Creating the Life You Want, Part I

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Do you know one of the most-searched words on Pinterest?


If you’re one of the 85% of people who have already given up on your New Year’s Resolutions, there’s hope for you.

Today I want to talk about some common mistakes and illusions that can stop us from creating more than we ever thought possible. 


Let's look at some standard ways to set goals. In my corporate life and my life as a small business owner, goals are not only necessary, they can seem inevitable. We learn to set SMART goals; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound. Some people use other words, but it's the same general structure. 

When I even say these five words, I feel my energy going down.

How do you feel when you say specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound? 

Do you feel a rise of energy, and a sense of, hell yes, let's go? No? 

Me either. I've never, ever been able to set goals like this. It feels overly complicated, sucks out all of my motivation, and makes me dread even thinking about my goal. 

Honestly, I already feel a sense of failure, not excitement. 

There are a couple of things that make goal setting in general so tricky: 

First, most goals are set in the context of what we already know, what we can calculate, and what we have been able to do before. 

In our businesses, let's say that the revenue has grown by 3% per year over the past five years. So, according to the SMART layout, you set your goal based on that 3% trend, and extrapolate what you think is reasonable. 

This boils down to you doing what most people do: build on a historical past while setting goals for the future. 

If it worked then, then it will be fine now. You have the goal down, you checked every box. But then the thoughts arrive. 

 "I worked so hard last year. I can't think of working even more."

“What happens if I set the goal too high and I inevitably miss it?”

“What am I going to miss out on because I’ll be spending all my time working?”  

That 3% feels safe. It feels familiar. It feels comfortable.

Your thoughts go to: “I'm in control.”

“I'm not going to fail, because I already succeeded.”

“I’m just repeating what I already know works.”

You are faced with a juxtaposition: fear of failure if you’re more aggressive, versus what you know is safe, but secure. 

It really comes down to these two thoughts.

“If I miss it, I fail.”

“If I make the 3%, I’m a success.”

What many don’t want to talk about, however, is that nagging sense of guilt when you know you could have achieved so much more than that 3%. 

No one wants to talk about your level of success not fulfilling you.

This is how we try to create success on paper. 

BUT your historical past says NOTHING about your future.

 This historically-based way of goal setting is going against what you REALLY want to create. It's not shortening the time it takes to achieve your success. It's not inviting quantum leaps forward.

 A massive breakthrough might just be lingering on your horizon, waiting for you to stop doing what you're doing and trust and surrender, but you leave no space for it to happen inside your comfort zone.