2016 – The Year of Being Accountable
This is your year. 2016 will be the year you remove all obstacles from your path and seize the life you were meant to live. This is the year you’re going to be accountable for your happiness and hold others accountable when they try to sabotage you.
Powerful change. Positive change. Permanent change.
You must believe in the strength of your desires. This isn’t some flighty resolution! This isn’t a fad, a quick fix, or about “thinking happy thoughts.”
Your Personal 4-Step Program for 2016
By making one consistent change at a time, you’re going to carve out the life you want, the life you need, and you’re going to make it look easy.
Get yourself a dedicated notebook (you can get them at your local dollar store – cheap paper works just as well as expensive paper). Mark a few pages for each “life” situation that needs your attention. Be as detailed as possible in your notes but keep your thoughts to yourself until you reach actual goals.
Step One – Absolute Honesty with Yourself
Before you can affect positive change in your life, you need to determine what needs fixing. Make notes about where you are right now.
This month, it’s time for a hard look at everything in your world. Your job, relationships (family, friends, co-workers, neighbors), finances, personal growth, physical health, living conditions, appearance, and even little things like your sleep schedule. Look at all of it and don’t make excuses for anything…brutal honesty is what you need.
Be accountable for not only what you want but why you haven’t achieved it yet.
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Step Two – Your Plan of Attack
I always enjoy the planning stage. I take a large concept – such as paying off debt or launching a new idea – and break it into small, manageable pieces. If you try to do everything all at once, you’ll set yourself up to fail and failure is not on your agenda for 2016.
Whether it is overcoming debt, losing weight, or ending a toxic relationship, there are steps you have to take (again…consistently) to reach your personal end-game.
It isn’t enough to say, “I want to pay off all my debt by the end of the year.” First, your debt might be too big to accomplish such a goal. Second, it’s too vague.
If you set enormous goals that are almost impossible to reach with your current resources, when you don’t meet them, you can make excuses to yourself. Human beings are talented at mind games and as a result, we are the biggest saboteurs in our own lives.
By setting smaller goals, not meeting them is firmly in your lap. You are forced to be accountable because it is a realistic, doable goal that requires nothing more than motivation and dedication.
I’m going to use debt as an example since it’s the albatross around so many necks. While there are some who could pay off ten-thousand dollars in debt within a year without breaking a sweat, the reality is that the majority of society (per world statistics) simply doesn’t have the means. Instead, give yourself smaller goals so you can measure your success. Reaching each milestone is going to encourage you to keep going.
Step Three – Refuse to Give Ground
As you meet each goal you set (paying off that first small credit card, losing 10 pounds, or setting up a website), this is when it is easiest to sit back and relax because you’re so proud of yourself and what you’ve accomplished.
Don’t do it.
Dig in harder, push yourself, and keep going. Most of my goals are no less than 10-steps. For instance, I listed each of my debts in order from smallest to largest. I removed every credit card from my wallet other than my bank debit cards. I then saved 5% of my income in an account that wasn’t easy for me to access.
In three months, I paid the smallest credit card off. I saved for another several months and paid off the next one, and so on. It’s a slow process that took three years to accomplish but I did it. I didn’t let myself touch that savings fund, no matter what. Even when I wanted or needed to.
This exact same concept is what enabled me to lose 100 pounds. Slow and steady really does help you win. The time is going to pass anyway so use it to further your goals!
Modern society wants (even expects) instant gratification. Real life doesn’t work like that. There is no “quick fix” way to earn lots of money that is sustainable (and legal), to lose one hundred pounds (without surgery or fads that aren’t safe), or to build a business (that has long-term plans). You don’t want a quick fix…you want a real fix that lasts.
Step Four – Establish the True Blueprint of Your Life
By forcing yourself to be accountable for where you are, where you want to go, and why you haven’t done what you truly want to do, you erase years of bad habits slowly.
Paying off my debts the way I did, I got in the habit of saving that 5% of my income every month. I’ve managed to build myself a little emergency fund and I can’t tell you the sense of relief it gives me. It wasn’t easy to pay off credit card debt so it reminds me not to get back in that same situation again. The experience changed the way I think about money in general.
Losing 100 pounds slowly showed me how I was sabotaging my health with my eating habits, why I gained that weight in the first place, and forced me to make changes to every aspect of my life to keep from sliding backwards. I fought to lose those pounds and I’m never going back.
Experts say it takes anywhere from 21 days to 6 months to set a “habit” in your psyche. I set these habits over three years so they’re part of my “blueprint” now. I feel stronger because I don’t have the stress of credit card bills hanging over me. I feel more confident when I look in the mirror. Meeting these goals changed the way I thought about other areas of my life.
While I accomplished two things that caused unbelievable stress, worry, and self-loathing in my daily existence, I started to see other goals I wanted to reach. Writing, being self-employed, resolving toxic relationships, and buying a home went in my notebook.
As I reach each goal, I’m going to set new ones. I believe in my ability to get where I want to go. I believe in the power of consistency.
I have seen that small changes, over time, amount to huge changes. I’ve lived it. I want you to have that in your own life.
We all mess up. We all wake up one day and realize a year or a decade has passed living on autopilot. You are the captain of your ship and your past mistakes do not define you. All you have to do is own it, accept it, be accountable for where you’ve been and where you want to go.
You can start fresh right now, today, and see real measurable change in the coming year.
If you’re unsure how to get your mind, body, and spirit in line with your goals, you should check out my book, right now for some amazing changes that are going to help you feel better, look better, and be stronger in your day-to-day.
From our little family to yours, may 2016 be all you want, need, and deserve!