Rather than pushing your aspirations and goals to the wayside, are you willing to evaluate and challenge yourself to change?
Over the years, I have made many mental goals. Months later, through the chaos of life, I often realized I was not much closer to achieving my goal than I was the day I came up with it. I unintentionally pushed my goals and aspirations to the wayside. This frustrated me. I began to evaluate my approach and challenged myself to change. If I was ever going to successfully work toward achieving my goals, I needed a plan and more motivation.
To achieve something, it is essential to make it a priority. You must be purposeful, motivated and intentional. A good way to approach priority is by considering rule 168. The concept of this rule incorporates the 168 hours everyone on the planet gets in a week. How you manage your 168 hours is up to you and what you make a priority.
The rule of repetition
Generally speaking, we are creatures of habit. Frequent exposure and repetition of a behavior will form a habit. After recurrent exposure, habits often become something you do subconsciously without much thought needed. This is largely because you strengthen and build new skills through repetition. You become more comfortable over time, allowing yourself to complete the task with less of a struggle or challenge.
Keep this in mind when aiming to make better food choices, exercising or trying to improve your overall outlook. You will likely struggle when you begin, but it will get easier with time. If you strive to achieve, you will create good habits and succeed.
I’m sure you can come up with a handful of reasons why you did not incorporate something important into your 168. Finding an excuse isn’t difficult. The next time you begin making excuses for not having time to work out, cook a healthy meal, eat breakfast, get adequate sleep or work on something important, remind yourself that you will not accomplish what you want by making excuses. It takes dedication, hard work and sacrifice. It is not easy, but you can accomplish and achieve your goals if you don't give up. Don’t take the easy way out and be left with nothing more than an idea you started with. If you tell yourself you do not have time to do something, you’re telling yourself it is not important enough to be made a priority.
Hold yourself accountable.
Accountability is another key to success. If you share your goal with someone, you will gain support and feel a sense of accountability. You will make choices that are more deliberate and intentional. You are more likely to actively work toward taking the necessary steps needed to achieve your goals.
Write it down.
There is great power behind writing down a goal. When you write down a goal, including what and how you plan to achieve it, you make a commitment and contract with yourself and your subconscious mind. Keep what you write down specific to what you want to achieve: “I will _____. I will take _____ steps to get there. I will strive to achieve it by _____.” Sign it and put it away. This helps to hold you accountable.
Break it down.
When you write down your goal, break it down into steps. When you list steps, it allows you to check small steps and achievements off the list upon completion. This helps you feel like you are making progress instead of struggling to stay focused purely on the end result that may take months or years to achieve. Following a list of steps helps stimulate thoughts, motivates you, helps to hold yourself accountable and can be used as a guide as to what to do next.
A set of steps gives you something to get excited about, look forward to and helps you to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
If you make a goal specific rather than general, it has a better chance of being accomplished. An example of a general goal would be: “I will eat healthy.” While this is a goal, it is vague and nonspecific. A specific goal regarding the desire to improve your eating would be: “I will begin grocery shopping for healthier foods and will eat healthy, home-cooked meals at least three times a week.” This goal is more descriptive and depicts a specific “healthy eating” goal. Because of this, you are much more likely to follow through and achieve the desired outcome.
There's no plan B.
When you commit to a goal, there should not be a backup plan. When you create a backup plan, you are allowing yourself a way out. When you put your mind to achieving something without another option, you have no choice but to stay committed to your goal. There is not an easy way to back out or change your mind. When you don't have a plan B in place, you are subconsciously happier working toward your goal because it is the only option.
It is important to remember projected dates can get pushed back. While you should strive to stick with the projected completion date of your goal, it is important to remember that issues that were initially unaccounted for may arise. As long as you’re actively working toward achieving your goal, do not let a projected deadline not being met frustrate you.
If you have ever undergone a construction project or had a home built, the builder will give you a projected completion date. Often issues that are not expected or accounted for arise. Something took longer than expected, lumber took longer to deliver, a worker called off or unexpected weather delayed work getting done. When a construction company tells you that your home will be ready by January 1, it is likely that date will get pushed back to February, March or possibly even later. The date being pushed back is not a reflection of a crew being lazy or incompetent; unexpected delays made the goal longer to reach than expected.
Life happens. Continue to push forward and work with what life hands you. If you’re working hard and need a little more time than you projected, it’s OK. If you keep this outlook, you will be much more successful.
When creating a goal, create a reward to accompany the achievement of that goal. This allows you to get excited about something in the future. After all of your hard work, you deserve something special. Write down something realistic that you will reward yourself with upon achievement. This does not mean to reward yourself with cakes, cookies, things out of your budget or things that will negatively impact you or another. Make the reward reasonable and beneficial.
Some of the rewards I’ve chosen include a special dinner out, a new workout outfit, a massage and a spa treatment. Rewards drive you to achieve.
Live on purpose.
When I consider the age I strive to live until, I think of the number 97. How old do you want to live to be? What life choices can you make to get yourself as close as possible to that age?
Consider your current lifestyle, stress levels, physical fitness levels and the food you’re eating. Remember this when you evaluate your previous choices and consider ones for your future. It is important to keep your body oiled to run efficiently and properly and be free of filth that will slow you down.
You only get one body in your lifetime, isn’t that motivation enough to want to take care of it? Promote health and wellness. Your short-term choices DO impact your long-term outcome. Yes, you may currently have poor habits that are asymptomatic, such as smoking, eating whatever you want and not working out, but you need to look at your long-term desire and consider how these choices will impact you and your ability to reach your desired age. Live on purpose, plan, be deliberate and make smart choices within your ability that will help you achieve this desired age.
Make a motivation board.
Another non-threatening approach to help motivate you is to create a motivation board. You can make your motivation board on or out of anything. You can use cork board, a dry erase board, a frame or whatever you desire. You can attach pictures, quotes, words of encouragement or your written goal.
Hang it somewhere you will pass daily. Your motivation board reminds you of your desires, dreams, what you are working toward, what makes you happy and creates a sense of purpose. Even in quick and thoughtless passing, you will subconsciously be reminded of what you desire to achieve. It reminds your unconscious mind to continue the process of working toward your goal.
My motivation board
I decided to write down my goal for FULLforLife to hold myself accountable rather than solely relying on my memory. I specifically broke it down on paper and made a contract with myself and subconscious mind. I verbalized my goal to my mom to create accountability. I then created a motivation board. My board had my written goal, photos, clippings and quotes to motivate and remind me of my goal. The results have been astounding. It worked!
- My motivation board consists of a picture of the beach with the sun kissing the crystal clear, radiant, baby blue ocean water and light-colored sand. This puts me at peace and makes me happy.
- There is a photo I took years ago of my late grandmother and my dog, Briggsley, sitting in my living room resting in a chair beside the window. My grandmother embodied joy and was so pure at heart. Every time I look at this picture, I see a woman who was incredibly content, filled with love and at peace. I strive to achieve her contentment.
- I have the quote “I have unlimited potential” tacked up. This motivates me when I feel like I'm struggling to keep my head above water.
- I have a photo of my family and my beautiful brindle, black and white Boston terrier. When things get tough, this picture reminds me of the small things that I have to be grateful for.
- I have a piece of paper I treasure on which my mother (and accountability partner) wrote the meaning of each letter in the word FULL when I first had a vision for creating this program in 2012 while we were brainstorming together on a beautiful, sunny day boating - FULLfilling the Ultimate Lifelong Lifestyle. This helps me strive to continue to work hard to help others achieve their FULL and make her and myself proud.
Every time I pass my motivation board, my mind skims all these thoughts and motivates me.
- Striving to succeed takes courage and results in confidence and improved self-esteem.
- Striving to succeed is rewarding, fun, keeps life interesting and keeps you focused on what really matters to you.
- Striving to succeed helps unlock your true passions and allows you to use your time, energy and gifts to live a more meaningful life.
- Striving to succeed and being true to yourself and your values and beliefs provides you with contentment, joy and fulfillment.
- Striving to succeed motivates you to extend yourself and know you are making a difference in the world.
Take time to reflect on the self-discovery questions to open your heart and mind.
- How are you using your 168 hours per week to live on purpose?
- What ways can you better utilize your time and set priorities?
- Write down what you are most passionate about.
- What routines have you established that keep you stuck in life because you haven’t tapped into your passions?
- What changes are you willing to make to find your life purpose?
Take time over the next week to implement the action steps to boost your focus and ensure your success.
- Set a realistic goal. Do not choose a goal that you are not willing and able to work toward. Make it something you have a passion for. This makes your efforts seem slightly less difficult because it is a labor of love, not work.
- Write down your goal. This allows you to set up structure and take imperfect action. This does not mean you need to know the exact specific plan you will follow. It is used just to get you moving and started in the right direction.
- Brainstorm about your desire. Imagine what it looks like and how you can get there.
- Become familiar with the specifics. Learn about whatever you want to achieve. Look up the specifics of what it entails or what it takes to achieve. Answer who, what, when, where and why. Who is involved in achieving my desire? Is it just me or do I need help from others? What do I want to accomplish? Identify a location. Is there an optimal time or place that this should be done? Where do I need to go to achieve it? Identify the requirements and the constraints. What are the specific reasons for this goal? What is the purpose or benefit of accomplishing it? What is driving me to achieve this?
- Write down a plan of action. Just make a step forward from dream to action. Establish criteria and steps for measuring progress. This will help you to stay on track. It also helps you to experience excitement of achievement at each step, motivating you to continue your efforts to achieve your goal.
- Ask for help if it is needed. Humble yourself. Help does not mean helpless.
- Reward yourself. It is often helpful to write down what you will reward yourself with when you achieve your goal.
- Share it with an accountability partner.
- Make a motivation board.