New Years Resolutions
Each year many people make New Years resolutions to change things in their life. Perhaps you are one of those people. Maybe your goal is to lose weight or exercise more. Or maybe your goal is to change your job, or exit a relationship that is no longer serving you or redecorate your home. There are as many goals as there are people. Yet about this time of the year, you might already be backing down from the resolutions you made in January. After a few months of working hard to reach a goal, you can’t seem to make much progress so you don’t bother.
Why Can’t I Reach My Goal?
There are probably a number of reasons why you didn’t reach your goal or at least move closer to your goal. Perhaps you didn’t really want it in the first place. Or maybe you didn’t really commit yourself emotionally to take the steps necessary to get to your end goal. Or it could be that you didn’t have a clear strategy to reach your goal. Maybe you didn’t plan for the day-to-day changes and obstacles that come up in real life along your path. Perhaps you simply pushed too hard.
“What? I thought it takes hard work to make changes,” you might ask. Although it is true that there are usually real concrete steps that need to be taken to make a change in your life and reach a specific goal, it doesn’t have to be hard and difficult.
Finding A Better Way
Time after time in my life, I have noticed that as long as I have committed myself mentally to change something, I am more apt to reach the goal if I find ways to make it easy. That doesn’t mean that there is no work involved. Yes, there are steps and a strategy required to get to a goal, but I find ways to welcome ease into the process rather than push hard. By using ease as a perspective, rather than trying to force something to change, you will increase your movement towards your goal.
Take It Easy
Not stressing and relaxing into change can be difficult to accomplish if you usually try to push through when you hit walls. If you are just not the type of person who rolls with the punches, how do you stay on track towards your goal when your default method is to push hard? You have to practice ease, just like anything else you want to learn. Here are a couple of strategies to get you started on the road to ease.
Visual A Successful Outcome
Professional athletes, as a kind of practice-in-the head, use visualization. They imagine having a good race, game or match. You can use this approach for anything that you are working on. Close your eyes and imagine yourself with the end goal accomplished. Simply visualize reaching the end state of your goal. Practice imagining your positive outcome in your head, over and over. Seeing—in your head—is believing.
Pretend To Roll With The Punches
Yes, I said pretend. The concept of pretend isn’t just for kids. Pretend it doesn’t matter that you hit a bump on the path. Even expect obstacles to occur. Three things happen when you pretend to take it easy. 1) By pretending that hitting roadblocks is no big deal, invariably your mood will brighten. And 2) amazingly you will find that in your calmer and more positive state, you can come up with a solution to the obstacle on your path to your goal (or go around it). And finally 3) you will be more likely to stick to your path. Pretending helps change your mindset and beliefs.
The song by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey (sung by Glenn Frey of the Eagles) really did get it right.
Take it easy, take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels
drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
don’t even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand
and take it easy
Because worrying doesn’t change anything—instead take is easy and much of the difficulty of implementing change will lessen. Plus your day-to-day on the road to your goal will be so much more enjoyable.
For additional help reaching your goals, see Three Steps To Finally Reach Your Goal. And if you are thinking about a big goal of taking charge of your retirement or early retirement from your corporate role, contact me to see how I might be able to help you on your path. I wish you great success at reaching your goals with ease while finding the way in your life that brings you greater fulfillment and joy.