New Year’s resolutions don’t work, but a life plan does!
Let’s be frank. People rarely stick with their New Year’s resolutions. Ninety percent of us who make New Year’s resolutions break them by the end of January. And only 23 percent of everyone who makes a resolution will see it through to completion. One of the most common reasons we break our New Year’s resolutions is that we get a little overzealous when we make them, and we over-commit. Then we blame our busy life schedules when we fail to follow through.
New Year’s resolutions are rarely effective, because people approach them incorrectly. It’s all about perspective. If you can change the way you think about what you want, you are empowered to transform your life. My suggestion is to bury the cliché New Year’s resolutions with the past, and, instead, resolve to make a life plan in the present moment that you can live for in the future. People don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan.
Self-empowerment begins with self-knowledge. Ask yourself, “What do I want?” But, more importantly, ask “Why?” These two questions are the first step toward discovering what your ideal is. If you can identify your why, then you can use your mind to build the life you desire. Rather than being consumed with the outcome — thinking about what type of house you want to live in, what type of car you want to drive or what amount of money you want to make — it is important to discover the intentions behind your ambition instead. Once you are crystal-clear on the why, then you will be extremely driven to accomplish the what. Remember, your why needs to be bigger than yourself; it needs to serve a higher purpose. If your reason isn’t powerful enough, than you will never be motivated and determined enough to overcome all of the obstacles in your way. The why helps us to not just go around the brick walls — it provides us with the strength and power to move and go through the brick walls.
What do you ultimately want your legacy to be? What do you want on your tombstone? Many people drive through life on auto-pilot and never realize they haven’t accomplished anything substantial. Imagine life as a ship and you as its captain. In order to get anywhere, you need to know your destination. Otherwise, you could end up steering your ship in circles. It is crucial to know where you want to end up. Authors will typically write the ending of their story first and the beginning last. Know your end game; reverse engineer it; and design your life map to obtain your why in the quickest amount of time possible.
While you do need to know the coordinates of your destination, it is equally important to also know where you are located in the present. It is impossible to reach a specific point on a map unless you know your current compass. It is imperative to consider your desired end game and to assign it an estimated time frame. Where do you want to be in one to five years? This exercise takes some soul-searching, meditating, contemplating and visualizing to determine your true aspirations.
Once you have established your desired result, it is time to plan and implement. Building a life plan is like constructing a new building. It requires the application of scientific, economic, social and practical knowledge in order to create something that is sustainable as well as substantial. Most people start planning their successes at the beginning of their journeys and work their way forward. A more effective strategy is to use your life map and to start at your end point, working in reverse until you reach your desired result. Reverse engineering allows you to note every intricate twist and turn required that may be invisible from a forward-facing vantage point.
Be precise; review your life plan on a daily basis; and, more importantly, take action. Speed of implementation is a key factor of success. Train your mind to become laser focused, and visualize your end results. Your mind is the builder of your life. Your thoughts lead to your behavior and your behavior leads to your actions, which is what you eventually manifest. Make your mind think your objective is inevitable, and then live your present from that current state of mind.
Do this until it plays like a repetitive movie in your mind. Believe that you will achieve your ambitions, and visualize that celebratory moment of accomplishment. Always review your life map, and share it with a positive sphere of influence. Try to avoid negative people. The saying goes, “negativity in, negativity out.” Wrong. Negativity gives birth to triplets! Check in with yourself daily. Start a journal or make lists, and review and reflect upon them frequently. This allows you to note mistakes and to correct them accordingly. Do not wander off from the path or attempt to detour. Refuse to take shortcuts. There are no shortcuts in life. Do something right, or don’t do it at all. Shortcuts may seem good on a microcosmic scale, but they are the quickest way to setting yourself back on a macrocosmic level.
The key to sticking to your life plan and achieving your greatest desire is to temper passion with a cause you believe in. When you choose to live the life you imagine, you are living the best version of yourself. When you share your innermost thoughts and beliefs, they begin to materialize. Inform trusted ones of your end game and your intentions behind the goal, and temper your expectations to something reasonable. Engage and invite your inner circle to share your dreams, assist with them and hold you accountable to them until completion. Happiness is proportionate to how much we challenge ourselves and how much of a difference we make in the lives of others. The win is important on our scorecards, but it is on the journey in which we find true happiness.
Draw Your Life Map: “Why” Marks The Spot
• Ask yourself, “What do I want my tombstone to say?”
• Discover your “why” and make sure it serves a higher purpose.
• Identify your end game; know your current destination’ and reverse engineer your path to success.
• Evaluate your life plan daily, and remember that your thoughts lead to your behaviors; your behaviors lead to your actions.
• Stick to a timeline, or risk having time fly by.
• A life plan means your resolutions lead your to desired results.