As the calendar turns from December to January and a new year begins, the subject of goals and resolutions comes up. It turns out that there is actually something about starting a new year that heightens our interest in personal change. Research has shown that natural turning points, such as a new calendar year, new school year, or new job, are motivators. They create the mental divide that facilitates leaving the old behind and shaping the new. So now is the ideal time to take advantage of that natural motivator and turn Inspiration into Accomplishment!
Is there a creative idea that keeps popping into your consciousness, but doesn’t seem to take flight? After all, ideas are exciting and energizing, but transforming them into reality calls upon muscles that may need some strengthening. Here are some tips that will enable you to break through the invisible barrier that is holding you back.
- Make a Declaration. A declaration is a powerful statement of intention. It has a time commitment attached. “I will do X by Y date”. Making a declaration is the first step in transforming ideas into reality. Say it out loud and write it down. The idea is no longer just a wish or a dream. It is becoming reality.
- Create a visual. A visual display will keep your declaration at the top of your mind. Post your declaration on the wall and it calls attention and serves to remind. The mind is constantly seeking new information and stimulation. The paper on the wall is visual and requires attention. The paper can be a collage, a word or phrase, or a list to be reviewed and checked off. The visual display will need to be changed from time to time because the mind absorbs the display over time. It will no longer be eye catching or attention grabbing. Move it or change it in order to refresh its effectiveness.
- Acknowledge your strengths. What strengths and skills do you have that you know will empower you to persevere and transform ideas into reality? Consider soft skills as well as technical skills. Examples of soft skills include analytical, problem solver, communicator, curious, competitive, flexible, assertive, etc. Acknowledging these strengths serves as the power base for the journey ahead.
- Formulate a plan. Realize that it’s harder to stop any action once you’ve gotten started than it is to just not start in the first place. Develop actions that will move the idea forward to reality. Don’t worry if the road to the destination is not clear. Have confidence that one action will reveal the next door to open. Stay open to possibilities and learning. What actions can be taken today or this week? What door will open? What is the next possibility?
- Conquer the goal saboteurs. Anticipate distractions, temptations and competing goals. Formulate “if-then” plans, i.e. if I am in this situation, then I will take this action, or if I am distracted by this, then I will do that. Decide specifically when and where planned actions will take place – if it is Tuesday morning, then I will take this action.
- Harness emotions. Positive emotions of happiness and optimism propel us forward. Negative emotions block this forward movement. Strive to increase positive emotions through self-management, association with others or resources such as music or books.
- Bring others to the table. Sharing your declarations and goals with others has manifold benefits. You will gain support and resources from others. Stay open to the possibilities that your connections can provide. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Ask them to hold you accountable for staying on plan. Avoid the naysayers and complainers. They are obstacles on your path.
Take advantage of this time of year to turn your Inspiration into Accomplishment. The missing link is Action. Follow these tips to get started on your path and to recognize and navigate obstacles. Surround yourself with positivity.
For additional support, resources and accountability, consider hiring a coach. Contact me for a free consultation and to explore possibilities.