Tag: goals

Setting Goals

Around this time each year, we’re facing the fact that our New Year’s Resolutions may not be as achievable as we once thought. In fact, nearly 92% of people don’t achieve New Year’s Resolutions. It’s not because people aren’t motivated, and it’s not because the resolutions they set weren’t “good enough.” Most people believe they are motivated, and their resolutions are based in wonderful ideas of self-improvement. We genuinely want to work toward personal growth and to start building the life we want. So why is it so difficult to achieve goals?

The reason we find it so difficult to achieve goals stems from how we set them.

When we set goals, we often are focused on a few things:

  • What we’ve heard works for other people.
  •  An arbitrary threshold to meet.

Usually, we aren’t even aware that we’re doing this. Some examples are:

  • We decide we want to lose 15 pounds, although there is no basis for the number “15” – it’s just one we chose.
  • We set a goal to go to yoga three times a week, although we’re not sure if three times will be enough or too much/too few times to
    practice and gain benefits.
  • We’ve read an article, blog post, or book that’s inspired a goal – like running a certain distance, saying three things we like about our partner each day, etc.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these goals. They’re wonderful! However, if they do not resonate with you or hold meaning for you, then they’ll be significantly harder to achieve.

Focus on the Outcome You Want to Achieve – Then Set a Goal

Instead of setting difficult goals for yourself, and feeling deflated when you find they’re harder to work towards than you thought they’d be, let’s try something different. Focus on the outcome first, then set the goals you’d need to achieve to reach that desired outcome. The “outcome” you’re working toward likely isn’t tangible. Although your goal is to lose weight, the desired outcome is increased self-esteem and better physical and emotional health. Focusing on the life changes you want and setting goals that lead to those changes will help you to stick with them. Once you have decided upon an outcome, set goals that can be measured.

For example, you might want to feel more connected to your partner. A goal that could help you achieve that feeling would be to commit to a once-a-week coffee date outside of the home where you catch each other up on what’s going on in your lives. You may already have these conversations casually but setting aside dedicated time can help you feel connected.

Setting goals does not have to be a stressful process. By focusing on what you want your life to look like as a first step, the goals you want to stick to will fall naturally into place.

Age, Dreams, Goals

Having dreams and setting new goals is something that in western culture people seem to think is only for young people. You can define young anyway you choose, depending upon your age or bias’s. For some 30 is old, for others 60 is young, and for some no age is too old to reinvent yourself. Reinventing yourself, allowing yourself to grow and flow with creativity so that you feel passion about your life and achieve all that you desire has nothing to do with age. I have observed that many people change careers between the ages of 45 and 65. Some change careers more than once, usually they have been quite successful and have new ideas that they want to nurture into fruition. Creative personality types tend to get tired of doing the same thing over and over so it is vital that if this is you, you be willing to take risks and explore your options. Yes there are always options.

It is sad to me when people decide that because of age they cannot change their life into one that will bring them fulfillment. There are many barriers that we create, usually because we are afraid of making changes. The unknown can be scary, but it does not have to be. We can choose to reframe our thinking so that the unknown becomes an adventure. Without taking risks very little is accomplished in life.

My grandfather at age 87 decided that he had always wanted to own his own design business and so he took the risk. The family was not particularly supportive of him, as they believed that he was too old to be taking on a new goal. Fortunately for him, he was a creative personality with the drive to fulfill his dream, and so he did. He was passionate and pleased with his business and quite inspiring for me. I learned from him that age and accomplishment are not linked. When I have a dream I look at how I can convert it into goals. Then I can create the steps to reach each goal so that my dream will be achieved. Taking risks has always been a part of my life and allowed me great success in all that I choose to do.

I wish you the same.