Three Essential Components to Make Your Intentions a Reality
If you read last week’s post, you’ll know that I am doing something a little different this month to kick off the new year. This is because studies show that by the end of January almost half of those who’ve made New Year’s Resolutions will have already given up on them.
And I want you to be successful at achieving what’s important to you in the new year!
With this in mind, I created this five-week series to give you a different approach. I will post one step for you each week during the month of January. This is designed to help you set a solid foundation with actionable steps to achieve your most important goals – and keep your momentum going.
After January is over, I will go back to the regularly scheduled blog with twice monthly articles full of inspiration and ideas to help you make your success real.
Whether you have important goals for the coming year or you’re feeling a little unclear as to what your goals actually are… the good news is that there are simple, effective techniques that do work. I invite you to commit a few minutes each week in January to set yourself up for success as you define it this year. To be sure you don’t miss a week, simply drop your email in here.
These steps are powerful whether you’ve got big changes to make or your life is pretty good and you’re ready to take it up a notch.
The five steps I am sharing with you over the course of this month enable you to connect the dots between your dreams, ambitions and vision and your daily actions, habits and beliefs. This gives you a solid foundation and clarity of vision along with the follow-through that’s key to bringing your dreams to fruition.
If you haven’t read or completed Step One: Be Strategic, then you’ll want to do this before doing step two below. You’ll need just a few minutes to take stock of where you are, to ask yourself how you want to feel and act differently – so that you can bring your best out at work and live a more satisfying life.
Once you’ve completed the first step, it’s time to get more specific. The second step is all about getting clearer on your intentions and commitments for the year.
And now is an excellent time to do it: perhaps you’re already seeing where you need to be more specific with your vision. Or you may be bumping up against challenges on goals you’ve set. Or perhaps you’re tired of thinking and talking about goals to begin with!
This is where your intentions come into focus and commitments get calendared in. And it’s important to do this from an authentic place and a positive frame of mind.
Wherever you find yourself right now, I invite you to pause, take a few deep breaths and reconnect with your mind, heart and spirit. For the next few minutes, try to release any feelings of frustration, worry or doubt. As much as possible, get into a place of some positive excitement as you look ahead and consider what’s most important to you. Once you’ve found some center and focus, you’re ready for step two.
STEP TWO: Be Specific
Keeping your themes for this year in mind, it’s time to get clearer on what it is that you want. What’s behind the commitments you’re making? Be as specific as you can.
A few years ago, a client wanted a new home for himself and his family. He’d achieved a great deal of success with his business and it was on track for the growth he’d planned. Locating, purchasing and decorating his new home was a major theme for the year. It was very important for him and for his family.
I took him through a visioning process during one of our sessions. This gave him the tools to get a very clear picture of what he wanted in his mind’s eye. We focused not only on the physical and financial components of his new home but also on how he wanted to feel – the experience he’d have each time he stepped into his new home.
He later reported he was able to use this exercise to anchor his decisions from an inspired vision every step of the way. And I recently had the pleasure of being invited to tour the results: an elegant yet comfortable place that he says has truly become the home he’d envisioned for himself and for his family several years ago.
The value of being specific when setting goals
There is a great deal of research behind the value of getting specific with what you want to achieve. It basically comes down to the fact that you have a better chance of achieving your goal if it’s specific. Studies also show that a positive frame of mind helps immensely.
In order to do this, consider not just what you’re going to do but when you’ll do it and how you wish to feel. After all, if we dig a little deeper, most of us are looking to experience something when we set a goal.
Waking up each day with clarity about your ultimate goals for your work and for your life empowers you to make faster decisions with greater confidence and a greater chance of success.
As an example, let’s say you’re planning to grow your business this year. Increasing revenues is not a specific goal. Increasing sales by 30% is getting there. Even better: I intend to grow sales 30% by December 15th so that I enjoy the freedom of increased cash flow and feel confident that my new service line is meeting customer needs.
Perhaps you want to get in shape so that you experience more energy, confidence or self-respect. Perhaps you want to make more money so that you can experience more freedom or feel more confident about your finances. Perhaps you want to hire a reliable team member so that you can spend more time with loved ones.
What’s the specific feeling or experience you wish to have? What’s behind your intended outcomes? What motivates you to get up and do what you need to do each day to move toward your goals?
Getting more specific is not just about the feeling or experience you’ll have once you reach your intended outcome, but also about timing. Take a minute now to get clear on when you plan to do it.
Are you beginning something new that you want to become habit? Let’s say you want to exercise at least 3 days/week. What kind of exercise will you do? Will you swim, walk, bike? Maybe you want to workout at the gym, do yoga, or play tennis? What days will you exercise and at what time of day? Go ahead and schedule it on your calendar now.
Or are you starting a project that you’d like to complete by mid-year? Give it a target completion date. Better yet, break it down into smaller steps and schedule each major milestone on your calendar.
To summarize, there are three powerful components to setting specific outcomes. They are:
- Get clear on your intended outcome.
- From a positive mindset, consider how you’ll feel when you achieve it.
- Commit to the timeframe that you’ll do it.
Getting more specific about your 2-3 most important outcomes for your work and for your life is incredibly empowering. Keep these top of mind as you move through the days and weeks ahead. You’ll make decisions throughout the year with greater confidence and set yourself up for a greater chance of success.
Remember that when you are on the threshold of making changes, it can be supportive to talk about your thoughts, goals and feelings with a trusted friend, family member, or colleague. A skilled professional can help you make sense of what your top priorities are – as well as what steps are most effective to help you achieve what you’ve set out to and enjoy the journey more along the way.
When you’re ready, I am here to help. Contact me to learn more and to see if you qualify for a complimentary strategy session.
You can also learn more about me, read more blog posts, download free tips to create a business and a life you love, or check out the stories of people who have worked with me.