For the longest time I thought about life in all the wrong ways. When I wanted or needed to make a change, I used to think that if I had enough willpower then I could make the desired change.
However, I was so wrong. Weight loss goals. Business goals. Family and life goals. I would set them and fill myself with the willpower and push full steam ahead. I would dive in head first and just go, go, go. Reaching for goal after goal, on a full speed willpower driven race to crush my goals. But the only thing I was really racing towards was burnout. I would power myself as if I am in a race, and quickly I would lose my energy.
But why? I had armed myself with my goals, willpower, and the motivation to succeed, yet each time I would wind up stressed, confused, and ready to give up. The only thing I became successful at was failure to reach my goals.
Then one day, I realized the way I was thinking about all the goals in my life was wrong. Not only did I lack the proper plan, but I also realized willpower had absolutely nothing to do with reaching goals. ZERO, zilch, nada… willpower is pointless when it comes to goals and success.
I know this goes against everything you have heard. People are constantly teaching about having the willpower to lose weight, stop smoking, build your business, and that is just WRONG. Willpower is temporary and fleeting. It is the act of having control over something. To suggest, you need to use willpower to crush goals, in reality sets you up for failure. Is it possible to have control over something from beginning to end?
Perhaps, but think about all the energy it would take for you to constantly fight to be in control of anything. It takes way too much energy to try and remain in control at all times, and this exertion of energy leads to burnout.
What you need instead is something more balanced, long term, and consistent. You need to make a lifestyle change… you need to establish a positive MINDSET.
Your mindset is the key to success. Having a positive mindset will take you further than willpower ever can. Mindset is defined as “an established set of attitudes held by someone”. The key word is “established”. It takes time, practice, and motivation to establish anything. It is not fleeting, it is not about exerting power and control, it is about making a shift that will become a permanent part of your lifestyle.
For instance, take my weight loss goals. For those of you who don’t know I had a total thyroidectomy, four years ago. I chronicled what it is like to live life without a thyroid last year during one of my wellness segments. But since my surgery, I put tremendous pressure on myself, constantly exercising, watching the scale, strict meal plans and nothing work.
Then one day last year, I decided I was done exerting my energy in this manner and instead I would just make a lifestyle switch. I started being more conscious of my food choices, take walks for exercise, and believe it or not, I have seen more results since I took this approach.
I stopped exerting willpower and switched up my mindset and am now seeing results.
Having the right mindset, takes way less energy and is way less stressful. In order to reach your goals, you have to throw willpower out the window and shift to a positive and optimistic outlook.
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Here are a 5 tips to help you create the right mindset to reach your goals.
1. Write it down
Create vision board. Get a goal planner. Start a Google Doc. Or go old-fashioned with a notebook and pen. Whatever your method, get to jotting down your goals. It doesn’t have to be organized at first. You can do a brain dump of ideas and then go back later and organize them. Get the thoughts out of your head. You can think about what you want to do all day, everyday, but the first step to putting those plans in motion is to write them out so you can see them. By writing them out, you take the first step on getting clear with what you want so that you can create a plan to get there.
2. Create S.M.A.R.T. goals
After you have written out your goals, you need a plan to achieve your goals. In order for your mindset to activate, it has to have a plan of action. You go wrong when you don’t have a clear path of intent when you set out to reach out goals. To get your mind and your goals on the same page, you have to create goals which are S.M.A.R.T.
Specific– clear with intent so that you can focus. You have to know the Who, What, Where, Why, & How so that you know the path you need to follow
Measurable– you have to have a way to track your goals. Deadlines, milestones, deliverables, data collection… some form of metrics that you can track to make the goal more tangible.
Attainable– You have to know how will you achieve this goal. Will you need certain tools or skills? Will you need to take some classes? Use this step to decide what you need so that you can accomplish this goal.
Realistic– You have to be real when setting up your goals. It is great to dream big, but if you set the goal too high, then you just set yourself up for failure. Consider where you are right now, and where you want to be in the future. Set smaller realistic goals that will get you to where you want to go.
Timely-You need to attach a deadline or target date to your goals or you risk short-term goals turning into long-term goals because you haven’t attached a time limit to them.
3. Stop focusing on the how and know your why.
You can get your mindset going in the right direction by knowing your why. You want to focus on the why, and not so much the how. It’s easy to get frustrated looking at the how, because realistically many times you won’t know exactly how you will achieve a goal. You can have the best laid plans, have your SMART goals all written out, but sometimes life happens and the how becomes obsolete.
If you focus on the how, you will be trying to come up with a new “how” every time something happens that gets in your way. Instead switch up your mindset to know and focus on your “WHY”. When you know your “WHY” no matter what happens in life, you are able to adjust and keep going. Knowing your why allows you to bounce back and recover. No matter how crazy your journey gets, you have to remember your why..
4. Have a clear vision
When you have a clear vision of where you are headed, it’s easier to stay focused on the bigger picture. You can help establish the right mindset, but having a clear picture in mind of where you desire to be in the next 1, 3, 5, or even 10 years. One way to help gain clarity in vision is to break your bigger goals down into smaller goals. You can take a 6 month plan and break it down month-by-month, week-by-week, and even day-by-day. You can focus on what you need to be doing each day so that you can reach the goals you have set next year.
5. Stay focused
No matter what happens stay focused. Keep your mind free of clutter, distractions, and confusion. Keep a positive outlook on life. In this digital day and age it is easy to get distracted by the things we see. We see the success of others and want to compare ourselves. Impostor syndrome creeps in and we wind up doubting our true skill sets. Sometimes you need to turn off your phone, disconnect from social media so that you can get focused on your life plans and goals.
Today, I challenge to throw willpower out the window and get your mind right. Channel your energy into forming long-term, life-changing attitudes and habits to help shape a positive mindset. No longer do you have to be victim to negative thoughts, unrealistic goals, and unfair self-treatment. The right mindset will lasts longer than willpower ever will. Get your mind right. You deserve it!
Looking for a planner that can help you plan out all of your goals. The Slay Your Goals planner is what you need. This printable planner is packed full of resources, goal planning sheets, and information that helps you break down your S.M.A.R.T. goals and successfully tackle your to-do lists. Check out my thoughts on the Slay Your Goals planner and get your own planner today!
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Until Next Time,