• Michelle Audette

New Year….Same Goal? 4 Questions To Fail-Proof Your Goals.

Does the idea of a clean slate in 2019 excite you? Maybe this is the year you will finally leave your unfulfilling job? Or prioritise your health? Or make your marriage stronger than ever? Or get your financial house in order once and for all.

But there’s just one problem….. the goals you are dreaming of in 2019 are the same as the ones you dreamed in 2018. At the beginning of the year, you are dreaming of transforming your life – but then life gets in the way. Soon it’s the end of the year and you’re setting the same goals for next year. Why is that?

Let’s talk about how to set fail-proof goals and have your best year ever in 2019. This isn’t traditional goal setting – as writing your goal on the back of a napkin and putting it on the fridge just isn’t enough. It’s frustrating being stuck in your old patters – but you can learn from this pain. Something isn’t working. It isn’t because you don’t have enough will power.

It turns out that part of the problem is the way we make these resolutions: They rely on our conscious decision-making processes. We just set a good intention to do things differently, and we leave it at that. But experience should tell us that good intentions are often not enough.

The first question to ask yourself when a resolution is failing is: Do I really want to change? If you are honest with yourself, maybe down deep you actually want to keep drinking, or overeating, or not exercising. And those “wants” are going to override the good intentions of your resolutions.

Despite our values and intentions, we may have some other goal that conflicts with our new resolution. And if our resolution is something that, down deep, we don’t really want to change, our conscious mind is very adept at coming up with convenient excuses and rationalisations. “Hey, I’ll start that new diet tomorrow.” And then that tomorrow never comes.

So ask yourself if you are truly committed to change. Only if the answer is “yes” can you overcome those powerful winds and currents that can drive you off course.

Here is an exercise can help you understand the consequences of any change you may be thinking of. A truly effective way to check in to find out what’s happening deep inside that brain of yours is to ask it some questions.

Here are 4 questions that can unlock hidden answers as to why your unconscious may be sabotaging your goals.

1. What will happen when I get my goal or dream?

2. What won’t happen when I get my goal?

3. What will happen if I don’t get my goal?

4. What won’t happen if I don’t get my goal?

I often use these questions in my coaching and both my clients and I are always amazed at what gets uncovered. A few years ago I coached a young man who wanted to work less and yearned to take the summers off to be with his family. His company supported flexi-time and his family was financially secure enough to manage this. Yet, every time it came time to have the conversation with his boss, he never brought it up and actually ended up agreeing to take on even more work.

Here’s what his answers to the questions looked like when we did this exercise together.

1. What will happen when I get my goal?

· I’ll get the whole summer off to be with my wife and kids

· I can finally re-do my garden and enjoy being outdoors all day

· I can get fit and go to the gym more often

· I can spend more time with my mates at the pub or cycling

2. What won’t happen when I get my goal?

· I won’t be spending all day at the office sitting in meetings

· I won’t get my full bonus and won’t get a pay cheque for 8 weeks

· I won’t be involved in all the key decisions about my department and my team

· I won’t have the extra money we’re used to for our annual winter holiday

· I won’t be considered to be on the ‘executive track’ and won’t be taken seriously at work

3. What will happen if I don’t get my goal?

· I’ll keep working hard and miss out on time with my family

· I’ll stay on the ‘executive track’ and will be in line for a promotion

-I’ll still get my full salary and bonus and be able to easily afford our winter holiday

· I’ll fit in at work and be just like the rest of the management team

4. What won’t happen if I don’t get my goal?

· My job won’t be at risk if I don’t get my goal

· I won’t be afraid I’m risking my career

You can clearly see that while consciously this was what he desperately wanted, his unconscious had a lot of concerns. This process allowed these unconscious concerns and fears to surface and we were able to work through them one by one. In the end, he revised his goal to be working 4 days per week during the summer which was the right choice for him and his unconscious mind.

By acknowledging these unconscious influences on us, we actually increase the amount of free will that we have. If we deny these effects exist, then we are at their mercy and have less actual control than we think. But what’s even better is that once we know how they work, we can turn these unconscious forces to our own advantage.

In this way, we can use the power of our unconscious mind for good…and have a much better chance of keeping those New Year’s resolutions.

p.s - need some help with fail-proofing your goals this year? Get in touch today for a free discovery call - and make your dreams happen. mmaudette@hotmail.com

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