Let me begin by asking you three questions
What’s your vision for the new decade?
What goals have you planned to crush this year?
What areas of life are you working on?
You ask it anyway.
The implication remains the same.
In what areas of life you’re aiming to be successful.
Have you ever wondered,
When so many of us, are chasing success how come so few find it?
Earlier I used to attribute it to will-power and confidence.
Today, I think differently.
The difference, in my opinion, came from experimenting and experiencing miraculous results in my own life.
When I somehow achieved the impossible and was able to replicate the results in more than one area of my life, I was confident that my findings hold true.
The real gamechanger is the willingness to fail.
To fail as many times it takes to get where you want to go, but not giving up.
Willingness to fail?
I’m sure you’re wondering, who in their right minds would wish to fail and that too repeatedly.
I thought so too.
Until a friend questioned my weight loss journey.
As you can expect, having lost 60 pounds (27kg) in under a year has brought in lots of queries from family and friends.
On one of such occasions, while talking to a close friend, I decided that I would sit and study what I did differently this time.
What was it that has resulted in me achieving the impossible goal of reaching my ideal weight and staying there.
Similarly, in the days after graduation, when I was struggling to find a job in an altogether new country, I’d often wonder what was different in the people who had landed their dream jobs early on in life.
While countless articles are tackling this question, what I learnt from my personal experiences is rather different.
Be it the goal of
Losing 25+ kg of body weight
Doubling your income in a year
Training for a marathon
Saving to buy a house in the next three years,
Learning to wake up at 5 a.m. (when you’ve always called yourself a night owl)
All big goals have one thing in common.
They all look impossible from the start point.
Kind of ridiculous and often intimidating at times.
Then how could one stay focussed on achieving them without being distracted by the fact how big, further away in time or impossible they felt?
I found the answers by reverse engineering my own weight loss success.
Once I had set my heart at losing weight, I knew, I had to do something I wasn’t doing all these years.
To unleash everything I’ve got to make this weight loss goal a reality.
Though I didn’t have the faintest idea as to how I’d make it happen, I was prepared to invest whatever it took to get there.
Mind you, from the very start, I was clear of the idea that I wasn’t pinning my happiness to my weight loss efforts.
I was starting at a happy and content place.
I was fit at my weight ( at least the doctors and my blood tests said so).
But fear of failure reigned supreme.
At this point, I had to ask myself the questions:
Are you willing to keep taking the action?
Are you willing to keep “failing” all the way until you get to the goal?
Among the many daily affirmations I read, one that I often repeat to myself says,
“You can achieve anything you set your mind to.”
And that was my only guiding light.
I had an impossible goal and the determination to keep going forward no-matter-what.
In the start, I was tempted to set a small goal of losing 5 kg of weight to test waters. To see if what I was hoping to achieve was do-able.
Today, I can safely say, that approach did more harm than good.
In the first couple of months, I did reach my small goal.
But the joy of accomplishment that came with this small win encouraged me to believe that this was what I was capable of.
This might have satiated my mind’s craving for evidence that I could achieve weight loss.
But it came at a cost that could keep me playing small and miss out on life transformation.
In my mind’s eye, I knew I had 25+ kg of weight to lose.
I needed to take the leap of faith and deep dive to make that impossible dream a reality.
That was the fear of the unknown, the unpredictability of success trying to scare me.
Or scientifically put, my own mind trying to keep me within the safety net of my comfort zone.
As a perfectionist (which I believe I’m no longer one) I was forever tempted to set the bar low.
At a level where I could almost predict or guarantee success in everything, I set out to do.
This might have fanned my ego but truth be told, it never allowed me to explore my true potential.
I’d be honest, I knew this fact for a long time.
It had struck me the first time when I had read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
We create futures that are possible and the way that we determine what is possible is by what we’ve already done.
To know our limits, we need to cross them.
To make the impossible, possible, we need to invest whatever it takes to make it happen.
It felt like a gamble but I wanted to play it.
I was ready to take the chance because there was nothing to lose but my weight.
As I teach in the Weight Loss Ownership Course,
Taking full ownership of the process and the outcome is always the first step.
I decided to start by doing what I knew I would continue doing in the long run.
To take baby steps.
Make small changes.
Something I was confident, I loved having as a part of my life.
I started with getting regular with my exercise routine (a basic 30 minute, home-exercise routine).
It was something I had already been doing but was irregular with it.
That was an easy win for me.
I already had the tools and the motivation to pursue it.
I just needed to get consistent.
As simple it might sound, I faltered in the start to be consistent.
And the results didn’t show immediately.
Not even within the first week.
Not in the first fifteen days.
And truth be told, I couldn’t feel my will-power assisting me in any way.
And the confidence was surely nowhere to be seen.
That made my weight loss goal feel almost impossible to achieve.
But I kept reminding myself,
What is impossible now will be possible later.
I had to believe in myself.
I had to believe in my capability to make this positive change happen.
All this while,
I was failing to see results right away.
I was failing to fathom what will work and what will not.
The only area I wasn’t failing at was taking consistent action.
My journal from those days is full of entries like,
I’m going to continue to take action.
I’m going to continue to believe in my impossible goal.
I’m going to continue to “be willing to fail my way there.”
I am going to invest “whatever it takes.”
All along, I’d catch myself wondering if only I knew what next action to take.
How to get to my goal, this journey would have been so much easier.
This is why I drafted the guide, How To Set Goals & Crush Them to help you plan your goals in a way that you get started with the clarity you need to succeed.
After fifteen days, I added a salad to my diet along with being deliberate of drinking 64 ounces of water each day.
A simple bowl of veggies in addition to the regular meals I was eating.
I had never been inclined towards eating fresh fruits and vegetables, so this small change felt BIG at that time.
As far as drinking water, I had already fixed it over the years (as you can read in my post here).
But eating a salad was new to me.
I’d often shy out from doing it on one pretext or the other.
Though I noted how energetic and light I felt the days I ate my salad.
I started by eating one sliced cucumber daily.
To keep it interesting, I’d add in a tomato or lettuce or a dash of bell pepper.
As I wasn’t a salad eater girl, I had no idea how to make a salad interesting. But since I was determined to make this work, I started searching for salad recipes on Pinterest.
The best part of Pinterest is you can find a recipe for almost all combination of fruit and vegetables available to you.
Here’s when I learnt which salad dressings went well with which salads and also how to prepare super easy and quick salad dressings on my own.
At this point, my focus was on adding a salad to my everyday. And I focussed on only that.
I did not complicate it by worrying which salad dressing was best for losing weight because that was NOT the point of adding the salad dressing.
The point I’m making here is, do not try to overcomplicate your action steps. Keep them simple and layer them into your routine first. Then bother about optimising them.
Did adding that salad give a sudden boost to my weight loss?
But I chose to stick to transforming my lifestyle to a healthier version one small step at a time.
I was slowly building a pile of failures.
Since each added goal was do-able, I was able to stay put.
I had to ensure I worked on making each action step interesting in my own way.
Simplify before you AMPLIFY.
And yes, gradually the scale too started moving.
I reached a point, somewhere around the 60-day mark from starting my weight loss journey, where each day I’d wake up with the determination to fail.
To be willing to fail at seeing a result on the scale but not in taking action.
To not giving up.
I was not going to quit.
That was decided.
That was the only thing I was certain about.
I was closely taking notes from my journey and constantly assessing the results on a weekly and monthly basis.
Some plateaus worked like speed breakers in the road just when I felt I had it all figured out.
In those trying moments, all I had in my favour was my belief in my impossible goal.
I knew where I wanted to go.
That’s why all I did was to take the next best step (in my opinion) and keep trying to get past the roadblock.
Noting down what works and what doesn’t.
Sifting through the pile of Internet articles and YouTube videos that often provided contradictory advises.
I was slowly getting clear on what I needed to keep doing to get consistent results.
And thus climbing on the pile of failures, I reached my ideal weight and have maintained it ever since.
Because I am no longer scared of showing up each day.
I am no longer scared of failing.
Rather I am open to failing as many times it takes to take me to my next impossible goal.
So what did I learn from this experience?
You got to be willing to fail to achieve the biggest goals of your life.
Where Do You Start On Your Journey Towards An impossible Goal?
If I were to break this success story into actionable steps, it would look something like climbing a mountain.
Reaching the mountain top is your impossible goal.
If you’re not sure which mountain you’d like to climb, that is you’re seeking clarity on which goal you want to achieve first, I’d highly recommend you seek guidance from my workbook ~ How To Set Goals & Crush Them
Next, you might have no experience or know-how of how to get there.
Your belief in getting there is what matters.
If you’re determined to make it happen, you got to begin one small step at a time.
But guess where your journey begins?
At the base of the mountain?
On the trail that takes you to the mountain?
Your journey begins at your couch.
Yes, you read that right.
You got to get up from that couch,
Put down the phone that you’re scrolling,
Step out of your home,
Get to the base of the mountain.
Each of these steps matter.
Top 3 Strategies to Help You Achieve Your Big Goals
1. Write it Down
I know it sounds pretty basic but hardly anyone does it.
A scientific study by Dr Gail Matthews, a Professor of Psychology at the Dominican University of California discovered that we are 42% more likely to achieve our goals if we simply write them down.
Ain’t that figure inspiring enough to get to writing our goals?
How I’ve adopted this strategy is by making it a point to daily write my big goal on the top of the page (where I can see it and be reminded of it every day) of my journal.
This has helped me stay focussed and constantly acting towards achieving my goal.
If you’re truly serious about achieving your goals this year, please make sure that you actually write them down.
And I would encourage you to write them down daily.
2. Schedule the time and the place where you’re going to take action and have a backup plan
Simply planning your action steps or thinking about your goals is a good way to generate an idea.
But if you don’t actually make room for the action steps in your schedule, it is likely to remain a mere wish.
Deciding in advance where and when you’re going to take specific actions to reach your goal can actually double or triple your chances for success.
This strategy has been proven to be effective in the study by Dr Heidi Grant Halvorson.
Deciding upon when( the exact day and time) and the location of your action sets you up for two to three times higher chances of succeeding.
If your goal is to exercise, go ahead set the time in your calendar and be clear about where you’re going to work out. In a park or the gym or at home.
And if you’re truly committed towards the success of your goal, go ahead and have a backup plan in place.
Plan ahead for problems or setbacks that you know could throw you off track.
3. Have an Accountability Partner
Share your updates with your friend, someone whom you trust and is willing to be by your side in your journey towards your goal.
The American Society of Training and Development in a study discovered that you have a 65% chance of completing a goal if you have an accountability partner.
And this percentage goes higher if you actually take the time to schedule your accountability meetings or calls.
For example, you could decide the time and day you and your accountability partner would exchange updates on your goals in person or through text, email or even a voice message.
Don’t be afraid to fail at any step just be sure to rise and get going each time you fall.
You should strive to achieve the impossible goals, the big dreams you have because they exist to guide you towards who you were born to be.
Don’t live this life with the yearning of achieving more when with a simple mindset shift you can actually achieve so much more.
If you’ve got an impossible goal, I’d like to help you with a step-by-step action plan that I have drafted in a free downloadable guide.
In the guide, I have also shared the 3 most common causes of failure that can often derail you from the path of achieving your big goal.
Download your free copy of the How To Achieve An Impossible Goal guide.
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