5 Action Steps to Accelerate in 2017

5 Action Steps to Accelerate in 2017

Have you made New Year’s resolutions and realized that it didn’t even make it to February before you already abandoned them? Well, you are not the only one. Research has shown that less than than 8% actually end up achieving their goals for the new year.


I actually stopped making new years resolutions years ago, simply because I knew I’d fail to keep them. It would only make me feel frustrated and bad about myself.


But something changed two years ago. Instead of New Year’s Resolutions I made some Life Resolutions: I created a vision board and wrote a detailed mission statement of what I really want my life to be like.


Since then, the way I live my life has changed drastically. In this blog I want to share 5 aspects that have helped me live with more purpose and achieve more goals in one year than mere new year/s resolutions have ever done before. Here is how you can accelarate in 2017:


Be specific

Whether you set goals for the year ahead or for your life, in order for it to materialize you need to be specific. Don’t just say, “I want to change in 2017” or “I want to be healthier.” That is too general.


Formulate your goals SMART: specific, measurable, ambitious, achievable and time-bound. For instance: “I want to be healthier by exercising 2 times a week, on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings, for 45 Minutes in XY fitness club.” The more specific you are, the more able you will be to actualize the goal.


Next to that, begin with the end in mind. Do not try to merely do an adjustment on the behavioral level as many New Year’s Resolutions set out. Create a long-term vision for your life so that you can keep the bigger picture in mind when you want to drop the ball: why again did want to do this? The bigger why will give you sustained motivation.


Create Milestones:

Set long-term goals and break them down into short-term goals. For example, if you want to increase your fitness within a period of 6 months so that you can run a marathon, you need to break it down into daily action steps and weekly milestones to build up your physical strength and condition.


Once you reach a milestone you will get a boost, feel good about yourself and be motivated to follow through the next milestone.


The same principle is applicable for other areas in your life: if you want to improve a relationship, a skill, your physical or emotional health or if you want to have a more balanced lifestyle: you need to plan in how to reach that end goal and then start with small measurable action steps you pursue on a daily or weekly basis.


Be Accountable

Share your goals with friends or family and let them hold you accountable. Let them motivate you or encourage you when you have a hard time following through. Social support is critical.


Yes, it takes some personal courage and vulnerability to share something that you might actually fail at, but to increase your odds of success you’ll want support from those around you.


One of the most effective things you can do is to get an “accountability partner”, someone who checks in with you on a regular basis. It’s easy to break a promise to yourself, but far harder to admit it to a friend.


For other goals you might need a coach or mentor – make sure you get someone alongside you who has walked the walk and knows how to help you and encourage you on the way to reaching your goal.


Celebrate Progress

It’s important to celebrate victories and achievements of milestones! Most of us tend to look at the things we have not achieved yet, but if we do not learn to enjoy our small victories, we will not be satisfied with big ones either! Instead, we will lose motivation, joy and vision.


Celebrating victories is a habit of highly successful people. After giving out, you need to reward yourself and enjoy the achievement and progress. That does not have to be an excessive party – but the point is to live in the moment and recognize the progress! It cultivates gratitude.


Understand the Process

Progress is seldom linear. Some people will see rapid gains only to hit resistance later in their efforts. For others, initial progress may be painfully slow but then they suddenly see breakthroughs. Making lasting changes takes time. But the point is: you have to start somewhere.


And if you’ve dropped the ball, pick it up again. Don’t give up that easily.


If you want to know more in how to make 2017 a year of acceleration then sign up for my Jumpstart Your Dream in 2017 live webinar here.



The Power of Intentionality

The Power of Intentionality

In this week’s post I want to share a key that enables you to change your everyday life pretty much right away. I’ve witnessed this in my own life! It’s easy to implement and has great effect on how you feel about yourself and the mundane tasks you are facing each day. The key is living with intentionality.

Many people feel dissatisfied, overwhelmed or swallowed up by external circumstances and the demands of life, and one of the reasons why so many feel driven instead of steering their lives in a certain direction is that the majority of people don’t live intentionally. They live by the day. Les Brown nails it when he says that, “Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit. And the majority of people don’t aim at all.”

Living intentionally means that you are aware of your goals and values and that the choices you make each day are in alignment with your goals and values. This gives your life direction and purpose. Most people though feel lost and look to others for direction. They feel like Alice in Wonderland, who just wants to get out of where she is as quickly as possible without knowing where she really wants to go:
“Cheshire Puss,” Alice began, “…Would you please tell me which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where…” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

When you know where you want to get, you won’t just take any path. Vision gives you focus and empowers you to live intentionally. Intentionality steers your life in the right direction. Lance Wallnau says, “Clarity is power. The clearer you are about your vision, the more power you have to manifest it.” Living intentionally means that you set goals and have each day contribute toward fulfilling your vision.

Changing the way you feel

Having the right focus and living intentionally helps you get rid of the daily grind and it brings purpose to your day. Mundane chores turn into meaningful chores when you do not only focus on what you want to achieve, but in who you want to become. Tony Robbins shares this priority from his own life and says: “I don’t just ask myself what I want, but who do I want to become…”

Intentionality is as much an attitude as an action. It is a proactive approach to life and it will change the way you feel about your present situation and about yourself.

This is what you can do to live each day with greater intentionality:

First, get clarity about your overall life-vision. What is the anticipated destination? What do you want to have done or achieved at the end of you life? Who do you want to be known for? Who do you want to be to your family – your spouse and children? Who do you want to be to your friends?

Once you know the bigger picture, the end goals for your relationships, career, finances etc. – you can break them down into short-term goals. Be practical. Make a list of different areas of your life with the long-term goals you have, then break it down into short term goals. For instance, if you long term goal is to be a good friend, what can you contribute this week toward reaching that end goal? Then plan in an action point that is a meaningful contribution toward achieving that goal.
You can make daily goals or do a week planning and each day schedule one action that contributes to a goal in a specific area of your life.

Your present circumstances might not be ideal or still feel far away from what you envision for your life, but breaking it down into simple daily action steps will change the way you feel about your life. By doing this, you increase the circle of influence. Focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t or what has not happened yet.

Taking action

In my interview with Bill Johnson he shared that the day after his father had died of pancreatic cancer he chose to intentionally get out of the house and pray for someone who had cancer. “I was very intentional in how I faced my day. Of course there is a place of rest and mourning – but when you get idle and passive, disappointment will automatically take over and you get offended at God,” Bill shared. “I looked for opportunities to minister – and I chose to focus on what God was doing instead of what he wasn’t doing.”

Most people wait for something to happen and for circumstances to change. Here is the misconception: life or circumstances won’t change magically one day. The supernatural invades the natural when we take practical steps. For my Dream Chasers book interviews I have approached many great spiritual leaders and I was particularly interested how they ‘do’ life with God. People like Heidi Baker and Bill Johnson are known for signs, wonders and miracles. God shows up and supernaturally intervenes through their ministry. But they don’t just sit there and roll their thumbs until something spectacular happens. They also don’t just pray. What I have observed is that all of them are extremely practical and proactive in their approach to life. Many people want something to happen, but they are not very specific and therefore they are not proactive.

Dr. Sandra Kennedy puts it this way: “Many people think they have a vision, but they don’t understand that vision has hands and feet to it. They have the idea that having a vision means to agree with it in their mind, but they don’t understand that you have to make it happen. 
You can almost compare it with the difference between hope and faith – between just agreeing with something and actually doing something. That’s a missing element for a lot of people.”

Living with intentionality will give you a sense of direction and accomplishment. It will bring meaning and purpose to each day as you focus on your values and vision and see even the small and mundane tasks as contributing to achieving the greater goal. With the leaders I have interviewed I have observed a very pragmatic approach in their spiritual lives – and then ‘things’ happen and God meets them. Successful people aim high and hit – and even when they “miss” they count it as learning experience on their way toward reaching their goal.

I want to encourage you to plan for each day of this coming week a specific action that contributes to the overall goal you have in different areas of your life. Experience for yourself the change it brings in how you feel about each day. Test it! It’s worth it!

For more details on how to experience a morea abundant life download my E-book “Seven Keys To Abundabnt Living”

And share your experience this week – leave a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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