Do you know what time it is?
It’s time for the New Year Resolution!
What do you want to accomplish in 2023?
Are you excited about it, knowing you have a plan?
Or do you feel some anxiety, thinking that your resolve may peter out before January ends?
Sometimes, even when you have a plan, things get in the way and your strong desire or motivation aren’t enough.
According to statistics, 43% of all people expect to give up on their new year’s resolutions before February.
I believe that there’s an art and science to creating and accomplishing a personal goal.
When creating a personal goal, you want to look at 5 components: 1) wording your goal, 2) realizing your attachments and/or aversions, and 3) letting go of the attachment and/or aversions, 4) creating a plan, and 5) implementing your plan
1) Wording Your Personal Goal
How you word your goal affects its outcome.
Here are 5 guidelines to word your goal for guaranteed success:
# 1: Phrase your goal in the NOW as though it’s already achieved, otherwise you’d be pursuing a future that never comes.
# 2: Phrase your goal in the POSITIVE. Most people phrase the problem in the goal. If I told you not to think about the red shoe, what just appeared on your mind’s screen? The red shoe! Because our mind doesn’t recognize the negative!
# 3: Start your sentence with either: I allow, I can, I have or I am and eliminate the word “want”. These verbs relate to possibilities. While the verb “want” implies that you don’t have, or you are not it yet. Would you rather be successful or would you rather want to be successful?
# 4: Be specific but not limiting. For example, “I allow myself to lose 30lbs OR MORE in the next 6 months.”
# 5: Word your goal to facilitate letting go. This means it must feel right to you. It must make your heart sing, so it motivates you to let go of what’s stopping you!
Here are some examples:
“I allow myself to easily achieve and maintain my ideal body weight,” or “I allow myself to enjoy eating foods that keep my body slender, healthy and fit.”
“I allow myself to have a radiantly healthy, relaxed and energized body and mind” or “I allow myself to enjoy being a non-smoker.”
2) Realizing Your Attachment and Aversions
I know it sounds contradictory to have an aversion to the goal we wish to achieve. But this unconscious or unresolved aversion is often the reason we can’t follow through.
One of my clients, Linda, lost 30 lbs in 4 months. She was exhilarated, and felt good and light in her body.
But then 6 months later, her old habits started creeping back up and so did the weight. When I took her through the Letting Go process (a mindfulness technique), she realized that even though she had wanted to lose the excess weight, the male attention she was getting brought back a flood of emotions related to an uncomfortable experience when she was a teenager.
Read your goal out loud and as you read, be aware of the emotions and sensations that come up for you and ask yourself what attachment or aversion you have to your goal. This helps you get the clarity you need to avoid self-sabotage.
But what about attachment? How can we want something if we’re not attached to it?
Have you ever had the experience of being so attached to someone that you were living with the fear of losing them? I think anyone who is a parent can relate to that!
But that fear, that anxiety, can create so much tension and distress and ultimately you end up losing the very thing you want to hold on to!
My client Cynthia desperately wanted to lose weight. Every time she started a diet or a workout program, she would go at it fiercely. But her excessive approach would lead to exhaustion and self-sabotage.
The reason she was so adamant about losing the weight was because of the cardio-vascular health issues that ran in her family. It scared her to die.
That underlying fear drove her to excessive dieting and exercising.
When she let go of the fear, she could finally take a more sustainable approach, and the weight melted off without the stress.
Once you realize either your attachment or aversion to your goal, the final step is to let that go.
3) Letting Go of Your Attachment and/or Aversion
“Even the most impossible becomes completely possible when you are fully released on it. And you know when you are fully released on it when you don’t give a hoot.” Lester Levenson.
Letting go is a powerful mindfulness practice which, when practiced regularly, can help you become free of the underlying mental and emotional processes that sabotage your aspirations for your life and your personal goals.
4) Creating a Plan
The next step is to create a plan.
When you create a plan, whether it is for a personal goal or for your business, you want to take into consideration 3 things:
# 1: Time. You want to make sure you allocate time to implement your plan, as well as identify how long you will need to accomplish your goal.
Not having enough time is the number 1 excuse people have for not following through their goal. Most of the time, it’s a matter of prioritizing. You want to be clear that your goal is a priority for you.
# 2: Resources. You will need to gain the tools, knowledge, trainings that will help you manifest your personal goal.
It’s important to get the right information you need.
My client Beverly spent 60 years doing diets that hooked her into a cycle of losing and gaining weight. This yoyo dieting not only affected her health but also her confidence in her ability to actually reach a healthy weight.
Once she got the right information: a personalized and sustainable approach, the weight melted off and in 2 years she lost 130lbs.
# 3: Action steps. Part of creating a plan is to know what steps to take in what order. Be clear on what you need to focus on first, then second, then third, etc. I’ve seen many people focus on detoxing to lose weight without learning first new eating habits. Detoxing is like emptying your cupboard of its junk only to put the junk back in once you’re done taking things out.
You also want to identify how many steps to take. So many people give up on their goals because they try to do too many things at the same time.
Which leads me to my 5th tip.
5) Implementing Your Plan
The one most important key that makes the difference between success or self-sabotage is…
Even the most motivated people need accountability!
You can either get an accountability partner. If you do, decide how often you will meet, what you need support with.
Or you can get a personal coach.
I recommend you get both an accountability partner and a coach, especially with your health.
You don’t want to spend the next 5, 10, 15, or 60 years experimenting with your health. It is too important and impacts all aspects of your life: your physical body and your ability to do the things you want, as well as your mental and emotional health.
A coach/mentor gives you the proven step-by-step practices and best strategies to reach your personal goal. And they also give you the support to implement with clarity, confidence and achieve optimal results.
A community or accountability partner gives you the accountability so you can keep moving forward. They share invaluable insights, and keep you inspired.
2023 could be different
As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, according to statistics, 43% of all people expect to give up on their new year’s resolutions before February.
And most people blame their failure to accomplish their resolutions on a lack of time, resources, or a loss of motivation after starting.
But here’s the thing: it is possible to make time, find the resources and stay motivated no matter what… if you have the right plan.