Updated: May 9
by Shannon Talbot
It’s 11:59pm on December 31st. You close your eyes. You make a wish for the next year thinking that wish over and over and over in that last minute of the year. A wish for finding true love, losing weight, exercising more, getting your dream job. The clock strikes midnight. You hug and kiss those around you and just know this year will be different. This will be your best year yet!
What comes next for you? Do you start out January strong by going after your goals or do you wait for them to happen to you by banking on your wish to come true? If the former and you start out January strong, do you write down your goals, why you want them and a plan to get there?
Do you work really hard at your goal for a few weeks but then lose a bit of motivation? Work gets busy again, kids need chauffeuring to and from their activities or help with their homework, the winter blues kick in and we find ourselves saying it’s too cold or too dark and our goals move down in the priority list. Sound familiar?
No matter which bucket you fall into, we’ve all been there. Not only do we lose motivation or accountability but sometimes our original goals weren’t even what we truly wanted for ourselves. For example, for four years I wished and tried to get pregnant. But being pregnant wasn’t in my cards and no matter what I did, I didn’t get my wish. But was my true goal to actually get pregnant? No. My true goal was to have kids and getting pregnant was just one path to get there.
Sometimes we need to take a step back and really think through our goals and make sure they’re what we truly want. And why is that important? Because accomplishing our goals takes actual work and who wants to work at something that they don’t actually want.
Did you know that on average, people make the same new year’s resolution ten times without success? TEN TIMES! Let’s dive into this a little bit.
First, are your goals or resolutions what you actually want for your life? Like my example above – do you want to be pregnant or have kids? Second, when it comes to achieving your goals, how many of you actually put the work in and stick with it? Or do you think, well I wished for it, so it’s got to happen, right?! Wrong!
As Preston Smiles, an incredible Motivational Speaker and Coach, says “you can’t do the same thing and get different results”.
Let me say that again – you can’t do the SAME thing and get DIFFERENT results. Let’s look at this with some examples.
You have a goal to fall in love but yet you don’t put yourself out there or attend events where you might meet someone new. Let me ask you this - how are you going to meet this person of your dreams? Are you expecting to walk into your neighbourhood coffee shop and have this dream guy accidentally bump into you spilling coffee all over you and as you’re trying to mop it up with napkins you gaze into each other’s eyes and fall fast in love? How many people do you know with a story like this? No, not in the movies people – in real life! I’m sure these stories exist but let’s face it, that is not how the majority of people meet their significant other. Remember, you need to do something different to get a different result!
Or what about this one – you don’t feel good in your body and want to lose a bit of weight. You sit down and plan out how you’re going to eat healthier and do more exercise. You create your fabulous meal plan and exercise schedule but never actually put them into action. By planning to be healthier, are you expecting to see different results than you see right now? What excuses do you tell yourself as to why you couldn’t put your plan into action? Were you too busy or too tired or someone else needed you? Planning without action doesn’t lead to results.
Ok, last example – you’re unhappy in your current job and want a change. Do you know what would make you happy or do you just complain you’re unhappy and hope that by some miracle, someone will hear you and offer you your dream job even though neither you nor they likely know what that dream job is? Or perhaps you’re hoping for a promotion. Have you voiced this hope to your manager and asked what’s required of you to get to the next level or do you sit quietly and continue on with your work, waiting to be recognized and thus promoted? Knowing what you want and voicing it to those who can help you is a key step forward towards achieving your goals.
As we kick-off 2021, I challenge each of you to take some time this week to think about what you really want this year and how you might achieve it. And while positive thinking is a huge factor in achieving our goals, please remember it’s not the only factor. Along with positive thinking, achieving our goals takes dreaming, planning and action. In closing, I’d like to share one more quote from Preston Smiles, “results don’t take time, they take courage”.
If you liked today’s blog and are interested in taking this a step further, join my fellow Coach and friend Melanie Sparks and myself tomorrow, January 5th, at 7pm EST for Set for Success in 2021: a 45-minute Zoom workshop to help you set goals and an action plan to start 2021 strong. Cost is $10. Message me for more details or to sign-up.