The start of a new year, a new job, a new career, a new relationship is always filled with possibilities… a renewed sense of energy and motivation to achieve our goals, to improve our life, to do things better or even try something new, whether it be a new way of being or a new way of doing. But more often than not, the momentum is short lived. All our good intentions fall down the drain and a few months in, we’re left with nothing to show for all the goodness we intended to create at the start. Einstein summed it up well: “Doing the same things again and again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.”
What could you do differently to break the cycle of insanity and choose goals you’ll want to stick to?
1. Ask yourself “why?”
Uncovering the real reason why we want to achieve a certain goal can help us decide whether it’s worth pursuing or not and can be a powerful force for change. Grab a pen and paper and write down your goal. Ask “why” and write down your first answer. Ask “why” again and write down the next answer. Keep asking yourself “why” until you feel you’ve arrived at something juicy, something that could be the ultimate reason why you want to achieve this goal. Now decide if this goal is right for you and if it is, hang on to this deep “why” and come back to it regularly for motivation. And if you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend you check out Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk “How great leaders inspire action”, a wonderful look into the power of “why” (although taken from an organisational lens, the same principles can be applied to your personal life).
2. Dig for the value(s)
Values are your heart’s deepest desire for how you want to behave in your life, the true inner fire driving your motivation. They’re also an important compass to help you find fulfilment in your life. Do you know what your values are? If you don’t, take some time to answer these questions: what qualities do you most admire in others? Think of a time in your life when you felt most centered and connected. What values were being engaged at this time? What qualities do you believe are most important for you to live a full and happy life? Even if you think you know what your values are, it’s worth re-assessing them regularly as they will change and evolve throughout your life. Once you’re clear on your values, then you can check whether your goal is aligned with them or not. The more alignment you can find, the higher the chances that you will stick to it.
3. Check-in with your body
So often we walk around completely disconnected from our body…although it would say a LOT to us if we’d only stop and listen! Cognitive science is now showing that our mind resides not only in our brain: our heart and our gut also play a role in shaping our thoughts and actions. They even have their own network of neurons! Fascinating, right? Before you settle on a goal, tap into your body’s wisdom: close your eyes and think about your goal. Take a moment to feel the sensations within your body. Do you feel expansive and open? Or do you feel contracted and closed up? Notice what’s going on in your body. Chances are you’ll get a “gut feeling” about what you should do next with your goal.
Try a few things and find what works for you. If you need help to clarify what you want from life and set goals you actually want to achieve, you may be ready to give Life Coaching a go. Not sure whether it’s for you? I’ve written about it here: Do you need a Life Coach? And of course, happy to chat with you anytime – get in touch HERE. I’d love to help you!
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