By Steve Wells
"Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. It is the accumulative weight of our disciplines and our judgments that leads us to either fortune or failure" - Jim Rohn
At this time of year many people are thinking about what they wish to achieve in the coming year (and some have already broken the resolutions they made just a few days ago!). Having successfully completed a year-long resolution of taking over 10000 steps every day, and having coached many clients to successfully follow through and achieve the goals they've set for themselves, I would like to devote this article to describing how you can achieve the goals you set for yourself THIS year.
[Note from Steve: This was originally written in Jan 2012 and I've included an update at the end]
At this time last year I resolved to take at least 10 000 steps every day, so every day since that time I have worn a pedometer on my belt and recorded my daily steps. I have found opportunities to move where I could never "find the time" to do enough exercise prior to this. Sometimes I just made it over the mark, but most days I did many more than 10 000 steps. As a result, I feel better, I am fitter, I'm definitely healthier, and my size and shape have improved as well.
Was it difficult? Sure sometimes when it was cold and wet it was difficult to go out, but the most difficult of all was to maintain the commitment whilst travelling. I spent a lot of time walking around airports knowing that once I boarded the plane it would be almost impossible to make up the steps.
The toughest of all was a day in Brussels where I'd been running a PET workshop with David Lake. A lot of that day was spent sitting down doing one-on-one demonstrations or watching David work. After the workshop we went out for a lovely dinner with our friends and had a few drinks. In the taxi on the way home David remarked to me that I "probably wouldn't fit my steps in" that day. Oh dear! I had totally forgotten. I looked at my pedometer and I still had nearly 6000 steps to do! I was tired, it was late, and it was cold and raining outside. The last thing I wanted to do right then was to go out and do my steps. But I did.
That experience and the many other times I went forward despite my internal objections (sometimes tapping as I walked on how much I didn't want to be walking right then) are now resource experiences for me. They help me to see that I can follow through and achieve a goal based on higher values even when lesser values seek to distract and sabotage me. Although I've achieved many things in my life which may seem more significant, this is the first thing I've been able to do every single day for such a sustained period, despite the myriad seemingly-legitimate distractions and barriers. that arose. Daily movement is now so much a part of my life that I can't imagine a life without it.
So what have I learned and how can this help you, whatever your goals, to follow through on your resolve, to stick to your commitment, to live life the way you define it, and live free from the prison of "whim" and the trap of "comfort"?
The Moment of Truth
If you are going to achieve anything significant, you need to start with significant motivation. And that motivation doesn't have to be positive. In fact, the motivation that often works is the type that comes from a moment of truth which can be painful at the time.
Although I'd asked for a pedometer for Christmas, my resolve to take 10 000 steps every day was cemented in a conversation with my wife the day after last Christmas when we were discussing our goals for the coming year. I said that I wanted to lose about 5kg and Louise spluttered "Huh, you mean 10!", then met my slightly hurt, incredulous look with the words "You know that don't you?" Sadly, I did know that, I was just in denial.
Negative experiences can even be the impetus to very positive achievement (see my previous articles on negative thinking with positive results) Just look at Michael Jordan, widely considered the best basketball player of all time, whose rise to the professional ranks was in large part the result of him being cut from the team in high school. As he later wrote, "Whenever I was working out and got tired and figured I ought to stop, I’d close my eyes and see that list in the locker room without my name on it, and that usually got me going again.”. I did the same thing sometimes in the past year, when I thought about not doing my 10 000 steps that day, I would remember my wife's words and the way she spoke to me in that moment of truth. Rather than being a negative, her words were a tonic, shaking me out of the lethargy of my previous victim state where I could never "find time" to exercise.
For many people, their moment of truth comes when they look at themselves in the mirror and really see what they have allowed to happen to their form. For others, like me, it comes from the tough love words of a loved one or close friend. Whatever it be, there really is power in the moment when we scream, once and for all, enough is enough. IN that moment, use that power to define a new goal for yourself, to make a new decision, to resolve how things WILL be in future, to decide how you will be and what you will do.
Deciding is not enough
The spark of a new decision or a defining moment may be enough to get us started but it is not usually going to be enough to help us to maintain. Not if we are striving to achieve a big goal, or seeking to fulfil a commitment which requires us to endure (what other type of commitment is truly fulfilling anyway?). So this is where you need a system for success.
This is also where you can start to use tapping to great effect. Immediately when you have an idea or you make a commitment there will typically be a lurking a critical part or a background thought which says "You won't do that... You won't follow through... You can't do that..." or such like. Now is the time to start tapping on those objections. Allow the objections to rise up in your mind and follow where they lead as you tap and tap and tap.
Objections are your friend
Pay attention to the objections which come up when you consider making a change or seek to achieve a new goal, they are telling you something. Sometimes they represent an important value, part of you which is concerned that it will suffer if you embrace the new action or way of being. Unless that part of you is acknowledged and validated it will continue to scream for your attention, and resist the changes you want to make. Allow that part to speak and ask if it will be ok with the goal you want to achieve - or what would make it so - and if there are continued objections make sure to do tapping in order to settle them down. Sometimes your goal will need to be modified to ensure you stay in balance in other important areas of life
If the changes you want will help you fulfill your highest values then you won't have to fight against your own energy to achieve them. You can also draw on the energy and motivation of living your values to help you through the tough times.
Most objections however come down to one thing: Fear. And fear is easily treated with tapping. The greatest fear for me, as for many people, was that I would fail to follow through again. So tap for your fear of failure, and tap on all the thoughts that tell you that you won't follow through and the feelings which these are connected to.
Once the objections have settled down, come back to your intention and re-affirm it, tapping as you do. Start with affirming that you want that, then affirm that you will do it and have it and be it.
Break it down
Break your big goal down into small, achievable steps. Too often we expect too much of ourselves too soon, this is why many people fail to really follow through, they make their first steps too large. So they decide they are going to exercise for an hour every day then they get out and exercise for an hour on the first day and push so hard that they injure themselves, or activate an old injury, or they simply collapse in pain and have an excuse not to go out again. Or they try to write for an hour when they haven't been writing anything at all for many months. And when they don't manage to get anything written, or things get in the way so that they don't manage to "find the time" to write for that length of time they collapse in a heap of self-blame and recrimination.
I tell my clients and workshop participants that the bigger your goal or intention the smaller your first steps should be. (David Lake told me that once one of his daughters wrote a recipe for elephant soup. The first step? First cut elephant into bite-sized pieces...). So instead of making a commitment to write for an hour every day, consider a commitment to write for 5 minutes, especially if you haven't been writing anything for the past months. Yes, you can go over if you want, but some days when 5 minutes is all you can manage 5 minutes is enough.
Make it a daily commitment
"Some things you have to do every day. Eating seven apples on Saturday night instead of one a day just isn't going to get the job done." - Jim Rohn
The best kind of step to take is the step you can take every day. So consider what you can commit to doing every day which will ultimately allow you to achieve your valued goal / live your highest values. There is a trick here and it is that the daily commitment must be a stretch for you but it also must be something you know you can achieve. My 10 000+ steps per day commitment might seem large to some people whereas others may already easily exceed that number in a normal day. What's important is that it was sometimes easy for me and sometimes it was a real stretch! So doing it many days wasn't a challenge but doing it every day was a challenge. And this is key: the challenge was never overwhelming, I always knew that it was something I could do. And so I did.
By the way, when I started my step commitment I didn't make a commitment to take 10000+ steps per day for an entire year, it was just to take that many steps every day. This might seem like hair-splitting but that distinction is a crucial one. Yes, as I went on I thought "Wouldn't it be good" to reach targets like 100 days, 200 days and a full year. But ultimately this was something I wanted to do every day. And it was something I could to today.
One day at a time, that's the secret to success...
Jim Rohn says you should never leave the site of a goal without doing something, no matter how small, towards its achievement. Whatever it is, if you are going to do it for life the time to start is right now. Be honest, you know that anything that you are going to do "tomorrow" is not really going to happen (unless you are a rebel and you want to prove me wrong!). If you can't do at least something right now, then forget it, the challenge is too overwhelming, and your first step needs to be broken down to something smaller. Like tapping itself, many people don't realise the power of small things.
So there you have it: Just one thing. Easy to do. Something you can do today. Decide what it is. Start tapping. And do it.
Update from Steve: My 10 000 step commitment ultimately went for 500 consecutive days! Among other things, my wife Louise was inspired by my daily commitment to start a project of her own. She's a textile artist and embarked on a year long Colour Project. Every month she explored a different colour in relation to meaning, feeling, and specifically art and textiles and made the commitment to do something every day in regard to that colour in research, reading, writing, and experimenting with techniques and ideas as they developed and inspired her relating to that colour. You can find out more about this project that had many positive future results (including as just one example her being invited to present at a conference!) at her blog here
What will you do?
I'd love to hear about your goals, commitments, plans and projects for this year, as well as your comments on this article.
Achieve Your Goals in 2017 and beyond
Do you want to make this the year that you finally make the changes you've been promising yourself for so long that you will make? Is so, I'd love to support you to follow through and make the changes you want to make.
The reality is that most people won't succeed in following through on changes if they try to do it alone. Even champions need a coach.
Go For It is an Online Video Program I designed to help you make your goals real. To start 2017 well, I'm offering a Live Group Coaching Program combined with the Go For It Videos to really help you get and stay on track this year!
This program gets results!
Some of the actual results participants from last year's coaching group made include:
Starting, promoting, and growing their businesses; several improved their finances; one co-authored a book; several found more self-acceptance; several overcame their rejection fears; some found more clients, one found her first ever paying client, another attracted her first tapping clients; one raised her fees; one finally advertised her tapping services in the local paper; several created new products and programs; one overcame technology fears to build a website; one found work in another country; one said 'no' to a job offer and backed herself; one is now able to network without fear; one became more assertive; several improved their relationships at home; among many other things!
It has been a joy to witness how this group has supported each other to reinforce and extend the changes from the live group coaching.
The next Go For It Group Coaching Program starts in less than weeks time.
I want to offer you an opportunity to join me at a very special rate!
Here's what you get:
The Go For It Video Program has 31 online videos where I walk you through the action steps to clearly define your own success, set goals based on your true values and release your resistance to achieving them using tapping and powerful energy intentions.
Then, in the Live Group Coaching Program I'll coach you live in 6 x 90-minute focused video sessions (which you can attend from the comfort of your own home) to make sure the changes you make aren't just intellectual, to get the changes in your nervous system and energy system, so you can go for your goals without fighting yourself!
The Combined Program of all 31 teaching videos and 9 hours of live coaching is just $497 Aussie dollars (About US$375).
Until January 20th I'm offering the entire Combined Program (the videos AND the coaching program) for just $347!
Why not make this the year when you really make the changes you've been promising yourself?
Turn your resolutions into realities this New Year.
I hope to see you in the program.