Well, the new year is here. Everybody wants to have their best year ever – but, how? Identify errors from 2016, so you can eliminate and correct them in 2017. That’s it!
Sounds easy, right?
It takes grit to perform a personal assessment, identify errors, and then admit where things went wrong. Our ego likes to pull the shade over anything we do wrong. Pushing ego aside, and doing the hard work of introspection is necessary if you want to improve.
If you let your ego seduce you and ignore the facts, you may be able to slide for a few months without feeling the effects, but, they’ll surface at some point – they always do. If for no other reason, self-audits on a regular basis are a must if growth is your thing. If not, keep doing what you do (or don’t do) and react when the shit hits the fan. That may be a little blunt, but those are your options; be the one that sets the direction for your life or get bounced around like a pinball as life sets it for you.
Success isn’t just for “other people.” Success is for anyone willing to learn how to implement strategy in their life. Strategy is merely a recipe; a set of instructions that lay out the steps you need to take to reach the desired result. As in cooking, applying strategy to your life requires practice. The more you cook, the better you become. The more you examine your life, correct errors, and create and implement strategies that work for you, the better you become.
The most important part of creating a winning strategy is knowing you. Wherever you’re at right now is your starting point. Identify the following:
By identifying this up front, you’ll be ready to identify any sneaky behavior your ego throws in your way. For instance, if increasing my income by 10% is my goal, and a weakness of mine is shopping, I’d better figure out how to appease that part of my ego with something other than spending my money. It’ll do me no good to increase my income if my spending increases with it. One way to appease the part of my ego that says “You work so hard; you deserve to treat yourself,” is to treat myself to a walk in the woods, a day at the beach, or extra time with my family. Since I’ve identified a new reward, my ego is satisfied, and I keep my spending in check.
Current Stats: I weigh _____ pounds.
Goal: Lose 10 pounds
List #1 – Steps:
Step 1: Create a healthy menu each week.
Step 2: Increase my exercise
Step 3: Reward my progress
List #2 – Strengths:
List #3 – Weaknesses:
Now that you’ve got your goal identified and your lists made, you have a great start on a strategy. We’ll need a place to keep our goals and track our progress. Here is where you can reward yourself before you ever begin by putting everything in a special book, binder, or file that you decorate in a way that makes you happy. Whether you’re creative and want lots of swirls and color, or you’re a tech geek that likes columns and checkboxes don’t hold back! Make it somewhere you want to visit often to collect your data and track your progress.
Using the steps above as an example, we’re ready to start creating a healthy menu. Start with one week at a time, and work up to four weeks. Then, you can mix and match those meals to keep yourself on track.
If you’re like me, and you want to make things simple, think of two or three breakfast items and use one of those each day. I strive to drink a green smoothie every day. By making a blender full, I have two or three tall glasses done. When I’m out of time, I’ll eat a banana with some raw pumpkin seeds or nuts – easy peasy.
Follow this process with the other steps in your goal plan, and you’ll be on your way to creating positive change in your life. To ensure your changes stick, set aside a day every so often to look back at your progress. Where did you get tripped up? What worked well? Are you seeing any negative patterns that you need to address? A plan is only as good as the follow-through. You’ve got to collect data as you go along so you have something to measure. Where you need to tweak things, do so without berating yourself. Change is difficult, but if you lay out a plan and monitor your progress you’ll be on your way to making positive changes in your life.