Decision + Commitment = Success

success

Last week, I gave you the assignment to look back on 2016 and really take ownership of your year. To review the calendar for success, big milestones, and accomplishments. Here’s the link to that post: https://katiepulsifercoaching.com/2016/12/30/reflection/

We know that you achieved a great deal and it is important to own it and celebrate it!

Then I asked you to spend time reflecting on what you were feeling most of the year.
I asked if you experienced any of these emotions on a regular basis during 2016.

Happy, Motivated, Excited, Confident, Focused, Content?
Or
Afraid, Worried, Detached, Sad, Guilty, Confused, Shame?

How do you feel?

This is one of the most important questions that we can ask ourselves.

Here’s why.

Our feelings tell us exactly what is going on in our minds and what we are thinking about. And all of our feelings inspire the action we take towards the results that we achieve. Everything we do in life is based on how we feel.
And everything we feel is based on our thoughts.
Our feelings tell us EVERYTHING!

When we feel happy and motivated, we take very different action than when we feel afraid and worried. If you are like me, then I am sure you can think of many specific examples in your life where this has been true.

Often when we are dealing with negative feelings, we take no action or worse, we indulge in pleasure-seeking activities to help us feel better. This is can be a very slippery slope because our strong desire to push away negative feelings and to replace them with more positive feelings can become so strong, that we can create a pattern of over-indulgence and self-sabotage. The results of over-indulgence and self-sabotage are always negative and require even more effort to get us back on track.

So what does all this mean as we head into 2017?

New Year. Fresh Start. Goals. Resolutions.

We are filled with such hope at this time of year. We see what is possible as we write down our resolutions. We tell ourselves that this is the year that we will really make a change. We can feel it. Or can we?

Most of us will struggle to follow-thru on the changes that we want to make or to achieve the goals that we set for ourselves.

And here’s why.

There is a big difference between “noticing” what we want and deciding what we want.
“Noticing” what we want is basically like saying….”I am going to try to achieve this goal in 2017 and let’s see how it works out.”

Hmmmm.

Being “interested” in a goal is like keeping the option to not follow-through, open. We let ourselves off the hook (ahead of time) before we try to accomplish it. We go only 1/2 in.

I know the results of this kind of goal-setting all too well because I see it in my new clients all the time. They are “interested” in making a change and start out with all kinds of conviction about it and then when any negative feelings surface (which they always do), they have a pattern of turning to an indulgence behavior to “feel better”, which ultimately sabotages their original goal.

Regardless of the client or the situation, the problem is always the same.
The problem is that there was never a decision to achieve the goal.
A decision to achieve the goal, no matter what.
Making a decision is absolutely critical to the goal-setting process.
A decision seals commitment.
Commitment is what produces success.

Here are some real client examples of what it looks like to be “interested” in a goal vs. deciding to achieve the goal.

Goal 1. To get in better shape / lose weight
Then indulge in over-eating and over-drinking when discomfort, boredom or loneliness show up.

Goal 2. To get out of debt
Then to indulge in over-spending and over-purchasing when fear and worry show up.

Goal 3. To get more organized
Then to indulge in clutter and being too busy to hide behind unhappiness.

Goal 4. To be more empowered
Then to indulge in being the victim, blaming others, gossiping and creating drama when we need attention from others.

Goal 5. To improve relationship with spouse
Then to indulge in trying to manipulate and change him to feel appreciated and valued.

Most of us know how to make decisions.
Where we struggle, is how to manage the negative emotions that come up for us.
And because we do not know how to sit with negative emotions and accept their presence in our lives, we do everything in our power to avoid them – even if that means sabotaging our own goals.

  • So as you think about what you want to accomplish in 2017, can you decide to go all in?
  • Can you make a decision to achieve your goal, no matter what?
  • Can you seal your commitment level with a decision to succeed?
  • Can you decide that you will manage all your emotions as they come up because you have committed to your goal?
  • Can you make your success inevitable, because you are not willing to sabotage your goal with other competing interests?

Yes, you can. I know you can.

And, if you’re thinking that you want some support in creating a commitment to support your big decision this year, why not schedule a complimentary Breakthrough Session? It’s a 30-minute conversation that may just be exactly what you need to inspire commitment and bring you closer to the success you’re wanting this year!

The Importance of Reflection.

reflection

It is a perfect week to look back – to scan over the months and days of 2016 – a time for reflection.

To think about all the things that took place during the year.

To give our time and attention to the details of our life.

We worked hard to create every moment. To schedule every appointment. To accomplish every task.

Why not take some time to assess what it all meant and to reflect on the cumulative effect of all our hard work?

Take 30 minutes and sit down with your 2016 calendar and look back on the year.

Review each month carefully – noticing the doctor’s appointments, scheduled meetings, morning drop-offs, vacations, performances, family reunions, errands, date nights, work trips and house projects.

Think about the flow of money in and out of your life.
Think about your health throughout the year, the sick days and the well days.
Think about the love you gave and the love you received.
Think about the emotions you experienced throughout the year.

How did you feel most of the time?
Happy? Motivated? Excited? Confident? Focused? Content?
Or
Afraid? Worried? Detached? Sad? Guilty? Confused?

Make notes and observations about 2016 and then answer these questions:

  • What moments are you most proud of and why?
  • Where did you struggle and why?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • How did you grow and evolve?
  • Where did you hold yourself back?

Take responsibility and ownership of all of it. Every single moment was created by you.

It’s not just the events that fill the blocks of time on our calendars that matter – it is the effect of all of those events, combined with our physical and emotional well-being that determine the success of our lives.

It doesn’t matter how much we accomplished (on the calendar) in 2016, if we spent a lot of the year feeling exhausted, lonely, stressed out and broke.

This reflection exercise is so important because it encourages us to look at the whole picture of 2016 and to be honest with ourselves about our results. And here is what is really important to understand – our results are always created by our own thinking. Seriously! All of our 2016 results began with our thoughts. So all of our positive results started with positive thoughts and all of our negative results started with negative thoughts.

It is so important to really grasp this concept before moving into any goal setting for 2017 because you have the opportunity to generate different results for yourself by changing your thoughts. But before you do any 2017 planning, I really encourage you to look back in detail at 2016 and reflect on the overall outcome. Be honest with yourself about your year. Be truthful. Own it. All of it. From this place, you will be able to be much more authentic in looking ahead to what you want to accomplish next year.

Next week, I will give you some specific exercises on how to create your 2017 goals, using your most valuable and sophisticated planning tool – your mind! Here’s the link to the exercises: https://katiepulsifercoaching.com/2017/01/06/success/

Until then – Happy New Year!