Wow. 2019 has come and gone. The older I get, the more time seems to fly.
Reflecting on 2019, how do you feel things went for you?
If you’re anything like me, you probably made some progress, had some setbacks, and didn’t meet a lot of the goals you set for yourself.
But here’s my problem with New Year’s Resolutions.
They’re all designed to fix you.
They’re designed to help us examine our flaws and get to fixing what has been. They look at the past and not the future.
The problem is that all of the things we want to fix are not bad things. Think about what most New Year’s Resolutions are.
- Eating healthy
- Reading books
- Make more money
- Get a new job
- Manage money well
- Count calories
- Don’t spend so much
- Pay off debt
All of these things are good things to do, which makes making a New Year’s resolution such an attractive option.
So what if we shift the perspective? What if you went into 2020 not thinking that you are in need of fixing?
You Don’t Need Fixing
Let me be blunt about this.
You don’t need to be fixed.
Thinking you need to be fixed is a path to guilt, shame, and regret. We’ve all made mistakes in the past, but we wouldn’t be human without them.
See, I believe all things work together for good so all the mistakes you have made are helping you build your future.
What happens when we get stuck in the guilt, shame, and regret of our past is that we refuse to move forward. It keeps our mind fixated on what happened rather than where you want to go.
It’s ok to learn from mistakes, but it does nothing for your future if you stay in your past.
As of this moment, tell yourself that you do not need fixing.
So where does the New Year’s Resolution fit into all this? And does it even fit at all?
This is where the perspective shift happens. Now that you know you don’t need fixing, you can use a New Year’s Resolution to help you become who you already see yourself becoming.
Your Goals Accelerate You to Your Future, Not Fix Your Past
That’s right. The purpose of any New Year’s Resolution is to accelerate you toward the future you see for yourself.
This is the perspective shift you need to make toward your goals. It is not about fixing your past, but about getting to the future you want.
So for me, I have a business goal of releasing four videos a month next year. I was supposed to be doing videos for my business all throughout 2019, but I never did.
My goal to release four videos a month in 2020 is not because I failed to do so in 2019. I could sit and sulk all day on that and not get anywhere.
Releasing four videos a month will help my business grow so I can quit my day job and pursue my purpose of helping people financially full-time.
That is my future and that is what my goal is designed to bring me toward.
What about other worthy goals? Let’s categorize these and look at them one by one.
This is also a goal of mine. I want to get healthy and stay there.
These goals usually involve losing weight, eating healthy, exercising, counting calories, or any combination of all of them.
I know a lot of people that have this goal in the new year. But again, most people create a New Year’s Resolution around getting healthy because they don’t like the way they look or feel.
They are trying to fix something. Allow me to be blunt again.
You look perfect just the way you are!
Not being happy with the way you look or feel can be motivating for a bit, but try looking toward your future for motivation instead.
Ask yourself “Where will this goal get me?” or “Where do I want to be in the future because of this goal?”
When you do this, the conversation changes. You get excited about your future rather than down about your past.
For me, I’m about twenty pounds overweight and I’ve been eating poorly for the past six months. My goal of losing weight and eating healthy is not because I don’t like the way I look.
I’ve set myself a goal to get healthy because it will directly affect how well I’m able to coach people financially. It will directly affect the length of time it takes me to write the book that I’m writing and will directly affect the quality of the content.
Getting healthy will give me the energy I need to build a business and not burn out so I can help many more people.
What will getting healthy allow you to do in your future?
Financial goals are goals like paying off debt, spending less, making more money, creating a budget, managing your money well, or any combination of these.
There are three questions to ask yourself with these types of goals in order to shift your perspective from past to future. They are:
- Who am I identifying with? Are you identifying with your past self (“Ugh! I overspend all the time. I’m an overspender!”) or are you identifying with your future self (“I only spend on what I want to spend on because I spend according to my values!”)? You have the choice.
- Where do I see myself financially in the future? Set specific goals around where you see yourself. Maybe you see yourself at a new job making double the income. You could see yourself as having paid off $6,000 in debt next year and freeing up some of your monthly income. What does your financial future look like at the end of the new year? Speak it as if it has already happened.
- What will I get because of these financial goals? Chances are, you’re going to sleep better, have peace of mind, and have confidence in your financial future. What else will you personally when (not if) you attain these goals?
These three questions put the focus on your future rather than your past. You don’t have to regret your past. The past is the past. It’s dead.
Ask yourself these questions to determine what goals are best for you.
Are you looking for a new job or to get promoted? Do you want to take steps to move into your preferred career? Maybe you want to be an entrepreneur and start your own business.
This is where career goals come in.
Some career-focused New Year’s Resolutions are learning a new skill, update your resume and LinkedIn profile, interview for three different positions in your field, or read books on leadership or business.
To focus your career goals on the future, only take from the past what will help you in the future.
For example, maybe you applied for a couple of positions in the past year and didn’t get them. Take any feedback on your interviews and apply them to your interviews in the future.
Leave the regret and feelings of not being good enough for the positions in the past.
Ask yourself “What can I learn from this career situation that will help me in the future?”
You can also ask yourself what skill or skills you don’t have now that will help you on your career path in the future.
It could be that you need a simple certificate to get promoted at work. Work to gain that certificate and set a time-based goal for when you want to attain it. Then, talk to your boss about that promotion.
Focus on where you want to be in the future, and only take from the past what will help you get there.
Reading is a great way to learn. Studies have shown it can lead to higher cognitive function, improve memory, and can even protect from cognitive degeneration like Alzheimer’s disease.
Where do you want reading to take you in the future?
For me, I have a goal to read one full book a month next year as well as read at least a little bit every day.
Most of the books I read are going to be non-fiction business, finance, or self-development books.
Reading these books will help accelerate me toward my future because it will continue to grow me in business and financial knowledge and keep my mindset positive and sharp.
If reading more is a goal of yours, where do you want reading to take you?
Reading is a great goal because it can literally take you anywhere.
Do you want to improve your mindset? Reading can get you there. Do you want to learn about business or leadership? Reading can get you there.
If you want to learn about finances, reading can get you there. Even if it’s just something to do to relax and turn off your brain by reading some fiction, reading can get you there.
Ask yourself where you want reading to take you in the future and use that to determine the books you want to read.
Happy New Year
It’s ok to look in the past to learn from mistakes, but you don’t need to fix anything about you. You are perfect the way you are.
A New Year’s Resolution will accelerate you toward your goals, and that’s exactly what it should do. It shouldn’t be as a result of wanting to fix what is in your past or how you acted this past year.
Instead, use your new year goals to put a focus on your future and help get you where you want to go.
Change the perspective. Change the conversation.
That’s how you change your life—not by fixing how you were, but by becoming who you are.
2020 is going to be a great year for both you and me. It’s the start of not only a new year but a new decade as well. It’s going to be a banner year!
Happy New Year! 🙂