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The paradox of setting and reaching goals today

This time of year our focus shifts to reaching  goals.

We talk about New Year’s resolutions which usually reflect goals for where we want to be  six months or a year from now. We also make huge promises to ourselves about what we will do and why this year will be different from the last one.   These goals and resolutions sparkle with promise on New Year’s eve when  anything seems possible.  And it is…possible that is…except…

On the one hand resolutions are very positive; they are a way to paint a picture of a different reality…and that is like

Setting goals can be like letting light and air into a stuffy room.

Setting goals can be like letting light and air into a stuffy room.

opening a window in a stuffy room and  letting in some fresh air and sunshine….a huge relief.  Unfortunately these resolutions rarely work.  All too often they are made and forgotten within a few days or a week.

Part of the problem with reaching goals or resolutions is that they are always about something out in the future.

This is not to discount all the analogies and arguments about goals. I know I can’t get from here to there without a road map, and if I plan on reaching goals I need to know where I’m going.

The problem with staying focused on the  future is that it removes us from the present moment.  But  ironically, the only way to really change the future is to stay planted firmly in the present because that’s where the power is…it’s only in the present that we actually take action. ..and it’s action that will manifest the goals.

So how do we move beyond this paradox of reaching goals but staying in the present?

The answer is to just bring the goal into the present where we can act on it.

For example, if your goal is to be 40 pounds lighter in 6 months what do you need to do?  Start by committing to a way to get the job done. For example, one  way to lose weight is to change your diet to one that is more alkaline…which means letting go of meat, dairy, sugar and coffee and shifting to a plant based diet that includes drinking green tea and sweetening with stevia.

But if you choose that route, you probably will need to do some research to find new recipes and create new

To lose weight create the habit of more fruits and vegetables.

To lose weight create the habit of more fruits and vegetables.

menus.  And then you will need to restock your kitchen shelves to be sure you have the ingredients you need.

In other words, reaching goals about weight loss out in the future starts with a shift in attitude about the food you eat today…and then taking action with something as simple as a trip to the grocery store  with a list of ingredients. Without any of that, your weight loss will remain a goal…unattainable and out in the future somewhere.  And what good is that?

Another piece of this puzzle  is that while resolutions may be a breath of fresh air in a stuffy room, they probably are not by themselves powerful enough to really clear the place out.  If you are overweight, chances are it took you awhile to get there and involved taking on some habits that will keep you stuck unless you change them.

So the next step in reaching goals is to create some new habits that support the resolution.  That way you’ll be more likely to stay on track.

I used to think that changing habits was difficult and took a long time.  I’ve learned that isn’t the case.  Recently I took part in a free mini-course on habits which changed the whole way I think about them.    The network marketing company I am committed to has a daily motivational and training call which I usually miss due to other commitments,  but I have access to a recording which is available for 24 hours.

I had the intention for weeks to listen to that recording every day, but most of the time I didn’t.  After taking the habits course I used what I learned there to create the habit of listening to that call. It took less than a week.  Now I rarely if ever miss it. And this habit supports my goal of sharing a powerful anti-aging product and increasing my income.

Do you make resolutions in the new year?  Share your experience with resolutions.  If they have helped you, what have you done to make them come true in your life?

Happy New Year everyone!  Celeste

Have you resolved to make serious changes in your health this year?  If so CLICK HERE to learn about a breakthrough anti-aging product.

12 Responses to The paradox of setting and reaching goals today

  1. Steve Vernon January 9, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    Beautifully written, Celeste. I love the way you bring together the idea of setting a goal while working within the boundaries of the only thing we truly have — the present. Keeping the big picture out in front of us, we have no choice but to take action NOW. If we don’t, then NOW is lost and we move forward into the next NOW. Personally, I’ve never been one to make New Year resolutions for the very reason you mention. I believe that every day we should be giving consideration to where we would like to be in the future, using what we have NOW to get there.
    Steve Vernon recently posted..Is Your Bad Grammar Making a Bad Impression?My Profile

    • Celeste Smucker January 16, 2013 at 9:18 am #

      So true Steve. Yes NOW is all there is. Once we wrap our brains around that we can really start to experience the fulfillment we all seek.

  2. Kim Stanbrook January 9, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    I guess for me resolutions are almost a wish, a goal is something that provides more focus. Taking the goal and looking at it today makes so much more sense, otherwise it is always out there somewhere and not real enough. Great post.
    Kim Stanbrook recently posted..Gratitude Is The Secret!My Profile

    • Celeste Smucker January 16, 2013 at 9:17 am #

      Thanks Kim….yes…once we leave the present…and we do that a lot….we are in a sense lost.

  3. Robin J Emdon January 9, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    So much good conten in here Celeste! As a Life Coach I know how critical it is to get your goal setting done properly. Loving your approach! ~Robin~
    Robin J Emdon recently posted..Creating Content, Getting Massive Traffic, Leads and Profits is a Science That Anyone Can MasterMy Profile

    • Celeste Smucker January 16, 2013 at 9:16 am #

      Thanks Robin! Yes we definitely need a lot of support to get our goals accomplished…and of course an accountability partner in the form of a life coach is a great start!

  4. Donna Merrill January 9, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    What a powerful post Celeste!

    Setting goals is one thing…to me it is abstract. When we take the action to support that goal, it becomes more realistic to us. The illustration you have made above with “weight loss” is changing your habits when it all comes down to it.

    This is something most people miss. They set a goal and then don’t know how to get there. Most never do because they are not focusing on the steps one has to take to reach that goal.

    Wonderful advice Celeste,
    Thank you
    Donna Merrill
    Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Condition YourselfMy Profile

    • Celeste Smucker January 16, 2013 at 9:15 am #

      Thanks Donna. Yes we all need structures of some kind to help us along the way…everything from accountability partners to schedules that work for us (and it’s the for us piece that is critical:)

  5. Kevin DeRoo January 9, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    Hey Celeste,

    Excellent article on setting goals and following that up with developing habits that are in direct alignment with the achievement of those goals.

    Although Goal Setting is important … very important in actual fact … it is not of course enough on it’s own.

    Thanks so much for sharing Celeste,

    Kevin
    Kevin DeRoo recently posted..Integrity SellingMy Profile

    • Celeste Smucker January 16, 2013 at 9:14 am #

      So true…it’s easy to carry goals around in our head and mean to do something about them sometime, somewhere….but making them a reality requires some activity…and the habit piece is essential. Thanks for your comment.

  6. marquita herald January 11, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    Great advice Celeste. Personally I don’t do resolutions, but I do have short and long term goals and I think you’ve provided some excellent points here for anyone to be able to make the most of their efforts. Thanks for the inspiration!
    marquita herald recently posted..The Secret to Living a Bigger, Bolder LifeMy Profile

    • Celeste Smucker January 16, 2013 at 9:12 am #

      Hi Marquita, I don’t usually do formal resolutions either, but always have goals and intentions floating around in my mind. So getting them expressed and in some kind of structure so I can move forward to actualizing them is always a good thing. Appreciate your comment.

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