This is a guest post from Dr. Alessandra Wall.
As someone whose business it is to help others create change there is something magical about the New Year; it is so full of hope and motivation. It is a time to evaluate growth and direction, and to dream. Over the next month or so millions of people will share resolutions to get fitter, healthier, and more financially responsible. People will dream of the life they want and declare their desire to make the changes necessary to achieve it. Unfortunately, a great deal of them will remain dreamers; their resolutions, unmet, will nag at them and then be forgotten until next year. The sad part about this whole thing is that their failure is not due to lack of ability, or laziness, or unrealistic aspirations, it’s most likely due to lack of planning.
“A goal without a plan is but a dream” – Helen Thayer (Explorer, age 76)
I agree whole-heartedly with Helen Thayer, which is why her quote resonates so much with me – the difference between a dream and a goal is planning. It’s also the difference between a resolution and a goal. A dream, a resolution or a desire is something we would like to achieve, whereas a goal is something we are working to achieve; it’s the distinction between passive and active engagement. This doesn’t mean that dreaming isn’t valuable. Actually, it should be the starting point of your plan, but on it’s own it will not take you very far. So, how does one go about shifting from dreams to reality? Create a goal and make a plan!
From desire to reality, a five-step approach:
Let’s pause here for a second. Step 2 is where most people stop, because what they defined feels like a plan, but it is very important you understand that these are just starting goals, and not even great ones at that because they are vague, so there is a bit more work to do.
Whatever your barriers, you have to know them so you can recognize and outsmart them.
If you take the time to cover these five steps you will make the transition from desire to reality. There is, however, a caveat – you might not get it right the very first time you try, but that is no reason to give up. Think of any change you are attempting as a skill you are building. You would never expect to just pick up a new skill the first time you tried it. You would understand that sometimes you can be a natural, and other times you require practice. The more you practice, the more certain things become second nature, the more you understand about yourself and the goals you are trying to reach, and the more you are able to succeed.
Bio: Alessandra Wall, Ph.D. is a specialist in change. She is psychologist and a life and nutrition coach in private practice in San Diego, California, as well as the Executive Director and Lifestyle and Nutrition Coach at CrossFit Elysium. Her background is in anxiety, stress management and eating disorders. She specializes in helping people create lasting and significant life change, by providing practical insights into the cognitive and emotional factors that typically hold them back. Alessandra has been a featured speaker on topics such as the psychology of change and stress management at several PrimalCon events and Health Unplugged 2014, the UK’s first Paleo/Primal conference. Check out Alessandra’s Change of Heart program to learn how to create and achieve your life goals.
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