So far we've talked about dreaming big, adding a touch of reality and then defining your goal clearly.
When you've done this, you'll have a clear idea of what your goal is and what life will look like when you achieve it.
It's a funny thing, then, that even when we know life will be so much better when we achieve our goal, we so often let it slip.
Why is it that people let go of a resolve to achieve something they really want?
There are two main reasons.
One is that they haven't aligned what they want with what gets them out of bed in the morning.
If you choose something you think you should do, or to please someone, or that is fashionable, you're not going to get there.
If you choose something that is heartfelt and is going to make a difference to you and your life, you are more likely to stay true to your goal.
It's helpful to recognise how you are motivated. Are you one of those people who move away from something that is really bad, or one of those who move towards something enticing?
Some people are disciplined at paying off debt, but not so good at saving, and others can be the other way around. Understanding this might help you to reframe your goal - that is tweaking it to suit you better.
The second reason resolutions fail is that people naively declare their intention to do something, such as quit smoking. However, they don't consider what hurdles might be ahead and come up with strategies to overcome them. I'll talk about this more another time.
For today, think about what motivates you. Remember it needs to be specific and able to be done within your work, home and social environment.
After considering this, do you need to tweak your goal?
There's no point in setting yourself up to fail. If you work in the wine industry, it's not a good idea to set a goal to compete in an ironman just after vintage when you won't have time to train.
Remember, our goals are set in jelly and if a tweak here or there will help you get to the finish line, go right ahead and tweak.
- The Marlborough Express