This is it! Only a couple of days until the new year.
In years past, I would frantically set goals for the next twelve months…soaking in the optimism and excitement that saturates this time of year. I would set unbelievably exhilarating goals…and peter out around mid-February, once the inspiration and motivation waned.
More recently, I have begun to take a different approach to my “New Year Resolution” frenzy. To avoid the first quarter drop-off, I realized that I had to systemize my goal setting process…beginning with my mindset.
Mindset is just what it implies; it’s how the mind is set. When I say “mindset,” I am referring to the thinking AND believing that fuels action. My mind (and yours) is not set by thoughts alone. It is the sum of thoughts plus beliefs that reveal a mindset. This revelation is not very easy to unearth. It requires some excavation because we are not always conscious of our thoughts, let alone our beliefs.
To shift my mindset, I had to do some digging. I first examined my thoughts and the beliefs behind them; evaluated them to be sure they aligned with who I want to be, what I want to accomplish; and intentionally designed my truth and path.
Back in late October, I’d begun to think about 2018 and what I want to accomplish both personally and professionally. I started writing down my ideas as the inspiration would hit me. When I would go back to my list, to apply practical timelines and action items, I found myself watering down those goals. It became a cycle. Inspiration-Proclamation-Dilution.
I HAD to deal with this…
I asked myself, “What do I believe about my ability/capacity for growth? Am I afraid of failing…or succeeding? What if I don’t know some things at the start? Would that stop the process? What if I don’t know what I don’t know? What if I lose myself and my ‘why’ in the process? What if I lose my focus in the process? What if I am aiming too high or too broadly?”
Just by taking a closer look at these questions, gave me a glimpse of the “not-enough” beliefs that were poisoning my faith system. That part of me that I don’t want to admit is there. Once I saw, really saw, it, I didn’t sweep it under the rug with refrigerator magnet clichés. (If you believe, you can achieve…yada-yada-yada).
Instead, I judged those beliefs.
I rebuked myself, “These ideas and the beliefs behind them are not in alignment with who I know myself to be and what I believe I am called to do. I have a storehouse of gifts to give the world. My heart is authentically for people. I love to serve and elevate others. When I operate from that place, things just happen. WhatEVER and whoEVER I need appears. What I don’t know is made clear…or not. But that doesn’t stop the process. I have been created to be a co-creator in this world. My contribution matters. It’s bigger than analytics or stats. When I come from this place of authenticity, I always knock it out of the park. So, I need to step up to the plate, and keep swinging!”
Wow! I am reignited just recounting those statements for you! It’s important to judge and refashion negative ideas that threaten to suppress our gifts.
Next, my little pep talk needed legs to go somewhere…i.e. action items. That’s where setting my intention and designing my truth practically took center stage. (My fav part)
I listed my goal (what), became clear on its purpose (why), added steps to accomplishing it (how), and gave it a due date (by when). This is my Ideal. I reminded myself that “ideal” means perfection and it’s attained when every variable is aligned to my benefit. I don’t know about you, but that is not the norm of my life. There are always unexpected situations to grapple with and setbacks to address. Therefore, I hold expectations loosely and adjust when necessary.
I choose to focus on building behavioral habits that support my ideal. One of my goals in the coming year is to lose some weight…like every other person! LOL. But seriously…it is. I have always been relatively active…playing sports when I was younger, etc. The last couple of years, this year particularly, some circumstances have hindered my active lifestyle. (FYI-I traced some of that inactivity back to my beliefs about exercise and weight loss. I believed exercise was what I did to feel good, not to lose weight. Any other focus took the fun out of it for me.) However, when I connected my goal (weight loss) to the daily habit of exercise (to feel good), I began to see where success would emerge. I applied this planning method to every goal, where possible.
Finally, in my design process, I made a commitment to being kind and compassionate with myself. This speaks to the emotional part of goal pursuit. Often, we beat ourselves up for not getting all the boxes checked or for making similar mistakes repeatedly. That approach does not yield healthy emotional results. It sends messages to our subconscious about our value. Therefore, negatively tainting our beliefs. Ultimately, that influences our thoughts and how high we set the bar for ourselves. (Another vicious cycle, broken by consciously dealing with disappointment & shortcomings.) I will make errors in 2018. But I cannot get caught up in them. They are just part of the process.
I set some BHAGs for this coming year, and they scare me BIG TIME. However, I know as I tweak my thoughts and beliefs (mindset) through my system of examination, evaluation, and intentional design, I know I will enjoy the fruits of a successful year of growth.
Won’t you join me?
Until next time…Happy New Year!