You set goals for the year. You are excited and suddenly that first challenge shows up. Here are 3 mindset shifts that will help you pull through and keep going.
1. Value the process
The biggest challenge with goals is the number of times you have to choose to follow through. Any goal will require you to choose again and again to do the work. Sometimes that will be easy and sometimes you will experience internal or external resistance.When you set a goal that takes a significant investment of energy and resources you had better find value in the process and not just the outcome. The process is going to be the majority of what you experience, it’s going to be the hours and moments that you choose to do one thing over another and you have to be so committed that you are able to make that choice over and over again. So when you value the process as much as you do the goal, you will make that choice, even when it’s challenging.
2. Put community around your goals
I can’t say this enough, putting community around your goals changes everything. Here we do it in the form of accountability groups but I do this in all sorts of other ways too. For exercise, I have friends I run with because even though I love it, running is a challenge for me. Of course I get so much more out of spending time with them then a cardio workout. When it comes to parenting, who doesn’t need a community to help them? I have a mother/daughter group because parenting and especially raising a strong daughter is incredibly important to me. Giving back and being involved is also an area where I turn to community. I have friends I meet with to discuss and learn about social, equity and environmental issues and as part of our mission we support organizations that are doing the work we feel is needed. If you’re an introvert like me, that might sound overwhelming. However, if it’s an area you truly want support and growth in, stepping out of your comfort zone to get it, is well worth it.
3. Small steps lead to big results
I love the book The Slight Edge. The main point of the book is that what separates you from where you are and where you’d like to be (your goal) is a series of small choices that are easy to do and easy not to do. The example I always think of is ordering a salad for lunch versus a burger. In the short term, easy to do, easy not to do, doesn’t make much of a difference. But over a lifetime it makes a huge difference. I try very hard to impart this wisdom to our clients during planning week, when energy is high, goals are big and there is a desire to come out of the gate blazing ahead. We are running a marathon together and what is going to make the biggest difference are the choices you make every week over and over again.
I hope you will take these lessons into the year. That you will make goals that you will enjoy putting your time, effort and energy into as much as you enjoy the outcome. That putting community around your most important goals or growth areas is not saying you can’t do it on your own but that you don’t need to, and you’ll feel much happier and better that you did. Getting support in the form of community is truly priceless. And last but not least, that you will trust that small steps, taken consistently, will get you there.