Creating sustainable and positive change in 2014

How many of us set resolutions that have fallen by the wayside well, before we feel the warmth of the spring sun? I know I’ve been guilty of that in the past. Here’s a few thoughts on how to give yourself a fighting chance of achieving your goals this year;

1. Are your goals aligned with your core values?

It is vital that goals we set, match up with our purpose in life. If you chase after something that is not consistent with what really matters to you deep down, when the going gets tough you’re likely to 'jack it in' because the intrinsic motivation isn’t there. If you don’t know what your core values are (and finding that out is a journey in itself), could that be a goal for 2014?

2. Have you set too many goals?

How many resolutions have you set yourself? Sometimes we can fall into the trap of trying to change too much all at once. In coaching, a golden rule is to focus on one thing at a time until you achieve the change you desire, then move on to something else. If we try to change too much in one go, we risk making no long term change at all as changes in behaviour and thinking need practice to become habits. Typically it takes at least 21 days of continuous practice to change a habit. What one change would make the biggest difference to your life? So could you reduce your list down and prioritise? What one change would make the biggest difference to your life?

3. Are your goals structured, are they SMART?

I wrote a blog recently about my take on the SMART style of goal setting – see here:

The reason I haven’t included anything about ‘realistic’ or ‘achievable’, is because if you properly look at your action plan and time-scale, it quickly becomes apparent whether something is realistic or not. I also encourage people to aim higher than they think possible in the long term, but to be realistic when looking at time-scale – manageable change over a period of time is a far more constructive use of your time than chasing one massive ‘quick fix’  that you can’t maintain – we want sustainable change.

I’ll finish by saying this, which I passionately believe;

“Motivation without action is simply dreaming, action without vision or motivation is a waste of effort. Success comes from motivation combined with sustained action in a direction that’s aligned with your vision and values ”.

I wish you the best of success and happiness for 2014!

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