes a private facebook group of people who have already published an online course or want to do so.
Now it is up to you…
You can achieve much more than you think is possible. No one knows the limits. Only you can show us what you got inside. Take these simple tools, implement them and crush it this year. It is absolutely possible.
What is your #1 goal this year? What tool do you want to implement first to ensure your success? Let us know in the comments below!