The first quarter of 2018 just ended and I think it’s a good time to take a personal inventory.  Most of us made new year resolutions aka goals at the start of the year. I did too.  This is not the first year I’ve done this, but this is perhaps the first year I’ve been successful  at being consistent with creating the habits necessary to achieve my goals. Well, most of them anyway!

Usually I make these goals mentally and a few times I would even write them down. Then nothing happens. I might be diligent for a few weeks but then I’d go back to my old routine… and nothing changes. I don’t change and my life doesn’t change. I’d then feel so guilty and discouraged at the end of the year when I would stumble across the journal or paper I wrote my goals down on only to discover that I achieved little to none of them.

But this year has been different. I really prayed for acceleration in 2018.  I came for my best life this year! Everything with my name on it, I want it! I’m determined not to miss any opportunities or blessings sent into my life this year.

So what have I done differently?

First, I wrote my goals down. One study showed that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals simply by writing them down.  Yes 42%! Why is this?  Well, for a few reasons. Habakkuk 2:2  tells us to write the vision and make it plain. Writing your dreams and desires down with a plan becomes a goal. Writing brings clarity and helps you to truly discover what you want.

The simple act of writing down what you want to achieve also activates the logic-based left brain and this translates to a new level of consciousness,  increased creativity and productivity. It also opens up your subconscious mind and you start to notice opportunities that you might have otherwise missed in the busyness of your life.

I divided my goals into different categories: spiritual, physical, career, relationships and financial but you can choose whatever areas are most important to you. I was then specific about what I wanted to see happen in each area. I also added a timeline to my goals and came up with a concrete plan. Take for example, my goal of making more meaningful connections this year.  To achieve this, a few things I decided to do was to go to more networking events and to connect with at least two new people each month. And can I tell you I’ve been able to achieve this! I have become more engaging and intentional about getting to know new people. I invite them out for coffee or dinner and others are also actively seeking me out as well as connecting me to others.

Having my goals on paper has helped me to focus more on them and has increased my level of motivation to actually do what I say I want to do.  This can help you too!  Start today by selecting key areas in your life you want to work on and write down specific goals in your journal or on a piece of paper.

I not only wrote my goals down but I  now review them every month. We’ve all heard the saying, “Out of mind, out of sight.”  It’s very much the same with your goals. You tend to forget them if you don’t continue to focus on them. If you frequently review your goals and the plan you have to achieve them, neural pathways are eventually created in your brain and there’s a greater probability of being successful at implementing your plan.

Reviewing your goals also gives you an idea of your progress. The more tasks you achieve, the happier you are with yourself and your self esteem will increase. One of my goals this year was to lose 40 pounds. Now I really have to since I’ve made it public!!!  I had a plan of starting a new meal program and being consistent with my exercise and I have lost 15 pounds already.  Yay me! This motivates and energizes me to want to lose even more weight. On the flip side, reviewing your goals will also show you the areas you may have slackened up on and need to address.

And finally I made a vision board.  There is no magic in making a vision board, you still kinda actually have to put in the WORK. But, having a vision board does all of the things I already wrote about. I put my goals and what I wanted to feel and experience such as positivity, boldness and courage into a picture collage. I set my board up in my living room so I have see it each and every day. It is a daily reminder and keeps my mind focused on my goals. It also releases the power of visualization as I envision the life I want to have and truly believe I can have it. Whenever I look at my vision board I’m excited about my future.

I hope you’re encouraged to create one of your own. It’s easy. All you need are magazines/pictures, scissors, glue and a crafting board. You can even add some of your favorite scriptures and affirmations. Have fun!

Remember to be patient with yourself. You may get distracted or discouraged sometimes. It happens. This blog entry was due last week, but other things got in the way. However, because I have a weekly entry as one of my goals, I got back on track and you will too!

Have you ever tried any of these techniques?  Did they work for you? Please leave a comment.

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Physician, Endocrinologist, Diabetes specialist, Health and Wellness expert, Blogger, Speaker! Kelly Wood, MD is board certified in Internal Medicine as well as Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. She has many years of experience working with patients to transform and improve their health. She is passionate about teaching others about the interconnections of mind, body, and spirit; and how they can achieve health in all three areas and lead a balanced life.