Achieve Success in 2018
It’s almost January 1st, a day we set aside to make promises and resolutions about how life and success will be different in the upcoming year. We declare loudly what we will start doing and what we will stop doing.
Yet, statistically, most New Year’s resolutions fail – only 10% of Americans succeed in meeting their goals. With such dismal statistics, many are afraid to begin a new regimen when success appears difficult to achieve.
For me, I love the symbolism of the New Year. Like freshly fallen snow, pristine and pure, so is the new year. It represents shutting one chapter and opening a blank page – one that we inscribe. The New Year gives us hope. Rarely do we have a year with all peaks and no valleys so this gives us an opportunity for a “do over.”
We step into it ever so gently because we haven’t messed anything up yet, but expecting to wake up on the second day of January to a “new you” doesn’t make sense. That’s a harmful mindset. Change is a transformative process. It happens over time. When you make new goals, far too often the focus shifts to the completion of the goal. Yet, it’s the process that changes us.
Many people question the value of goal-setting. Many believe goals don’t work at all. Some even believe that if you define a goal, you define your own limitation. Goals are not the issue, it’s the way we think about them. Whether you call it a goal, an aim, or an intent, it all comes down to
having a desire to manifest change.
Desires alone do not create changes. That’s where goals help us. They clarify our purpose and point us on the right path. If we, however, believe that process is rigid and set in stone, we won’t get our best outcome. We let the outcome consume and define us and that interrupts our ability to
live in the present. We then end up being a resolution statistic when we fail.
Don’t start your new year with these misconceptions about the goal-setting process. If left unchecked, it can rob you of happiness and success and make you feel like a failure before you start. Remember, it’s always easy to make goals. It’s meeting them that requires work but when you free yourself of the misguided notions of success, attaining personal success is easier.
8 Myths That Hinder Your Success
Myth # 1: “I have to know where I want to be in 5 years before I can set goals.” No, you don’t. Life can change tremendously in five years. Create goals that make sense for you today. Don’t be afraid to start out on your journey to see where life takes you. As Lao Tzu said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Myth # 2: “I have to set only realistic goals.” Go ahead, dream big. I wonder if Sir Richard
Branson has only ever set realistic goals? Most of us have big dreams swirling around in our
mind that seem impossible to make a reality. Our larger goals seem like an insurmountable mountain and when you’re standing at the foot of that mountain, it’s easy to feel intimidated at the climb ahead of you.
Goals come in all shapes and sizes. It’s a good idea to set some small goals and some large ones. If you are going to be brave enough to dream big, be brave enough to redefine so-called failure. One of the
reasons we set safe goals is because we’re fearful of falling short. You can’t always play it safe.
Myth # 3: “Once I start on a goal, I can’t change my mind.” Nonsense. At one time, it was my goal to earn my PhD. I started classes and as much as I love the learning process, I figured out that it wasn’t what I wanted to accomplish in the here and now. It wasn’t the change I was looking for so I stopped it. If a goal doesn’t work for you, deserting it doesn’t make you a failure or a quitter. It may mean that you’ve figured out what’s more important. The goal process is an evolving process, not a static one.
Myth # 4: “I failed because I didn’t meet my intended goal.” You didn’t fail because you missed the mark, but you must analyze why you missed your target. It’s the only way you’ll know if you were working on the right goal in the appropriate manner. If you decide to continue to work on this goal, then you’ll need to find ways to improve your process. Something wasn’t working. Don’t forget to recognize the progress that you’ve made. If you measure what you’ve gained, then you’ve already won. The only true failure is not trying at all.
Myth # 5: “It’s all about getting to the big finish.” The biggest misconception about goals is that all the work you do is solely focused on meeting that end goal. Goals, particularly big ones, should change you. Great goals transform you. I can’t tell you that your journey is going to be all Zen-like because sometimes the journey is harsh. The process will teach you much about life and yourself. The more you know about yourself, the better prepared you are for the future.
Myth #6: “Once I achieve my goal, life will be perfect.” Maybe it will. Or, maybe it won’t. What if the change you were looking for was not what it was cracked up to be? Sure, achieving goals will change your life but sometimes it’s not what we envisioned. It’s okay to admit that it
doesn’t feel like what you imagined.
Myth #7: “Once I set a goal, it can’t be changed.” Goal setting is fundamentally an exploratory process and one of personal growth. Prepare to take a detour, make shifts, pause, and re-evaluate along the way. If your original goal no longer makes sense for you, why should
Myth #8: “Something is wrong because it’s taking too long to complete.” Some goals take years to complete and you may feel as if you aren’t making much progress. It’s always crucial to pause and take stock of what you’ve accomplished on a regular basis. You may need to set smaller goals, celebrate those successes, and reflect on what you need to do to keep moving forward. Goals are never set in stone, so don’t be afraid to amend them if you need to do that.
Myth #9: “I only need motivation.” You can’t light a fire with a wet match. You need to have some catalyst for ignition before the fire burns. You must have some spark. It’s the same with goals. You need something to get you going. It’s hard to meet goals without the proper motivation but it’s not impossible. Motivation is that peripheral force that pushes you and gives you the kick-in- the-pants you need. But, then there is inspiration. Motivation is what gives you an incentive for action but inspiration, ah, inspiration breathes life into it. Inspiration is that inner drive that keeps you moving. Inspiration churns in your soul. It’s thirst on fire. It arouses your thinking and heightens creativity. When you’re inspired, you don’t need something or someone to get you moving. You do it because it’s what you want, not because you were forced into it.
Every Day Can be New Year’s Day
You don’t have to wait until New Year’s Day to start a change regimen. You can start when it’s right for you. But, if the new year gives you the extra motivation to succeed, then do it. The key is to know that if you want to create change in your life, you must make a purposeful promise to yourself to start today. There is power in today. Let today be the day you set the standard for your success in 2018.
Here’s to an amazing year for all of you!
Written by Jan Johnston Osburn
Edited by Jessica Monte
About Jan Johnston Osburn
Jan lives in Northern Virginia and is an organizational consultant and certified career coach who
has made it her mission to help people kick start their personal revolution.