Whether you are a go-getter, a planner, or a set-it-and-forget-it type of person, I think we can all agree that our chances of living a life of our design are improved when we have a fairly detailed idea of what it is that we want. As Zig Ziglar put it, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time!” Unfortunately, too many of us do just that. We don’t establish a clear vision what we want, and yet we expect whatever it is to just fall into our laps, somehow and someday. Well, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that that isn’t how things work, but the good news is that once I explain how things do work, you can start putting them to work for yourself.
It is that time of the year again! That time when we put the past behind us, begin to look forward and set new goals in the form of New Year’s Resolutions. Most of the time, we identify the opportunities to improve out lives by examining what is not working well and attempting to close the gap. I have previously shared my tips on transformative New Year’s resolutions in a post on the subject. While those tips are all well and good, instead of going over them again, I’d like to present a different approach, one that is often overlooked when it comes to pursuing future accomplishment. I’d like to propose that one of the best ways to move forward is to look backward at where you have been and how far you have come. Although this sounds counterintuitive at first, I hope to make it obvious by the end of this post.
We live in a world that is increasingly obsessed with quick fixes and instant gratification. We don’t have time to stop and get gas, even though we are running on fumes, because we left late. We don’t have time to stop and sharpen the saw because we are too busy trying—and failing—to cut the tree down. We don’t have the money to save or invest in retirement because we have to have that car/phone/vacation right now, instead of waiting until we can afford it. Examples abound, and I’m sure you can think of some of your own. The bottom line is that we end up being so focused on efficiency that we often end up sacrificing effectiveness as a result. All too often, we judge the potential solutions and strategies on how quickly and how well they are going to address the symptoms that we see right in front of us, while completely ignoring the cause of our discontent. This feeds the perpetual focus on fixing problems rather than creating a discontinuous shift in results, i.e. we ignore the roots of transformation to pursue the fruits of change.
In this short episode, I address the most fundamental reasons we don't stay on track to pursue and achieve our goals, and go over practical and actionable ways to overcome them and make this year your best year yet.
If you're serious about your New Year's resolutions or just want to break the cycle of settling for less than extraordinary results, this episode is for you.