Sunday, January 4, 2015

Why Desires Are Better Than Resolutions And Goals

I gave up writing resolutions years ago. Apparently I am not alone. Less than half of us make them - just 45% - and of those who do less than 8% achieve them. It seems the odds are that you are doomed before you start.

Goal setting is another thing I am not a proponent of. From where I sit, goals are a masculine term better suited for the football field, the boardroom or the budget review. It implies a win or lose proposition and ignores progress. Maybe my distaste for the word is a hangover from my corporate days when I witnessed teams chastised when they did not make budget, even though they were growing in double digit percentage points from one year to the next. Whatever the reason, I think it’s a term that lacks juice and seeks to motivate from fear.

That’s why when I am starting a new project - or in this case a new year - my list of what I want to create, achieve, and/or do differently is a list of desires.

Yes, desires. 

A distinctively feminine word that is guaranteed to make one smile. Which from where I sit, is a much better way to start creating change than a list of resolutions you made up in your head because you or someone else you know thinks these are things you should be doing.

We don’t hear much about desire lists in mixed company, because our culture equates desire most readily with sex as opposed to creating change in our lives. But if you look at the definition of desire - “a strong feeling of wanting” - it seems to me that is the place to start from if you are really serious about making something happen - professionally or personally.

  • Desires are something you can feel in every cell of your body -  not just a lofty goal that you might or might not really believe possible.
  • Desires get to the truth of what you want to achieve. If you pay attention your body will let you know if you are on to something  or not.
  • Desires imply that you can have fun along the way, a novel concept for task masters, but one that still will lead you to your - here comes that word again - desired outcome.
  • Desires invite the Universe to take a part in the co-creation of whatever it is you want to do.
  • Desires can still make you feel uneasy and at times a bit uncomfortable - but more likely not out of fear that you will fail, rather that you might succeed.
  • Desires force you to believe that what you want is indeed possible. 

This is not to say that I think creating change is as simple as writing a desire on a piece of paper and - poof - just like that it will magically appear.  

Desire requires discipline. In order for a desire to manifest, you still need a strategy and a game plan of specific steps to take towards that desire. Writing those steps down establishes true intention. Action is key. 

For example, if one of my desires is to write and publish two more books this year, that has no chance of happening if I don’t set aside time on my calendar each and every day to write. 

If I desire to be published in The New York Times, I will need to submit articles.
If I desire to make YOUR DIGITAL YOU available as an online course by March 1, I must start by upgrading my website to accommodate that.
If I desire to grow my ONE-on-ONE Consulting, I need more outreach and to make it easier for people to sign up.

See how that works?

Whether it is resolutions, goals or my preferred method of writing desires, if they are not front and center each day, we forget about them. They get lost and we become part of the 92% who never see what they want come true.

So this year I am trying something a little different. I wrote all of my 2015 Desires on scraps of paper. I read each one out loud and allowed myself the luxury of feeling that desire with my whole body before I folded it up and placed it inside of a mason jar that now sits on my desk and will every day this year.  

I might add a few new ones along the way. I will most certainly open that jar from time to time to see how I am doing.  But I will not lose sight of them. 

Special note: I have already taken a step towards one of my desires. It is now easier (and more affordable than ever) to sign up for a ONE-ON-ONE Consultation with me. Details here!

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