The Three Pillars of Change: Goal Setting, Affirmation, and Habits
If you are looking to change your life and heart, it is time to start leading a more intentional and purposed living routine. When it comes to creating the life you want, there are three pillars that will guide you. The three pillars are goal setting, affirmations, and habits and each has its own process on the path to true change.
Whether it is health, financial troubles, starting a hobby, losing weight, improving relationships, or starting a business, you can change anything in 90 days. Following these three pillars will help set yourself up for success.
A lot of people fall short when setting goals. They set lofty goals that do not set them up to truly change.
Start with one question: what do you really want? What will make this the best year yet? Most people will have one answer come immediately. That is going to be your main goal. Now list 10 things you wish for yourself- a habit you want to create, a gift you want to develop, or something you want to grow. This will be your guide for goal setting.
Without coaching and without a good system, you will not succeed. Look at your life and identify what some of the biggest problems.
- What are your biggest time wasters?
- What limiting thoughts or beliefs caused you to doubt your abilities and direction in the past?
- What is your loudest fear about yourself?
- What voices have been allowed into my life that are not serving me well?
Once you answer these questions, find ways to fade distractions and eliminate fear and outside voices. The 5 men and women in your head through talking, social media, or daily interactions, they determine the way you are speaking in your mind and teach you what to believe in yourself. Choose carefully.
Setting goals helps you become intentional. We do not always accomplish our goals, but we do accomplish some. When we focus on what we did not do instead of what we did, we are looking backwards and pushing ourselves down.
No matter how you feel about your success, there is a lot of success in the past. People tend to focus on the negative- things they do not have or ways they have fallen short. No matter where you find yourself, no matter where you are today, you are leading yourself to a better future. Learn to treat yourself well. No one has to live life perfectly.
Set SMART Goals
SMART is an acronym for designing goals that serve you well.
- Specific- list a time frame for achieving the goal and list out times your will work toward this goal.
- Measurable- the goal must be measurable. List a number for the money you will make, the hours you will practice, the number on the scale, or the level you will reach.
- Actionable and Achievable- what actions will you do and make it something you can achieve.
- Rewarding and realistic time frame- Dream big but break it down into chunks of realistic time frames and reward yourself along the way.
- Tangible and timely- make your goals something you can picture and make sure it is the right time for these goals.
The biggest problem people make is setting too many goals in too many different categories of spiritual, family, career, physical, emotional, social, personal, educational, and financial. If you are just starting goal setting, pick one category. If you are an expert, pick three.
Make Your Goals a Priority
Start each day with two questions. First question: What will make today a winning day?
To have a good year, you need a good month, good week, good day. To have a good quarter you need a lot of winning days. It all accumulates. Small purchases add up to big debt. Small savings will build up to a large savings. That happens in every category. Stop treating every day and hour like they do not matter. Winning each day, week, month, and 90 days leads to success.
Connect with people to keep your accountable. Keep yourself accountable without beating yourself up. It is easier to keep up than catch up, so keep working on your goals each day. If you don’t win each day, define what winning is by the end of the week and month so you stay on track. Be responsible and don’t let yourself off the hook.
The key to success is ending your week with “what did I do well?”. Stop focusing on what you don’t have or didn’t do. It is hard but focusing on those negatives will stop you from getting more. The focus is forward and gratitude. Celebrate what you did well, even if it was something as simple as having 80 ounces of water a day for your weekly win.
After that question, reread your goals and design your next week. One of two things must happen when you keep rereading your goal- you will either change your goal or behavior. You will not allow yourself to stay where you are with nothing changing. Choose what to do each week and day when designing your week and commit to it.
Second question: With everything you do ask “Is it making me closer to my goal?”
Our brains have wild possibilities, and we have a responsibility to renew our minds. If our thoughts go wrong, everything goes wrong. We must switch our mindsets. Choose your thoughts and priorities.
We need to be intentional to turn off noise from distractions. Embrace quiet or thoughtful music to renew your mind. Get your thoughts and discipline under control. Make a conscious decision on how you spend your time.
Some people spend more time planning a vacation than they do on their relationships, finances, or careers. You have to work hard to create change. We are not victims to our minds. Put action behind your thoughts and make new, positive paths in your brain that are concrete. We will discuss this more in the third pillar of creating good habits.
An important part of achieving goals is affirmations. Put up a visual board and put them around where you will see and hear them. In your design book, you can write out your affirmations. Write what you want to take place.
Create affirmations for every major goal category, 3 for each goal. Use “I am” and then list positive result and behavior in it. An example would be “I am committed to doubling my income from ___ to ___ so that ___(fill in the blank with support your family, travel the world, sell my business, etc.)__”. Another more specific example is “I am committed to losing 20 pounds by eating better food for lunch and going to a gym class 3 times a week from 6-7 am.” Do this for every goal.
Rearrange your habits and thoughts to align with these affirmations. Identify your limiting thoughts and talk through them. Do not define yourself from the past. Then surround yourself with your affirmations. Laminate them and put them in the shower. Record them on your phone and listen to them as you get ready for the day and go to bed at night. Create intentional thoughts to replace any negative thoughts.
When you make it a regular choice to read, hear, and say your affirmations, they will help you believe. Be sure to put keen, thoughtful, prayerful intent behind your goals. Psalm 25:4 says he will show your path. Let him show you your path.
We create our habits and then they create us. To break a habit, you have to replace it with a better habit. You can’t break a bad habit like sleeping in until you make a habit of waking up early.
Changing takes time and intention. Pick a habit you want to change and start small. Pick one or two. What is your pattern? Create one that is intentional. Every morning and evening will likely start looking the same, but then you are living intentionally.
Small things turn into big things. Like in sewing, patterns create the end product. It takes time and you must follow the pattern to get the desired end result. Relying on emotions and how you feel in each moment will not accomplish much. That makes you a victim to convenience.
Before you get defensive about your freedom to do what you want in every moment, you must realize you are victim of your choices and habits. You must have self-discipline. How would your life be different if you chose to make more choices that took you to your goals?
From this point moving forward, choose how your choices will take you where you want to go. Keep your self-gratification in check. If our thoughts and habits are trained, we can do anything. The same is true of bad choices too. People don’t wake up to all the sudden kill someone or have an affair. Instead, they make small choices from small thoughts and they all add up to lead to consequences.
You can behave your way into goals. It takes mental discipline to overcome emotions. People get endorphins from accomplishing things, even checking things off a list. Two things successful people have in common:
- Consistent wake and sleep times. Know your body and rearrange the house and noise to accommodate creating good habits.
- Have structure to your morning. If you have habits established to a morning routine, you don’t have to negotiate every single morning. Include listening to your affirmations. Frame your day in your 90-day planner with the time blocks. Write it out. Schedule it out and use alarms and reminders on your phone. If it isn’t there, it does not fit. They should all tie into your goals and appointments.
Stop regretting that there isn’t enough time. Stop being mad at other people who are accomplishing their goals. Everyone has the same 168 hours in a week. Complete the process and then repeat the process. Learn to believe in yourself and the process. Stop looking for easy, just start doing the best you can. Nobody owes you anything, God has given you everything.
Prepare and Succeed
When opportunities come along, it is too late to get prepared. There are job applications and promotions, college scholarships, sports recruiters that come and you cannot just immediately prepare for those things. You have to be prepared when these opportunities show up. And all it takes is 90 days.
Live life to the fullest. Decide your goals, believe in your affirmations, and then create your habits to live your life in a higher way. Elevate your goals in a way that your real wants surpass your current state. Dream big. Become your best life coach and create yourself the best life.
Remember, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. So, what do you want most?