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Happy ReNew Year!

I have written about New Year’s resolutions in the past, so you may know I’m not a fan of them when proclaimed in the traditional sense, primarily due to their poor success rate.  If not designed realistically, most fail or fizzle out and here’s why:

  • January 1st is not a date most people are ready (holiday overwhelm and exhaustion.)
  • People are quick to plan success, but not the route to get there.
  • Many people fail to anticipate the roadblocks that might trip them up.
  • Many people don’t have a system of accountability, so it’s easy to fall off track.

As the great philosopher “Anonymous” once said, “Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits.”  Despite this, I do understand that people like a clean slate to start anew.  It often begins with a wish or fantasy to be someone different.

The biggest problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they stay in the fantasy and dream stage, and do not evolve to the hard work, brass tacks, action stage!  So what do I suggest?  A well-crafted plan that involves… hard work, brass tacks and action!

Yes, it is disappointing that I cannot simply wave my magic wand and say reaching our dreams is easy, because the truth is, my magic wand broke many years ago… probably the same day I realized my Barbie dolls’ legs didn’t bend.  That’s when I traded in Barbie and her evening gowns for a Jane West doll, whose legs did bend, who could ride horses, set up a tent, camp under the stars, get down and dirty, and fight off wolves at night!

So…where do we begin? By setting goals, rather than resolutions.  Goals have objectives and action plans with them.  They require creation of space, time and planning.

First: ask yourself:  “What do I want?” Then “Why do I want this?”
Then take it “5 Whys Deep.”  Think of 5 reasons why you want this.  Ask yourself 5 more “whys” based on the 5 answers you just stated.  Then turn those 5 responses into 5 more whys.  Keep going until you have 5 sets of WHYs.  That will bring you to the strongest reason you want your goal.

Since “getting fit” is a typical desire, let’s use it as an example.
I want to “get fit.” Why?

  • I want to get fit because I want to feel better.
  • I want to feel better because I am tired of being out of breath walking up steps.
  • I want to walk up steps without being out of breath because it’s easier on my heart.
  • I want daily life to be easier on my heart so I don’t develop premature heart disease.
  • I don’t want premature heart disease because I want to see my grandchildren grown up.
  • I want to see my grandchildren grow up because…
  • I want to get fit in order to lower my blood pressure.

(Then give 5 Whys for lowering your blood pressure.)

Keep going…. get the idea?

Some goals may not make it through the 5 WHYs very effectively because they are shallow goals or “cosmetic goals.”  Goals such as the one above have “teeth” because they involve concerns about health and family.

Reaching goals is not easy.  There are trade-offs and sacrifices, but if you understand what you want, why you want it, and have support and accountability along the way, you can succeed in reaching your goals.

Some people enlist friends for accountability, others journal their own success.  Some people hire professionals, such as coaches to assist them in designing their goals to be achievable.  More people are hiring coaches and finding this is the kick start they need to move forward in their lives.  One of the best parts about coaching is that we do it over the phone, so we can schedule it anytime, anywhere! If you would like to explore coaching, please check out my coaching packages and let’s get started!

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Thanks, Norman

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