And so, we come to the bittersweet end of our series on negotiating this new decade to design the life you choose. I hope at this stage that if you’ve been following along, you’ve already planned your vision with intention, uncovered obstacles that may hold you back, discovered your deep why and motivation, and created a productivity plan that allows you to take control over your time. If so, you’re well on your way to setting up your life on your terms and getting out of the daily grind of a ‘to do’ list. If you’re just joining us, don’t fret. You can easily catch up. Just check out our earlier blogs.
The question on your mind now may be ‘how will I stay the course?’. Maybe you’ve set goals and visions before but didn’t stick with it and quit. No worries. I’ve got your back. In this installment, I’ll share some concrete hot tips to help you have the staying power you desire to make this decade your best decade ever as you live into your dreams and live your life more fully on purpose and with purpose.
1. Write Down Your Goals and Vision
Studies indicate that you are statistically significantly more likely to achieve your dreams and vision if you write them down. Only 4% of people who don’t write them down ever achieve them. Stack the odds in your favour. Write down your goals and vision.
2. Publicly Declare Your Dreams and Vision
There is power in the spoken word. Studies suggest that when you publicly declare your intentions, you’re more likely to hold yourself accountable. Whether it’s fear of losing face, compulsion to keep your word, accountability from others, the simple power of speaking the words aloud or something in between, the end result is a higher likelihood that you’ll stick with it if you declare it publicly.
3. Sell Yourself on Your Vision Every Day
I invite you to adopt a routine that includes daily incantations. Incantations are more powerful than mantras or affirmations. Take your vision statement, and frame it in present tense, as if it’s already real. i.e. I am a [fill in your dream]. Every day (preferably when you first wake up and start your day) incant your vision statement aloud. It’s important to do this with emotion and conviction. If you don’t feel the conviction yet, fake it until you make it. You’ll still start to reprogram your brain to this new reality if you announce it as if you believed it with every fibre of your being. Add some physicality to this, through movement, as you repeat your incantation. And emphasize a different word each time you repeat the incantation. i.e. the first time you say it, put the accent on the word ‘I’. The second time put the stress on the word ‘am’ and so on. Finally, anchor the sentiment with a physical action i.e. squeeze your fist, or touch your heart or do the victory pose. You get the idea.
In addition to your daily incantations in the morning, each evening before you go to bed, visualize your future as if it’s already real. See yourself there. Imagine the scene in detail. Add sensory details to make it come alive for you. You can also do this as you’re incanting each morning, or if you prefer, before you start your incantations, as you’re still lying in bed. Early morning before you get up and evening just before you go to sleep are powerful times for visualization as your brain will typically be more receptive – your subconscious will absorb the images and accept them as realities. “If you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand.” Our brains are teleological (goal setting). They want to get rid of tension. When you set a goal, it creates a tension in our brain. The easiest way for the brain to rid itself of the tension is to get rid of the goal. That’s why so many people quit on their goals and dreams. Instead, though, if you stay persistent in your dreams and goals through visualizations and incantations, your brain will recognize that this tension isn’t going away anytime soon and so it better solve it – resolve the tension by finding a solution to move toward your vision. How exciting is that?
4. Note to Self
No matter how much you sell yourself on your vision, there will likely be days when you suffer from doubt, fear or a resurgence of old limiting beliefs coming back to haunt you. Don’t panic. That’s normal. And you can prepare for this possibility.
- Record a voice memo with a personal pep talk when you’re feeling confident and play it for yourself when that niggling doubt creeps in.
- Similarly, write a note to yourself, encouraging future you to keep at it; reminding yourself of your strong why; assuring yourself that you’ve got this, that you can do it. Keep it somewhere safe and accessible so you can take a moment to read it whenever you need a pick-me-up to stay the course.
5. Celebrate Your Failures
Recognize that you will hit roadblocks and have setbacks. There is great power in changing your mindset about failure. Look forward to it. Embrace it. Celebrate your failures – train yourself to ‘failebrate’! It is only through failure that we can move to success. Had you quit the first time you fell down as a toddler you would never have learned to walk. Failure is a natural and necessary part of the learning process. Our aversion comes from the negative meaning we’ve allowed our self to attach to it. Flip the meaning you attach and you’ll soar as you take the learnings from each so-called failure and get better. Your thoughts are the gateway between where you are and where you want to go. Change your thoughts – change your life!
6. Proximity Is Power
Be intentional about who you spend your time with. It is said that your success will be the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Make a point of surrounding yourself with people who uplift and challenge you to be the best version of yourself. Ensure you include people in your inner circle who push themselves to achieve more. That will increase the likelihood that you’ll have sticking power when you hit those inevitable bumps in the road.
7. Using Your Phone For Good (instead of time wasting)
- Input your goals/vision in your phone. Set alarms on your phone for certain times of the day. When the alarm goes off, review your goals and vision and practice gratitude immediately. This will help anchor your vision and keep you on track.
- I invite you to put your phone on airplane mode at night before you go to bed and do NOT look at your phone when you wake up in the morning. Instead, feel your mind and soul – practice gratitude, set an intention for the day, etc. Pay attention to your language. i.e. avoid thinking ‘I have to do xyz today’ and substitute that thought with ‘I get to do xyz today’. A subtle but powerful mindset shift.
8. Create Sticky Habits
Build habits that stick. Make the suggestions above into non-negotiable habits.
- When you don’t feel like it, tap into your deeper why – something bigger than you to keep you on course and motivated when you’re questioning whether it’s worth it.
- Also, I invite you to tap into your future perspective not your current perspective when you’re considering your path. If you focus on your current perspective, you’ll likely focus on the pain rather than tapping into the pleasure of the future goal once attained. What do I mean by that? Consider incantations above. No doubt at the outset you’ll feel like an idiot traipsing around your house shouting out your vision statement as you throw your arms up in the victory pose. That discomfort in your present perspective could cause you to take a pass. But if you tap into your future perspective and see the future you living into your vision after your incantations have had the desired effect, you’ll be more motivated to suck it up and start incanting. Make sense?
- Make time for your new habits. Note I said make time, not find time. You won’t magically find the time for these new routines. You’ll need to commit to making them a priority and scheduling them as you would any other important commitment in your life. Make them non-negotiable. Train your brain that you’re going ahead with these new life-changing habits even – and especially – on the hard days. Aristotle said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
Remember, success is a cumulation of little changes. These habits may seem insignificant on their own, but the cumulative effect will be profound.
Throughout this series, I’ve offered a sequence of stepping-stones to allow you to create a blueprint for this decade. I hope you accepted my invitation and took the path to design your next decade with intention, to open up to mindset shifts that can move the dial for you and help you connect with your deeper vision to make it a reality. If you did, you should now have 20/20 vision for 2020 and beyond. And you’re ready to step into the best version of your life! Enjoy it!
If you’re interested in kick-starting 2020 to make it your best year and decade, try our new Women On Purpose Planner, designed and dedicated to helping you step into a purposeful and purpose-driven life!