2019 has arrived and with the new year our willingness to change or start something new comes. We want to take an academic course, learn a foreign language or lose weight. We usually begin very well in our resolutions, full of enthusiasm and vigour, but over time, we lose our good intentions and return to the status quo. We continue to be and act the way we are used to. Why does it happen? What causes us to put aside what we crave so much? Do not let 2019 be another year of ‘unfinished works’. Here are some tips that will make a difference for you.
Want to change, make it happen
Every conquest begins with a desire. Focus your thoughts on your goals. Mentally travel into the future and imagine what your new life will be like after completing your postgraduate abroad, being fitter or have more money in your bank account. For example, consider your new job after finishing college. Try to picture yourself in a business meeting or in the lab doing your research. It makes you sigh with happiness, does it not? As an old samba in Brazil highlights “Let your mind wander, it costs nothing to dream”.
The mind is something impressive. By imagining yourself in the future, you create expectations of change which are translated into an incisive decision. Battles are won in the imaginary field of your mind. Make that desire an unshakable belief through faith that moves mountains. Write down your goals and read aloud, this will help your subconscious act by creating a positive energy that will be translated into actions.
The mind is something impressive. By imagining yourself in the future, you create expectations of change which are translated into an incisive decision.
It is very important to remember that desires need to become decisions. When we decide in our mind, we implicitly begin to create mental mechanisms toward the decision we make which will translate into tangible actions toward our goal.
Plan, plan, plan
To turn decisions into actions you need to plan. Write on a piece of paper how your resolutions can be fulfilled. Be as specific as possible. Think, what actions are necessary to achieve my goal? Set dates. What can be done and it is within your reach? Picture all the possibilities. Do not cling to things that are not under your control.
When planning, talk to people who have gone through similar experiences, ask for advice, and discard pessimistic comments. Have people who will build you up and help you. Read books daily. This will increase your power of concentration and inspire you to have ideas. The desire will begin to materialize through the steps that are first drawn into your mind.
For example, if your goal is to save money, the first action to be taken is to know where your resources are being used. By doing this, you will have a clear view to make decisions about your expenses. From then on, reflect on what can be done to help reduce your debts and build your savings.
In the example above, you can plan actions and steps toward your financial goals. You can make a clear distinction between what you ‘need’ and what you ‘want’ to reduce superfluous expenses.
Write down everything on a timeline, outlining every step to be taken until the completion. This will help you visualize your goals. Your mind will begin to touch, feel and translate that feeling into something tangible.
Take one step at a time
Do not try to solve everything on the first day. There is an old proverb which says “A journey of a thousand miles begins at the first step”. The goal is to finish the race, not be the first to cross the finish line. You are the only participant of this journey. Martin Luther King Jr., in one of his remarkable speeches, said: “If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. No matter what you do, keep moving forward.” Begin where you are, at your pace, in your time. Do not rush. Respect your limits. Remember, for an athlete to complete a marathon, hours of training are necessary so that her body gradually supports the impacts of a strenuous race.
“If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. No matter what you do, keep moving forward.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Retain the steps you set in your planning. If you find that the steps are difficult for you to perform, subdivide them into steps that suit your condition. The idea is to move on, not to be the fastest.
Let me explain to you in a clearer way: draw a line between you and your goal and divide it into 20 parts. Each part corresponds to an action to be taken. Put this line in a visible place, see it every day and ask yourself. What can I do today to get closer to my dream? Remember, no matter the distance travelled today, always move forward.
When you faced with a difficult step, ask for help! Cry out! Do not try to solve everything yourself. Do not despise small things, everything will contribute to the great construction. Remember a home is built with thousands of bricks, your goal is to lay at least one brick a day. Persistence is the highest quality you can have. Keep moving forward.
Enjoy The Journey
Take your time. Enjoy each step in a unique way. If your goal is to be an engineer and you are in the first year of college, enjoy calculus right now (my sincere apologies to those who do not like maths, as this may have a bitter taste). Do not worry about building a bridge as yet, your time will come.
Imagine your set of steps as a train journey. Watch the scenery, take pictures, talk with the passenger at your side. If there are any stops, take a tour in the town. Enjoy each moment.
Along the way, always take the time to learn from others. Everyone has something to teach you, regardless of social status or schooling. One of the great blockers of success is pride. Recognise your weaknesses, always seeking to improve on these points. Do not assume that you have all answers. Listen, learn and interact along the way. Learn everything you can today, for it all contributes to the journey of life. Each step has a purpose, a lesson to be learned.
I believe this is the most important tip. Do not care about others will think of you. I repeat, do not mind it! It is quite difficult to condition this truth in our minds. If something does not go right along the journey, review the plans you wrote and try something different. Do not be discouraged, this is not a failure, but an ‘opportunity to learn’. Obstacles along the way are basically inevitable. The achievement of our goals comes through persistence. Businessmen, elite athletes and professionals have perseverance as a quality in common.
Unfortunately, we live in a society of comparison which establishes parameters of success and failure. Everything in life is a learning curve, it depends on your perception. Abraham Lincoln was considered an ‘unsuccessful’ politician, he lost more than 10 elections! And yet, he became an icon in the American history. Airton Senna always raced to win. He made history in Formula 1 by winning with cars far less technologically advanced than his opponents. Your current circumstance does not dictate the result. It is only one step in the process that will contribute to the end result.
I believe that each of us has a purpose in life. Focus on your goal and move on. Do not do anything to impress. Fulfil your purpose and goals in life by being who you are.
And finally, do not compare yourself with the standards and expectations that modern society imposes on you. I believe that each of us has a purpose in life. Focus on your goal and move on. Do not do anything to impress. Fulfil your purpose and goals in life by being who you are. Be the best you can in your situation. Go above and beyond in each step above.
Begin 2019 by thinking differently. Awaken your will to a desire and make a decision to change your life once and for all. The tips above will help you understand your value and think differently. Having desires is healthy, never doubt them.
It all starts in your mind. Plan, think of different ways to fulfil your dreams, and take one step at a time, respecting your limitations. Enjoy every moment of your journey, explore, learn and never underestimate anyone. The time will pass faster and you will have a shorter sensation on the journey towards the goal. You are the only person who can make it happen, no one else.
My name is Paulo Santiago, Education Consultant at Logos Global Education. I have been working with Higher Education in Ireland for over eight years and I am well positioned to advise you on the best choice of programme to achieve your career goals. Our company has partnerships with many of the main colleges and universities throughout Ireland and we would be happy to assist with any query. Follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter @LogosEducation to find out more!
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