How to Create Goals that Keep You Inspired
As you start your New Year do you ever have trouble gaining the momentum you need to conquer goals or your “resolutions”? It probably doesn’t help when those around you (especially those closest to you) “don’t believe in” resolutions or lack the clarity, commitment or consistency to “win” themselves.
If you’re reading this than I’m sure you’re someone looking to make a change, small or big, for the better. You don’t teeter-totter much and you definitely have an idea about where you want to go. That being said, you still find it tough to overcome procrastination when you need to take action, have problems gaining momentum and consistently fail at staying consistent.
Don’t worry! It was true for me too. For years I’ve done some type of introspection the last week of the year, created goals and was confident my new year would turnout different. Wrong! I failed over & over. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I really learned what it took to make a goal, vision, and dream STICK.
Many experts will tell you to simply write down your goals and your life will change. I do believe in written goals, but it’s deeper than that. Think about it…how many times have you written down goals and still didn’t experience change, improvement or results? If you’re anything like me, I wrote down my goals for years with minimal success. That’s until I learned this one, more powerful step to high performance achievement.
This one thing made it easier to start, gain momentum and sustain success. I found it easier to de-clutter my life and create more structure, there was much less friction in finding day-to-day consistency and staying focused. And my life went from chaos to clarity with just a little extra effort.
FEEL the difference.
Your greatest tool to jumpstart success comes from feelings. We call them your innate ambitions. Innate ambitions are the feelings you experience when engaged in meaningful activities and in achieving fulfilling goals. These ambitions are the core reason why people strive for change, growth and success.
The MAGIC happens when you take your outside goals and connect them emotionally to something powerfully inspiring inside your heart, mind and spirit. Striving to achieve monumental goals often takes a lot of inspiration, confidence & energy. Innate ambitions are the emotional spark you need to stay motivated.
Think of the resolution of burning fat. We all want to look and feel better, however doing the work is not emotionally energizing. But, if you connect the goal to some emotion like how proud, accomplished and confident you’ll feel when it’s achieved it’s a totally different experience. Imagine you walk into work on the first warm spring day in your newly tailored business suit looking like daaaang! Now that’s inspiring during the times when exercise seems tough.
Without defining your innate ambitions it’s difficult to distinguish the clutter from the purposeful. When these are unclear you’ll often find yourself “juggling” several different options, but never fully committing to one. Juggling means you rarely accomplish anything because you have no compass for prioritizing decisions, toss around a variety of options and eventually miss the opportunity or make a choice that doesn’t end with the result you desire.
For example, on a dating site (yes, I tried it) you have plenty of options, choices or dates to choose from. Maybe you’ve even narrowed it down to a select few. If you’re lucky you end up choosing “the one” based on an overwhelming abundance of powerful feelings. However, the usual path goes something like this…you want to find “the one”, but the few you choose are all intelligent, all successful, all kind, all attractive, etc. etc. etc. So how do you choose if you haven’t defined your innate ambitions? You don’t…you juggle, dating (sampling) around either to end up with the wrong one or miss the one who you later realized made you feel special.
More precision, more power.
Now that you recognize the importance of innate ambitions it’s important to get started. But, where do you start? This is not just something you sit down and do in a few minutes. Doing this takes time (not too much), energy and consistent practice. The more you practice the easier it is and the more amplified your ambitions become. The more precise you are about your innate ambitions the more powerfully inspired you will be.
Although it takes awhile to gain clarity there are a few things you can start on right now. One key is to increase your conscious awareness. You can improve your awareness through reflection and gratitude exercises. I’ve included brief descriptions below that should help you to gain some clarity.
- Reflection– Grab a pen and paper. Write down the people, places and activities that have positively impacted your life over the past 5-10 years. Do the same for last year, 2013. Now do the opposite, write down the people places and activities that had a negative impact on you during those years. Once completed, begin to look a little deeper and define what important lessons you’ve learned from each. Reflecting on these events should help you to become more aware of what you enjoy, what energizes you and what your strengths might be. Also, you’ll learn that which you despise, what drains you and any weaknesses you may have. A conscious awareness of this and other info is vitally important to defining clear innate ambitions.
- Gratitude– Similar to the reflection exercise, write down what you’re grateful for…the people, things, activities, skills, knowledge and whatever else you appreciate. A better understanding of your appreciation can help bring to light things like your inspiring values and guiding principles. Once you become consciously aware of what you’re grateful for, surround yourself with more of these things on a regular basis.
- Bonus: You know I like to add extras for our supporters. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself that may help you in better defining your innate ambitions.
- What is it that I truly desire that is not distorted by some outside influence?
- What activities truly ignite a child like enthusiasm inside me when I’m engaged in them?
- What are the characteristics or personalities of people that spark & challenge me to give more of myself?
So if you continually find yourself failing to accomplish important goals then you’re probably missing that deep emotional connection that supercharges your mind, body and spirit. By doing the aforementioned exercises you will decrease stress, improve confidence, increase productivity and jumpstart your way to a happier, healthier and more successful year.
If you haven’t prioritized this yet, take a moment to schedule time in your calendar strictly for these exercises. Whether it’s a small change or a complete transformation the sooner you connect your deep, powerful emotions to your written goals the faster you will be on your way to the change and success you deserve.
Please feel free to share your results with us in the comments below or on one of our social media sites. And if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Until next time…Live Inspired, Lead Bold.