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Actually Achieve Your Goals This Year

by | Jan 6, 2020 | Metta Musings, Productivity, Work-Life Integration | 0 comments |

This is the time for fresh starts and new resolutions.  I’ve written before about installing new habits, and there is a lot being written right now about resolutions.  I want to talk instead about having the courage to make a fresh start, and how to make it happen.

Right, now, it’s winter.  It’s a season of short days, cold temperatures, perhaps snow and ice, and it’s often a time of reflection.  The harvest season has passed, the garden has been cut back and appears to lie fallow, though there is a LOT going on underground.  We are kind of like that.  This may be a time for taking stock and thinking about one thing you might want to do differently in the coming year.  Rather than a resolution, let’s consider what it would take to make a single change.

As a coach, I often ask people to make a list of the 10 things that matter most to them — in their work and personal lives — combined into a single list.  I also ask them what one step they would need to take to get more of any one thing on that list into their lives.

So, if you want a little mini-coaching session on that topic, here goes.  Start by making your own “Top 10 List.”  From there, you can ask yourself these three questions.

  • Which one of these things would — if I got 20% more of it into my life — make the biggest difference in my level of joy or happiness?
  • What is one thing I could do this week to see a 10% gain in the priority I have identified?
  • What would help me the most in pursuing that one priority?

Once you have the answer to these questions, the next step is to write down clear goals that will move you in the direction you have prioritized. Dr. Gail Matthews, a professor at Dominican University of California, found in her research (additional info here and here) that you are far more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down than if you don’t, and those who write them down and share them with a friend have a 76% chance of success.  The value of creating an accountability plan is clear.

My final coaching point here is that, to make a fresh start, setting goals and shifting behaviors in this way, three things are required.

  • Courage to make an actual change in your behavior.
  • Clarity about your choices.
  • Commitment to follow through.

These are the three Cs: Courage, Clarity and Commitment.  They will help you see your fresh start through to completion.

Your goals

Might this approach help you meet your goals this year?  Could it replace the popular but often ineffective New Year’s resolution for you?  I’m interested to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Here’s a bit more if you need some resources and inspiration:

About Sharon Hull, MD, MPH, PCC:

Sharon Hull, MD, MPH, PCCSharon is an experienced executive and leadership coach who holds the credential of Professional Certified Coach awarded through the International Coach Federation. She has over 30 years of experience in academic medicine, as a clinician, educator, researcher and administrator. She has served as department chair and a division chief, in addition to practicing clinical family medicine for many years. In addition to her academic medicine credentials, she has completed formal training and certification as a professional coach. She is trained and certified in the administration of 360 assessments as well as other key psychological assessment instruments designed to support coaching services. She is particularly committed to helping self-reflective individuals and organizations become the best versions of themselves possible. Dr. Hull is an invited member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

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About Metta Solutions

I’m Sharon Hull, a professional executive coach, consultant and physician. I created Metta Solutions to help executives and other leaders and professionals in North Carolina and around the country learn to leverage presence, power and communication skills for maximum effectiveness, and to build careers that deliver personal and professional satisfaction.

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