Every January, we have high hopes for the year. We set big goals, make big plans and then hit the ground running towards our future success. Unfortunately though, strong starts don’t always lead to a similarly strong finish.
Since so many people seem to flounder in their “new selves” before the month is out, it’s safe to say that there’s a flaw in the system. It’s difficult to change hard-wired habits. Just because our eyes see 1-1 on a calendar and our minds know that this is an opportunity to make some big leap, our instincts don’t always get the message.
I’ve given you seven ideas to focus on for 2012, and we’ll spend the next twelve months diving deeper into each one. First, though, it’s a good idea to ask yourself what your goals really are. Before you ask for that raise, buy that dream home, lose those 15 pounds or start that business, you need to know what it is you are truly after.
What do you really want?
It’s easy to take a physical inventory of the things in your life right now. You’ve got “X” amount in the bank. You have a job you like. And you like where you live. But you’d like to travel more, have more freedom to create new products/services at work, and you want to lose a few pounds for beach season.
So you set your goals to get all of those things done. And you start making changes (usually, a lot of changes) so you can check that promotion, weight loss, or new car paid for in cash off of your list. But the motivation fades and the desire to go back to what’s comfortable overrides the one to change in the first place.
You may begin to make rationalizations about the things you were doing before. Your job isn’t that bad, and eventually your boss will give you that promotion.
This time around, I want to help you reach those goals you set for this year: your best year ever!! So instead of jumping head-first into this new you, take a moment and figure out what you really want. In order to get that long-term change you desire, you’ve got to take some time and figure that out. Remember, New Year’s resolutions start from within. Before you can begin to fix the outside as well as the inside, you need to first get down to the things you actually want.
Your action step
This week, think about the things you resolved to change or improve in 2012. Write them down on a piece of paper. Then, go deeper. Find the root of those desires. Is it to be happier? To have more freedom? To be healthier? Getting to the core of what really want is where long-term change truly begins.