A new year represents a fresh start and I’m ready for it… aren’t you? I’ve been pondering the question about why sometimes time passes… perhaps a whole year (or more?)… and we’re not able to achieve something we really want. Sometimes, even when our hearts are set on something important… a home makeover, an updated wardrobe, a healthier lifestyle, or a more fulfilling work-life… we’re just not able to achieve it.
Why is it, when you want something badly, it seems impossible to get started? It’s counterintuitive, isn’t it? I mean… you want it a LOT, so surely your commitment is a given?
And, whether you’re a goal setter or a planner or a new year’s resolution maker or none of these, those aspirations remain elusive and unfulfilled.
SIDE NOTE: This interesting article argues that due to the human brain’s seeking instinct, we never feel our desires are fully met and this, in turn, is what makes life fulfilling. Interesting, yes… but not always useful! Because while it’s worth acknowledging that fulfilment results from striving, it’s not particularly helpful when you just want to get something done.
So, here are some simple steps you can consider in the months ahead to make 2022 the year you stop thinking about and talking about what you’re “gonna do” and improve your chances of making that thing you really want a reality.
Simple steps to achieve something you really want
1. DREAM BIG, BUT ALSO GET SPECIFIC
Sadly, just wanting something doesn’t guarantee a positive outcome. Start by dreaming big – be aspirational, dream without limits, and describe your ultimate destination – but then bring it back to practical, achievable steps. Nothing sets you up for failure faster than a big, hairy audacious idea that’s way too vague. Start with small, achievable actions. Want to get fit and healthy? Set an intention to walk 30mins, 3 times per week. Want to change up your career? Start by researching 3 potential options over the next month. The most important thing is to decide the first step and get started.
2. CONNECT TO WHAT’S IMPORTANT
One of the secrets to achieving something you really want is to fully understand why you want it. It’s hard to be committed and strive for something when you’re not focussed on why you’re doing it. Dig deep and identify what’s underpinning your desire to achieve something. When the chips are down, you’ve suffered a setback and your motivation is flagging, remembering why you want to achieve what you’re doing and the benefits it will bring is the fuel you’ll need to keep persevering.
3. START WITH GOOD HABITS
Once you’ve identified your target and at least one small step towards achieving your desired outcome, develop helpful habits to support your progress. If you want to write a book, establish a habit of writing something every day. It doesn’t need to be perfect or even related to the book you want to write; the idea is to establish the practice. Want more customers for your business, dedicate 1hr per day to business development. Creating daily, weekly, or monthly routines helps you to break down a significant or aspirational intention into small, incremental pieces.
4. MAINTAINING MOMENTUM
Taking the first step creates momentum, but life is… well, life. Crazy and unpredictable. It’s not just a likelihood, but an absolute certainty, that your progress will be disrupted. Having tactics ready to deal with setbacks is important. By keeping each step small and measurable, pause and acknowledge your success along the way. Consider how you will recognise and record these moments, using them to reflect upon when your motivation is down. Where you can, build an accountability system. Share your intention with others or create dependencies that rely on you getting things done.
5. SIMPLE, YES… BUT NOT NECESSARILY EASY
While these steps may be simple, they’re not necessarily easy… they still require work and commitment. Unfortunately, there’s no magic wand or instant fix to getting from where you are now to where you want to be. Don’t be discouraged by what it’s going to take to get what you want. Focus on the small actions, but don’t lose sight of the big picture, develop supportive habits, and celebrate your successes… maximise your likelihood of maintaining your progress over the long haul.
I would love to hear if you have something big you’re aiming for in 2022. And what first small, practical step are you going to take?
If your something big in 2022 relates to your career or work-life, please get in touch, I would love to be your coach and head cheerleader and help you create the frameworks you need to design a career you love!