50% of 2018 is not going to feel great and that’s OK

prepared

I’m prepared for 2018. All 12 months, 52 weeks and 365 days of it.

Here we go.

And here’s what I can count on.

50% of 2018 is not going to feel great.

I’m already planning on it. I’m totally prepared.

There are going to be moments, perhaps whole days or an entire week at a time, that I will feel some sort of yucky, terrible feeling.

It’s guaranteed.

I’m planning on feeling frustration, sadness, self-doubt, worry, resentment, fear, insecurity and loneliness.

I’m expecting to feel unsettled, nervous, scared, and embarrassed too.

This knowledge brings me such relief.

Why?

Because I’m planning on fully living my human life.

I’m also predicting that 50% of the time, I’m going to feel totally off-the-charts amazing.

I will feel happy, fulfilled, joyful, excited, motivated, inspired, curious, compassionate, loving, peaceful, open, calm, clear and focused.

I will feel strong, forgiving, kind, generous, and confident.

And this knowledge also brings me such relief.

I already know what to expect.

The 50% of 2018 that doesn’t feel great will not be a surprise to me.

It already doesn’t seem like such a big deal, because I’m prepared for it to happen.

I’m not resisting it. Or fighting it.

I’m not planning to feel awful because I don’t feel amazing all the time.

I have decided that I will not chase happiness at all costs because that would mean that I would be giving up the experience of living my whole human life.

It would mean that I would choose the comfortable, easy, feel-good option every time.

And that would guarantee that I would end 2018 in exactly the same place where I began it.

And there’s too much that I want to do in 2018.

Accomplishing my goals…fully living my life…being more of who I want to be…requires that I allow those “50% of the time negative feelings” to be with me.

I accept them as part of my experience. I feel them fully.

They are the indicators that I am on the right path.

They remind me that I am human.

Present. Conscious. Alive. Participating. Growing. Thriving. EVOLVING.

Let’s get prepared for 2018 and all the emotions that will be part of it!

What are you planning to accomplish in 2018?
What will you have to do to make this happen?
What emotions are going to come up for you in the process? List all the positive and negative ones.
Can you imagine allowing the negative emotions to be part of your experience so that you can achieve your goals?
How can you plan to handle that discomfort now?

Are you looking for some extra support getting prepared for 2018 and learning to live with ALL of your emotions?

Why not book a complimentary {no obligation} Breakthrough Session to see how understanding and allowing all your emotions can significantly improve your chances of achieving your goals in 2018!

 

Decision + Commitment = Success

success

Last week, I gave you the assignment to look back on 2016 and really take ownership of your year. To review the calendar for success, big milestones, and accomplishments. Here’s the link to that post: https://katiepulsifercoaching.com/2016/12/30/reflection/

We know that you achieved a great deal and it is important to own it and celebrate it!

Then I asked you to spend time reflecting on what you were feeling most of the year.
I asked if you experienced any of these emotions on a regular basis during 2016.

Happy, Motivated, Excited, Confident, Focused, Content?
Or
Afraid, Worried, Detached, Sad, Guilty, Confused, Shame?

How do you feel?

This is one of the most important questions that we can ask ourselves.

Here’s why.

Our feelings tell us exactly what is going on in our minds and what we are thinking about. And all of our feelings inspire the action we take towards the results that we achieve. Everything we do in life is based on how we feel.
And everything we feel is based on our thoughts.
Our feelings tell us EVERYTHING!

When we feel happy and motivated, we take very different action than when we feel afraid and worried. If you are like me, then I am sure you can think of many specific examples in your life where this has been true.

Often when we are dealing with negative feelings, we take no action or worse, we indulge in pleasure-seeking activities to help us feel better. This is can be a very slippery slope because our strong desire to push away negative feelings and to replace them with more positive feelings can become so strong, that we can create a pattern of over-indulgence and self-sabotage. The results of over-indulgence and self-sabotage are always negative and require even more effort to get us back on track.

So what does all this mean as we head into 2017?

New Year. Fresh Start. Goals. Resolutions.

We are filled with such hope at this time of year. We see what is possible as we write down our resolutions. We tell ourselves that this is the year that we will really make a change. We can feel it. Or can we?

Most of us will struggle to follow-thru on the changes that we want to make or to achieve the goals that we set for ourselves.

And here’s why.

There is a big difference between “noticing” what we want and deciding what we want.
“Noticing” what we want is basically like saying….”I am going to try to achieve this goal in 2017 and let’s see how it works out.”

Hmmmm.

Being “interested” in a goal is like keeping the option to not follow-through, open. We let ourselves off the hook (ahead of time) before we try to accomplish it. We go only 1/2 in.

I know the results of this kind of goal-setting all too well because I see it in my new clients all the time. They are “interested” in making a change and start out with all kinds of conviction about it and then when any negative feelings surface (which they always do), they have a pattern of turning to an indulgence behavior to “feel better”, which ultimately sabotages their original goal.

Regardless of the client or the situation, the problem is always the same.
The problem is that there was never a decision to achieve the goal.
A decision to achieve the goal, no matter what.
Making a decision is absolutely critical to the goal-setting process.
A decision seals commitment.
Commitment is what produces success.

Here are some real client examples of what it looks like to be “interested” in a goal vs. deciding to achieve the goal.

Goal 1. To get in better shape / lose weight
Then indulge in over-eating and over-drinking when discomfort, boredom or loneliness show up.

Goal 2. To get out of debt
Then to indulge in over-spending and over-purchasing when fear and worry show up.

Goal 3. To get more organized
Then to indulge in clutter and being too busy to hide behind unhappiness.

Goal 4. To be more empowered
Then to indulge in being the victim, blaming others, gossiping and creating drama when we need attention from others.

Goal 5. To improve relationship with spouse
Then to indulge in trying to manipulate and change him to feel appreciated and valued.

Most of us know how to make decisions.
Where we struggle, is how to manage the negative emotions that come up for us.
And because we do not know how to sit with negative emotions and accept their presence in our lives, we do everything in our power to avoid them – even if that means sabotaging our own goals.

  • So as you think about what you want to accomplish in 2017, can you decide to go all in?
  • Can you make a decision to achieve your goal, no matter what?
  • Can you seal your commitment level with a decision to succeed?
  • Can you decide that you will manage all your emotions as they come up because you have committed to your goal?
  • Can you make your success inevitable, because you are not willing to sabotage your goal with other competing interests?

Yes, you can. I know you can.

And, if you’re thinking that you want some support in creating a commitment to support your big decision this year, why not schedule a complimentary Breakthrough Session? It’s a 30-minute conversation that may just be exactly what you need to inspire commitment and bring you closer to the success you’re wanting this year!

The Importance of Reflection.

reflection

It is a perfect week to look back – to scan over the months and days of 2016 – a time for reflection.

To think about all the things that took place during the year.

To give our time and attention to the details of our life.

We worked hard to create every moment. To schedule every appointment. To accomplish every task.

Why not take some time to assess what it all meant and to reflect on the cumulative effect of all our hard work?

Take 30 minutes and sit down with your 2016 calendar and look back on the year.

Review each month carefully – noticing the doctor’s appointments, scheduled meetings, morning drop-offs, vacations, performances, family reunions, errands, date nights, work trips and house projects.

Think about the flow of money in and out of your life.
Think about your health throughout the year, the sick days and the well days.
Think about the love you gave and the love you received.
Think about the emotions you experienced throughout the year.

How did you feel most of the time?
Happy? Motivated? Excited? Confident? Focused? Content?
Or
Afraid? Worried? Detached? Sad? Guilty? Confused?

Make notes and observations about 2016 and then answer these questions:

  • What moments are you most proud of and why?
  • Where did you struggle and why?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • How did you grow and evolve?
  • Where did you hold yourself back?

Take responsibility and ownership of all of it. Every single moment was created by you.

It’s not just the events that fill the blocks of time on our calendars that matter – it is the effect of all of those events, combined with our physical and emotional well-being that determine the success of our lives.

It doesn’t matter how much we accomplished (on the calendar) in 2016, if we spent a lot of the year feeling exhausted, lonely, stressed out and broke.

This reflection exercise is so important because it encourages us to look at the whole picture of 2016 and to be honest with ourselves about our results. And here is what is really important to understand – our results are always created by our own thinking. Seriously! All of our 2016 results began with our thoughts. So all of our positive results started with positive thoughts and all of our negative results started with negative thoughts.

It is so important to really grasp this concept before moving into any goal setting for 2017 because you have the opportunity to generate different results for yourself by changing your thoughts. But before you do any 2017 planning, I really encourage you to look back in detail at 2016 and reflect on the overall outcome. Be honest with yourself about your year. Be truthful. Own it. All of it. From this place, you will be able to be much more authentic in looking ahead to what you want to accomplish next year.

Next week, I will give you some specific exercises on how to create your 2017 goals, using your most valuable and sophisticated planning tool – your mind! Here’s the link to the exercises: https://katiepulsifercoaching.com/2017/01/06/success/

Until then – Happy New Year!

The Busy Syndrome.

people-pleasing

How many times do you hear people use the excuse that they are too busy?

Do yourself a HUGE favor and don’t use that as a reason for not doing anything ever again.

Your future will thank you. I promise!

“Busy” is the generalized excuse we use for not going after our dreams.

It’s the ultimate dream stealer.

It is important to remember that we define our busy.

We are the ones who choose what we will do with our time and our day. We create this state for ourselves.

It is important to look at it regularly, question it, and decide if it is in line with how we truly want to be living.

Instead of saying that I was too busy to work out, say, “I chose to lie on the couch and watch TV instead of working out.” Or, “I chose to see my daughter’s play instead of going for a walk.”

Everything you do in your life is a choice even if it doesn’t feel like it.

You choose to go to work, you choose to take care of your family and you can choose to take care of yourself.

“Busy” is a dark hole of vagueness that will never help you get a handle on anything. Be specific so you can identify what it is in your life that is and isn’t working.

Kick “busy” to the curb.

One of my clients was a high-level executive who was too busy to do anything she really wanted. I asked her to define busy. She went on to describe her day of running errands, going to meetings, picking up her kids, going to the store, making dinner, doing laundry, and answering clients’ calls. She had lumped these activities into a seemingly unchangeable busy.

Busy was living her life, but it was at the expense of what she really wanted.

I suggested she change her plan by writing down everything important to her, putting these priorities at the top of the list and then shifting activities from the busy pile to the bottom. At first, she thought it would be impossible to add even one more thing to her day. By evaluating how she was spending her time, she saw ways she could delegate and eliminate some of her busy.

It really worked. She had the mantra, “Me first, busy second.”

The ultimate result was that she was able to fulfill her own needs and actually handle the rest with much more peace because she saw it as a choice, not a forced reality of life.

Don’t confuse being busy with living your life.

One of the best secrets to eliminating busy from your life is to learn how to say no. Many times we say yes when we really want to say no. We go to parties and functions we don’t want to attend, we buy things that we do not need and we eat food we don’t want to eat.

When should you say no? Whenever it’s the truth.

Living a life that is based on truth is freeing and wonderful.

You eat when you are truly hungry, you spend time with people you truly like and you live a life you truly want. When you begin to tell the truth about your real desires and real emotions, you can begin to live your truth.

The truth really does set you free and allows you to get the right perspective on how you spend your time. “Busy” will stop becoming an automatic excuse.

And you will instead experience the joy of creating the life you want to live.

Do you want some help kicking “busy” to the curb in your life? Book a complimentary Breakthrough Session and we can recreate your priority, so you are spending more time choosing to do exactly what you want and less time using your”busyness” as an excuse.

Do you want your future or your past?

past

Do you want your future or your past?

It’s an interesting question to consider. And here’s why.

One of the main causes of current problems in our lives is our programming from our past. Our past is where all of our current thinking was learned.

From the time you were young all the way until now, you have adopted beliefs and thought patterns mostly unconsciously. Now as an adult, you may be very skilled at thinking those thoughts without even realizing how they are affecting you.

In fact, some of your past programming is not only creating your current thinking, feeling and action patterns, but it is also controlling your focus.

Often, I will have clients who spend most of their sessions with me talking about their past. They will recall stories from their childhood, things they experienced as young adults, and in previous relationships, etc.

Their past-focused approach prevents them from moving forward. It perpetuates evidence for unconscious programming and doesn’t allow for deeper awareness or more deliberate present thinking.

These clients typically have a hard time dreaming and thinking about the future. Their past programming dominates and distracts any opportunity for exciting change and growth.

Here are some past-focused beliefs that my clients have shared with me:

I am just this kind of person
I’ve never been able to do that
This always happens to me
This is just the way life is
It’s what I’ve always known
It’s never going to change

Most of the time, my clients have no idea that they are so focused on the past.

The tricky part about being past-focused is that they are really good at it because they have been practicing it for many years. It’s such an ingrained way of thinking and they do not even realize that you are doing it.

Besides inhibiting growth, change and even dreaming – past-focused thinking prevents us from trying new things.

When we look to our past for confidence and for evidence we can succeed at something new, we will not be able to find it. We can only find confidence and evidence for the things we are already good at doing.

Confidence can come from new beliefs in new things, not from our past.

We need to tap into the energy of our present and our future in order to create momentum. We dream of something we want by imagining something in our future. Even if we want to recreate something we’ve had in our past, we need to remember it’s a new creation and not a repetition.

If we only look for evidence in the past for our confidence we need to move forward, we may not be able to see the potential for change. When we are in our past-focused loop, we can’t find the solutions.

The solutions are always found in the present by changing our minds about what is possible and what can be different.

When we are past-focused we are stuck in patterns that don’t serve our growth. When we are present and future-focused, we are taking control of our thinking and deciding how to think deliberately moving forward.

One of the best ways to focus your mind on the future is by setting goals and dreaming about you want in the future.

If you are ready to start choosing your future over your past, book a complimentary Breakthrough Session and I will show you how. Let’s talk about the past programming that you are ready to let go in pursuit of a future that you are really excited about.

a new month.

ask yourself this question life coaching confidence self care

Beginning of November.

A time to reflect on what we are working towards. A new month and a chance to re-evaluate what we want to accomplish. A chance to course-correct and to get back on track to end the year in a strong way. Or perhaps, an opportunity to create some priorities for ourselves for the first time, all year.

It doesn’t matter where we are at, whether we have been consistently working on our goals or we haven’t created any yet, there is still time to make the next 30 and 60 days really count!

When we sit down to do this work, we need to distinguish between “priorities” and “to do lists”. I teach my private clients this concept and it really helps them to focus on what really matters in their lives – to help clear away the clutter of obligation and to minimize the distractions that inevitably arise.

I will share a story about my client who wants to bring more money into her life. When she hired me, she was struggling to pay her bills and everything related to her money situation is very stressful. At the beginning of our work together, she identified that she wanted to double her income in 2016. She knew that this would be a very serious stretch goal, it would take tremendous focus and accountability. She wanted to figure out how to do the hard work associated with achieving this money goal way more than she wanted to feel stress, pressure and anxiety about not having enough money to pay her bills. She was committed. So we began with creating her goal: Double income in 2016.

Next we created her “priorities” list – the things / tasks that she would prioritize because they were in alignment with her over-arching goal of doubling her income in 2016. Priorities support goals 100% of the time. Priorities become the road maps and create the structure behind the goal setting. Priorities help us to stay focused and to provide the necessary restraint to achieve what we most want.

My client created her 5 priorities that would support her goal of doubling her income in 2016. This included the specific ways that she would earn money and save money. The priorities were very straight-forward and clear. She had created her plan. And then she went to work on outlining the steps underneath each priority and learned that this is where she needed to direct her focus every month, every week, every day.

There have been moments when my client has gotten off-course with her money goal this year. Each time it has happened was because she allowed her “to-do list” to take over. She hadn’t meant to abandon her money goal and never forgot how important it was to her, it’s just that other things created moments of momentary distraction. Other things became temporarily more important.

And this happens to us all the time. Doesn’t it? Our lives are so full and there is so much going on in the world around us, that it is easy to lose track of what we say is important to us. We never intend to turn our back on our goals and yet we do it all the time. We want to stick to our plan and our priorities and yet finding the time can sometimes feel impossible – especially when we allow our “to-do lists” to take over our lives.

I want to explain exactly what I mean by “to-do lists”. I am referring to them as the task lists that we create every week. The lists that wake us up in the middle of the night. The impossibly long lists of errands, shopping, driving, dropping off, volunteering, cooking, cleaning, helping out….that run our day-to-day lives. These lists dictate our schedules, our free time and set a precedent for how we organize ourselves. If left unchecked, they can take over everything.

Now I am not suggesting that we can abandon these “to-do lists” all together – that would be impossible – we need to have clean laundry, food in the pantry, our cars inspected. We need to go to the dentist, pick up a birthday card and volunteer at school or in our communities. These are the realities of life. And they cannot become the excuse we use to not make time for what we say we really want. I know that when a client says they want something and yet they are spending time on other things, it is because they are caught up in their “to-do lists” and think that they have no other choice. They believe that there is no extra time to devote to working towards their goals.

I believe that you always have a choice. I believe that there is always more than enough time. I believe that when you identify your goals and the priorities that support it, you can look at your “to-do list” with a different perspective, that you can un-obligate yourself from all the extra and unnecessary items that are not in alignment with what you really want.

So, I know that my client with the money goal is starting today and this new month, revisiting her priorities. She is evaluating her progress and seeing where she needs to do to push harder, shift attention and focus. She has taught herself how to put her priorities first and fill her “to do list” around it. She is determined to reach her goal this year and she is very close!

What can you do today on this first day of the month, to check in on your priorities?

How do you want to finish this year?

What would you like to accomplish?

Where can you carve out time from your “to-do list” and work on your priorities?

There is still plenty of time – to prioritize what matters to you most. To work towards it and most importantly, to experience achieving it.

Fall Goals.

Katie Pulsifer Coachingask yourself this question life coaching confidence self care
It’s the time of year again, signaled by the end of August, back to school and fall around the corner – the time when we often re-evaluate routines and patterns, and consider making changes. It can literally feel like the new year and awaken in us, the desire to set new goals or resolutions about how we will move into the new season and the last four months of the year. It can be an inspiring time. Full of possibility and hope, for bad habits to be replaced by good ones – to foster more structure, follow-though and consistency in our daily lives.

Exciting, right?

Absolutely!
And then we get to work creating our new fall routines – getting organized, signing up for activities and classes, cleaning and purging from summer vacation, travel and camp. This will keep us very pre-occupied for the month of September. The days will be full and schedules packed, and we will let ourselves believe that this means that we are making real change and progress towards our goals.
But this often isn’t the kind of change that we are ultimately craving. This is just busy-ness. Busy-ness being recreated all over again, like last fall and the fall before that. We step right back into the same pattern of over-scheduling and over-whelming ourselves with huge to-do lists and obligations. We forget to make time for ourselves and to think about the bigger goals that we secretly desire. This can be challenging and very frustrating. It can be difficult to figure out what it is that we really want for ourselves, especially when we become so habituated to being busy.
Here is what I like to suggest if you want to move into the rest of this year feeling more empowered, grounded and connected with your goals. This is a great exercise to put in place this week of transition, before fall really starts.
Answer these two questions:
  • What are my strengths? Make a list of them.
  • How can I better utilize my strengths to create a happier, more joyful and successful fall?
By answering these two powerful questions, you will generate amazing feelings about yourself, realize what is possible and increase your excitement motivation to follow through on goal-setting.
Now answer this question.
  • What are my weaker qualities that need strengthening, compassion and attention in order to reach my goals for this fall? Choose three.
This is a great question to help make your goals become even more crystal clear.
Once you have answered all the questions above and have chosen the three qualities you would like to strengthen, follow this 3-step process:
Step 1: Write a Fall Goal Card for each goal with a positive affirmation to go along with it (keep it in the present tense).
Step 2: Put your Fall Goal Cards where you will see them, every day. Look at them a couple of times every day (remind yourself what matters and why).
Step 3: Choose three actions you can take this week to begin to strengthen a quality within yourself that needs your attention (add extra love and compassion).
As you consider the qualities you would like to strengthen, remember that the quickest way to create a better life is to focus on taking action. Release yourself from focusing on what you haven’t done or still need to do. Even the smallest of action steps will create amazing momentum. Momentum combined with everything that you captured on your list of strengths, will help boost your confidence and get you closer to achieving your goals.

Commitment & Discipline

Welcome to February – the month of commitment and discipline! Many of you created (or tried to create) new routines and rituals in January, either through my 30 Day Self Care Challenge or through your own resolutions for the New Year. February is the time when you will be tested. It is the month when you will consider how committed you are to follow through on what you’ve started. The month when you will evaluate your level of discipline. It’s natural and normal, and believe me, we are all pondering these very same things right now. Here is how I am making sense of it all for myself, as I reflect back to last month and then also look ahead.

What goal did I accomplish in January?
Why did I accomplish it?
How did I feel when I accomplished it?
Am I willing to honor this commitment for another month based on how I felt when I accomplished it?
Is there opportunity to create deeper commitment or discipline?

Where did I struggle to accomplish a goal that I had set in January?
Why did I struggle?
Was I really committed to the goal in the first place?
What would my life be like if I continue to choose to not accomplish this goal?
What do I need to think and feel in order to get back on track with this goal?

As I think through the questions and formulate my answers, I do so without judgement about myself and let go of any old negative stories about my lack of follow-thru, because I know they won’t help me. If I fell short in goal-setting in the past, I become curious about why, and I don’t beat myself up about it. What good would that do? Beating myself up never motivates me to take different action going forward. So, I keep asking myself curiosity questions while withholding judgement, so that I can learn about myself and most importantly, why, when and how I get the results I want. How do I then apply those learnings to commitments where I did not meet my own expectations? The answers to those questions, become the motivation that drives my focus for February, because I am committed to understand how and why I do what I do, and I am disciplined in following through on the commitments that I am truly invested in. In February, I am choosing compassion and curiosity for myself over judgement and mis-aligned expectation.

What will you choose?

What does commitment and discipline in February look like for you?

Goals. Part 2

Well, I have finally completed writing my goals for the new year. I feel like I have been doing the research on these goals for months, figuring out what is most important to me, where I want my life to be heading, and what keeps getting in my way.

When I finally sat down to write the goals out, the process was actually very quick. 12 focused, clear and achievable goals for 2016.

Will they be easy? Absolutely not.

Am I slightly scared? Most definitely.

These goals push me to get to know that future version of myself – the one who accomplishes things, commits and follows through. The one who doesn’t make excuses or shows up late. We had a interesting little chat, the two of us, during the goal writing process. She resembles me and yet, walks taller. She speaks up more often, laughs more deeply and evokes a stronger sense of self-confidence. She knows what she is talking about. She is convincing. She makes stuff happen. She is focused. And I want to be her!

As I mentioned in Goals. Part 1, I spent time with these questions to help really honor that future version of myself that I am aspiring to become. Here is 1 of my 12 goals.

The goal.

Participate in a highly acclaimed life coach training program in the first half of 2016.

Why is this goal important to me?

To expand my coaching knowledge base and skill set – to be able to effectively help more women achieve their desired style of living.

How will I feel when I have achieved it?

Immensely proud. More confident in my abilities. More experienced. More expansive and open to new ideas. More connected to others in this industry.

Who will I be after I have accomplished this goal?

A coach who has trained with one of the top master coaches in this field. A coach who is able to better serve her future clients. A woman who is able reach her financial goals to provide a freedom-based lifestyle for herself and her daughter.

What will I be capable of after I have achieved this goal?

Specializing in my field. Creating incredible coaching programs. Networking with other coaches. Reaching my full potential.

What do I need to think about myself in order to make accomplishing this goal possible?

I am capable. I am qualified. I deserve a seat at the table. I have a lot to offer. I can receive feedback about my coaching and not make it mean something negative about me or my abilities.

What am I willing to do each month, each week and each day to stay committed to this goal?

Do the homework. Show up on time. Get rest, eat well, exercise, limit wine, and take exceptional care of myself during intensive training periods. Be open to learning new things. Implement feedback and suggestions on how to improve and grow.

What am I willing to give up in order to support achieving this goal?

Procrastinating and not waiting until the last minute to do the work. Fear of speaking up in groups when I don’t know anyone. Using “I don’t know how” or “leaning new technology is so hard” as excuses.

Who will support me if I struggle to maintain focus on this goal?

My best friend, Kirstin. She know what this means to me. She knows what I have done to make this goal a reality for 2016. She knows that I do not want to fall short.

What I love about these questions, is that they help prove that I am already committed to my own success. I am already connected to how I will feel when I have accomplished the goal. I know what my distractions will be, so I can deal with them, when they come up and yes, they will come up. But, I have my own back on this goal from the very beginning. I also have a buddy in place when I need a little extra encouragement. I understand my investment and what success will feel like. This is what will motivate me, day after day and move me closer to becoming that future self that I admire so much.

Goals. Part 1

There is a lot of focus on goals right now. The time when we make our resolutions for the new year. Our promises to ourselves to do better. We begin full of hope and promise. We are excited because this is the year that we will commit! Unlike every other year, this will be year that we will follow through! And inside there is a tiny little voice already laughing and saying “here we go again”. Strong start and poor finish. Every time.

We all have great intentions. We are intelligent and highly competent. We have exciting careers. We are raising families. We are kind people. We get so much done in a day. We’ve got this. We are ready. This year will be different. Right?

So why do we set New Year’s resolutions? What are we hoping to achieve anyway?

We set goals because we want to feel better. The desire to feel good is a very powerful motivator. So why is sticking to our resolutions so hard?

I believe that the reason that we struggle with the following through part, is because we fail to really connect to how we are going to feel when we accomplish the goals that we set for ourselves. We don’t visualize ourselves as the person who achieves what we set out to do. We don’t get to know that future version of ourselves who truly feels better.

So how do we do this?

Identify your top goals for 2016. Then ask yourself these questions for each goal.

Why is this goal important to me?

How will I feel when I have achieved it?

Who will I be after I have accomplished this goal?

What will I be capable of after I have achieved this goal?

What do I need to think about myself in order to make accomplishing this goal possible?

What am I willing to do each month, each week and each day to stay committed to this goal?

What am I willing to give up in order to support achieving this goal?

Who will support me if I struggle to maintain focus on this goal?

Now it’s time for me to follow my own advice. Off to write my 2016 resolutions and goals. In Goals. Part 2, I will share my answers to these questions. I want to make sure that I follow through on what is important to me, all year long.