I have nothing against goals and resolutions but I’ve stopped making them… well sort of.
I grew up with a fabulous father who is super goal oriented and who helped me frame the importance of setting out what you want the future to look like in order to achieve it, we’re all good up until there.
I spend a tremendous amount of time working with people on what their detailed vision and vivid picture of the future looks like in order for them to create action plans they can then follow, but what I’ve stayed away from is the long lists, which can sometimes take the form of goals and resolutions. Maybe it’s just me but half way through the year the list is somewhere on the bottom of my work pile and there is a definite lack of emotional connection to the outcomes, which inevitably turns to leaving them behind completely and a wondering of what went wrong?
I want to propose an alternative to traditional goal setting or even visioning for the moment and float the idea of making and completing more experiments.
If you’ve ever read about the great inventors such as Edison or Einstein you’ll know that at their core were two things, curiosity and resilience. Their process of moving ideas forward with thousands of small experiments, failures, adjustments and new experiments again. As Edison said “ I have not failed. I’ve just found 1000 ways that won’t work.” They were able to chip away at big ideas and inevitably bigger outcomes by using this process, and as it turns out it’s much easier to stick with something big when you can see small pieces of progress happening often, than continually looking at the whole enchilada and wondering where to start.
The other aspect we build during this process is less fear of failure or risk, thus allowing us to relax and get on with the action. I’m much more likely to allow for small failures to begin with and from those learning opportunities move onto to bigger and better risks failures and progress. If you’re not a science major or inventor, you might be inclined to say this doesn’t apply to me, but the reality is that great discoveries and outcomes come along because someone gathers their courage, jumps and tries something new, then adjusts from there.
My challenge for you as you think about starting the New Year with a bang, instead of creating a long list of goals why not start with three experiments you’re going to put in play? Once you’ve completed those tests, add your next three experiments, take the findings from those, do a check in with yourself and decide what direction will serve you best now in the area you want to succeed and move forward.
Evolving to fit with the changes in your life and realities of what matters most will often ensure that you work towards getting the great things you really want to accomplish and you may just come away feeling more of a creator while reaching your goals, and less likely to be searching for the paper at the bottom of the pile. The truth is when you throw life long curiosity into the mix you really can’t go wrong in finding your way to bigger and better ideas and solutions that move you to exactly the right place.