As the New Year rapidly approaches, you may be hoping that 2016 brings more joy, peace and prosperity than 2015. You may even be saying “Good riddance” to this year and eagerly awaiting the New Year and all that it promises to bring.
You would by no means be alone. Many hope, year after year, that “this year” will be better.
If you are hoping that simply turning the calendar page will bring the changes you seek, you will be sadly disappointed. Changes take effort—not just wishes, or even decisions. If you are tired of hoping to accomplish the same goals year after year, it’s time to take a fresh approach to your goal setting.
Breakthrough Tip #1: Steer Clear of Negative Goals
Where the mind goes, the body follows. So whatever you focus your mind on is what we will continue to create in our lives. That’s why negative goals—such as “stop smoking,” “stop eating sweets” and “stop swearing”—are doomed to fail.
Why? Because whatever you think about, your mind continues to focus on even after the conscious thought is long over.
Let’s do an experiment.
Right now, I want you to stop reading, close your eyes and not think about pink elephants.
How did it go? If you are like most, you couldn’t help but think about pink elephants—because it’s like your brain can’t hear the word “not.” It remained focused on pink elephants.
Instead of setting negative goals, make sure all of your goals are positive. Tell yourself what you can eat instead of what you can’t eat. Focus on what you’ll gain, not what you’ll give up.
Breakthrough Tip #2: Think HUGE
Most experts will say that in order to achieve a goal, you must break it down into smaller, more attainable goals. While I agree with this in principle, it only works as a second step. The first step is to think HUGE.
As I stated in Tip #1, where your mind goes, your body follows. So, aim small and you will only think small. Aim big and you will think huge. When you set your sights on big breakthroughs, your mind and body begin to set everything in motion to try and achieve that goal.
Will you achieve your huge goal this year? Maybe not. But I would bet that you will be far closer to a huge breakthrough then if you set a small, attainable goal. Ephesians 3:20 says that our God can do exceedingly, abundantly above what we could ask hope or think. Therefore I say, think HUGE!
Breakthrough Tip #3: Plan for Obstacles
In January, everyone is overzealous about achieving their goals. The vast majority fizzle out in a matter of days or weeks. Why? Because they neglect to plan for obstacles.
Even the Bible says it: In this world, trials and trouble will come. Yet you don’t have to be discouraged by the setbacks. If you plan for them, you won’t be so easily knocked off our path.
Think ahead—what problems are you likely to encounter? Then make a plan for each possible obstacle. For example, if you are trying to kick a spending habit, but you know the time will come when you are out shopping with friends. And you know that there will be likely a beautiful dress (that you will only wear once) that will make you feel like you will die if you don’t buy it. Plan your way of escape now before you feel ‘trapped.’ This way you can prance out of that mall feeling good about yourself.
This year can be a year of breakthrough for you. Don’t let past failures discourage you and don’t let unplanned diversion derail you. Think positive, think big and plan for obstacles.