So, you’re coming at 2018 like Rocky—theme music playing, jogging along with determination, and punching purposefully at the air. Bring it on, January! But wait, you may be motivated, but are you prepared? Meaning, have you set yourself up for success, or are you relying on that new workout gear or laptop to do the job for you?
Every champion begins their journey to success with the right mindset. Your triumphs are as much, or more, internal than they are external. You can achieve great victories without feeling like you’ve done much at all. Likewise, you may never actually realize success because, somewhere lurking in the back of your mind, you didn’t actually believe you could do it.
Whatever goals you have for the upcoming year, try one or more of these techniques. First, visualize the outcome. See yourself accomplishing whatever milestone is ahead of you. Make that picture in your mind as detailed and realistic as you can. Then, let the feelings it brings wash over you. Let them give you something to hold onto when circumstances get difficult.
Second, tell yourself you will find success. We talk a lot at Orange about the power that words have, and you already know that to be true. And just like it’s true for every child in your ministry or adult in your church, it’s also true for you. Self-doubt and negative self-talk will never serve you well. Speak positivity to yourself. Write it down. Display it. Just don’t let yourself forget it.
Next, you need to support your mindset with the systems to help you succeed.
For example, if you want to send your volunteers regular email updates, you may need to create a list of the topics you want to send them throughout the year, and when you need to send the emails. You may also need to set a calendar reminder to make sure you complete the task.
Or, let’s say you want to start planning an event earlier than you have in the past. In that case, you need to take the time to assess what improvements need to be made, and start setting meetings well in advance. You may even need to utilize free project management software like Trello or Asana to lay out all your tasks visually, or Google Docs so you can collaborate with your team easily, and not email documents back and forth where they may get lost.
Maybe your goals for the year are more personal. You might want to develop a morning quiet time routine for Bible study or journaling. If so, you may need to set up a physical place to make this happen if mornings in your home are a little chaotic. You’ll also need to purchase the study or journal. And then you need to develop a nighttime and morning ritual that allows you to follow through.
When your motivation wanes, it’s your habits that will carry you through. Big goals are accomplished through small, repeated actions.
The right mindset and strong systems are both integral to success, but the needle is moved through habits.
Show up consistently. Build a strong foundation. Then, even when you don’t feel like it, and even when your systems fail you, you’ll still find a way to get the job done. And that will give you the drive to do it again, maybe next time with a little more gusto.
At this point, success still isn’t guaranteed. But it’s certainly more inevitable.
Mindset, systems, and habits will help you win in 2018. And playing “Eye of the Tiger” certainly won’t hurt.