More tips on how to increase your chances of success…

More tips on how to increase your chances of success…

In a recent blog, I started to explore why only 8% of us manage to achieve our New Year resolutions and what you can do to increase your chances of success with your goals – whatever time of year you begin. I explained that it starts with getting clear about:

• What do you really, really want?
• Why do you want what you want?

Clarity around these two questions provides two foundation stones key for shaping your vision.

Once you know what you want and why it matters to you, the third question is:

What will it look like?

Walt Disney once said: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”Reflect on what you want and all the reasons why you want it and, then, let your imagination go to work. And, for now, resist the urge to think about how you will achieve your vision, as that will block your creativity. Be visionary before you start getting strategic.

Explore what achieving your goal will look like/feel like/even sound or taste like. Try it on for size. Imagine living it.Take it for a test drive in your mind. In reality, too, if you can find a way. Pull pictures out of magazines. Create a vision board. Write about it.

And, then, do whatever you can to keep your dream front of mind. The screensaver on my phone is a picture that represents my vision. Every time I check my phone, it prompts me to think about what I want and inspires me to keep going. It’s also my last thought before I go to sleep and the first when I wake.

For the last six months, the above picture was my screensaver – taken from the back of a hand-built camper van that I’d rented for a few days. I was very clear about what I really really wanted – my own van. And I knew why I wanted it – because it would enable me to spend more of my life in the outdoors, to connect with nature, to work wherever I happened to be, to explore new places, and more.

Renting a van for a few days allowed me answer the third question i.e. see what it would look like to achieve my goal – to try out ‘van life’ for myself and test out having a mobile office. I took the picture while parked up on the side of a lane in Somerset. I’d just finished working ‘virtually’ with a coaching client based in Brighton.

Six months on, I now have my own van and time booked in the diary for al fresco adventures, as a ‘digital nomad’!

It really doesn’t matter what you do to keep your dream alive. What matters is that you engage with your goal and keep on connecting with it. Without a compelling vision, you won’t have the motivation to stay the course and do whatever it takes to achieve it.

Then, once, you’ve fully shaped and connected with your vision, you’ll probably be itching to get into action. Which brings us to the next question:

What are my next steps?

Not all the steps. But the next two or three.

It’s easy to slip into thinking that you need to know exactly what the path to success will look like – and all the various steps on the way. But that’s a surefire way of stepping into overwhelm – especially if you’re going for something big and juicy. You end up thinking: “It’s too difficult, I’ll never manage all that. I can’t do it. So, what’s the point!”. And, then, you become despondent and discouraged. This is often the point at which people give up.

Instead, pinpoint your literal next step. And, then, see if you can break that down into something even smaller. If you’ve identified that your next step is to do some desk research, think about what needs to happen in order for you to do that (e.g. put aside some time into your diary). The more clarity you have about what to do next and the simpler the step, the more likely you are to take it and be inspired to take another.

What’s important here is to get yourself into action and to keep on taking action. By taking one baby step after another, you will make steady progress towards your goal. As Nelson Mandela wisely recognised: “Vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.”

In my next blog, I’ll share some further steps you can take to increase your chances of success at making things happen.

Wishing you a creative and productive week, in the meantime.