‘New year, new you’: it’s a lovely idea, but how many of us actually manage to follow through with the New Year’s resolutions we set ourselves? The truth is that most New Year goals fall flat before January is even over. Whether you want to lose weight, get a new job, develop a new skill or take your life in an entirely new direction, you can do it, and the secret to success is simpler than you think!
Success, no matter what the task, grows from the understanding that every goal is achievable. Success is never a matter of ‘if’; it is only a matter of ‘how’ and ‘when’. All too often we allow our self-doubt and fear of failure to define our journey and set us up to lose before we have even begun.
Your thoughts, feelings and behaviors are far more relevant to the achievement of your goals than any external circumstances. What you tell yourself, about yourself, defines your real-world identity; so, if you secretly believe that you are not capable of achieving something, you will not achieve it. This idea is encapsulated perfectly in something Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t– your right.”
You may portray every outward impression of confidence and success, but if your inner story doesn’t match you are setting yourself up to fail. It is not enough to simply outwardly deny your fears of failure; you must internally embrace your impending success to prevent your negative thoughts and feelings from manifesting in the real world.
Understand that, what we focus on grows. If you think you aren’t capable of becoming who you want to be, you won’t be. When we expect failure we subconsciously hold back from fully committing to the work. If you don’t give it everything you’ve got you will feel like you can let yourself off when you don’t succeed. And of course, half-hearted attempts will rarely get you anywhere. This is how fear of failure becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
To achieve your goals, you must think differently about the challenges you will face. Success is not about the absence of obstacles; to succeed you must accept the fact that you will face obstacles and that they are a necessary part of your journey. The experience of working through the problems that lay across your path will strengthen your resolve and equip you with the necessary skills and mind-set to get to where you want to be.
Follow these seven steps to success and change your story this New Year!
- Determine what you want your story to be. Be as specific as you can. It is not enough to say what you don’t want; you must create a detailed picture of what you do. Make a mind-map or a vision board which represents where you want to be.
- Be mindful of how you speak and think about yourself. Treat yourself kindly; don’t beat yourself up for occasions when you have failed in the past. Instead, remind yourself daily how capable you are and praise yourself for your successes.
- Become grateful for people, experiences and the things you already have. Stamp out negative thought patterns by focusing on all the positivity you already have in your life.
- Limit your exposure to people who are critical, negative, self-sabotaging and draining. Other people’s negative behavior can impose limitations on you.
- Keep what you are trying to accomplish with you literally or figuratively. Carry with you a reminder of what you are trying to achieve.
- Seek out like-minded people. Seek the company of others who have set themselves on a similar journey to your own. Being around people like this will help to keep up your enthusiasm and optimism.
- Don’t give up! Do not get disheartened if your goals take longer to achieve than you expected or if you experience set-backs. Remind yourself of how far you have come already, and remember, change is a journey, not a destination.
Let go of your concerns about failure. When you assume success comes from commitment to your goal, it simply becomes a matter of getting the information you need, formulating a plan of attack and then following through with it. This formula works for literally any goal, whether you’re planning to lose 5 lbs or climb Everest; there are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic time frames!