It’s the beginning of a New Year and for many folks that means it’s time for “New Year’s Resolutions”. You know what resolutions are, they are those promises you make to undertake some sort of self-improvement or other benevolent or positive task of one sort or another. What you may not know is that I am “not a fan” of the whole New Year’s Resolution phenomenon. This may seem counter-intuitive since I am a coach and all, and my work is deeply rooted in supporting my clients in their personal and professional goals. But to me, resolutions are a bit of a recipe for failure. There is shallowness to them in my mind, a thought without a plan, and a wish without a vision. In fact, according to Wikipedia – “A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning.” Not the greatest of odds really.
That said, I am a big fan of setting goals and I do think that the beginning of a new year is a great time to start. While in all honesty, I believe one can be successful with starting work on their goals at any time of the year there is a “psychological” boost that a new year offers that primes us for a “fresh start”. So, what’s the big difference? Is this just a matter of semantics here? I don’t think so.
While a resolution may carry within it the necessary spark to get the fire burning, a goal provides the shelter for the flame, the kindling, the firewood and the purpose. Goals if they are to be successful require more thought and planning in order to be properly executed. They require; a roadmap along the way, a vision, sub-goals, supports and encouragements, a strategy for obstacles and distractions, awareness, a system to check, recheck and reevaluate along the way and accountability. Goals have meat on their bones that can make them strong enough to withstand the elements; where in my mind resolutions only provide the skeletal framework. As a life coach, this belief is very much a part of what I do when I am working with my clients.
Yep, sometimes like with resolutions, we do not meet our goals. Sometimes we abandon “Plan A” and move on to “Plan B”. Life is like that and though at times it can be unpleasant, we can often survive and even move forward more successfully with fresh lessons learned making our experience more successful. So if you have made a New Year’s Resolution this year, don’t let me rain on your parade as I do truly offer you my best wishes for success. Use the fresh start of the New Year – it’s a little gift from the universe to get you thinking in a positive direction AND consider going deeper, fleshing out the details of your dreams, creating a goal that you will be meaningful for you and taking all the steps necessary to ensure your success.
And… If you would like to speak to a coach to help you along the way? I may know someone who would be honored to join you on your journey.