Happy New Year!
I’m writing to you on an unseasonably warm New Year’s Day, the energy and anticipation of a new year coursing through me. I am excited and motivated to work towards a fresh set of goals and opportunities for 2019, and I’m more confident than ever that I will accomplish them.
Why am I so sure? Because I asked and answered two important questions that changed the way I approach goal setting and taking action. And today, as we welcome in a new year with new possibilities, I want to share those two questions with you.
In many years past, I created a typical list of New Year’s Resolutions. My list probably looked remarkably similar to millions of lists around the world:
- Lose ten pounds
- Write every day
- Pay off debt
- Save $X in an emergency fund
- Read more books
Do more. Get more. Be more. You get the idea.
On the surface, there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these goals. Each of them serves to improve my wellness and help me lead a better lifestyle.
And yet every year, I would start strong and fall off track, usually around late January or early February. I struggled to follow through on these goals, and instead of becoming a part of my lifestyle, they became evidence of more things I failed to accomplish. Ouch.
Tired of the set-and-forget cycle of goal setting, I tried something new last year. In the final days of 2017, I created my goals for 2018, just like I had in years past. But this time, for each goal, I asked myself two questions:
What will result from achieving this goal?
Why are these results important to me?
These two questions invited me to move past the superficial level of my goals and deep into the heart of what I wanted and why I wanted it. They asked me to get real, to get clear, to get ready for the change I said I wanted.
By going deeper, not only did my desire and motivation grow, but so did my success. I accomplished the goals I set for myself in 2018, even surpassing some of them.
For example, one of my 2018 goals was to write my first book. Prior to 2018, “Write my first book” would simply have been a bullet point on a list of goals. But instead, it looked like this:
Write my first book
Writing my first book will help me grow my business, connect with more people (readers, clients, colleagues), and achieve something I’ve wanted ever since I was a little girl.
Growing my business matters to me because it means I’m able to help more people. It will also allow me to feel more confident and accomplished as a business owner, while creating greater financial stability for myself and my family.
Connecting with more people is important because it gives my life greater meaning. I feel happy and fulfilled when I develop and nurture relationships with others.
Achieving a lifelong goal is important to me because it demonstrates that I can follow through on my actions. I model tenacity and resolve for my children, my peers, and myself. I can show the little girl inside that her dreams matter and she can do anything.
And guess what? After years of wishing and wanting to be an author, 2018 was the year I made it happen. I wrote my first book in 2018 and it will be published next month. (Learn more and preorder it here!)
I finally wrote my first book because I was clear on why it mattered. Once I understood what writing a book would do for my life AND why that mattered to me, I was far more invested in achieving my goal.
So on this New Year’s Day, I invite you to bring forth your goals, your resolutions, your secret desires for 2019. For each one, ask yourself what will happen as a result of achieving it and why it matters to you.
Don’t be afraid to go deeper with these questions. Keep asking the second question until you get to the core reasons behind the desire. Your responses will tell you a great deal about what matters most to you and what you value most. In my case, writing a book reflected my core values of service, connection, joy, and love.
Now, armed with greater clarity and purpose, you’re ready to go out and start taking action on those goals. I’ll talk more about that in my next blog post, but for now, share one of your goals with me in the comments below. What will result from achieving that goal, and why does it matter to you?
I can’t wait to hear what you’ll accomplish this year!