Have you struggled with previous New Year’s resolutions that you’ve make? Did you give up on your goal to lose weight, save money, or improve a relationship? Was it difficult to sustain your efforts for a long enough period of time to realize a positive result? Do you think that you’ve failed or that you just haven’t figured out yet how to accomplish your goal?
Wendy’s in this predicament. She’s worked for other people her entire life, and always come to feel stifled by her bosses. When Wendy approached her past employers to discuss the possibility of advancement, she was told how great she was in her current role and how important she was to the company in that position. She’s seen as a great administrative assistant, but nothing more.
Wendy could create the opportunity to work for herself, but she’s struggled to do what’s necessary to take the steps required to be the boss of her own company. She wants to be in a more responsible role, but has to learn how to motivate herself in order to put herself in that position.
To be successful, studies show, people benefit from writing down their goals. It’s important to set specific objectives that include a timeline detailing exactly what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it. After writing down your action plan, it’s essential to share it with others. Publicly committing to pursuing positive outcomes is far more powerful than simply dreaming about doing something.
Writing down goals along with specific steps to success and a list of supportive relationships makes it easier to see that a positive outcome is possible. An action plan ignites passion, fosters teamwork, and generates optimism – three essential ingredients needed to overcome the obstacles that you’ll face on your path to success.
Life is like a hike through the woods. You’re progressing along life’s path with everything you need for the journey in your backpack. Suddenly you come across a huge tree that has fallen and completely blocked the way to where you want to go. You have a choice to make at that point. You can turn around and allow the obstacle to prevent you from making it to your destination. Or you can throw your backpack over the trunk of the tree, thus committing yourself to finding a way to get over or around the barrier.
Until you’re committed, you’ll be hesitant and ineffective because you’ll always back away from what’s blocking you. All of your great ideas and splendid plans will wither. But when you commit to doing whatever’s necessary to reach your goal, the energy of the universe begins to align with your efforts. Many good things will happen to help you move along the path to your desired destination.
That’s what happened to Thomas Edison back in early 1879. He’d already failed in numerous attempts to invent the electric light bulb. So it came as a surprise to those who knew him when he declared to the world that he’d put a working bulb on display by the end of that year.
President John F. Kennedy took the same approach in 1962 when he proclaimed that the United States would put a man on the moon within 8 years. No one was more surprised by that deadline than the people at NASA who knew the tremendous challenges that would have to be surmounted in order to realize that dream.
These men threw their backpacks over the log and, as we all know, the strategy was successful. They generated massive motivation to overcome the many obstacles standing in the way, and their public commitment paid off.
Making a bold commitment is an essential step for giving us the inspiration we need to pursue our dreams, but it’s not all that’s necessary. Most people think that self-discipline is another ingredient that’s required, but that’s not what the research has revealed. Building daily rituals has proven to be the best method for realizing success. Establishing rituals involves setting up specific times in which we devote ourselves to practicing specific behaviors that will incrementally improve our performance over time.
Wendy eventually became successful by writing out a mouth-watering vision for her business and scheduling time to work on making it a reality. She committed to doing her “homework” every day at the same time her kids did theirs. Within a month her daily ritual had begun to pay dividends.