Monday, January 23 2017
It’s that time of year when I traditionally re-evaluate my goals and dreams. I determine what worked and what didn’t; what I accomplished or didn’t; what I desire for the coming year and what may just be a passing fancy. Sound familiar?
So what might I have to offer you that is “different” or at least said in a way that might shift your perspective?
I live from my Vision. My Vision is a full-spectrum living from four main domains: Health/Well-being, Relationships, Vocation/Creativity, and Time/Money Freedom. I have found that my life works best when I stay congruent with my Vision, so I strive to connect with it daily. I read it, visualize myself in it, imagine my life unfolding through it, and take action steps in service of it. I commit myself to create a life that I love, to the best of my abilities. My Vision is a living document that grows as my awareness grows. Leading a vision-driven life gives me direction, with a clear destination in mind. I find more balance and focus when living from my Vision.
This is the time of year when millions make New Year’s resolutions. How about you? It’s almost expected, isn’t it? Resolutions may be made with the best of intentions in mind, so why don’t they work? Resolutions are things we want in our lives – lower body weight, better fitness, more money, quit smoking (or other unhealthy habits), happier relationships, success in business – but are they things we are committed to achieve? Resolutions typically fail because of a lack of commitment and a lack of a system in place to help achieve success.
One of my favorite quotes was written by William H. Murray:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.”
Murray then adds his version of a couplet written by Goethe:
I love this quote due to the first sentence: “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back.” This is why mere resolutions do not work. Commitment is imperative or else there is wiggle room, an escape route, room for dissuasion. Commitment to that “burning desire” that Napoleon Hill writes about in Think and Grow Rich is what keeps us moving in the direction of our dreams.
When you are merely involved with a goal, you are at a lower energetic level than when you are invested. Investing in an endeavor is committing to seeing it through. You see it through by incorporating a structure for success: “PRIORITIZE – SYSTEMIZE – HABIT-IZE!”
Prioritize by identifying the goals to which you’re committing. Make the goals concrete by taking the time to write them down, not just having a vague idea of concepts bouncing around in your head. When you prioritize goals and “commit” them to paper, you are taking the next step toward committing to them in earnest and welcoming them into your life.
Systemize your goals by organizing a structure to bring them into form and for making them real for yourself. Try the 3 A’s System: Affirmation, Acknowledge, and Apply.
Affirmation – Affirm each goal by thinking it, speaking it with feeling, and visualizing yourself engaging in the goal while you say it. Do this often throughout the day.
Acknowledge - Acknowledge the daily progress you are making and keep track of the evidence you see of that forward momentum. Celebrate and record successes, no matter how “small.”
Apply – Step into action and do what you say you’re going to do for yourself. Make a habit of keeping your commitments to yourself, just as you keep commitments to others. Keeping promises to yourself builds personal trustworthiness and integrity.
Habit-ize - Make your system a daily habit. Even if you only choose one behavior a day, practicing it will start to establish it, and you will begin to make new habits around the new thinking that you are establishing around your new system.
As you celebrate a new year, look at the list of your dreams and aspirations for 2017. PRIORITIZE – SYSTEMIZE – HABIT-IZE those dreams to create a life that is aligned with your Vision to live a life that you absolutely love! Happy New Year, as a New You commits and ignites the passions of a vision-driven life!