New Year’s Resolutions: It’s not about the WHAT nor the WHY. It’s the WHO.

January is prolific in new goals, objectives and aspirational resolutions. Chances are at some point in your life you too have come up with some of these. They are beautiful lists of things we would like to achieve or do by the end of the year.

However, the harsh reality is that we are all likely to achieve less than 10% of what we set ourselves to achieve. In other words, if you put together a list with a magical 10 goals, you’re likely to achieve one at best!

Setting year long goals works for some of my clients, however I personally am not a big fan of resolutions. The reason being if you define the 10 things you want to achieve by the end of the year, by definition you will be spending the majority of that year in a place where you are not achieving them yet. You will be spending most of your time chasing them and thinking about how you are not fulfilling them. And being in a place of being constantly reminded of your failure is not a great place to be in – it is very draining and ultimately as time passes by, it makes you even more likely to quit and not achieve it.

So what’s stopping you from achieving your goals?

When you set goals you are focusing on the WHAT. Your goals are a list of WHAT you want to achieve. That is just the surface and if you stay at the surface, you’re unlikely to be fully motivated to keep persevering even when life gets in the way.

You’ll achieve a lot more if define your WHY behind each goal to stay motivated. That reason behind the goal will keep you focused and gives you a sense for purpose. As an example, you don’t just want to go to the gym (the WHAT). You want to go to the gym because you want to be healthier and stronger. That’s your WHY.

However, this is not the end of it. In fact, the most powerful question you should ask yourself is not the WHAT nor the WHY. It is the WHO.

WHO do you want to be? What kid of person do you need to be so that all those goals and resolutions will just come naturally? If you continuously are in the space of being that person, not only you’ll achieve your goals but you are also likely to create many more opportunities as a side effect.

Let me bring it back to the gym example. I want to go to the Gym (WHAT) because I want to live a longer healthier life (WHY). More importantly, I want to be a role model for my children, I want to be someone they look up to and I want to be present in a healthy and energetic way when I’m around them (WHO). When I frame it like that, going to the gym (or exercising) just becomes part of who I am, part of my routine, part of being who I want to be for those around me.

So go ahead and ask yourself: who do you want to be? Who do you need to be so that your behaviours naturally point you towards your goals? That’s how you change the game!


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