Dear Self

What does it mean to get Explicit?  If this is the key to making a New Years Resolutions, or really any goals successful, then explicit is important.

ex·plic·it – ikˈsplisit/


adjective: explicit

1.    stated clearly and in detail, leaving no room for confusion or doubt.

This will be our working definition.

     So let’s get explicit.  

When you think of your goal, begin by asking yourself, on a scale of 1-10, how important is this goal to me?  If you are not at a 9 or a 10, then why do you think this is a goal worthy of your time and attention?  What would it take to get the goal to a 10 for importance?  This is really important because we will often say something is important and then not follow through on it. This is the behavioral equivalent to saying, “I don’t really care about this…” and I am not in the habit of working with people on their lukewarm goals.  A lukewarm goal is basically a set up for failure.  Not the sort of failure where you really try to change something and you don’t succeed, but the sort of failure that you get from not really trying.  I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but those are two very different types of failures.  I don’t enjoy spending a lot of time, money, energy and not meeting a big goal, but at least I know I gave it my all.  In my mind, there is no failure with true effort.  When I was younger, I was a swimmer. I would spend hours a week at practice, back and forth laps, working on my stroke, a lot of time and energy was invested.  All this work didn’t mean that I won every race I entered, but without the time, commitment and effort, I wouldn’t have even started, let alone finished a race.  The more I trained, the better I did.

Let’s look at the example like I want to “Get Healthy”:

  • Is this a real goal, or is it a goal you think you ‘should’ have? Do you think it’s a 10 value goal?
  • How do you know you’re at a 10?
  • What does “getting healthy” mean to you?
  • What are the most important aspects of this goal for you?
  • What would it look like if you were behaving in a “healthy” way?
    • Remember, “healthy” may mean different things to different people.  Be clear about what you mean.
  • How will you know you have reached your goal?
  • What will you have done during the year, when you look back on this goal on Dec 31, 2015?

Maybe my goal over the next year is that I want to eat healthy, or maybe I want to exercise every week.  Do these goals sound interesting or juicy?  If the goal doesn’t excite you, it will be harder to commit to.  What would a juicy goal sound like?

You might start with: “I want to exercise every week” then keep writing what you want from the goal.

  • I want to move daily
  • I want to feel powerful in my body
  • I want to spend time outside breathing in the forest
  • I want to take my dogs on regular walks

If you sum up these wants, what might the goal sound like?

  • Daily tree time with my dogs, breathing in nature, makes me strong!

As you write what you want from the goal, you can begin to mold the goal into something that speaks to your soul.  Which goal sounds juicier to you?  I want to exercise every week  or Daily tree time with my dogs, breathing in nature, makes me strong!  I know which one I will be choosing.

What are the baby steps that I need to take to meet the goal “Daily tree time with my dogs, breathing in nature, makes me strong!”?  Break it down:

  • Commit to X number of times a week.
  • Put it in your schedule.
  • Find a friend who might want to join you.
  • Join a dog club that walks.
  • Or start your own dog walking Meetup.
  • Find the dog leashes.
  • Pick some places close to your house that you can go walking outside that make you feel excited.

Figure out all the little things that you need to do to help you meet this goal.  The baby steps help you map your plan for success.  This is true for every goal you ever set for yourself.

Time to pick a goal.  Next blog we will start looking at different goals and how to suss out whether they are 10’s for you.

complementary session

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