It’s nearing the end of January and it’s now time to check in on those New Year resolutions. By now the bold goals you set and the actions to achieve them are well under way or they may be fading with the holiday cheer as the year gets in to full swing.
In Australia, the year doesn’t really seem to start until after Australia Day on the 26th of January. That’s when family holidays end and the kids go back to school, business gets in to full swing and there’s not another public holiday until March. So now might be a good time to revisit your New Year’s resolutions and look at how to integrate them as part of your life on an ongoing basis.
What goal setting strategy works for you?
There are different strategies you can adopt for achieving your goals and it’s important to find something that works for you.
One of the most common strategies is to work out what you goal is for, say, a year from now e.g. “I want to weigh ## kilos or pounds, or be ## clothes size” or “I want to be earning 20% more than I am now”. You then break those goals down in to smaller monthly, weekly and even daily goals so that you can track your progress against them. You then identify actions you need to take each day to hit the daily target and that consolidates to weeks, months and then a year to achieve the overall goal.
If you are someone who responds well to structure and schedules the above strategy will work for you.
Focus Areas Mind Map
The way I do it is to start the year with a number of focus areas and keep coming back to them throughout the year to see how I’m doing. Focus areas for me this year include developing online products for my business, increasing savings and reducing debt, improving my social relationships, allowing myself more time to play, completing my Cert IV in kinesiology.
Each week I remind myself of these focus areas and see how I can structure my week to move them forward. I create a mind map, using a free open source tool called Freemind, print it and put it on my desk under the front edge of my keyboard. On the mind map, I identify concrete actions that I’m taking to progress each focus area. As I complete the actions on the mind map, I cross them off and every week or so create a new version of the mind map with fresh actions.
Some focus areas, such as increasing savings and reducing debt, have strategies in place that apply each pay-day and don’t require specific actions each week. Once I have the strategies in place, I don’t normally include them on my mind map.
Having the mind map on my desk helps me focus on what to do whenever I sit down at my computer to work. Because life is so fluid, I don’t necessarily want to schedule every action in to my calendar at a specific time to get it done. I do know what times of the day I can get high priority tasks done and, with a glance at my mind map, I can see what needs doing first.
How can EFT help to progress your goals?
When I notice an item staying on my mind map for a couple of weeks, I’ll take a moment to consider it. I may notice things like:
- The action I need to take is not very clear and specific, it’s too high level, e.g. “exercise this week” versus “go for 30 minute walk”
- I may not be clear on how to do that action e.g. “Buy organic food” versus “Identify web sites where I can buy organic food online”
- There may be something else that needs to happen before I can take this action e.g. “Cook slow-cooker stew” requires “Check out slow-cooker stew recipes” and “Buy stew ingredients” first.
- And, finally, I may notice that I just keep putting the action off and have resistance around actually doing the action – bring on EFT!
When you notice resistance to taking an action it’s time to do some tapping. You might be beating yourself up for not getting it done, criticising yourself for not having strong enough will power, or blame yourself for being a weak person. All of these could be included in a few rounds of tapping:
Setup on the karate chop point: “Even though I haven’t got this action done, it’s annoying me, some part of me doesn’t want to do it, it’s so hard to get it done with everything else I have going on, I should be better than this, or am I just useless and weak – I wonder if I can accept myself anyway.”
Tapping through the remaining EFT points, moving on the next points after each sentence:
- This action has been here too long
- Some part of me is resisting doing it
- So many other things to do
- Is this really important to me?
- Is it Ok to leave it for a while longer?
- Is there some fear holding me back from getting it done?
- Is there some other way I can do this that I might enjoy more?
- How could I compassionately treat myself about this?
- All the remaining criticism, judgement and blame in my thoughts
- I’m probably not even doing this tapping right 😉
- All the remaining judgement and criticism I feel towards myself
- Who did I hear this from first?
- As I consider this action
- I choose to be even more gentle and compassionate with myself
- and open to new ways of making this happen
Remember to continue doing rounds of EFT adjusting the words to the thoughts and feelings that a coming up.
It’s not about forcing change
After you have tapped around the action, does it necessarily mean that you will do it? No. EFT is never about forcing yourself to change. No one likes being told what to do so why would you try to force yourself to do something you don’t want to?
Use EFT to explore the emotions and thoughts under the resistance, notice the new thoughts and insights that come in to your awareness, and then take action from this new place.
What strategies do you use for progressing your New Year’s resolutions? Share your ideas by leaving a comment.