Resolutions and Renewable Energy

OK, so you may want to read the previous posting, just to get up to speed for this one.

Question: When goals aren’t enough, because we’ve lost interest in even small steps, how do we renew energy so that our resolution continues to move forward?

Answer: We have to understand where renewable energy comes from and how to tap into it.


Every one of us grows tired–even in the midst of pursuing noble dreams. When we’ve lost the will to press forward, and yet we are convinced it’s not time to quit, we must get back to the “why” of the dream. Renewable energy is found not in the small goals but in the “why” of the initial dream. Remember, in the last post, we realized that the initial dream comes with a woosh of energy. The problem is that without small steps, that woosh quickly fades. True as that may be, the fact remains that the initial “why,” the initial reasons we made a resolution to change are still important–very important. And, when you’ve lost the sustainable energy of small goals, you have to REMIND yourself of the larger and more important reasons you engaged in the change in the first place.

When you’re depleted, a goal alone just won’t do. You need a bigger reason to keep going. That bigger reason is found back in the primal dream–the place where your need to change and your desire to change created an explosion of energy.

Get back to those larger reasons and you will find your energy renewing.

Why did you decide to start exercising? To be healthy? Yes. To live a longer and more abundant life? Yes. To enjoy 30 or 40 minutes of pain and sweat? I doubt it. So, when the short term goal (the pain and sweat) is hard to fathom, get back to the bigger reasons. “I get on this exercise machine because I want to see my kids graduate from college.” Or, “I hit the pavement to run because the vitality it produces in me makes me more alert and ready to change the world around.” 

When it’s hard to keep going, you have to reconnect to the bigger “why’s” and refuel your booster rocket (today’s goal) with something stronger (tommorrow’s victory).

Resolutions and Renewable Energy2008-12-31T14:41:36-05:00

“Goal” Out Your Resolutions–Finding Needed Energy

This week we’re considering the way to achieve resolutions. So often, we make resolutions out of strong desire for change, but don’t do the necessary anchoring to make those dreams reality. Yesterday, we started thinking about the role of goals.

Goals turn dreams and resolutions into smaller steps, each one creating a path toward that success. When we create meaningful goals we do a couple of important things. First, goals help us break the dream down into small, bite-sized actions that are attainable. Creating goals is nothing new and there are hundreds of techniques out there to help with the creation of specific and attainable goals. The second reason (not talked about as much), is arguably the most important reason why goals assist us in the achievement of dreams.

                  Simply, goals create sustainable energy.


Here’s the deal. The initial desire to achieve a dream or resolution creates a burst of energy. We see a gap between the real and the ideal and we want to close it. We catch a glimpse of what it would look like to live in that better place. And, we believe that change is possible. Woosh…initial energy floods in and gives us a push. But, that woosh of original energy dies fast. That’s why resolutions are so easy to break. The energy from the initial desire is not strong enough to sustain us through the process of change. This is where goals help to sustain energy.

Smaller goals are like booster rockets. As we accomplish each smaller goal, the booster rocket fires and keeps us moving toward the larger dream. As we see results, we gain more fuel to continue.

Of course, at some point, even the smaller booster rockets (goals) become dull and boring. We want to quit because we do not see enough change occurring fast enough to keep us engaged in the process. This is another reason why resolutions fail. We lost interest even after making some initial progress. Sustainable energy is not enough. Renewable energy is also needed.

Stay tuned.

“Goal” Out Your Resolutions–Finding Needed Energy2008-12-30T19:19:26-05:00

“Goal” Out” Your Resolutions

OK, well it’s time–time to make resolutions. Of course, some of us think resolutions are silly in that they set us up for failure. Others make them and don’t keep them after say, a day or two. But, there is a third group that integrates the resolution into their lives and finds real success. Why does the third group make resolutions work? Do they have more willpower? Maybe. Do they have more resource at hand? Maybe, but probably not. Are they smarter? Doubt it. What makes the difference?

Here’s one

Whether people in the third group do it consciously or not, they “anchor” their resolutions to specific actions. They “goal out” their resolution into smaller, attainable steps that can be measured and celebrated.There are a few of us that can naturally just do the anchoring without much thought, but for most of us, we need to spend intentional time on the specifics. It’s at this point, a lot of resolutions fail.


Resolutions are usually born out of some desire to change. Perfect. We all have those areas we want to change. Maybe we need to lose 10 pounds, be more kind, or pay more attention to our family and friends. Whatever it might be, resolutions are a representation of a more ideal state. It’s like imagining an upgraded picture of yourself. The upgraded picture comes with desire, but not directions. Those, directions, we must craft. That’s where goals come in.

More on that tomorrow…


“Goal” Out” Your Resolutions2008-12-29T15:05:55-05:00

Creating Your Future

I stumbled onto a book of quotes yesterday. The title of the book is, What’s Next.

It’s your typical book of inspiring quotes–a mixture of thoughts about life and work. As I thumbed through the slender volume, I came across this quote,

Your biggest competition is your own view of your future.

There are at least two ways this quote can be helpful in our view of the future. First, there is the idea of self-limitation. We limit ourselves because we construct, in our minds, a narrow future. Our dreams are domesticated, if we dream at all. When dreams shrivel, life becomes dull, even boring (something I get from the quote). The “competition” of our future may be an unwillingness to imagine a bigger world, a more interesting and worthwhile pursuit. So, as Thoreau said we must, “Go confidently in the direction of your (our) dreams! Live the life you’ve (we’ve) imagined. As you (we) simplify your (our lives) life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”

The other helpful view of the quote is to view the idea of competition not as self limiting, but self expanding. What if my “competition” happens to be a robust and big dream? What if I expect to succeed? What if I’m planning on making the difference I know I can make? What if my dream, my worth-getting-up-early-and-going-to-bed-late-dream, becomes my competition because it pushes me to be my best? Then, my view of my future is not puny, but large and full of adventure. The quote reminds me that my best thoughts about my future can be the inspiration and energy I need to create the very world I long to live in.

The first question then is, will my view of my future increase my desire for success or cause me to shrink back from opportunities. The choice in mine (and yours).



Creating Your Future2008-12-28T12:41:13-05:00

Learning is Good

I’m using Squarespace for the development and hosting of my website. It’s fantastic, intituitive and easy to use. There is still a learning curve to the web-based program. And, that’s a good thing. I’m reminded of how fun it can be to learn–and how important it is to be a curious learner. In fact, it’s one of the essential dynamics of a person who lives and leads well.

Learning is Good2008-12-24T14:51:29-05:00