Archive for December 29th, 2009

I was going to blog something else this evening, but then I came across this article and it fit in so well with what I posted this morning that I decided to share this with you instead.

Forget New Year’s Resolutions – They Don’t Work

Goal setting expert explains real success lies in life plans, not in making resolutions.

“You can forget about making New Year’s Resolutions if you’re hoping for a successful outcome. Most aren’t worth the paper they’re written on,” says Vic Johnson, a leading goal setting and motivation expert.

Most New Year’s Resolutions have gone by the wayside before January is over and most won’t even be remembered six months later. And the reason is pretty simple. Most are made in response to something negative; a habit or situation that the person wants to change or end. And therein lies the problem – it’s hard to develop momentum from a negative response. It is always easier to move toward something than away from something.

Consider one of the most adopted goals — weight loss. No one can get excited about losing weight – it requires deprivation. It’s a negative response to concerns about appearance, health, etc. The results of weight loss New Year’s Resolutions demonstrate their weakness. A survey sponsored by Gardenburger found that more than three-fourths of all women between the ages of 25 and 54 make diet and weight-loss plans each year. Nearly nine of 10 respondents reported only occasional or no success, while almost half lost little or actually gained weight instead.

“The people who succeed at losing weight and maintaining the loss have usually been motivated by a dream much bigger and more positive than just losing weight,” explains Johnson. “They see themselves living a healthy lifestyle. They begin to act and think like people who are in good physical shape. There’s more of a radical change in a person’s thinking and actions than you see with most resolutions. It wouldn’t be possible to effect and sustain such a radical change unless the person is motivated by a big dream that is positive in nature.”

Another popular aim is to quit smoking. Johnson himself was a three-pack-a-day smoker until he celebrated a smoke-free New Year’s sixteen years ago. “For over twenty years I had tried to quit many times using every tool and technique I’d hear about. But as long as I was trying to quit, I couldn’t break the grip. Instead, I developed a dream to become a non-smoker. I fell in love with the idea of breathing clean air instead of smoky air, of my body and clothes smelling nice instead of smoky. I thought about how wonderful it would be to taste food again. I decided to start acting and thinking like a non-smoker, and when the thinking took hold I simply quit smoking. In all the years since, I’ve never wanted another cigarette, never even thought about wanting one.”

According to Johnson, the best goal to set is one that calls for the individual to create a plan for their life based on a set of personal dreams. “Most people are in a free-fall through life, careening from one crisis to the next. If you were going to build a new house and you had this idea for a fabulous master bedroom suite, you wouldn’t rush out and start building the master bedroom. You’d have a complete plan before you started. When you approach resolutions and goals in the same manner, you end up with a much better chance of achieving success.”

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Why have a Plan?

Quote: “Failures don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan.” Harvey MacKay. This has been quoted by many other well known names in different formats, but the meaning remains the same!

When someone starts a business they usually set up a Business Plan before they start!  Well most people do anyway 🙂

Of course it makes sense to do this since they have to present this to the Bank to get funding, or to a prospective Business Partner.

Why not then a Life Plan for our lives?

Statistics have shown that very few people sit down and prepare a plan for their lives.

Why is this do you think?

Perhaps your parents never did, perhaps they never really thought about it and subsequently you did not learn the skill.

A plan, a.k.a. setting goals, is a roadmap for where we want to go and what we want to do in life.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Abraham Lincoln

We make plans for holidays, mostly, (of course it is great fun to take a spontaneous holiday), but on the whole we do the research: where we want to go, what we want to see, where we want to stay, how much money we are going to take to make it a great holiday, how we are going to get there, and we set a date.

Planning our lives should contain the same components.   Why then do so few people sit down and make a plan for their lives?

Is it an innate sceptism?   Are we fearful of setting parameters for our lives; maybe missing out on something if it is not included in the plan?

I have all my life rebelled against setting goals i.e. making a plan, preferring instead to ‘go with the flow’.   Well here I am at 54years, and with 4 months to go till my 55th, I am where the flow has taken me!   And, it is not entirely to my satisfaction.  But……..

As Anthony Robbins would say: “The past does not equal the future.”

I have been swept along, and carried by the waves of life, going with the flow and now I have washed up on the beach of ‘nowhere’.

If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up some place else. Yogi Berra

In the last few months after a long journey of Personal Development I am finally at the stage where I get it!!   I have to have a plan.   To that end, I have in the last few weeks found myself far more focussed and this is after just setting a few plans down on paper, and I am making good progress :).

“The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” Eden Phillpots

Now, with an eye on the future, I have set a day aside to draw up a plan for the next year, the next 2 years and so on.   On the first of January 2010, I will be sitting down with my startupprincess guide and when I have completed that, I intend writing up a plan, setting some goals of what I want to achieve and where I am going.  This will be my roadmap, my guide for where I want to go and what I want to achieve for the next year and beyond.

The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them.   Even the most tedious chore will become endurable, as you parade through each day, convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to achieving your dreams.  Og Mandino 1923-1996 Author


What are your plans for 2010 and for the future?   Once you have your plan; your roadmap for 2010 here is a tip:

Look at your plan and see how it has been written.   Have you used any ‘away-from’ goals?  E.g. I want to lose weight. Or I want to give up ‘whatever’.

Look at your plan/goals and check if they can be written in a more positive way.  What about including: enthusiastic, fun, strong, and loving way.

Plans tend to happen more rapidly when we work ‘on’ them and ‘in’ them at the same time.   What this means is that they need developing and growing, just as surely as you grow and develop.   Goals and plans should never be static, they should be an active, growing thing, alive and constantly developing.   I never got that, till recently 🙂

Goals should be in clear language, inspiring and exciting and include having fun.  E.g. If you want to achieve a certain weight that requires increasing your level of activity, find something that you really enjoy and participate in that.  For instance, I love walking and have now made it a goal of mine to walk every day for at least 30 minutes, ergo; I have a plan: I get fit, I enjoy the action and in time I will achieve my target and at the same time I get to experience more of the world around me.

If something unexpected happens, as things do, look at how it can be accommodated in your plan, and if you have to take a slight detour, it will be easier to deal with because you have a plan.   You will be able to get back on track as lot sooner if you have a roadmap!

Good luck for 2010, enjoy your planning!

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