Have you sat down at the beginning of this year and make a list of things you want to achieve or change about yourself and your life? Do you perhaps call these New Year’s Resolutions? What happens next? What will be the outcome, some six months later?
For 87% of people, not much. If the resolution was about a change in behaviour or addition change then it may have lasted into late February. For 10% of people the resolution may have got this far in a watered down form or perhaps has just been forgotten. 3% are still in there and are reaping the rewards. What does it all mean?
A New Year’s Resolution is nothing more that a New Year’s Confession (“I confess I’ve got to lose weight”, “I confess I’ve got to stop smoking” etc). Now confessions are great as a first step towards setting goals but on their own they are useless and will never be achieved. The 10% who did fairly well turned them into goals (“I will lose two stone by April”, “I will cut down and the stop smoking by Easter”) so at least there was something to aim for – a goal.
We all know about goals, we all understand them. If they forget to put the goals on the football pitch at the new Wembley stadium what will the score be on the all the games played there? Nil-nil. We get the concept of goals so what goes wrong? What’s going on?
It’s because there are rules to setting goals. The first one is very simple, it’s what 3% of us did this year and that was to write the goal down. Simply doing that dramatically increases the likelihood of the goal being successful. But it needs to be written down in the right way, in the present tense and positive (“I weigh ten stone”, “I am a non-smoker”) as that is the only way to programme the subconscious. (An even better way would be “I am delighted with my consistent weight of ten stone”, “I live a vibrant, healthy life everyday”.)
The other thing you need to do to achieve your goals is to passionately believe you need the outcome. This is because your subconscious mind just won’t bother helping you to finding a way of getting it if it’s not that important. It’ll be concentrating on making sure you’re stocked up with chocolate and cigarettes as it’s going to be still convinced that’s what you need. You have to be busting for them for your subconscious to throw out the old rules and motivate you to get them.
If you needed to visit the toilet in the middle of the night, your subconscious will (hopefully) wake you up before something unpleasant happens. If you need a salary of £50k a year, and convince yourself that’s what you need, your subconscious will wake you up to do something about it and a way will be found. Have you ever tapped your head on the pillow six times before going to sleep to programme yourself to wake up at 6am without an alarm clock? If not, try it.
This is programming the subconscious to act as your own personal coach, egging you on, finding ways to overcome problems to reach your real goals. Without it, you’ll always fall at the very first hurdle.
If we don’t plant what we want in the garden of life – it’s soon going to be overrun with weeds. Or put another way – if you don’t set goals you’re at the mercy of someone who does.
Plan to succeed. Prepare to succeed. Expect to succeed. Demand to succeed. And most important of all do it NOW! Don’t wait until next year’s 1st January to see how far behind you are! Goals are for life, not just for Christmas.