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How Can I Sustain Change in 2015?

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Welcome to our very first Blog Hop for 2015!

This month we want to help you start the year off with a fresh start featuring articles, how-to’s and resources that have helped each consultant, blogger and business owner on the hop in their own lives and businesses. Get ready to be inspired for a fabulous year ahead of you as you move along through the blog hop.

You may just be starting the blog hop or may have come from hop #13 Kim McDaniels at iBiz Design Duchess on Natalie Bradley’s Blog Hop. If you get off track at any time, the full lineup below will help you move along from blog to blog so you make sure to see and learn from all of the articles featured here today.

nbc-blog-hop-jan-2015-QI’m sure I’m not alone in feeling the pull at the end of the year to make some kind of fresh start. For years I diligently pulled out my planner, day-timer or journal and laid out a best case scenario for the year ahead. For years I disappointed myself around January 3rd. And then I kicked my butt around the block until mid February when I forgot about the whole ordeal again for another year.

If you’ve been there too I’m sure you’ll agree. It’s no freakin’ fun.

Apparently  I’m not alone in this cycle. Forbes magazines says about 40 percent of the population goes through this agonizing ritual yearly. Of that 40 percent, only 8 percent are successful in making good on the new years resolution. (That works out to just 3.2 % of the population people) Which sort of made me wonder about conventional ‘Goal Setting’ as a practice in general.

When I began coaching over a decade ago I kept running into this on my client’s lists. “I want to get better at achieving my goals” or “I’ve had this dream for years and I can’t seem to get traction on it. Will you hold me accountable? ”  or some such variant. And I discovered. I liked kicking my clients’ butts even less than I liked kicking my own.

Here’s what I’ve discovered over a decade of puzzling through this with literally hundreds of clients. Setting up a goal is a lot like putting yourself in jail. It sets up a boundary of conclusions and judgement around your actions which we think is going to keep us focused but which actually exhausts us. See, we have limited power to resist temptation (trust me, it’s neuroscience) and “staying on track for our goals” is one long exercise in resisting temptation. Add to this the common practice of setting goals that I refer to as “compensatory” and you’re doomed.

Compensatory Goals are the ones we think we should achieve because they’re what’s required to get us what we REALLY want.  The goal is a compensation for our true desire. Now we’ve got two problems working against us. One, our limited will power and two, we’re not really, deeply aligned at our core on our destination.

Think about this typical personal goal. “Earn More Money” (You can even make it a smart goal like this: Earn another $10,000 by June 1st.) Now, I’ll be a good coach and start asking my example client about what’s important about that goal? Start with Why right? Simon Sinek is behind us!  Most people wind up answering with some variant of this: “I want to earn more money so I can stop worrying about money and spend whatever I want on whatever I want.”

Does anyone else see the conflictual-reality my example client is setting up for themselves?

No? That’s okay, this is tricky stuff. You’re not alone. Look at it this way: My client is really saying. “I want to be disciplined about my money so I can be less disciplined about my money.”

You’d be shocked to see how many goals set up these nasty conditions of internal conflic in our own minds. 

“So if goal setting is a tricky trap what do I do?”  I can hear you wailing from here! “We can’t just be random with our lives can we?”  (I have some interesting points of view on that one by the way, shared with Nassim Nicholas Taleb who knows how often we’re fooled by randomness.) But if being random makes you radically uncomfortable try this, which I and my clients have had significant success with.  Set yourself some energetic targets. And then head out into the world each day on target practice.  For me in 2015 I have energetic targets of “Vibrations of Excitement”,excited-girl “The Gulp”, “Being the Conductor”, and “The Chairlift”. These are energies or feelings I’m really familiar with and that I want more of in my life.

When I go out into the world each day now I’m not looking to limit my behaviour moment by moment. Hell, I’ll be honest, that usually lasts till about 10 minutes after breakfast! Instead I’m going out into the world on a treasure hunt for vibrations of excitement, for an opportunity to take a big gulp and jump into something.

See? Following-Your-Passion smTreasure hunts are way more fun than jails. And not only that We’re not limited by the tunnel vision all that focus creates. (Sometimes even focus is a compensatory goal.) Instead our attention is tuned for opportunities. And when I spot opportunities that match the energy of what I want there are no restrictions on my choices. I can choose much more easily.

I’ve done a whole radio show on this topic that takes you into great detail. You can find the link after you check out all the other fabulous bloggers on our blog hop.

Meanwhile. Give yourself a break this year. Don’t bother with resolutions. Set some energetic targets and then go look for fun ways to get there. You’ll be amazed at where you end up and how easy and joyful the journey is!

Have fun Leading your Life!

The next stop is new friend, #15 Chérie Ronning. I hope you’re loving my great friend Natalie Bradley’s Blog Hop! Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you again next month!

  1. Natalie Bradley at Natalie Bradley Consulting 
  2. Cari Vollmer at PassionIntoProfit.com
  3. Debra Burdick at The Brain Lady
  4. Janet Slack at Solopreneur.Biz
  5. Vicki Heise at Live Your Healthy Life 
  6. Rochelle Togo-Figa at Speaking Breakthrough Strategist 
  7. Lisa Ivaldi at InsightClarityGrowth.com
  8. Robin Hardy at Integrity Virtual Services
  9. Sandra Gardner at Tall Red Poppy // Marketing, Magic, & Design Sanctuary
  10. Deb Brown at Touch Your Client’s Heart
  11. Jill Russo Foster at JillRussoFoster.com
  12. Kim McDaniels at iBiz Design Duchess 
  13. Sharon Lewis at Questiam Leadership Development <<– you are here! 
  14. Chérie Ronning at Chérie Ronning, Consultant-Mentor-Speaker

Oh, And here’s a link to that Radio Show I Mentioned.