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If you’re not reaching your goals and you really want to make a change in your life, maybe you’re missing the last two steps of the change process.
This morning I was talking to a friend of mine who is an aspiring entrepreneur. She has been working toward a business launch for several years now but hasn’t quite made it come to fruition. Her limitation isn’t smarts (she’s one of the smartest people I know), but as she pointed out today, she’s bad at execution.
And she’s not alone.
I started thinking about this idea in the context of my own goals, but also in terms of the struggles I hear from you. Most of you in this community are really aware that you need to change your unhealthy habits, and there is certainly no shortage of strategies that can help you get there, and yet….
Most of you don’t implement what you already know.
Don’t feel bad. We all do this.
But how do we fix it?
I’m not sure I have the perfect answer to that question, but ironically, I have the training to help (and I’m not talking about fitness or nutrition training). I’m talking about change management. This is actually what I do in my day job (for organizations) and the parallels to personal change are striking.
In both cases, we have to:
- understand why change is necessary (awareness)
- really want to change (desire)
- know how to make change happen (knowledge)
- be able to execute on that plan (ability)
- have someone keeping us accountable for our plan (reinforcement)
In a professional context, the process of change is laid out like this:
But in a personal context, it’s much more complex because we only have to answer to ourselves.
In business, change happens because leadership says so. In our personal lives, we won’t change until our hearts are truly ready. Very often, that only happens when the pain and discomfort of staying the same become unbearable.
A comment I heard on a podcast yesterday rings true to this idea: “the only reason you haven’t gotten what you want is that you don’t want it badly enough”. ~Adam RobinsonIf you truly want to change something about yourself, you have to want to put in the work to get there. Click To Tweet
Ouch but true.
So the first question I’d pose to you as you make your New Years goals is:
1) Do you want it badly enough to do the things you know you have to do to get there?
If the answer is no, that’s great! Now you know that this goal or dream isn’t truly what’s in your heart and you can either let it go or change it. Very often our goals and dreams are projections of what we think other people want of us.
If your answer is YES, then my next question to you is…
2) Where are you lacking on the path to change?
It’s probably not awareness or desire, and it’s likely not knowledge, either. It’s probably ability and reinforcement (or more accurately, execution and accountability).
So if that’s true, I encourage you to look at your goals and dreams a bit differently this year. Really hone in on your abilities and preferences and decide what you’re actually capable of doing vs what you think you should be able to do. Be realistic, but also be creative. Find easier ways to incorporate fitness into your life. If you love being a couch potato, you probably won’t want to train for a marathon or sign up for the regional CrossFit games. Instead, start a walking program or find a fun workout you can do at home. Seek out activities that you actually enjoy. I promise you they are out there.
Think about the process over outcomes. Set your goals around behaviors (I will walk 3 times per week and get at least 60K steps in) rather than outcomes (I will lose 5lbs by March). Really take some time to think about what’s not just doable, but also enjoyable. You can’t white knuckle your way to success and expect it to last.
Accountability is the easier piece, but no less important. Find someone who will make you accountable for what you say you want to do. Enlist a buddy who has a similar goal. Find a coach that will help you stay on track. Make your kids or husband call you out if you start slacking or start a blog to keep yourself publicly accountable (this is what I do). The key is to have someone holding you accountable for your actions.
I truly believe if you focus on these two things, you will have much greater success with your goals in 2018 than you have in years past. On that note, I want to wish all of you a happy, healthy new year and crystal clear focus attaining what your heart truly desires in 2018.
I will certainly continue to do my best to help you get there. If you want personal accountability and a little help getting started on a fitness journey you will love, consider working with me this year.