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How many times have you been told that you need to set a goal to get what you want? How many times have you set goals? How often do they get you to your intended destination? 

Some of you will be thinking, “Well, it’s because I set it, and then I forgot about it, or I didn’t do all this stuff,” and that’s why I didn’t achieve my goals. The research does support this theory.

It’s the 27th of February, and 80% of your New Year’s resolutions will have fallen by the wayside. Do you think that’s a lot of abandoned hopes and dreams? It’s kind of sad to think about the life that could have been. It’s easy to say you didn’t really want that thing, or you wanted something else more.

Why systems and planners don’t work

Experts will tell you that you need this system or their planner to achieve your goals. But if that were true, then everybody who bought their planner or took the online course would have achieved their goal.

We are told that goal setting is all about designing what we want, getting excited about it, writing it down, and doing one thing that brings you closer to it every day. It sounds simple and logical. Linear goal setting, except achieving your goals isn’t a linear process. 

why goal setting is not about wanting something

To quote William H. Murray: “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.” Concerning all acts of initiative, and creation. There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and plans. The moment one commits oneself, Providence moves to all sorts of things that occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.

Paulo Coelho also talks about it and how the universe conspires to help us. But in order to do that, there needs to be a definiteness of purpose. We need to intend something, not want something. Wanting something speaks of a lack, or something that’s missing, and the focus then is on what is not. The universe hears our call and works with us to co-create more of what is not. But when we intend something, we come from our centre, our place of power, our place of creation. 

why goal setting sets you up for failure

80% of New Year’s resolutions don’t fail because of a lack of wanting or not using that shiny new planner or system.

They fail because we forgot to intend for them to be. When you’re writing down your goal, intend it. Use a phrase like, “I intend to be in Queenstown on the 10th of December 2022” and get excited about it.

Do you want to know another reason why your goals fail? It’s because you tend to seek them from the space occupied by our current identity. Einstein said no problem can be solved at the same level of consciousness that created it. Wisdom, not just for problem solving but for goal setting, too.

Setting goals is a problem

When I first became a coach, we would invite our clients to seek journey goals, small manageable milestones along that path that lead to the ultimate goal. It was a way of celebrating our progress and setting goals that, on their own, weren’t too scary but would add up to something huge. 

The problem with setting journey goals is that you can only set them based on what you think is possible today, which encourages you to limit your possibilities and think small. You don’t want a linear little bit better, then a little bit better, then a little bit better. You want your life to be a game of leapfrog, not snakes and ladders. You can still use journey goals, but they need to be set from the endpoint, not the starting point. Let 2022 be the year you look back on and say, “Wow, that was amazing.” 

The trick is to set your goal from the perspective of who you will be. Now that your goal has been achieved, spend some time getting quiet, close your eyes and put your imagination in the driving seat. Play with observing the new version of yourself. The person who weighs 85 kilos or has a thriving business and the joy that goes with it.

Visualize and feel what it looks like to walk in these shoes. From that point, look back at the milestones that made this possible. These are your journey goals. Set them knowing you’ve already achieved your goal.

This is the real reason why, as of today, 80% of New Year’s resolutions are just dust. These are two powerful ways you can be in that 20%. Intend your goals, set your milestones from the identity where your goal has already been achieved, and get ready for a wonderful year.