The Problem With Traditional Goal Setting & New Year Resolutions
Did you know that only 8% of people reach their New Year’s goals and resolutions? Every December and January people set these lofty goals to abandon them by the second week of February. Can I let you in on a secret? I use to be in that 92%. When I was in high school, I would sit down at the end of December and resolve that in the New Year, I would lose weight and take better care of myself. But inevitably I would arrive at the end of the year with no progress, determined that next year would be different.
You would be relieved to know that as a life coach, I don’t struggle much with this anymore. Largely because I’ve learned this important lesson: you can’t just set any goals. Not every goal is meant for you to pursue or even aligned with God’s plan for you. You must set goals that are rooted in your purpose and life’s vision. Goals that give you life and help you to evolve into the best version of you. But that’s the problem with traditional goal-setting and the reason why most people’s goals and resolutions fail — they’re not rooted in purpose. They’re rooted in lack and shame.
Let's be honest. When most of us sit down to set our goals, we tend to let guilt, shame, and rejection ridicule us into setting goals rather than love, acceptance, and growth. Think about it. When we set weight loss goals, usually we’re thinking about how big we’ve gotten or how uncomfortable we are in our skin rather than striving to honor God’s temple by being a healthy vessel. We set goals to obtain the things that we lack — love, confidence, acceptance, assurance. Well, here’s your newsflash: you can’t achieve your goals simply by just changing your behavior. You have to change your mindset too.
When I’m working with my private coaching clients, one of the first things I teach them is the self-coaching model, which illustrates how every result we see in our personal lives, whether positive or negative, starts with the mind. Generally, a circumstance occurs that triggers a thought and that thought will trigger an emotion. That emotion will trigger a behavior or an action, and that action will trigger a result. Therefore if we want to know why we aren’t seeing our desired results, we have to go back to our minds. But this concept isn’t new; it’s ancient, biblical wisdom.
Proverbs 23:7a (NKJV) tells us, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he,” and Proverbs 4:23 (GNT) echoes the same sentiments, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” What thoughts are fueling your goals? If you set a goal believing the worst about yourself, you can be sure that you won’t accomplish it. It’s not enough to just set a goal, you must make sure that your head, heart, and soul are in the right place.
If you tend to have the same goals year after year, I want you to consider asking yourself these 5 questions:
Is this goal a God-given goal or a people-given goal?
Will this goal help me cultivate what matters in my life?
Why do I want to make this goal happen? Am I desiring this goal for the right reasons, or am I striving for perfect or achievement?
Does this goal help me draw closer to God & his purposes for me?
Is this goal rooted in God’s truth? Can I find Scripture to support it?
These coaching questions will aid you in the process of renewing your mind toward your goals. Think about the why behind your goals. Your why will challenge and empower you to continue making progress toward your goals. Don’t allow traditional goal setting to discourage and disempower you. Change your thoughts and approach toward your goals. Remember, the goal-setting process should never be a condemning one, but an encouraging way to cheer you on as you step further into the woman God created you to be.
Uncover your purpose, clarify your calling, and achieve your God-given goals in the New Year by booking your spot in the Life Designer Coaching Program. In the Life Designer Coaching Program, we will work together one on one to help you design a life that you and God love so you can live a life of meaning and purpose. Click the button below to learn more and book a complimentary Clarity Session.