Achieving big goals is not easy. It is challenging, takes perseverance and a clear vision. Those things seem apparent.
The biggest mistake most of us make is that we jump right into the “how” of what we want to create. Emotions and values that drive us are much more vital than the “how” of our achievement. If you want to succeed, you have to combine the emotion with the structure. So often, we skip this step. You will never get to the finish line unless you are powered by emotion from belief, self-love, and determination. This is why diets and exercise plans so often fail. We jump right into the diet plan and never into how we want to feel while eating kale or doing burpees.
This is true of leadership and organizations as well. I was reading Simon Sinek’s book last night, “Leaders Eat Last,” and he tells the story of Jack Welch, the CEO of GE, who led by pitting people in the company against each other, encouraging achievement and competition over respect, support and cooperation. The emotion of greed, valuing shareholders more than employees, was their ultimate downfall in the early 2000s. Sinek contrasted this with Cosco, a very successful company that valued its employees first and paid them three times the federal minimum wage. They love their employees and their hard-working customers by lobbying Congress to increase the entire country’s minimum wage. Cosco leadership looked at the long game and created a company from the emotion of love and respect, like a healthy family, instead of the short term game of increasing profits from a place of greed and the quick dollar. It is not hard to guess which company has had the continued growth and strength, even during hard times during the economic recession in 2009.
For individuals, achieving a goal will start with the same principle. One needs to start with the emotional core strength. Beginning with an empowering emotion, you are creating fuel for your actions. If you are starting your weight loss journey, your self-organization journey, your quit Doritos, quit smoking, journey, whatever it is, if you are starting from a place of self-loathing, self-criticizing, you will never reach the goal. If you are starting from a place of trust, belief, and self -respect, then you will succeed. These distinctions can be sneaky too. We begin to think that if I get too happy with myself, I will lose the motivation to change. The opposite is true. You have to love yourself during any journey to achieving something hard in self-improvement. IF you are frustrated, annoyed, dislike, afraid, these emotions will not fuel you in the right direction. You have to love your business or relationship, or your body, or your family, or whatever you are trying to change, as a means to fuel your journey of achieving your goals.
My son, Aaron, is a very talented track sprinter. (forgive my Mom-brag, for a moment) He has been working out all summer and fall and has now started the winter track season. Last year’s track coach has moved on, and Aaron feels a little lost despite being very self-disciplined. What that coach provided was the practice guidance and the unique techniques for a successful sprinter and guiding Aaron into the emotions of confidence and belief. Aaron still had the workout structure with the coach now gone but was missing the coach’s voice that gave him self belief and motivation. Aaron relies on these two emotions to put all of his hard work and skill to push him over the competition time. (He is lucky he has a hypnotherapist/life coaching mom)
As we build internal change in achieving our goals, the human tendency is to start with the “how.” We start with finding the best diet or exercise routine. The truth is that the details of “how” really do not matter very much. To create real change is to start with emotion and thinking. Once you figure out the feeling you need to create, it becomes much easier to make the structure. By structure, I mean a system that you can consistently fall back on to apply your empowering emotions.
Here are two examples from my personal life. I also have a gym membership and exercise apps, sneakers, and stretch pants, that I never use. I have the structure for exercising in place, but I do not use them. I know how to exercise regularly. Would I also like to work out every day? Sure! I am not exercising because I had not taken the time to create the intentional thoughts and emotions to develop the habit and stick to the routine and structure.
In contrast to my under-muscled body, I have somewhat successfully created the habit of writing this weekly blog with intention. The emotion I have to generate is dedication, and I have to create this emotion with my thoughts repeatedly. I am dedicated to you, my reader, my prior clients, and my future clients. I have made the motivating idea; “I am dedicated to putting value out into the world.” I check in with my body and make sure that these thoughts feel good to me. My belief that if I continue to put valuable content out into the world, then the world will return that value to Inner Freedom Therapy, LLC. The structure for writing this blog is the schedule I keep to writing it, the note pads I bought to jot down my thoughts, the Google docs, the website, and the Mailchimp systems that I have set up to create the essay and publish it, those are all built into the structural how. I made the structure and the design and practiced the thoughts that lead to the dedication, and here are the results of my dedication. I have written about 20 blogs over the past 9 months. I wasn’t perfect, but I kept going due to my dedication and my unfounded belief in creating value. With every blog, it becomes easier to provide this valuable gift to anyone who chooses to read it.
Anyone can think on purpose, create an intentional emotion, and drive themselves into consistent action. Forming an intentional habit is a skill that takes practice, and it is something that once you learn how to create a routine from a place of love in one area of your life, it becomes easier to create in another.
If this blog speaks to you, then you should set up a free consultation call. Inner freedom therapy uses hypnotherapy to set the emotional core and emotional compass in the right direction and life coaching to set up the thinking and structure to help you achieve your goals. Click here to schedule a complimentary consultation.