Most goal-setting strategies are about doing:
What are the steps I need to take to reach my goal?
How can I break them down into actionable steps?
How do I motivate myself to actually complete these steps?
Did you also know that 95% of people who have made a New Year’s resolution have already broken it by January 15th?
So what gives? What is wrong here?
Well, let’s break it down. Is the strategy on how to achieve goals wrong? Is it that the goals and dreams themselves are too ambitious, too out of reach? Why are we breaking our resolutions so easily?
I know a goal is not a resolution but my point here is gonna be the same so stay with me, ok?
I believe all the gurus, experts and goal setting instructors are missing ONE crucial little detail. They are so focused on behavior-changing activities, but nothing of that will matter in the slightest if you don’t understand what causes that behavior in the first place.
What they are missing to take into consideration is the lower brain.
The lower brain just want to stay its same old self, regardless of the pain it’s causing you in your life, and you can throw all kinds of S.M.A.R.T goals at it you want, but the lower brain is not gonna care about a specific and measurable goal…because hello pizza. Warm, salty and decadent, anyone?
Goal setting strategies are just not gonna cut it. Because it was never about the outside stuff. Change your environment, change the events and change the people around you and still the change in you never lasts. Well, apparently it lasts until January 15th…that’s about two weeks. Not enough time to even get you an inch towards a big ass hairy goal. (Because why play small, right?).
So what works then?
Attention works. My question for you is; What are you giving your attention to this year?
What are you gonna focus on?
The cliché ”what you focus on expands” is scientifically proven and very real (the brain expands and grows when you redirect your attention to new tasks).
So lemme ask you, What are you giving your attention to this year?
Your attention is the magic wand in reaching any goal and now when you know the little secret to getting what you want in life…what are you gonna do with it?
Where are you going to put your attention?
In Buddhism, it’s all about attention. Not only where you put it but the conscious effort to let go of attention as well.
Let me repeat that, the conscious effort to let go of what’s holding your attention. Like warm yummy pizza. Let that thought go.
This requires awareness. The mental effort to let go of holding your attention on what doesn’t serve you and re-focusing your attention on what does serve you, on what you wanna see manifested in your life is what I’m talking about here.
This is the secret to reaching goals. Big hairy (scary) goals.
If you keep finding yourself back to square one again and again then it’s because you’re still holding your attention on the things that you do not really want. Or maybe even worse, your mind is a wandering mind, a mind that is all over the place, with scattered attention, with no direction leaving you feeling overwhelmed and stuck.
Attention is key.
This is the secret to a life you love. To the life of your dreams. Using the power of your intention to redirect your attention towards what you want. Towards the life you want to live.
If you really want to take action next year and accomplish big goals then not only do you need to hold your attention on what it is that you want but you also need to infuse that image with feeling.
Not any feeling but the one that rules them all. Gratitude. Feeling grateful is a game changer (I know, another cliché but oh so very true). Once you get the hang of it and you get in the habit of feeling grateful, you will see rapid change in your life.
Start noticing where you are holding your attention.
What are you focusing on? Play with letting it go. Let the thought go. Your lower brain will resist you at first, and that is expected. Simply keep letting thoughts go. Again and again.
And guess what, it all starts with awareness.
Awareness of your thoughts (the fact that you think). Awareness of where you put your attention. Awareness of what you let go of. Awareness of what you think and what you infuse with emotions.
Let me invite you to, instead of the same old goal setting strategies, open the door to a year of awareness. A year of being curious about where you put your attention. A year of letting go of thoughts that do not serve you.
This is the secret to reaching any goal in life. And it’s a journey within. No actions steps, no measurable and time-bound tasks. Instead, a year of awareness. A year that will transform your life from the inside out in ways you never thought possible.