Have you given up on setting New Year resolutions and making goals?
Upon a quick Google search, below are some common results about New Year’s resolutions…
Let’s move from New Year’s resolutions to goal-setting…
So why don’t we like to set goals? Or why do we have an unhealthy relationship with our goals? I have yet to find a person who at some point in their life hasn’t tried setting a New Year’s resolution or a goal. However, similar to the above statistics, I haven’t found but a few individuals who have written out goals with a plan of how to attain them. For me, I was one of the 20 percent who said I had goals but didn’t have them written out.
My reason for not writing down my goals stemmed from the disappointment of failure with one particular goal – weight loss. I typically achieved my desired weight loss goal, however became frustrated by my failure to maintain that weight after reaching the initial goal! This cycle felt like a roller coaster, leaving me to assume I just lacked motivation. I hated that label and didn’t want it to seep into other areas of my life, which I felt demonstrated great motivation! Here I was, a prior collegiate athlete, the first of my family to graduate from college including obtaining an advanced MBA degree, and possessed a successful career in the corporate world. This lack of clarity coupled with my fear to not let this “character label” seep into other areas of my life, resulted in me compartmentalizing goal setting for the professional world, keeping it out of my personal world.
As time passed where I began serving as an instructor in Reaching Higher, I rediscovered the power of goal-setting. In Reaching Higher we write down our goals, identify the steps needed to achieve them and share our progress toward them weekly. The result was significant growth for both myself and the participants! But just like reaching my weight goal, after the Reaching Higher program ended, I wasn’t able to sustain that growth. Instructing in Reaching Higher did put goal-setting back on my radar, however my inability to sustain that growth wasn’t enough to convince me to write down personal goals. My fear of having to face the “unmotivated” label was still too great.
As I continued to experience significant personal growth while instructing Reaching Higher, I was prompted to give personal goal-setting another try upon reading the book, Atomic Habits by James Clear. In the book, Mr. Clear made the following profound statement:
This quote released me to start personal goal-setting again through journaling. However, given my growth while instructing a course, I created my own journal incorporating Reaching Higher’s leadership principles into it. A key Reaching Higher principle was the incorporation of “I Am” identity labels. For me personally, the label which changed my unhealthy relationship with my goals was: “I Am a Competitor.” I discovered by reminding myself daily of this label, it provided me the necessary fuel to stay resilient in the pursuit of reaching my goals.
As a result of my experience, I’m convinced that we won’t reach our potential without goal-setting. We at Reaching Higher are convicted of the power in goal-setting especially when it is embedded in Reaching Higher’s leadership principles. This conviction has led us to create a goal for ourselves for 2023. That is to develop a Reaching Higher for Life Journal (RH4Life Journal), marrying our leadership principles into a habit journal. We believe the RH4Life Journal will not only provide you a goal-setting tool, but more importantly provide you a system designed to fuel and inspire you to reach those goals, giving you the greatest opportunity to reach your potential.