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Setting A New Goal? Why You Need To Change Your Identity First
February 20, 2018
The Life With Confidence Ezine
Confidence builds when you're able to set a goal and achieve it. But do you ever find that you start out strong and then quickly lose your motivation? Is there a way to overcome this?
That's the main topic of discussion for this newsletter issue.
In This Issue:
Setting A New Goal? Why You Need To Change Your Identity FirstGoal setting always sounds so easy, doesn't it?
Set a goal and then go and do it. What could be easier?
So, why doesn't it work like that in real life?
If you're like me then probably you've found that sure, at the beginning, it's exciting to have a new goal to work towards and when you first start, you're full of energy and have no problem spending time working towards it. You're excited about the new you you're going to become and are willing to do whatever it takes.
But then that day comes when maybe you're more tired or you're not feeling well or you need to skip a day to work on something else. Whatever it is, it throws off your momentum and then you find that within a few weeks all that motivation is now gone and you're not getting anywhere with your goal.
For some reason, I find I lose interest in the goal or I end up feeling guilty that I'm not spending time on it. I want to work on it but there's a resistance for some reason.
Whatever the reason, all I know is that I'm not making any forward progress. I've slipped back to exactly where I started. It’s so frustrating.
So, what's the solution?In the book, The Leap Process by Jess Guermellin, he says the reason why you fail with your goal setting is because you need to change your identity first. Yes, your identity.
Guermellin states that the reason you self-sabotage yourself and lose motivation is because your brain still sees yourself as someone who isn’t the person you’re trying to become. An example is someone who starts an exercise program. They want to become a fit, athletic person. So, they sign up for a gym membership and are able to do it for a few weeks. After that, they then drift back to being the way they were before.
Guermellin says this happens because the person still sees themselves as someone who doesn’t exercise so that’s the strongest draw for the person. Their brain wants to do the actions and activities of the person they see themselves as and identify with. So, if they see themselves as a non fit person, that's how they're going to behave.
A Three Part SystemHis suggestion to overcome this disconnect in your identity is a three part process.
First, you need to decide on the person you want to become and commit to this vision of your future self.
This is the new identity you wish to become. For example, you want to see yourself as a healthy and fit person.
You also need to be clear in your mind as to why you want to become this person. What's the purpose?
The second part is to set up a system or process for achieving this goal. When you set this up, it's important that you start with really small steps that are easy for you to accomplish. For example, maybe you'll decide that you're going to exercise for ten minutes a week. Yes, start as small as this. Make it easy to be successful with it.
The third part is to remain focused on the system and keep increasing the amount of work you do each week by 1%. Don't focus on the end goal, losing ten pounds, focus on the process, exercising ten minutes per week.
This third part is such an important part to understand because this is where your identity changes. Usually when you set a goal, you focus on what you want to achieve. You want to lose weight for example. But if you focus on the end goal then you're far more likely to get overwhelmed, or get frustrated, or give up completely when you don't achieve that goal in the time frame that you expect.
If you turn this around and focus on your system then you'll be able to see that you are making progress. This means that the brain sees evidence that you are doing the activities that a fit and healthy person would do. With each week that you successfully complete something towards your goal, the more your brain adjusts itself to seeing yourself as the new you.
You're also able to make corrections and adjustments to your system faster and sooner than you would if you were only focusing on the end result.
You'll find it's less stressful this way and also once your identity changes, it's far easier to keep going with the process because you're becoming the person you want to be and you'll naturally start doing those new activities without having to force yourself. Instead of being a wannabe fit person, you are a fit person.
So, the answer to being able to accomplish goals is to first become the person you want to be and set up a system to enable that.
Read the full articleSo, that's the short explanation of this method. I provide a lot more detail on how to set up your system in my full article on this topic here:
Setting A New Goal - Why You Need To Change Your Identity First.
More info on setting goalsYou can also find more information on setting goals on my site.
Inspirational QuoteA good quote to remember:
Success or Failure?
Groundhogs Day by Jess GuermellinGroundhogs Day by Jess Kuermellin
In this article, Jess talks about why it’s important to have a purpose in your life and to not get lost in the grind of day to day life. As he talks about in this article, “I still felt that I had no purpose and unfulfilled with my life. It was like there was a disconnect from what I thought I should be accomplishing and what I was actually accomplishing. This lead me to unhealthy habits to numb the pain.”
I could definitely relate to his thoughts about that disconnect and how it affects all parts of your life. Having a purpose definitely changes things.
You can do itAre you ready to try again with a goal you've had before but haven't managed to stay motivated with? This technique is definitely worth giving a try especially if you haven't been successful before.
Being able to see progress towards your goals is a huge confidence booster.
That's it for this week.
Have a good week and I'll talk to you soon.
The Legal Stuff
Please be advised that the opinions expressed here are purely those of the author, Catherine Pratt. You read and act upon it at your own risk.
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