New Year’s came and went and here I stood, resolution-less. That might seem odd, given my profession. Let me explain.
I don’t like New Year’s resolutions because they usually have such a negative flavor:
This year, I’m going to lose weight.
This year, I’m going to finish my college degree.
This year, I’m going to find a boyfriend.
This year, I’m going to find a new job.
These resolutions all smell of lack and unhappiness for our present state. They suggest that there is something wrong with where we currently are—that we need to find something better.
This year, I’m going to lose weight because I hate my body.
This year, I’m going to finish my college degree because I’m not good enough without it.
This year, I’m going to find a boyfriend because I’m tired of being alone.
This year, I’m going to find a new job because then I will be happy.
So often, we set resolutions because we are fed-up and throwing in the towel. We are sick of where we currently stand and tell ourselves, this is the year we “fix” things. It’s a resolution because you are resolved to do better, be better, find better.
This is one of the reasons people avoid setting goals—it reminds them that they are not happy with their current state.
It reminds them of what their life is currently lacking.
That is not the way to set goals.
The other reason people avoid goal-setting is because it creates discomfort. Setting a goal positions your brain to start lecturing you about how this goal will never work. Why you won’t attain it or can’t attain it. Those thoughts create tremendous discomfort and, if unobserved, will create tremendous inertia. (Resolution: go nowhere fast!)
The end result is broken resolutions and more proof that you simply aren’t good enough.
It’s no wonder that less than 10% of New Year’s resolutions are fulfilled! We are approaching it all wrong.
In coaching, we approach goal-setting from a place of abundance. We start from a place of gratitude for what you have achieved. In between thinking about what we want, we remind ourselves of what we used to want so badly but now have.
I want to become an accomplished partner and lead a practice group.
I want to spend a month living in Thailand.
I want to spend a summer in China.
I want to work from home.
I want to have a house that is warm and inviting and demonstrates my personality and love for antiques, life, and all things hippie.
I want to have 10 cats and dogs!
I want to teach in a collegiate setting.
Half of the things on this list I have already accomplished. Half of them I haven’t.
When I read this list, I get excited. I remember how badly I wanted some of those things. I remember how I was able to accomplish them. I am filled with pride and hope and excitement, knowing that I can accomplish everything else on this list…I’m already half way there!
That is the space to “goal” from. That is the energy that will bring your dreams to light.
Stop criticizing “here” and dreaming that “there” will be better. It won’t! Life is 50-50, no matter how many goals you check off your list, there will always be good days and bad days.
In contrast, when I create a list comprised solely of things I want but don’t have, it makes my stomach turn in knots. It feels overwhelming and insurmountable. Intimidating. Pie in the sky, adorable little list of dreams that I can throw away in the month and get back to reality.
That is why I hate NYE resolutions.
I encourage all my clients to set “unattainable goals” because we all need something to strive for—a journey that will scare us and try us and mold us into something new. But setting goals must come from a place of grace and thankfulness—a place of abundance.
When setting goals, ask yourself: are you attracting abundance or are you attracting want? Whatever you are putting out into the universe when you set your goals will come back to you. Choose wisely.
Never make a list of goals or NYE resolutions, unless you surround those dreams with the abundance of your life that you have already achieved. Don’t let yourself ignore all the amazing goals you have already checked off your list. You owe it to yourself to recognize those accomplishments. Foster appreciation and recognize your abundance so that you can attract more.
Setting goals is just the first step process. Then the fun begins: fear, doubt, and uncertainty. How do you achieve any goal you set your mind to? Buckle up and start tackling fear, doubt, and uncertainty. That is where having a trusted coach to support the journey can make all the difference.
Need help setting your new year’s goals? Set up a free coaching consultation and let me support you as you plan your next year’s successes.