Create Your Best Year Yet!

In a recent post, I mentioned that we all respond to our environment in a natural way. Sometimes our responses produce effective, long-term results. Other times, our responses are short-term and reactive. I compared two stances in life – a Problem-Reacting Stance and an Outcome-Creating stance. In the Problem-Reacting Stance, the focus is on solving the problem and “getting back to normal.”  The driving force behind your action is not actually the problem itself (although if you fit into this stance, you probably think it is). In fact, the driving force is usually the anxiety and discomfort caused by the problem. The challenge with this stance is that the core beliefs underlying it are “I’m not responsible for what’s going on around me” or “I can’t create what I want.” The Outcome-Creating Stance takes a different approach. The focus isn’t on the problem but on the desired result or vision. This stance is all about bringing things into being, as opposed to making things go away. The driving force behind the action is meaning, passion, and purpose, and the core beliefs that underlie this stance are “I am powerful,” “I can create the result I want,” and “I am responsible for what’s going on around me.” What is your stance in life? Are you ready to step into your power in 2012? Are you ready to live the vision you have for your life? Here is a 4-step process to help you step into the life you want in 2012 and make a shift toward an Outcome-Creating stance. Step 1: Reframe or Remove To truly create a life aligned with your wildest dreams and aspirations, the first thing you have to do is break through that fear of failure and adopt a bold and audacious attitude. This attitude is one that squashes that little voice inside your head that says, “I could do this but…” or “That always happens to me….” Transforming to a bold and audacious attitude is all about understanding how you limit yourself, recognizing those limitations, and making a commitment to reframe or remove that negative inner voice every time you hear it. Step 2: Establish Goals To begin, take a fearless inventory of your current situation – what are your strengths, opportunities, and limiters? What do you value most? Answering these questions gives you a starting point, and once you understand where you are, you can formulate where you want to be. In other words, you can establish your goals. Goals should be detailed, actionable, descriptive, measurable, and challenging. Additionally, a bold and audacious attitude empowers you to think outside the box without limiting what you can achieve. As part of each goal include a passionate statement identifying “why” the goal is important to you. Documenting the purpose behind each goal will help provide the direction and motivation you will need throughout the year to make each goal a reality. Step 3: Create a Personal Action Plan Creating a personal action plan for each goal is just as important as establishing the goal itself. The goal provides the destination, and the personal action plan provides the road map to get you there. It is important to recognize that success is simply a series of small steps that people take on a consistent basis. The action plan is the conceptualization of those small steps and should include detailed action items you will take to achieve your goals and a target completion date for each action item. Step 4: Be Accountable With your goals identified and an action plan established, you are ready to track toward your desired destination. And, it helps to seek support and accountability along the way. Start and end each week by reviewing your goals. This will give you the opportunity to refine your plan, focus your actions, and measure your results. To make this process easier, take your goals and create a one-page summary that includes each goal and its respective “why” statement. Place the summary in a frame and then in a location where you will see it every day (e.g., your office or home desk). You can also add accountability by seeking support from others. Join a mastermind group, find a coach, or share your goals with colleagues. The New Year comes with an opportunity to start fresh and to bringing things into being, as opposed to making things go away.  Make this the year you achieve both your personal and professional dreams and aspirations. Make this the year you shift to a stance in life that is founded in meaning, purpose, and passion. If you are interested in a more guided process, check out The Ultimate Goal Setting Guide. This 47 page guide will walk you through a detailed and proven process for assessing some of the most important areas of your life (finances, career, health and fitness, etc), and help you create your best year yet.

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