‘New Year, New You’? Sounds good only maybe you said that before and, like the majority of people, well you know: 92% of resolutions fail, 80% of them failing by mid-February, and you may be making the same ones over and over again
Why Set Goals?
So why even bother setting goals if you are only going to disappoint yourself? Because
But it can’t just be any old goals, just because someone, or maybe even you think you should, whatever it is.
NO, to get from Goal Setting to Goal Commitment to Goal Success it has to be something that inspires us, something aligned with who we really are, with what makes us tick.
Then, setting goals really can help us make sure that what we think and do supports and serves that goal.
Plus, a goal well met gives us a sense of ‘can do’ that excites the brain’s motivational and reward system into wanting to do even more.
How Should We Set Goals?
Ok then, so how do we set the goals? For some of the more popular methods, we have your SMART Goals, your (believe it or not) HARD Goals, and your WOOP Goals too, this last one sounding especially grounded in some pretty serious research. Links provided here so you can compare and contrast yourself.
Naturally, I have a bias for my own repeatable method, which becomes available very soon with case examples and exercises in Getting to G.R.E.A.T. 5-Step Strategy for Work and Life, Based on Science and Stories, including my own. (And you can join my mailing list at madelaineweiss.com for book launch announcements to know when it’s out.)
For now, however, let’s see if we can put in a nutshell where people go wrong.
Where Do People Go Wrong?
Again, goals that are not internally driven are less likely to succeed.
And sometimes people bite off too much or too little. Action steps associated with the goals have to be not so big that they overwhelm and shut us down altogether—but big enough to show the brain that there is something pretty cool going on so it wants more.
A central feature in my own method is preparing upfront for the normal, natural, expectable, predictable—resistance to any change big enough to be taking on in the first place. To know this is to be able to master the resistance, so it doesn’t get in the way.
So How do We Break Old Habits?
My answer to that is we don’t! There is an old saying, what we resist persists, so just leave the thing alone.
American architect, author, inventor Buckminster Fuller said it this way:
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Yes! And another way to frame it is to think about goal setting for change as planting a new garden—tending it carefully, enjoying it, paying no mind at all to the old one, while the neural connections of the old habit just weaken and wither away and out of your life.
How wonderful is that. Please know I never recommend anything I haven’t tried myself. Works for me. Feel free to use the Power Breathing exercise in “Complimentary …” pulldown at madelaineweis.com
See what you think and let us know.
And warm wishes for the holidays,