Despite what the pundits say, a new year comes with the same you. More of what you've done leads to familiar outcomes. Choosing to be different is the gateway to new possibility.
10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1…HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
2022 is finally here, and I have to say, I really enjoy the beginning of a new calendar year. There is so much enthusiasm, commitment, and intention! It’s full of optimistic people vowing that THIS will be the year they finally do that thing that they have wanted to accomplish for years and be who they were meant to be in the world. This is often followed by a very bold and perhaps over-ambitious January.
Then something happens. The enthusiasm fades, the optimism wanes, and the possibility of creating something new is overshadowed by the daunting realization of who you need to become to create the thing you desire. Sound familiar?
This is a pattern for the great majority of people that I have observed and worked with over the years when it comes to goal setting.
It poses the uncomfortable question of:
What is predictable about how you normally relate to your new year goals?
I am no stranger to this, myself. I’ve had some killer January’s over the years. There have been multiple years where I worked out every single day of the month. Then there was 2018, where I went all January without drinking alcohol. I also had years where I started the year with a month without cheat meals or vowed to complete my morning routine every day. But after starting the year hyper committed to these endeavors, it was always followed by a collective tanking of my performance. My activity chart looked like a heartbeat monitor: spikes, plummets, flatlines, and repeats.
There’s a common expression that you will undoubtedly see a million times over the next two weeks — likely in at least one advertisement for a gym. It goes “new year, new you.”
I have some bad news for you, though. That is a lie. You are the same person you were on December 31. Attempting the same pursuits, activities, and behaviors and expecting yourself to relate differently than you did previously is wishful thinking.
Sustainable change doesn’t stem from actions made in January; it comes from who you choose to be in relationship to the things that motivate you.
Here is the good news, you have total ownership in how you relate to your goals and who you need to become manifest them!
If you’re not satisfied with your typical New Year's patterns, I’m inviting you to take a deeper level of ownership in choosing what you really need to create what you want. Below are a few prompts that I use to support alignment and practice mindfulness towards your needs.
Do you have the right targets? Are the goals that you’ve declared aligned to your highest commitments? Answering this simple yet challenging question can strengthen your alignment to what you’re playing for and give insight into what is required from you to bring it to life. In addition, take a look at what is the smallest measure that demonstrates you have created the desired experience? People tend to overshoot what they need to create the desired experience. For example, I need to make $100,00 this year to be secure. Is $100,000 truly the lowest measure that offers the desired experience? It’s worth a look.
Are you willing to remain committed despite how it feels? Most things in life that bring true satisfaction, accomplishment, and fulfillment will require unwavering commitment through the peaks and valleys of the journey. There will be moments when what you’re trying to accomplish feels awful — physically, emotionally, and mentally. It will be uncomfortable, difficult, and you may not even know how to do it. Your willingness to continue to persist despite the associated feelings will play a significant role in your pursuit towards the summit of your goal. Are you more committed to feelings or what you’ve declared to achieve?
What support system do you have to hold you accountable? The ambition to achieve a stretch goal by yourself is a great way to sabotage your success. No matter your goal, there will be moments where you want to give up and return to your old ways. In those moments, you will need someone or something that keeps your eye on the prize and realigns you to the commitment. By having this support structure, you are able to take the weight of your pursuit off your shoulders and distribute it amongst your tribe. Are you willing to share your lofty goals with others and willing to be held accountable to your declarations?
Adhering to the prompts will offer a few illuminating places to get curious about how you’re relating to yourself and your commitments. As you explore reliable and steadfast structures to support creating something new in your life, I also encourage you to consider hiring a coach.
A coaching relationship can be a hugely impactful partnership in reframing how you relate to yourself and your goals. A coach will ask you to declare what you really want to create and prompt you to embody who you need to become to create it. Your coach will partner with you to create support structures designed to make it significantly harder for you to give up on yourself.
A coach will empower you to remain vigilant towards your commitments, despite whatever else is going on in your life or whatever stories you may be empowering over the commitment you’re pursuing.
Your coach also won’t put up with you B.S and will actively reflect back your self-sabotage patterns with the intention of highlighting how you’re covertly being the main deterrent to the experience you seek. Very few structures support you in the manner that a coaching relationship does with the sole focus of getting you closer to what you desire.
A new year offers so much possibility — you will create whatever you choose to own, empower, and actively breathe life into this year. I have no doubt that you will create something amazing, even if you stick to your normal predictable patterns. However, if you’re looking to fundamentally transform what’s possible in your life and empower yourself to be the catalyst for everything you yearn for, you will need to choose to be a different version of you. I invite you to explore a conversation with a coach and learn more about how coaching can be a catalyst in your life.
PS: If you're interested in a workshop experience that focuses intently on goal setting, I am hosting a workshop on Saturday, January 8 from 1:30 - 3:30 PM ET. Register here if you see something for yourself in attending.
Peace, love, and luscious prosperity in 2022.
Austin Walker, ACC Life Coach