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WHY GOALS ARE BETTER THAN RESOLUTIONS
As I write this post the subject of New Year’s resolutions is alive and well. Sadly, statistics tell us that many have already quit on the resolutions as real-life crashed down and the patterns and rhythms of old stepped into 2022 like they have every other year. Science has proven time and again resolutions do not work. If we all stopped and looked a little closer, we would see that – by definition – a resolution is far less likely to hold up to life than a goal.
RESOLUTION VS. GOAL
A resolution is simply a firm decision to do or not do something. It leads to white-knuckle living and requires us to hope and pray willpower shows up in hyperdrive. Unfortunately, for most of us, willpower is a bit wishy-washy. Think about a professional athlete. Numerous children grow up wanting to be one, yet very few get there. Their will to compete at this level is not enough to get them there. A strategic, tactical coaching program is what helps move them closer to the dream becoming a reality.
What leads to actual change that is sustainable and reasonable is goal setting. Goals don’t require the fickle bedfellow willpower to roll in. When done correctly, goals are full of actionable, measurable, tactical steps. They have a beginning and end. They require us to set up systems and processes that take us step by imperfect baby step in the direction of our desired result. Goals require a willingness to make different choices and an awareness of the sacrifices needed to see them come to pass. Goals have more depth than resolutions, and I think that makes them easier to achieve.
ROADBLOCKS TO SUCCESS
As we move into another year where technology is moving at light speed, we can find ourselves living at light speed as well. There are only so many hours in a day and with plates full of responsibilities and bills to pay, it can seem impossible to carve out time to chase our dreams. And I think resolutions have burned too many of us, and we can’t board that train wreck one more time.
Listen, Lovies, I have been there and done that and got the t-shirt to prove it! I have worked jobs that sucked my soul out because I thought I had no other options. I have denied the desires of my heart to be and do what I was told by others I had to. As a coach, nearly every woman I have ever worked with has at some point said she lacked time to pursue her goals, make drastic changes, or chase down her dreams. But with a systematic plan to align her responsibilities with her energy and resources, most found those were lies. Because the truth is: each of us can change our lives and move forward in the direction we desire if we are willing to do the work.
As a business strategist, I help female entrepreneurs get clear on the identity of their business, the values by which they run it, and help them see different paths to the success they are seeking. Then they can choose the right path for them. I do the same as a life coach for women wanting to make changes in their personal lives. It’s about empowering women to see the bigger picture and take steps to achieve those dreams.
Unfortunately, so many women have lost the ability to dream big dreams because they were born into a system of patriarchy that gave the false impression they must be self-sacrificing and serve others before themselves. This has left them spending their days asleep in their own stories. I am here to disrupt those old patterns, toss that list of shoulds out the window, and help you build a path to the life of your dreams.
WORK TO DO BEFORE SETTING GOALS
Before we get into the tactical steps for goal setting we need to take a moment to get clear on a few bits. I cover these topics as I begin working with new clients:
- Understand who and where you are today.
- Determine who you want to be and where you want to go.
- Tell the truth about what is stopping you
Spending time on these topics allows you to create clarity around what it is you want your story to be. Then you can decide who it is you want to see when you look in the mirror each day. Once you know where you want to go you can begin to build a bridge to get you there.
To understand who and where you are in this very moment, look around at what is. Identify the health of your life buckets and define your active core values. To determine who you want to be and where you want to go you have to create space to dream some dreams. Those spaces have to be safe places to imagine what your life could be if all obstacles were removed. Then you have to get gut-level honest and tell the truth about what is stopping you from being and doing all you keep inside your soul. We all have narratives that lead us to action or inaction. When we drag these into the light we can begin to do the work needed to change. Then we can have a pathway to make and slay some goals.
TIME FOR A REALITY CHECK
I heard a great analogy that I think is perfect for goal setting. In Georgia, there is a highway called 285 that is a loop around the outskirts of Atlanta. If you decide you want to go to Florida or Tennessee and get on 285, it doesn’t matter one whit that you intended to go to either of those locations. You will never stop circling the ATL. If you want to go to Florida, you must take the road that leads there. Same with Tennessee. Setting goals is the same way.
If we don’t map out our course and make sure we are staying on it, more often than not we won’t accomplish our goals. In addition, it’s important to evaluate the motive behind the goals we set. Too often we set a goal because we think we should want something, or even worse, we are trying to return to a past version of ourselves. Bless, but can we all agree we must stop trying to move backward? Even if those days were amazing, we aren’t the person we were back then, so it would hit different anyway. Leave that behind and reach for something new! Tie your goal to your purpose, and you will begin to live into your higher self instead of the old version.
It is also really vital to have a reality check before we start making goals. Get real about our schedules, look at the non-negotiable responsibilities, and evaluate the time that is left in order to choose reasonable goals. The best way to live a balanced life requires us to only schedule about 70% of our day. This leaves room for life to happen. We also have to give ourselves enough runway to get to our desired result. Seriously, if you knew someone who had never once driven a car, would you hand them the keys and tell them to take off? No, there are many steps to learning to drive well, hours of practice, and tests to take before they get a driver’s license and can drive off with freedom. Why then do we think because we chose a goal we will suddenly do this new thing quickly, easily, and perfectly? Honestly, this is why most resolutions fail. Statistics say only 8-10% of people keep their resolutions and the majority have stopped doing so by January 19th. 19 days after making them they have thrown in the towel.
LET'S PRACTICE CPR
Because we know this, we have to do it differently if we want to see sustainable success. If you want to achieve goals, you must practice CPR.
Showing up day after day is the first step to achieving our goals. Think about it…an author doesn’t decide they are going to write a book on Monday and Tuesday they hand their publisher a finished draft. No, they show up day after day, writing more garbage than goodness. But over time they have enough goodness to edit out the garbage and leave behind pure magic. Writing is an art, and you have to practice it to improve. And that is when we have to develop the discipline of being persistent. You have to show up to do the work when you say you will. It isn’t about doing it when you feel like it. It is about sticking to your word by doing what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it. As much as it depends on you, you get up and step into the arena every day – NO MATTER WHAT. This brings us to resiliency. Y’all, life is going to come for you. You are going to face obstacles, and sometimes it can feel like obstacles are all you are experiencing. This is why your goals have to come with a strong enough why behind them to get you out of bed each day so you take imperfect baby step after step in the direction you have mapped out. Consistent persistent resiliency.
Once you have some goals mapped out, spend some time setting up your environment to make them happen. Gather together any supplies you need. Set appointments for anything that is needed. Make it as simple as possible for yourself. Trust me on this one. I’ve confessed I can complicate toast and it has led me to quit on goals far too many times. Simplicity is best because it is manageable and sustainable. Then give some time to recognize how you move and what accountability you find helpful so you can put it in place. Everyone has their unique source of motivation. Some need hard pushes, some need positive reinforcement. Whatever it is you need, go ahead and set it up because it will serve as a guard rail to keep you on track.
now go slay your goals
When you acknowledge where you are and where you want to go, you clear your mind to move in that direction. You will start living in alignment with who you want to be. Setting goals and creating a plan to achieve them helps you move forward with clarity and confidence. You cultivate a determination that propels you forward. Your life becomes more balanced and full of passion and purpose. You can rest much easier each night because you gave your best to create a life you love. You don’t have to waste another year living a life that is less than you want or having regrets for not showing up in the world with all the awesomeness that is inside you.
To recap the best way to set goals:
Get clear on who and where you are.
Understand who you want to be and where you want to go.
Call out what is standing in your way.
Create a tactical road map to get you from where you are to where you want to be.
Be consistent, persistent, and resilient.
And don’t forget, this is your life. You set the rules. You can change your mind and pivot. You can decide a goal isn’t working for you and switch lanes without offering yourself or anyone else a reason for doing so. Life is ever-changing. We as humans are always evolving. Loosen your grip and practice going with the flow, and watch as you become more fully alive in your own story and you reach your goals.
I can’t wait to hear from you about how your goals are going so please message me or share on socials and tag me. I believe in you and your ability to slay your goals and live your best life! Go get ‘em!
Until next time, remember I am in it WITH you, always,
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