What if Goal Setting and New Year's Resolutions Weren't About the Future?

Did you just do a double-take? Are you wondering if the headline contains a typo?

Given that it’s the top of the year and you’re likely laser-focused on what you want to be different (better, perhaps?) in the days, weeks, and months ahead, it may seem preposterous of me to suggest that goals and resolutions aren’t about the future.

After all, what’s the purpose of setting goals and declaring New Year’s resolutions if not to make tomorrow different than today and yesterday?

Yes, for a myriad of reasons having goals is important:

  • Goals ensure you don’t live passively – choosing to let life happen to you, rather than you planning what happens
  • Goals prompt you to articulate and crystallize the desires you hold in your head and heart
  • Goals inspire forward movement
  • Goals help you plan for what you want and prepare for the unexpected
  • Goals encourage focus so that saying “yes/no” to opportunities and distractions is less emotional and more strategic
  • Goals hold you accountable for your choices
  • Goals give your days, weeks, and months a sense of purpose
  • Goals provide metrics for you to track and measure

But let’s face it, the above (albeit short) list doesn’t contain anything you don’t already know about the power of having goals.

However, what you may not have heard before is this:

Goals aren’t about the future.

Based upon the barrage of goal-centric messages you receive, especially during this time of year, you’d be hard pressed to believe otherwise. And, I suspect your approach to goal-setting reflects such; whether your goal is to lose weight, save more money, get out of debt, eat better, change jobs, have a child, have a mate, etc,. you’re probably emphasizing the future and, therefore, the end result.

It’s a common misconception. One that can be costly, limiting, and is why I highly recommend you go beyond goal setting.

But, what if instead of believing goals are about the future…

…you embraced the idea that goals are a catalyst for action? And more specifically, action you need to take – today!

How might that shift in mindset and approach impact how you experience 2016?

Could it be what makes this a great year rather than merely a good one?

Could this be what takes you from being a good goal setter to being a great goal achiever?

Let’s explore this a bit, shall we? Next week, we’ll talk more about embracing the notion of what goals not being about the future looks like in your day-t0-day life. In the meantime, I’d love to know what are you excited about achieving in 2016 – whether you call it goals or resolutions?

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Happy New Year! May it be magical and bring you and yours much joy!

 

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