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Turn Your Resolutions into Reality - 7 Practices for Creating What Matters Most In 2007

Copyright (c) 2006-2021

"Quitting smoking is easy!" quipped a friend. "I've done it hundreds of times."

Resolutions were, to him, just a fun New Year's ritual. He didn't expect results.

I do. So do my coaching clients. Each January they resolve to quit smoking, lose weight, get in shape, be nice, improve business, make more (or less) money, and so on. And many succeed.

But, each year, many complain that something upsets their plans. They ignore their resolve and drift back to comfortable but ineffective habits. Instead of reaping the results and rewards they want, they create frustration, guilt, and depression.

Sound familiar?

If so, don't beat yourself up; that compounds guilt and depression.

Instead, try these 7 practices to turn your resolutions into reality. They can help you create-and sustain-almost result that matters to you.


SEVEN PRACTICES FOR CREATING ALMOST ANYTHING

1. Create A Clear, Compelling Vision

Focus on what you want to create, not what you want to get rid of.

"Lose weight" becomes "A lean, well-toned body."

"Quit smoking" becomes "The clean, fit and healthy lungs of a non-smoker."

It's fine to start with concepts such as "a great relationship," or "a better business." But, power comes from focusing fuzzy concepts into clear, compelling visions. Picture the success criteria of what you want to create. What will it look like when you succeed?

A clear, compelling vision focuses energy and generates power. Which is more compelling?

The concept, "A new car." Or, a vision of "A candy-apple red, 2007 Mini Cooper convertible with black top, beige leather interior, and six-speaker stereo."

Envision your result as if you had already created it. "I am fit, healthy, and energetic. I weigh "x" pounds, wear size "x" slacks. I feel terrific and people compliment me.

Later, once reality is clear, you'll set realistic sub-goals to bridge the gap between vision and reality.


2. Assess Reality Accurately and Objectively

Vision not rooted in reality is daydreaming.

As well as your destination, you need to know your starting point. If you want to go to New York and think you're in Chicago, but are actually in Denver, you will go the wrong way. So, once vision is clear, carefully assess where you are now, in relationship to you desired result.

Unfortunately, many of us misrepresent reality. Instead of describing it, we judge it. We say, "Everything is screwed up," when only a small part does not work. Or, "Everything is great," when it isn't. When we distort reality, we create a shaky foundation for action.

The key to assessing reality is to describe it, don't judge it! Instead of saying, "Everything is screwed up," say, "There's a couple of glitches, but 90 percent of the project works well."

Describing reality establishes a solid platform for action. Also, by making current reality emotionally neutral, vision becomes our driving force.


3. Hold Vision and Reality Together In Creative Tension

Creative tension is the engine of creating. It generates energy for action. Moreover, it lets us explore and experiment without getting lost.

To set up creative tension, hold in mind a clear picture of where you want to go together with an objective description of current reality. Imagine a rubber band stretched between Vision and Current Reality. The tension in the band wants to resolve. There are only three way sit can:

  • Let go of your vision and give up your goals.
  • Lower your vision and compromise your goals.
  • Hold vision firmly and change reality so it-and you-move toward your result.

    Holding vision and reality in tension sets up an organizing framework in which to experiment, explore, learn from experience, and shape the results you want. Success comes from resolving creative tension by making choices that support your desired results.


    4. Take small steps. Create and adjust.

    Many of us are closet perfectionists. Because we demand that our first steps be perfect, when we falter we give up. Worse, fear of failing prevents us from getting started.

    Instead, take small, easy steps. See them as experiments that teach you what to do next. If you make a wrong decision, make another one. Failure is merely feedback.

    If you're not sure where to start, work backward from vision to "first steps" by asking, "Can I do this today?" If you can't, ask, "What must I do first?"

    If, for example, your vision is to be fit and energetic enough to run a half-marathon, but you get winded walking up stairs, you obviously can't do it today. So what must you do first?

    Build an aerobic base. Can you do that today? No. What must you do first?

    Working back to first steps overcomes inertia and fear.

    Completing several steps creates a pattern of success. Patterns of success increase confidence, help you stretch toward larger steps, and build momentum.


    5. Momentum

    Momentum will get you through times when motivation fails. Any time you encounter adversity is a chance to build momentum. To do so:

    1) Notice what you say to yourself about the situation, yourself, and others.

    2) Is it consistent with what you want? Is it true? Is it accurate and objective? If not, make it so.

    3) Then ask, "What do I want?" Envision a clear picture of your desired result.

    4) Choose what you want. Say, "I choose..." and add your result.

    5) Take whatever next step occurs to you.

    Use this technique when you are angry, frustrated, depressed, or faced with adversity. It'll shift your focus from problem solving to creating, and flip your mood from negative to energetic.


    6. Practice, Practice, Practice!

    We are learners. We try things, correct mistakes, and practice until the new becomes natural.

    Practice may not make us perfect, but it will make us better-and the road to success always runs through better.

    For example, a client wanted to be a "good guitar player." But, because she judged she "wasn't good," she didn't practice. When a friend showed her a simple, three-chord country song, she was confused. She wasn't good, but she could play a song.

    I helped her change her judgment to the more accurate description that she "wasn't good, yet." She started practicing, and, in no time, she was playing well.

    Making success an all or nothing leap often leaves you with nothing.


    7. Know When You Reach Your Goal

    It is not enough to say, "I want to be successful." Without guidelines for success, you are like a dog chasing its tail.

    Consistently assess your reality against the success criteria in your vision to see if it matches. If it does, you're done. Completing a creation generates new energy with which to initiate new creations. Asked what his favorite painting was, Picasso quickly answered, "My next one!"

    Finish fully, acknowledge your results, and celebrate your success. Start on your next result. Success builds on success.

    Remember, as Goethe advised, "What ever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

    Last New Year's, my friend Ken tried out this approach and hasn't smoked since.


    About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
    Bruce Elkin is a writer, coach, and consultant who helps individuals and organizations create what matters most-in spite of problems, circumstances, and adversity. His ebook Emotional Mastery: Manage Your Moods and Create What Matters Most-With Whatever Life Gives You is available on his website at: http://www.BruceElkin.com.

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