The essence of our being is DESIRE. We don’t move a finger without it. Desire lifts us out of bed in the morning, propels us forward day after day, year after year. Why is it so easy to create a wish list of goals and yet so hard to follow through - especially long term? Here are 3 key secrets to not only sticking to our goals but feeling fulfilled by them.
1. BALANCE YOUR PRIORITIES: INTERNAL WITH EXTERNAL
Without realizing it, we often set our priorities wrong, mostly because society dictates that having a car and job, or house and kids is the goal. While these external aspects of life are important and wonderful blessings to strive for, modern day culture over-defines success superficially, externally. Little emphasis is placed on the success of becoming a better individual, a kinder partner, a more present parent, a better listener, a more giving and forgiving person. Ultimately, who we become is what fulfills us at the core, and this internal success provides the very foundation for anything external to be lasting and fulfilling.
So yes, go after the changes you want to make in your life, but make sure to couple those with an emphasis on becoming more and more who you want to be as an individual. Spend time on making a list of who you want to become. Your internal success will allow that job, or relationship, house or weight loss to not only fulfill you more deeply, but do so in a lasting way.
Take someone who decides they need to stop drinking. That’s great, not an easy task for many — and for those with a problematic dependency, life will likely become better. However, without coupling that goal with changing one’s character and becoming a catalyst for helping others, not only will s/he be less fulfilled, but also likely to be successful at sticking to the initial goal.
2. CHOOSE A PERSON, A SYSTEM TO KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE AND CONSISTENT
Left to our own devices, we tend to lose sight of the consistent effort and sacrifice required to manifest our goals. We lose objectivity when the going gets tough, and then cut corners. To move from a wish list to a reality, we need a structure so that we MUST BE ACCOUNTABLE. Set it up so that it’s difficult to back down, e.g., invest hard-earned money in a professional trainer, coach or counselor, sign up for a class and even volunteer so they will be counting on you to attend, commit to a plan of action together with a friend — a buddy system if you will, surround yourself with others who have a big desire, who are striving or have reached where you want to go. Read this carefully: Never put your spouse or partner as your accountability check! This can cause serious problems in your relationship. Keep each other as friend and romantic partner.
Especially with more serious changes you need to make, be careful of “the gradually syndrome.” For example, if you struggle with addiction or if your weight or lifestyle puts your health at risk, the “I’ll stop gradually” approach can backfire. While we don’t want to feel overwhelmed with too much change at once (see #3 below), we also need to invest consistently to see enough results. For example, if you go to a counselor for your anger or insecurity issues, do your best to go more than once a month. See the difference it can make when you commit weekly for awhile. Same with losing weight — make the trainer and measuring yourself a way of life.
3. MAKE A SHORT LIST — TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME
Many people fail at their goals because they get overwhelmed by too many goals or changes at one time. Sure, write down your bucket list, your vision map for where you want to be in five years. But when it comes to manifesting, break it down into concrete and simple action steps with goals you can reach within the next 3 months. Take it one day at a time so that when you do fall, you don't go in to “give up mode" and forget the whole thing. If you mess up, tomorrow is a new day. Be gentle with yourself and carry on with the plan. You're worth it.