David Lim advises us to chuck “attempt”out of the window and focus on three important words – intention, attention and energy – to succeed in our New Year goals.
This is the time of the year when people attempt and I say attempt, as few actually succeed, in achieving some goal they have set for themselves. The vast majority of those so-called “New Year resolutions” fail, and that’s been shown to be statistically true for a whole variety of reasons.
So, if you have some kind of goal, let me help you achieve that by looking at just three key words – intention, attention and energy. The rest are just distractions. Just as motivation is a form of emotion that needs to precede actual action, if you look closely, you will find what kicks off a flow of actions, and thus the outcome is intention.
Intentionality is everything. When we truly intend to do something – lose a specific amount of fat, buy that home, write that book, hit a professional milestone, pass that exam and so on, intentionality drives our actions. Once we have actually decided and committed to a course of action, we are driven by our intentions. Why then do so many people fail at achieving those goals? For starters, the problem with intentionality is that it gets distracted by other things. We intend to wake up at six for the pre-work run, but then hit the snooze when we should be already out there pounding the pavement. We say – just a bite of that cake – but then eat the whole slice, and so on. I’ve found the best way to keep intentionality fresh, strong and relevant daily is to revisit your exciting future reality.
This is when your new webpage, new regional team and so on have been established or goals achieved. Imagine how your life will look like and feel like. Keep revisiting that feeling. Anchor it, talk about it, and keep that feeling; that should do something today to get you closer to it. Without refreshing intentionality, you’re stuck, wavering or simply weak in the spirit. In 2015, after a stirring conference of the top global speakers in Miami of which I was a part, I decided I would create a totally new website that focused on just my professional speaking business. It had fits and starts and eventually launched a year later in January 2016.
What could have made it go faster? Better attention. So, in addition to intentionality, we need a dollop of attention. Attention is what we actually focus on when trying to achieve a goal. It’s easy to lose your attention, and focus when we are fire fighting other stuff. Attention is a commitment to see that various moving parts are all working and delivering on your final desired outcome. In the office when I used to have staff, I often started the day by saying: “OK, what do we want to achieve today?” This helped us focus on specific tasks that brought us closer to our outcome. a step at a time.
Attention can also be aided by the construct of a series of written or mental milestones. If say you wanted to lose 10 kg (and you’re a tubby person) by Christmas and you started with this intention in January, it’s unlikely you’re going to hit this as Christmas is nearly 12 months away and too distant. There’s no urgency. But if you have some monthly milestones, a weigh-in on the first day of each month, that helps focus. That helps you pay attention daily to what you eat and do to achieve it.
In January 2016, I desired to create a knockout preview video for my motivational speaking business. Sure, I had had several in the past 15 years, but nothing new for four years. I crowd-sourced an Australian video editor who then delivered a cool new video that refreshed my content, showcased my style and has been provoking good comments and reviews since. How we kept paying attention to the final outcome was the desire to get clients to book me purely on the merit of the five-minute video. Next, constant emails and various drafts compelled me to stay engaged with the process.
This month, my 2017 goal of launching new six-figure business based on online home-study video courses combined with a high-ticket coaching programme, is being launched. I invested in great coaching to script segments, craft the whole sales funnel and ground my way through the 101 tasks and moving parts that needed attention to do this. That’s attention – when helped by weekly coaching calls and so on. I hope to do the same for people aspiring to be better experts who speak/train/coach in the coming months and years.
Most importantly, the third key word is ENERGY. Energy flows where attention goes as directed by intention. You can’t have energy if you are eating poorly, staying up late and getting no exercise. How are you investing in those energy boosting activities and habits this year? Invest substantially in it and you will get the results you want. Forget ‘resolutions”. Instead, use the three key words, Energy, Attention and Intention.
About the author:
David Lim is Asia’s motivational mentor, and best known for leading the 1st Singapore Mt Everest Expedition. Since 1999, he has helped organisations motivate teams and grow leaders. Engage him with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.