I fail at New Year’s resolutions routinely. Well, at least I’m consistent.
I may want to lose an extra 10 pounds I’m carrying around so I resolutely set the goal.
But then those left over Christmas cookies keep calling my name. I think, “It’d be a shame to waste them and I’d probably hurt my wife’s feelings if I didn’t eat them. So I’ll have just a couple, each night. It won’t hurt anything. Then I’ll get really serious after they’re gone.”
I bet you can relate.
We set out to change our lives to accomplish our dreams.
We set a New Year’s resolution yet studies show before January ends most people have already given up.
Now, one failed resolution may not be a big deal but we set ourselves up for further defeat. Every time we fail it reinforces not only our failure but that we’re a failure. And that makes it ever harder to try something out of the ordinary in the future.
So the cycle of failure, frustration, defeat and discouragement continues until people finally give up on their most important dreams altogether. Then settle for mediocre.
So what do we do?
I’ve learned when you change your focus from difficult goals to your most passionate dreams you supercharge your success.
Jack Canfield said, “Really go after what you want to accomplish in life and make a difference in the world. The key is to take small, conscious steps.”
So first, clarify what’s most important to you.
Identify your most motivating dreams. Look behind your goals and ask, “What’s really important to me? What am I passionate about achieving? What difference will it make in my life?”
Then focus on accomplishing that dream.
See that changes your focus from a cold lifeless goal into a passionate dream you really want. And that keeps you going when you otherwise might give up.
So for example, instead of focusing on losing ten pounds focus on having good health. Think about feeling great again. Picture having the energy to travel, pursue hobbies and play with your children.
Or instead of focusing on living on a budget picture enjoying financial independence. Imagine feeling peaceful about your finances. Feeling good about taking care of yourself and your family.
Second, link your dreams to love.
Think about how your dream will positively affect those you love. Picture your spouse, children and friends benefiting. Feel the joy and fulfillment that brings.
When you link your dream to love it fills it with passion. And that emotionally charges your motivation.
So when you think about your dream of good health go a step further. Picture how that will positively affect your marriage. You’ll feel better so you and your spouse can do more fun things. Your spouse will enjoy being with you more. And who knows where that might lead?
Think about achieving financial freedom and how that would positively impact your family and the difference you could make.
Then third, focus primarily on small daily input goals rather than huge long term output goals.
Long term dreams are important but when viewed from today they can feel overwhelming.
So focus on one step you can take today towards those dreams. What is one simple, attainable step you can accomplish right now? Then tomorrow plan another.
Step by step you’ll accomplish your dreams.
When I first started my current career imagining building a successful business felt overwhelming. So instead of focusing on that I developed a game with points for each productive activity I did during the day. Different activities had different points depending on their importance.
Then every day that I met my daily goal I celebrated and over time built a successful business.
The apostle Paul wrote, “Forgetting what is behind and reaching for what is ahead I press on towards the goal of winning the prize God offers to me.”
When you uncover your passion you supercharge your dreams and life.
*Philippians 3: 13-14
Photo Credit: Bill Dickinson; Creative Commons