It’s January 1 and you have written down your goals for the coming year. You have taken my advice from my article Inspiration for Success in 2018. You have imagined your life once you have completed them and you are ready to get started. Motivation is high and you are determined to make this the best year ever and achieve all your goals.
In this post, I will share with you the number one thing you need to do in 2018. I’m not giving you an additional item to add your to do list so don’t be afraid. What I am recommending is a shift in your mind set which will enable you to be more effective in all areas of your life. The number one thing you need to do in 2018 is to adopt a proactive mindset. To start responding to the events in life rather than reacting. What is the difference I hear you ask?
Responding vs Reacting
When we react to situations, we do so immediately based on our emotions. Unfortunately most persons react to situations in life as they happen which allows life to dictate where they go and what they can and cannot do. Responses are proactive, based on thought mixed with emotion. Responses are delayed but are based on reason with an eye on the bigger picture rather than patching a problem temporarily. What I am proposing is that you adopt the following strategies to forge a path to achieve your goals and get the results you desire.
Begin with the end in mind
The first step in creating a proactive mind set is to know what you want. This principle comes from my project management background. If you are taking a vacation, you have to know where you want to go before you can book your trip. You will research the country you want to travel to, then plan your trip based on what you want and what you can afford. If you are looking to vacation on the beach, you will probably go the Caribbean, but if you want to go skiing, you will go to the Swiss Alps. It is important to have an idea of the outcome you want from your vacation and based on that you begin a process of steps, which leads you to achieving your desired objective. This is why I encourage you to know what you want out of life for you and your family and write your intentions down.
Be guided by your priorities
This point could easily have been the first one in this article but here it is. When you have set priorities in life, it is much harder to become distracted. Once you have set the goal that you need to achieve for you and your family, you should prioritize them based in the potential impact they can have, and then allow that prioritization to guide you on a daily basis.
Therefore, if you set two goals; A and B, and you believe that achieving A can have a bigger positive impact on your life then it would not be wise to spend more time on B. Furthermore, if someone gives you something to do, which will take you off your goal for a prolonged period, and adds no value to yourself or those most important to you, then you may simply have to decline.
Set yourself up to win
This third principle has to do with motivation. We usually have good intentions. We say things like, from tomorrow I will start walking the dog, or I will start exercising from Monday. Then tomorrow comes and we do not have the same level of motivation we had when we made that promise to ourselves. The key here is to prepare for the thing you said you would do when the feeling to do it was there. You want to make it as easy as possible for yourself to do the thing you set out to do.
For example, if you want to go to gym the next day, go to the gym while the excitement is there rather than putting it off. Alternatively, pack your gym bag; take out you sneakers and any other item essential to getting to the gym. That way, when the time comes, it becomes a path a less resistance for you.
Finally, give yourself options where possible. The very definition of a great plan is one which covers as many eventualities as possible. Leveraging my project management training once more, I believe it is important to give yourself options in any undertaking. I am sure you are well aware of that guy called Murphy who famously said that anything that can go wrong will. My advice is not to leave something as important as your life’s goals up to chance. Make a plan, but leave allowances for some things not to go according to plan and have an alternative in the event that it does. As I tell my stepdaughter, if you want something bad enough, you find a way to make it happen. This mean not always going the straight path as you had intended.
The issue is most of us live life in a reactive manner, rather than a responsive manner. At this point, the difference may be unclear but if you follow the four recommendations I made in this article and observed persons around you who do not, it will. When we react to every event in our lives, there is a greater possibility that we make a decision, which appears best in that moment but we often find ourselves regretting later. However, your decisions will be well thought out and have emphasis on the big picture if you adopt a proactive mindset through proactive thinking. Take the time to think about what you want. Order your priorities. Set yourself up to win and give yourself room to make mistakes and correct them as you go. These steps will make you a responsive person who is capable of effectively achieving their goals.
Life Inspired Online.