Stop Setting New Year’s Goals; Start With Your WHY!

Don’t you love this time of the year, the start of it? In many ways, the New Year lies before us like the perfect country road in the spring, a new year of growth.

Picture yourself on a lovely country drive in the spring. Things are starting to green up; there is an expression many are using: ‘The smell of spring is in the air.’ The road has the perfect speed; it is not a 4-lane highway but an excellent cruising speed filled with curves and bends, hills, and valleys.

There is so much to see on this country road. Keeping our eyes on the road for the next curve or bending and simultaneously seeing all the scenery is a challenge. The passenger with us keeps pointing out things we should see; only it is too late by the time we look. The conversation concerns whether we have enough time to stop, observe, or keep going and press on for the drive.

After some time, the conversation starts to dim. The things being noticed are less often. The drive becomes something that needs to be finished. The vehicle’s speed might increase by taking the curves and bends, hills and valleys.

Then we arrive at the end. The conversation is courteous – ‘wasn’t that nice. What a pretty drive. Thanks for the drive and scenery. While the conversation ends with something like, ‘We should do that again soon,’ both of us know that this is not likely to happen.

Stop Setting New Year Goals

Setting a New Year’s goal is just like this country drive. You and I start with good intentions, but it is not long until the goal becomes something we want to get finished. It is a good goal; it differs from the fun we thought it would be. We have discovered that it takes more commitment, work, and effort than we thought. Our motivation seems to wane until the flicker goes out.

Think about goals. This is the time of the year when we see all the fitness commercials and ads. Whether for some gym club or exercise equipment, it is time to see the weight loss ads and get healthy commercials.
I get it. We have been there -done that. When I used to smoke, I knew what next year’s resolution was going to be – quit smoking again. We bought a treadmill – only to be the most expensive clothes hanger we’ve ever owned.

Start With Your Why

The first step to achieving successful goals is to know the values behind the goal. The majority of us need to take more time on this. Values are not about the reasonable thing to do [that is, ethics]; they are about the motivation behind it, the why.

You and I will only find out our motivation and why behind the goal, and only some will persevere. On the flip side, think about something significant to you. Did you not care what anyone else thought? When I discovered my why, the values behind my not smoking- I stopped.

Values play the long game. When we set goals without knowing our real motivation, we settle and play the short game. The drive on the country road becomes something we need to finish. The result is that instead, the time with the company and the scenery is not the value of enjoyment.

This leads to the next piece of values and knowing your why. We must be willing to pause and celebrate. Can you relate? One of my most significant challenges is focusing on what’s ahead rather than savouring where I have arrived. The drive becomes something where we need to take the time to pause and enjoy the scenery. Our goals become something we need to press on towards. This often results in a fizzle of long-term valuable goals.

The last piece is who you will do the journey with. Choose wisely who you allow onto your journey. Is there anything worse than traveling with people who are killjoys? Whether it is the scenery along the road, the sights on the horizon, the curves and bends, hills and valleys, they will find some way to joy-steal.

My Desire For Your Journey Into This Year?

  • I pray you see the year ahead as living out your values.
  • I hope your year is filled with curves, bends, hills, and valleys. That is where all the memories get made.
  • I ask you to start with your why. Please do not settle for just setting goals. After all, how do you and I evaluate goals when we don’t know our why and motivation?
  • I challenge you to take time to pause and celebrate. As often said, life is the journey, not just the destination.
  • Please choose wisely who you take on your journey with you. Invite the ones who want to finish well, not just get through it.

Have goals that you want to discuss? Let’s Chat

The Fortlog Advantage

Organizations across North America have been benefiting from FORTLOG’s Interpersonal Crisis Management, Coaching & Consulting services for over 30 years, counting on John to help shepherd them through their most challenging storms. Today, a growing number of workplaces benefit from John’s proven strategies, systems and speeches that focus on integrating core-value practices “not just policies and procedures''.

Scroll to Top