As we head into the New Year, many of us set new goals or try to revive old ones. For some people starting the journey, knowing what to expect can be helpful; however, for others, it can be a motivational killer.
The main reason you may have difficulties accomplishing your goals — or even have a hard time starting to pursue them — is because, as you are trying to visualize the consequences of your actions, you become overwhelmed with the pain and suffering that comes with making specific decisions.
Voices of reason caution, “visualize your goals” or visualize “living your dreams” before starting to pursue them. However, as you begin to do that and start to enjoy these epic images, you can’t help but to also begin to visualize the journey — the road ahead of you to get there.
Visualizing your goals is completely different from visualizing your journey. Often, the immediate pain and difficulties that come with changing your current habits are greater than the pain you feel from living them. Therefore, not many people are pleased to see that, in spite of their efforts, life doesn’t get easier as their struggle with sticking to new healthier habits continues. I wouldn’t be, either.
For example, since your entire life represents the sum of your habits, changing them is the same as remodeling your kitchen. First comes the demo of your old kitchen — or, of your old habits. Then comes the process of removing the debris from the old kitchen and starting to rebuild anew. Changing old habits and beginning with new motives and behavior represents the same concept. Enjoying your new kitchen — or your dreams — is the last step of your journey.
Knowing beforehand what you’re about to go through is often overwhelming and can be counterproductive for some people. If you happen to be one of them, the following 3 steps will help you to stay on track and accomplish your goals:
1. Stay focused on the task at hand. Most people like to feel that they can handle whatever is ahead of them. That’s because most of us are control-freaks. However, that attitude comes with many disadvantages. One of them is that, as you try to visualize your journey, you are looking through a “present-time lens.” Who you are right now hasn’t yet acquired the tools and/or the knowledge that comes along with making hard decisions and, subsequently, experiencing their consequences. You are caught in the trap of helplessly trying to fix your future non-existent problems with your present non-acquired tools at the expense of your un-achieved — but, hoped-for — future goals.
2. Trust yourself. Believe that you’ll learn what you need to learn in order to overcome your obstacles. You need to trust the person you’re about to become. Leave the person you are meant to be to handle what’s meant to happen in your life. Stop trying to understand someone who hasn’t spoken yet. Stop rushing someone who hasn’t arrived yet. Take a deep breath and believe that your decisions are going to provide you with the valuable tools meant to help you in the future, not to freak you out right now. As you move toward your goals, all you have to do right now is to breathe. Someone once told me, “If you worry about something that hasn’t happened yet, you’ll end up going through the same problem twice.”
3. Let it happen. Hard choices will give us an easy life; easy choices will give us a hard life. You need to accept that you’re only in charge of making your choices — not with what happens afterward. Stop trying to control the outcome of your decisions and stay focused on what you need to do next. Stay focused on making the tough choices and the hard decisions. That’s your only responsibility. The less you try to control what happens in between those decisions, the more time and energy you’ll have to deal with the obstacles that come as a result of those decisions.
The next time you catch yourself struggling with visualizing your life lived on fewer calories, or on a budget different from what you would like, or even struggling with being single and on your own, remember to: Stay Focused, Trust Yourself, and Let It Happen..
Leo Frincu is a world wrestling champion, author, speaker and performance coach for business leaders and athletes worldwide. To learn more about his training philosophy, check out his latest book, “WELCOME HOME, 3 Simple Steps On How To Reach Your Highest Potential,” available on Amazon and iBooks.