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Posts Tagged ‘New Years Resolutions’

Most people start the new year setting goals conveniently disguised as New Year’s resolutions. However, people who do this are focused on the wrong thing. Before they set their goals or resolutions, it behooves them to first establish a North Star.

 

polaris-north-starJust as it is used in nautical terms, your North Star is a fixed point you can use to guide your life and ensure that you are heading in the right direction. It can serve as an unshakeable marker that will guide you through the turbulent waters of your life.

 

With that in mind, before setting your goals it is beneficial to think about and declare your North Star. If you don’t, you are essentially sailing rudderless, aimlessly floating in an ocean of possibility hoping you will reach a destination you desire. Or even worse, you may end up setting goals that are not aligned with your North Star, thus setting a course in the “wrong” direction.

 

My inspiring friend Dan Galperin (www.manpowerproject.com) once asked me a question that serves as a beautiful and fun way to establish your North Star. He asked:

 

What are the 5 impossible goals of a lifetime that would blow your mind?

 

Once you have declared these lifetime goals, they can serve as your North Star and guide your annual goals. Your goals each year should align with, support, and further your North Star – even if by just a few small steps at a time.

Here are the 5 Impossible Lifetime Goals I declared this year as I set my North Star.

  1. Plant 10,000 trees.
  2. Have $5 million in the bank.
  3. Become a Best-selling author.
  4. Be in a relationship with a stunningly attractive (inside and out), amazingly sensual, incredibly spiritual woman.
  5. Speak in front of 10,000 people.

Rather than struggle with your New Year’s resolutions this year, most of which are broken because they are not inspired by a person’s North Star, why not start 2017 by electrifying your life with a declaration of your North Star!

 

“Most people overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can do in a year.”

– Matthew Kelly (& Bill Gates)

 

When dealing with goals, especially lifetime goals, don’t get overwhelmed by the magnificence you are declaring for yourself. You do not need to accomplish everything by tomorrow. Thinking that way is a sure recipe for frustration, which will likely lead to you giving up.

 

Rather, take your time and design a thoughtful, measured plan taking you from Point A (January) to Point B (December). Break your goals into smaller milestones which you can accomplish over the course of the whole year. By doing so, you will ensure your success and witness exhilarating progress toward your dreams.

 

This is the best way to succeed for the year . . . and your lifetime!

 

READ HOW THIS APPLIES TO YOUR BUSINESS here.

 

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I’ve been a big fan of Stephen Covey for quite some time now – just over 10 years.  Mission statements, goals that serve that mission statement, putting first things first, 7 habits, and more.  I religiously set and reviewed my goals every year to ensure that I was heading in the direction of my dreams.  Career goals, number of clients, how much money I wanted to make, how often I wanted to exercise, how many dates to go on to find the right relationship . . . blah, blah, blah.  They all appeared to serve my life and support my desires phenomenally well.

 

That is until I realized that my life wasn’t working.  Something was drastically missing.

 

It all sounded and looked good, but the reality was 8 years ago when I once again embarked on the robotic misadventure to set my annual goals, my soul screamed at me.  “This isn’t working! Why do you keep doing this!  You are not happy and this is not giving you what your soul truly craves.”  I was a bit shocked at the truth of this revelation, but the tears running down my face, and the frustration I felt throughout my body told me that my soul was right.

 

So I took a deep breath, sat quietly, and just listened.  What happened next was truly magical. 

 

Intention showed up.

 

The Power of Flow

There is a subtle, yet dramatic distinction between goals and intentions.  It is a distinction so powerful that it gave me my life, yet in that moment it seemed as though all that was, suddenly vanished.  Career, number of clients, financial goals.  Gone.   Exercising 3 times a week, yoga, number of dates.  Gone.  It was all gone with the exception of one simple statement.  A theme.  “Fun, Faith, & Surrender.  Feel rather than think.  Believe rather than question.”   

 

My goals no longer fell under the typical categories of career, financial, lifestyle, and relationships, but rather the more esoteric, indefinable intentions titled spiritual, play, and connection.  I felt as though my life was truly turned on its head.  Structure disappeared, and in its place magic showed up.  The next two years for me were nothing short of amazing.  In some ways, I would even say unbelievable.  I began to fulfill all my desires and a destiny I felt since I was a child. 

 

None of this is that surprising when one considers this simple formula:

 

Intention + Attention = Miracles

 

Hold an intention in your heart, give it some focus and attention, then watch the miracles appear.  And that is what started showing up in my life.  Miracle after amazing miracle – each more powerful than the one before it.

 

As I distinguish it, a key difference between a goal and an intention is attachment.   With goals, there is a basic belief that there is a logical path to follow, perhaps even a path that must be followed, if you are to get from point A to point B.  In order to achieve X, I must do Y.  Don’t get me wrong, to a large extent that works.  It just doesn’t allow for the power of “flow” to show up – that mysterious energy that seems to oil all your efforts with a sense of ease as it brings you all you desire.  With goals, we tend to be obsessed with following the steps and being in control in order to make things happen.  Never have I known obsession or control to lead to a joyful life.

 

With an intention however, that rigidly defined path disappears and is replaced by a sense of freedom and endless possibility.  With intentions, you simply declare for yourself what it is you wish to create in your life, hold it in your heart and consciousness, and then let go and allow for the path to emerge.  The great thing about this approach is that it allows for many more options to show up in your life, any one of which may lead you to the result you desire.

 

There is No Room for Judgement

Another key distinction between goals and intentions is that intentions eliminate judgment.  With goals, we tend to set milestones and constantly measure and judge ourselves against them.  If we meet them, we are successful.  If we don’t, we are a failure.  It’s hard enough that others judge us, and that we measure ourselves based on what our peers are doing.  Do we really need to add the pressure of judging against ourselves? 

 

All this judgment eliminates the ability to be in flow; to connect with the Universe and allow the miracles to show up.

 

With intention, there is no judgment, just inquiry.  At the end of the year I ask myself 3 simple questions.

1)  Did my intention come to fruition?

2)  If not, I seek to understand why.  How did the intention serve me?  How did it not?

3)  Do I want to carry any part of that intention forward into the next year?

 

Without fail, I find that not only is my intention fulfilled, but due to the free, unattached, and non-judgmental approach I take, I always seem to achieve something I desired even more in my life, but did not know it at the time.  Something of which I wasn’t even aware I longed for.  And it is usually that hidden accomplishment that satisfies my heart, soul, and life more than anything I could have ever imagined.

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