Goals are easy to make. It is achieving them that can be difficult, especially when you have an unpredictable little person to look after. Working towards your goals can easily get put to one side as your child will always take precedence over anything you might want to do. Equally, in work, your colleagues' expectations or demands can get to the top of the pile and your goals end up on the "one day..." list.
So how do we keep on track of goals that seem to be slipping through the cracks? What can we do to maintain your level of motivation so it is consistently high? Over the next two blogs, I will discuss the tools I use to keep the momentum going to achieve my goals.
1. I visualise my goals becoming a reality
Abraham Hicks, the figure behind the law of attraction said, “You are more productive by doing fifteen minutes of visualisation than from sixteen hours of hard labour.”
You have to believe that your goals are possible in order to achieve them. If you can't visualise what it would be like to achieve your goal, then you need to start to paint a picture in your mind of what the completed goal looks like.
The greatest adaption after having a baby was getting used to the changes in my body and the weight I gained. Like many new mother's I was hoping I would be one of the lucky ones and my body would snap back to what it used to be. Losing weight isn't a simple task though, it takes discipline and focus. When I felt myself getting off track with the weight loss I had to refocus, I had to remind myself of what I was aiming for. To visualise my goal, I found old pictures of me pre-baby and reminded myself it was possible to get back to that place.
To help stay motivated in this awkward, in between phase before the weight loss, I also went out and got clothes that fit my current body shape. There is nothing worse than still having to wear maternity jeans 4 months after giving birth. You constantly have to hike them up and yet you are still too big for your old jeans. So rather than spending a fortune on a whole new wardrobe, I bought a couple of jeans and dresses I felt good in. You are more motivated to work on yourself when you feel confident, happy and positive about yourself. By investing a little in clothes now, I know I will be able to get into my old jeans soon enough. Every day we need to keep a positive mindset about ourselves and make the most of the situation we are in. Although my body is not at the place I want it to be, I need to make the best out of the shape I have now.
Another goal I have is to get a new car. This is a big goal and one that I need to have real faith to see become a reality. To keep the goal alive, I did some research and decided on the car I wanted and took it for a test drive. By visualising my goal, I could now see myself in the car. I now know how it drives, I know the colour I want and most importantly I know it will have enough space for my prams and additional baby clobber I have acquired. So although I may not have the finances right now, I know what it will be like once I get the car. Every time I see the car on the road now I acknowledge it and declare "That is the car I am going to have THIS YEAR!".
In work, whatever the goal is, you need to visualise yourself conquering it. How will you feel once it is done? What positive impact will it have on you? How will things be different? What other things could you achieve once you have conquered this goal?
2. I have a support group around me
It is rare to be given a task that is a solo project. So much of what we accomplish is executed through teams. The mirror quoted recently that "on average companies will spend a staggering £305 per employee on team building days to keep morale high". Why is it then, when we set goals we often keep them to ourselves? Are we too afraid to fail or do we not like the thought of being vulnerable with others? Maybe we just don't want to have to be accountable and prefer to do things our own way. In order to see things become a reality, I know I need to share my goals.
In order to achieve my goals, I needed a team around me. I have a mentor for my blogging. I also reached out to other industry professionals for their insights and women who inspired me in their work/life and family for their pearls of wisdom when setting up SmartWorkingMums. I set up some Whatsapp groups to discuss weight loss, and I got people to join me in achieving the same goal.
This week I encourage you to begin to visualise what it would be like to achieve your goals and share them with someone. Speak to a family member, friend or colleague and ask them to stand with you as you embark on this journey. A problem shared is a problem halved and I believe a goal shared is the first step to the goal achieved.