I was recently talking with a client who was feeling dissatisfied with her life. She recently became an empty nester and as I talked to her, she reflected that as her journey as a single parent of two amazing children was coming to an end, she was losing her identity as Mathew and Katie’s mom. She said, “I’m tired of waiting for my own life to happen.” She like many others was restless. America is restless. As we enter our third year of the Covid pandemic, stress and frustration are apparent in our society. Many feel as if they have been stuck in neutral for two years. Maybe it’s time for us to stop waiting for things to change and to initiate change in our own lives. No more, “waiting for our lives to happen.” This is the perfect time for us to take charge, be accountable, and achieve our 2022 goals. It’s time to accelerate our success.
If you’re anything like me and my coaching clients your life is busy. Your daily to-do list is insurmountable and the idea of adding one more thing makes you dizzy and anxious, even if that one additional thing could improve your life. I get it, taking charge of the positive change in your life takes time, and spare time is the one thing that seems to be in short supply. That’s why I work with my clients to shorten the distance between where they are now and where they want to be. I developed a philosophy called Every Day Peace. The Every Day Peace philosophy allows you to leverage everything that occurs in your life to reach your goals faster.
The first step to accelerating your goal attainment is in the goal-setting process itself. You must focus your energy and make tangible progress in meaningful areas. I encourage my clients to create a single goal in one or more of the following three areas: health, wealth, and relationships. When setting your goals, it is critical to do two things:
- Envision the person you want to become, be detailed and specific when defining this person. What motivates this person, what benefits has this person been able to achieve, how does this person approach life? What are the daily behaviors of this person?
- Focus on the consistent daily behaviors of this person.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the person you want to become. What are some of the habits of this person? Does she have good sleep hygiene? How many hours per night does she sleep? Does she have a regular meditative/prayer practice? How much water does she drink? Does she get regular exposure to sunshine? Does she have a healthy diet? What is her workout regimen? Does she do weekly meal planning? A detailed description of her habits makes it easier to connect your practice with your results. This process accelerates the time period for goal attainment.
These two steps help you establish from the beginning of your journey the most important predictor of success: mindset. When you plan a journey, you need to be aware of where you start and where you are going, but once the journey begins, where you started is insignificant. Focusing all of your positive energy on the destination, staying true to your path, and overcoming foreseen and unforeseen obstacles cannot be achieved by constantly looking into the rear-view mirror of life. Keep the picture in your head of the person you want to become. Focus on the detailed description you created and utilize the confidence you have gained through a lifetime of achievement to help get you through any tough times you face.
Many people want to track their progress on the journey. When you begin, I would caution against tracking results. You are making a long-term change in your life by establishing new habits. You cannot always control the immediate outcome, but you can control your effort. In the first month of your journey, don’t track results instead track consistency. I know that will be hard because you want to measure your progress and you want to accelerate your pace to the finish line. Instead of tracking results, you should track your habits. Are you consistently performing the actions of the person you want to become? If you have a weight loss goal, are you drinking half your body weight in ounces of water daily? How well are you sticking to your diet plan? Are you being consistent with your workouts, meditation, and sleep hygiene? You are creating a new, healthier you by developing the habits that you attributed to the healthy person you are becoming. Focus on your actions and not results early on.
After the first month perform an honest assessment. Do you feel you are closer to the person you want to become? If applicable, measure tangible outcomes. If you are getting results that are helping you become your desired self, continue to focus on your habits. If you are disappointed with your results, it’s time, to be honest about your habits. Either you haven’t been consistent in establishing the habits you set out…or there may be other habits that you need to integrate into your plans. Maybe when you started your health journey, you allowed for a glass of wine every day. Maybe you should try cutting that back to every other day.
Again, it is all about mindset. It’s not helpful to shame yourself when you are not happy about your progress. Instead, always go back to the habits of the person you have decided to become. Replace fear or doubt with action. You should always be honest with yourself, acknowledge where you need to do better, and be prepared to adjust your course along your journey, but never allow yourself to think about what you cannot achieve.
About the Author
Dravon James is the Founder of the Next Step Leadership Academy, a company that empowers women to use everything that shows up in their lives- good, bad, or otherwise to reach their next level of greatness. Dr. Dravon is a Transformation Specialist using her Every day Peace philosophy to coach women on how to master goal attainment. She is the author of Freedom is Your Birthright. As a leader in the healthcare industry for more than three decades she is the recipient of the Secretary McDonough Coin of Recognition for her leadership efforts to combat the COVID pandemic, Radio Host of the “Dr. Dravon James Every day Peace” live, a weekly show on Unity Online Radio, coach on the SiriusXM “Road Dog Trucking” show, and an actress whose career credits include a recurring role on HBO’s acclaimed “The Wire.” Dr. Dravon uses this training and experience to lead women to their victory using the power of Every day Peace to achieve their Next Level of Greatness in life and business.
Dr. Dravon’s journey began in poverty on the South Side of Chicago. Though she had always dreamt of a career on the stage, Dravon went on to earn a doctorate in pharmacy from Creighton University and has worked as a pharmacist all of her adult life. Along with her medical career and theatrical aspirations, Dr. Dravon has also always had a keen interest in personal development. After reading Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking in college, she went on to make a lifelong study of the power we all have to create the life we want.
Written by Dr. Dravon James, author of Freedom is Your Birthright
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