It seems we’ve survived, not only another Christmas season, but the much-talked-about “end of the world” scheduled for December 2012. So, since this can be looked upon (like any new year) as a fresh start, it’s almost time to whip out your wishlist for yourself once more. Wishlists are lovely to write, but when it involves taking action to achieve certain goals or desires, the task gets either too daunting, too tedious, or too impossible and the excuse list overtakes the actual wish list. Perhaps you can do things a little differently this year to ensure that you can give yourself a pat on a back for a job well done when 2014 rolls around. Here’s what you can do:
1. People making lists. Really map out how you would like to see yourself in each quarter of the year. If that still seems a little too “long” to plan ahead, then start with a month-to-month goal of what it is you would like to experience or see happen in your life (i.e., the most common is losing weight or getting back in shape after the all-out feasting during the Christmas season). So list something like: “January 2013, start weighing myself every day” which could become a regular part of your mornings and keep you aware of how much you should or shouldn’t eat that whole day.
2. Picture perfect. Visualization techniques work when they are attached to a certain emotion — normally elation and excitement. Take the time to really get a visionboard going. Again, write down what you want and when you want it achieved by, go through magazines with photos of how you want you and your life to look and put it somewhere you can always see it. If you share a space, then you can simply tack a mantra up on your bathroom mirror so you can see it every day like, “Today I will put aside X amount of my salary so I can travel to X by June 2013” for example. You can also put this as a Post-it note on your laptop, or agenda book, or even on your phone. Pictures truly help! When you see an image of what you want, your heart and head kick in raising your adrenaline and making you “feel” what it would be like to be at your desired life station.
3. Peer pressure. Want to hold true to your word? Tell a close friend or family member who isn’t afraid to speak the truth to you and someone you trust and respect. Why? Because he or she can gently and not-so-gently remind you when you are off-track and also be your cheerleader when you are heading slowly but surely toward your goal. I recently told a friend that I wanted to get into shape for a trip to Hawaii and, boy, he held me to my word. Aside from telling me to text him my weight every day (photo included of the scale) I also had to tell him what I was eating. Trust me, there is nothing like having someone on your back reminding you that you promised yourself to do something. I am grateful, a bit annoyed at times, but so far, so good.
4. Do cluedo. They say success leaves clues. This rings true even with short-term goals. If you wish to start your own business in 2013 then invest a little in expanding your network somewhat as well as your education. Have someone in mind that you’d like to emulate, or a business idea, and see if you can find a way to get more information on how that business came to be. If the owner or founder of the company is in the country then it takes less than six degrees of separation to find your way to him or her. If they are not available (or even no longer alive) then use the power of the Internet to research any book they may have written or interview they have given. See what is possible for you to follow, or even improve on, and with this kind of inspiration, coupled with visualizing, then you’ll have a pretty strong incentive to stick to what you want to do.
5. Belief work. First and foremost, before you even get down to sticking to any resolution, you have to honestly believe that you can do it. Life in general can get in the way, as can friends with well-intentioned jabs at this all-new, focused, seemingly-inflexible you. Keep your eye on the prize and know that yes, you can do anything you set your heart and mind to, especially if it’s for the good of a lot more other people. If it’s all about you, then you may not be enough at times to see it through, but if you keep the bigger picture in mind — like say, you get to save enough money, so much so you can bring someone you really love with you on your next trip — then you have a bigger chance of sticking to your goals and just smilingly drowning out all the other “noise” around you.
2013 can absolutely be your year, in every respect. Just take the first step and see you at journey’s end. Here’s to a happy, happier you!
(The Philippine Star) | Updated December 28, 2012 – 12:00am