I always love the start of school, and not just because my kids go back to school now and life returns to some semblence of normal. (What exactly is “normal” anyway?!) But just like the new year, its the opportunity to start again. A clean slate. A new notebook without a single page written upon. The possibilities of what the year will unfold.
As my children start school one week from today, YAY!!!, we’ve started to discuss what they think this year will hold for them. What will they learn? Which teacher will they get? What subjects will be their favorites? What activities do they want to participate in? When you think about it, we’re asking them questions so they can formulate their goal. What do they want to achieve this year?
Its the same thing we should be asking ourselves. If you have school age children, the start of the school year is the perfect opportunity for you to evaluate your own goals.
“Ya, ya, ya, I hear ya.”
“Set a goal. Ok.”
“Know where I’m going. Gotcha.”
But no, that’s not it at all. Why do most people fail to achieve their goals? Why are most New Year’s Resolutions broken in the first 6 weeks of the year? Why do most exercise and diet plans fail? Its not because people don’t have a goal. Its not because they don’t know where they want to get to. And its not because they’re not talented enough, have enough willpower, have the knowledge, have the support, have the money, insert your excuse here. Its because they don’t really believe its possible.
Most people have failed at their goal before. Most people have been told that dieting doesn’t work, that they’re not good enough, that it can’t be done, etc. And after being told that enough, you start to believe it, especially if you’ve failed at your goal before.
Now, other people don’t come right out and tell you that you won’t achieve your goal. They’ll cover it up with humor, “Ya, let me know how that works out for you!” They’ll slyly sabotage your efforts, “One cupcake won’t kill you.” They list the difficulties of how it can’t be done. “Oh, I tried that and it was hard! You’ll never get a job where….” But is this the truth, or is that their own fear speaking.
Change is hard, even if its not them who is doing the changing. And setting a goal, means you’re willing to change your behaviors, change your beliefs to reach that goal. So setting the goal is the easy part, but changing the belief that you can actually ACHIEVE that goal is where the work begins, and where achieving that goal finally becomes a reality.
So here’s what you’re going to do:
1.Set a goal. Any goal. But make it something that is meaningful to you. Don’t think about how you’re going to achieve it. Just write it down.
2.Think about your goal. Close your eyes and visualize what you look like when you achieve your goal. Where are you? What are you wearing? Who are you talking to? What time of year is it? How do you feel?
3.Write a letter to yourself. Write it in the first person. Write it from the future, dated the date you’d like to achieve your goal by and write it as though you’ve achieved your goal and you want to let your present self know what lies in store for them.
4.Now post that letter where you can read it daily.
Here’s what will happen. You’ll start to believe it can happen. And you’ll start to make the changes necessary to make it happen. You’ll have the strength, courage and motivation to take the steps you need to take to make that goal a reality. Other people won’t be able to sway you or convince you other wise, because you’ve already seen the outcome, you’ve written it, you’ve felt it. And you want it to happen!
A Harvard study I read recently looked at a graduating class and asked them what they wanted to achieve after graduation. 90% were unsure of what they wanted to achieve aside from success. 8% had a goal in their mind of what they wanted to achieve. 2% had a goal in their mind and had it written down on paper or a vision board. The 90% went on to be successful and have good jobs. (They were Harvard grads afterall!) The 8% went on to be successful, have good jobs and were making 5 times what the other 90% were making. The remaining 2% were at the top of their fields, having achieved their goals and much more and were making over 10 times what the rest of their graduating class were. The only difference, they were crystal clear about what they were going to achieve. They didn’t have all the details figured out, but they knew they would be a success and no one could convince them otherwise! Sure they had setbacks at times, we all do, but they had seen their success, and so they found their path to making it happen.
And you can do the same.
So as the new school year starts, buy yourself a new notebook or bulletin board and dream up your goal. Think about it, Visualize it and Write it down! Then watch how your actions, behaviors and attitude start to change to allign you to reaching your goal.
Want some extra motivation, share your goal with me in the comments below, my Facebook group: www.facebook.com/BeYourBestPersonalTraining or on email: firstname.lastname@example.org and find additional support to help you reach your goals! Because it is POSSIBLE!