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The Secret To Getting What You Want In The New Year

This week between Christmas and New Year’s is a time when a lot of us reflect back on the year that was and plan out resolutions for the year to come. I encourage you to set some quiet time this week to put serious thought into what you’d like to change and accomplish in 2012.

This isn’t an exercise where you simply write down a few goals on a piece of paper and stuff it away in a drawer. For those people who even write down their goals, which is probably less than 5% of the population, the majority end the process right there. Don’t make this mistake!

I want to share with you a secret to help you follow through and achieve your goals with laser like focus.

In my experience it’s this ONE FACTOR that separates success from failure with reaching your goals. I can save you a ton of time reading another motivation or self-help book as this one secret ingredient is seemingly always the difference maker.

Incorporate this one factor and you’ll get dialed in on whatever it is you want to accomplish…

Leave it out and chances are your goals and resolutions will be nothing more than mere words on a piece of paper.

What is the secret?

Instead of just telling you outright what the one factor is I want to share with you a personal story. It’s a little embarrassing and humbling to reveal but I think it will help you to see just how valuable this secret ingredient really is.

My embarrassing yet revealing personal story…

As a fitness coach I’ve always looked to keep myself in pretty good shape. I’m pretty passionate about this stuff and if I didn’t practice what I preach I certainly wouldn’t be very effective at coaching others.

Trying to promote fitness with a gut would be like bald man trying to sell you a comb. For the most part I’ve avoided this dilemma but there was a time, actually five years ago almost to the day, when I had completely and utterly fallen off the wagon.

Success with Shaping Concepts had opened up opportunities for expansion in other markets and I was fully engaged as an entrepreneur growing my business. Once just a coach I was now up to my neck in 60 plus hour work weeks trying to manage three different studios spread out along the coast from Myrtle Beach to Bluffton.

I’ll admit I had pretty much burned myself out. Being someone who is very driven and competitive, I was pushing myself to make all our studios successful. As it is with anything in life, when all your attention is directed on work there’s going to be other areas that get compromised.

Sure it’s sacrifice and it’s true you won’t get very far without some degree of it, but the thing is you have to determine what is it that you’re sacrificing and is it worth it?

In this case I had sacrificed my health and fitness (definitely not worth it). Working long hours, being super-stressed, and running up and down the highway had caused me to balloon up to 260lbs!

I was out of shape, not sleeping, and carrying around an embarrassing gut! All of this a result of skipping workouts and making poor choices with my diet.

I can remember feeling so guilty and disgusted with myself as I’d go through a drive-through to get a fast-food meal when rushing back and forth between the studios. I hated this food and knew it was poison, but for some reason I was sucked into this vicious cycle where I found myself making choices I didn’t even like.

It was the lowest of the lows for me from a health and fitness standpoint.

Here I was the face of an organization that coaches and inspires people to live a life of joyful fulfillment by being lean, fit, and healthy….and I was none of the above.

Then one day between Christmas and New Year’s in 2007 I did something that had a profound impact on helping me completely reverse course with my health at the time.

What was it?

I took pictures of myself with my shirt off standing against a wall at the house. (one of those embarrassing pictures shown below).

That was it, the pictures were a game changer….this did it for me. Seeing the pictures made me mad as hell! I didn’t look at the pictures and feel sorry for myself, look to make excuses, or anything like that. I was just flat out mad.

I knew what I had become was 100% a result of my decisions and nobody else’s. Self responsibility is sort of a lost practice in today’s society but I can assure you it’s always the first step towards positive change.

The kicker here is the pictures made me extremely angry and embarrassed at myself for what I had become. In this case being “angry” and “embarrassed” were two very strong emotions…emotions that had the ability to change my way of thinking and acting.

The secret my friend lies in the EMOTIONS!

If the emotions are strong enough you can a develop “laser beam” focus that’s like shinning sunlight through a magnifying glass…everything and anything that stands in your way is getting scorched!

Being this mad and upset with myself was the trigger in reversing direction. This is very important as there needs to be a “trigger” of some sort tied in with strong emotions.

I had told myself for months that I needed to get back in the gym, clean up my diet, etc, and it simply wasn’t happening. I allowed myself to succumb to excuses just like we’re all vulnerable to doing.

The “trigger” moment of taking my shirt off and snapping some pictures applied the strong “emotions” of anger and embarrassment that in essence put the necessary fuel on the fire to help me make different decisions.

Is this all making sense?

It’s not enough to know you “should” do something or keep telling yourself you’re going to make a change. Even wanting to achieve a certain set of goals and writing them down on paper isn’t good enough. There’s no POWER in any of that….nothing for your subconscious mind to work off of as a “target destination” per say which is then fueled by emotion.

I took my “trigger” moment with seeing the pictures with my shirt off and used the accompanying emotions to light a fire. Then I simply applied the decisions and actions that I knew would solve my problem and get me where I wanted to be.

In a matter of 60 days I was in better shape than I had been in probably years. The gut was gone, I was lean, working out regularly, and had energy to burn.

I wanted to share that story with you because sometimes I think people get the wrong impression that working out and eating healthy comes “easy” for someone like myself.

As I just revealed even though I’m a fitness guru, I’m only human just like the next person.

I’m weak and vulnerable at times, I screw up, slip up, make mistakes, go through lulls and low-periods just like anyone else.

It’s not about having some extreme ability to stay disciplined. Don’t ever think you have to develop some iron-willed discipline just to be successful. It’s all about your decisions and habits.

When you exercise regularly and eat healthy often enough, things go on “auto-pilot.” Sure you’re still going to slip up from time to time but it doesn’t matter. Your habits, once ingrained into your lifestyle, take over and you’ll find yourself getting right back on track.

It’s only when you let yourself slip off track for a prolonged period of time that you get yourself in trouble. This is exactly what happened to me back in 2007. I didn’t get off track for a day or a week; I got off track for months!

Once you’re deep down in that rut it’s going to take something other than a resolution or half-hearted attempt at change to reverse course.

You need a “trigger” moment and something to stir up strong emotions. Whatever that trigger is, it’s your job to find it. That’s where taking the time to really reflect and put some thought into this pays huge dividends. You must find some strong emotions to tie into your goals.

Regardless of how you come up with this, just look for something to get you fired up. Without emotions your goals and resolutions are powerless.

Once you’d uncovered your “trigger” write down exactly what you’re going to change (your goals) along with how you’re going to accomplish it (your actions).

Get laser focused on these things so it becomes almost like an obsession. A list of goals written on a piece of paper stuffed in a desk drawer is dead and powerless.

A list of goals and affirmations that is reviewed daily, thought about regularly, and programmed into your subconscious mind with emotions is alive and has immense power.

I can’t tell you the reason why this works…I just know that it does. There seems to be some kind of universal law that ties everything together when your subconscious mind is given a target backed with strong emotions.

If you think back on events in your life you’ll undoubtedly find this to be true. I don’t care what it is, if you get really fired up about something and want it bad enough, there’s not much that can stop you.

What the mind gets as a target backed with emotions serves as sort of programming to “make it so.” As a kid maybe you wanted get a high score on a video game, do a back flip off the high dive, or whatever. Think back to how you made it happen.

Chances are you became so obsessed with it that it was all you could think about. You kept practicing over and over again until you got it done. Why do we tend to stop doing this as adults?

My thoughts are because we get overly consumed with fear of failure, what other people might think, etc. If you apply the same attitude you had towards the things you wanted as a kid to the goals you have as an adult, there’s not much that can stop you.

Don’t wait for the timing to be perfect and make excuses that you’ll get around to it once <fill in the blank> gets done. We both know what this type of thinking is likely to produce.

Whatever your goals are, want them bad, really bad, and get fired up about it!

Accept the reality that anything worth accomplishing is going to take focused effort, determination, persistence, and practice.

Don’t listen to that voice in your head that tries to tell you all the reasons you can’t or won’t do something. Forget about past failures and all the times when things didn’t work out. It’s in the past, bury it and move on.

Be like the kid who is so obsessed with doing something that they keep trying until it happens. I believe in you…believe in yourself and just go take massive action towards getting what you want.

Best wishes that you make all your goals become a reality in 2012!

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts. With a staff of over 10 certified fitness professionals, Shaping Concepts provides fitness consulting in Charleston with a specialty on weight loss and body transformation. You can receive a FREE, no-obligations (2) session personal training trial and consultation to experience the difference for yourself.

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