The best way to predict your future is to design it. Every year millions of us do our bit of designing our lives with New Year resolutions and goal setting. Now, the New Year is just around the corner, and many are thinking about their resolutions again- most of which could be the repetitions from the last year. The perplexing question to ask is why new-year resolutions fail Why New Year resolutions last only few days or weeks? Why do some people fail to stick to their decisions and goals and later invent excuses to justify their inactions?
New findings in neuropsychology pave the way about how our brains are wired and how we are conditioned. Many resolutions fail right from the goal setting part. Most of goals fail because we set them consciously but goals are achieved more subconsciously than consciously. Since most of our behavior is automatic and habitual, they are operated through a subconscious process of conditioned responses. If there is a contradiction between the conscious choice of resolutions and the subconscious ways of believing and achieving goals, often we do not materialize any of our resolutions and soon we forget that we have even set them.
Our brain works in a protective manner resisting change and naturally, it is easier to escape responsibilities rather than to take full responsibility for change and progress. Our brain knows that most of the goal realization process involves lifestyle change, habit change, thinking change, intense discipline, delayed gratification and doing the extra mile etc. Since our brain is wired to avoid pain and embrace pleasure and rewards, it chooses to embrace the comfort zone rather than the growth zone. In addition, if the fear of failure is strong in the subconscious mind of a goal setter, he will procrastinate action and makes up excuses to avoid further action.
Our resolutions and goals are often conceived in the intellectual mind and we neglect most of heart’s desires. We often settle for what we get rather than what we must do in order to get what we want. Our heartfelt decisions are stronger because of the emotional connection it has and we tend to achieve anything we strongly feel and deserve than we desire intellectually. Moreover many people think that making resolutions and setting goals as a one-time event, but in reality it is an ongoing process of rewiring the brain by adapting empowering beliefs over disempowering beliefs. We need to constantly strengthen and grow ourselves to achieve our goals. We need to make powerful emotional resolutions that will wire our brain with enough commitment to pursue and achieve our goals.
Most of the resolutions are weak commitments and they do not last longer. As humans we surrender to impulses rather than to our rational decisions. We succumb to circumstances than to our choices.
Why this happens? According to the latest brain science- subjectivity overrides rationality. We are more subjective to our experiences than rational choices. Our emotions override our promises. Therefore the key to strong decision making and resolutions is to make decisions that are emotionally wired, so that nothing in this world can derail you from your decisions and plans. Consequently you will do everything purposefully when emotions are appropriately engaged in the act.
You can set inspired goals, goals that will excite you, empower you, gives you the maximum pleasure of achievement- goals that give the maximum challenge and the pleasure you get from its accomplishment.
Strong resolutions are a process of involving emotions into your decision making process. Emotions give you the fire. According to neuropsychology ‘what fires together wires together’ and it lasts longer.
Designing your life with goals.
John Goddard is considered to be the world’s biggest goal achiever. When he was aged 15 he wrote a list of 127 ‘life goals’, which he called as ‘My Life List’. When he turned seventy, he had already accomplished 111 of his goals plus 400 others he set along the way. His life is remarkable with numerous achievements and adventures like climbing mountains, following Marco Polo’s route, exploring river Nile, Amazon, Red Sea, underwater reefs, Congo, traveling to 122 countries living with 260 different tribal groups and flying 40 different types of aircrafts and speaking five languages and many more. Since him many people have discovered the power of ‘the bucket list’. As john Goddard wisely said, “If you really know what you want out of life, it’s amazing how opportunities will come to enable you to carry them out.”
The incredible story of John Goddard is an inspiration for all resolution makers to dream big dreams and write down their ‘life list’. In fact the ‘bucket list’ or the list of goals is one of the finest ways to design life’s best experiences. But the irony of life is that most of us are caught up in the trap of making a living rather than designing a life.
Isn’t it funny to observe this fact for example? We take time to design a house before we build it. We get our clothes designed before we wear them. Everything that is manmade is thoughtfully designed before they are made it into existence. At least we had an idea what those might that be. But, when it comes to life, no one bothers to design his or her life. The most precious of all- life must be designed and goal setting is a process to designing your life.
All of us quite often suffer from two types of major problem. One is, not knowing how to get what we want. But the bigger problem always lies in not knowing what we want.
The comedian Lily Tomlin once said ‘All my life I wanted to be somebody. Now I see I should have been more specific’. She was right. Unless you can specifically say what you want from your life, you will become whatever life makes of you. You must have goals. Here is why, you must set them. If you do not set goals in your life, life circumstances will set some goals that you do not like.
Here is an interesting revelation for you. Everything you own or what you have become is a result of a goal you have set in the past. If you are what you didn’t want to be, it’s merely because of the absence of goals that you forgot to set in the past.
All in all, goal setting plays a very critical role in your success because it keeps you focused on what’s really important to you. Goals take you from where you are to where you want to be. It is like your ultimate navigation system. Without this navigation system your life can be misdirected and life becomes a collection of mediocre experiences and minor achievements.
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