Lose 22 pounds by the end of March.
One of my resolutions; a goal to hit by the end of March.
Many of us make New Year’s resolutions.
Most break them.
And there’s a good reason why.
We simply water down our commitment.
It starts well with the written goal.
When written, it’s clear and definite.
When spoken, it can be diluted too easily.
We’ll tell friends:
“I’m trying to lose 10 kilos by the end of March”
“I hoping to lose 10 kilos”
“I’m doing my best to lose 10 kilos”
To succeed, we need to follow up the boldness of our initial goal with boldness in our spoken word.
This piece of Chinese philosophy holds true – more than 2000 years after it was written:
“Watch your thoughts – because they become words”
“Watch your words – because they become actions”
“Watch your actions – because they become habits
“Watch your habits – because they become your character”
“Watch your character – because it becomes your destiny”
In short: what we think about, we bring about.
And putting it into words leads to actions.
Let me explain:
If we write down goals, they stop being thoughts and become words.
And, they of course become actions.
Use words of commitment like:
“My clear goal is…”
“I’m determined to…”
“I firmly believe I will…”
“I’m committed to…”
Now you’ve closed the door behind you.
You can only move forward.
In my case, I’m setting a goal of 10,000 steps a day.
Plus bike runs and games of squash and golf.
And cutting down on sugar, while cutting out sweets and treats.
So, in conversations I’ll say:
“I’m committed to losing 10 kilos by the end of March.
“I’ve lost it before and I’m determined to lose it again.
“I firmly believe that upping the exercise and reducing the sugar will get me there.
“My clear goal once I’ve lost that weight is to keep it off by maintaining good habits”
Now you may have asked yourself:
“How do I set goals”?
“Can I keep my New Year Resolutions”?
“Will I achieve the goals I’ve set”?
The answer is clear:
Tell yourself what you’re doing – and tell others at the same time.
We’re so afraid of failing to reach targets that we often fail to set a goal in the first place.
We ask our clients to declare in media interviews what they’re committed to doing.
What they’re determined to achieve.
What they firmly believe is the best way forward.
At first, many are reluctant to use these words, asking:
“what if we are unable to deliver?”
It’s demonstrating your attitude that makes you stand out from the crowd.
When you demonstrate an attitude of determination and commitment, you inspire others to follow.
In 2007, I spent an hour removing every watering down word from Glasgow’s bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The following day, delegates voted overwhelmingly to award the Games to Glasgow.
Seven years later, I worked with over 100 Scottish athletes, asking them to commit to achieving personal best performances.
Many were reluctant in case they failed.
But most did – and Scotland landed a record medals haul.
A couple of years ago, I worked with Louise Martin in writing her bid for the Commonwealth Federation Presidency.
She was elected based on her track record and inspirational speech.
Louise was awarded a well-deserved Damehood in the New Years’ Honours List.
So let’s inspire others to follow our leadership in 2019.
Start by flushing out the watering down words.
And using only words of commitment.
Happy New Year and have a very successful 2019.
Bill McFarlan is Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at Pink Elephant Communications in Glasgow.
You can view his full profile here.
Some media trainers knock you down…and leave you down. Our media coaches show you how to deal with each knock…and still win through. So you have the presentation skills to perform – with confidence.