The Pessimist's Guide to Goal Setting (Episode 26) - leahremillet.com

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The Pessimist’s Guide to Goal Setting (Episode 26)

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Description: If you love goals and New Year’s resolutions, this episode will give you even more reasons to love them. I will give you some tips and strategies to make reaching your goals even easier. If you are one of those anti-goal-setters, I believe I can convince you that setting goals and taking another look at New Year’s resolutions would be a very good idea!

This will help:

👉 The excited goal-setter create simple processes
👉 The anti-goal-setter feel better about declaring a goal out loud
👉 Anyone, at any time (it doesn’t have to be the New Year), create a plan to accomplish those goals

In this episode: 

1:22 Why Most People Fail at New Year’s Resolutions
5:46 Setting a Goal Gets You Closer to What You Want
7:37 Declare and Make it Clear
9:00 Increasing Your Chances For Success
10:07 Identifying Roadblocks
13:26 Readjusting for New Blocks
14:19 Commitment is the Key to Success
18:16 Creating Processes That Are Simple

Focus on the Outcome Instead of the Process

Let’s start by talking about one of the big reasons most people fail when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. When we know why something isn’t working, we can then fix the problem.

Most people focus on the outcome instead of the process. They get really excited about an outcome they want, but they give almost no attention to the process they need to get to their desired results.

A study done by the University of Scranton, known in the scientific community as “the study of the effectiveness of New Year’s resolution,” studied a group of New Year’s resolvers and a group of non-resolvers. The results were crazy. The resolvers, the ones willing to declare their goal, reported higher rates of success than the non-resolvers. In fact, at the six-month mark, 46% of the resolvers were continuously successful compared to only 4% of non-resolvers.

If you take a stance of not declaring, writing, or sharing your goals, it can lead to your demise. The success rate of those who state their goals is hard to ignore.

So how can you be more successful with your goals this year?

Define the Goal

The first step is to declare your goal. We need to write it out and be clear about what we want. It can’t be abstract. We have to say, “this is what I want and I’d like it by this time point.”

Now, this is a guesstimate, so your timeframe doesn’t have to be perfect. But isn’t it awesome if you make progress and get closer to what you wanted? Because right now you’re at the starting point, you’re at zero, there’s no growth. Any forward motion gets you that much closer to your goal and just by being willing to declare or set intentions, we get closer to our desired results.

Build the Plan

I believe so many people fail to get the results they want because they stop at the goal. They are focused on the outcome and they completely forget to create a process to get there. Defining the goal is step one. Step two is to build the plan — the process. What are you going to do? When are you going to do it? Where does it fit in? You can’t tell yourself you will squeeze it in here or there. It has to be scheduled and you have to know where and when it’s going to happen.

I have two goals that I have set year after year. One of them I reach every year, and one I don’t. Every year. I fail every time. That’s the truth. I fail at some of my goals and I know exactly why. One has a very clear process with scheduled time to make it happen and the other one does not. The key to your success could really be as simple as that.

Plan For What Will Block Us

Step three is to plan for what will try to block us. As we start approaching our goal, we need to look out for what might get in our way. Here’s an example. I realized that running in the morning is hard for me. My defenses are down. It’s really easy to want to stay in that warm, comfortable bed.

If anything wasn’t working out just right, it was easy for me to want to stay in bed. Even the simplest things like not being able to find a rubber band to get my hair in a ponytail, would make me say, “forget it.” There is a very simple solution. I just put a rubber band on top of all my workout clothes. Literally, everything was there and ready for me, and that made it really easy.

Identify your blocks and create solutions for them that will help you to be more successful.

Setting Rewards

I like having something that I can look forward to. Sometimes it’s the result itself, but sometimes it’s not. It’s fun to have little checkpoints or rewards for myself. I might think, “if I keep doing this for 30 days and I don’t miss a day, I’m going to give myself a fun reward that I can look forward to.”

Readjusting For New Blocks

This is what I think we really miss. We don’t readjust for new blocks. We start out by thinking about the things that will get in our way, but the truth is that we don’t know what those things might be until we actually start the process. Once I start, I recognize where something might push me to give up. That’s when I put in a small, simple process to help myself overcome that block. We have to be prepared to readjust.

The Process is the Key

If I set a goal and all I’m thinking about is the end result, then the second I mess up, it’s just over. Instead, I focus on the process and making it fun. If I can make that process more appealing, then I have a much better chance of keeping on track and reaching my goals.

Here’s what I know more than anything else: Commitment is the key to success. It’s not sexy. It’s not cute and clever like something you’d see on a mug or a t-shirt, but commitment is the key to success in anything. It is the number one predictor of how things will work out, but commitment doesn’t mean perfection. When we get stuck believing that we have to do everything perfectly, it’s so hard to keep going after we’ve messed up.

This is how we achieve our goals. So what are you going to try to accomplish? What is the thing that you want to achieve? What does your 2023 look like? I’d love to hear about your goal and the process that you’re going to use to accomplish it.

More than anything, make a process. Get obsessed with your process, not your outcome. Get super excited about that. Figure out how to make it fun and where you’re going to fit it in. If we keep making progress and commit to the process, we will see results.

Send me a DM or leave a comment here. Or shoot me an email. I would love to hear what you’re trying to accomplish.

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Balancing Busy Podcast. I’m Leah Remillet, and this is Episode 26, the Pessimist Guide to New Year’s Resolutions. Now, if you love goals and New Year’s resolutions, then this is just gonna give you even more reason to love them and hopefully some tips and strategies that you can use to make them even more effective if you are one of those anti goal setters.

[00:00:58] Because, well, we’ve all heard the marketing language about how they’re gonna. Abandoned within the first two weeks, all that stuff. Hopefully I can give you some strategies, some tips. I really believe I can to convince you that setting some goals and taking another look at New Year’s resolutions is a very good thing for you.

[00:01:19] And. The next version of you. So let’s start by talking about one of the big reasons most people fail when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, because when we know why something isn’t working, we can then fix the problem. One of the hardest things is when something isn’t working, but we don’t know why. So what is that problem?

[00:01:41] Most people focus on the outcome instead of the process. They get really excited about an outcome they want, but they give almost no attention to the process they need to get to their desired results. But we’re gonna talk a lot about this a little bit later. First, I wanna share some research. You know how I love my research, so no one in the scientific community as the study of the effectiveness of New Year’s resolution.

[00:02:11] The 2002 research by the University of Scranton. Yep, that same city we know and love. Thanks to the office. Anyways, it reveals this really surprising truth, although more than half of New Year’s resolutions are forgotten about. Within the first one to two weeks, there are still 46% of the population who are successful in making positive changes toward their.

[00:02:33] After setting New Year’s resolutions, and we can go deeper and we are gonna go deeper to figure out what makes those who are successful, successful. Now, the pessimist might say, why even make the resolution when we’re destined to fail, when you know most likely you’re gonna fall in that one to two weeks.

[00:02:52] The marketer is gonna tell you how most people have blown their resolutions by February, but I wanna tell you that you’re looking from the wrong direction. If we’re looking at it from this side of it can’t work. As Dan Sullivan once said, you’re focused on the gap instead of the gain. Here’s what I mean.

[00:03:12] If I set the goal to lose, let’s say 10 pounds, cuz I need some really easy math here, and I drop seven. Sure I can say, I didn’t make the goal. I am three pounds away. Or we flip this and instead of looking at the gap where we fell short, we look at the gain and we realize we are seven pounds closer to what we wanna be.

[00:03:36] We have made seven pounds of progress. If we looked at this as points and we. My goal is to earn 10 points and you got to seven. Well, that’s a lot better than still being zero. You’re only three away from 10, so maybe the real problem was not the goal. It’s not even the progress that you made or not making all the progress.

[00:04:03] It wasn’t a realistic timeline. So by just extending that timeline just a little bit, we can go from the seven, add the three, and get to the full 10.

[00:04:13] Now, if the goal was 10 and you only get to seven, you might say, well, that was a fail. Was it actually, it depends on what we’re measuring, and that’s this whole concept of the gap and the gain. If I’m only three away from what I wanted, I’ve made some huge progress. I’m 70% there versus being 0% if I was never even willing to try.

[00:04:38] and that’s why I believe goals and New Year’s resolutions are not a waste of time. Even if we don’t fully achieve the goal, we still got closer. And that closer is because of intention. That closer still means progress. We can’t get stuck in perfectionism. We can’t get stuck in this idea that it’s all or nothing.

[00:05:00] I either fully accomplish or I don’t at all. Goal setting is guesswork. That’s literally all it is. Say, you know what? I’d really like to have this in my life. I’d really like to accomplish this. And then we guesstimate what we think we could do and in what timeframe. You might be right. You might be wrong if you’re wrong.

[00:05:22] We just extend out that goalpost a little bit further and we keep going. Okay, so back to that study. The New Year’s resolvers, those people who set the resolutions and then there were the non-res resolvers. So people who refused to declare a goal, but they still wanted a different result. And that’s what’s so important, both parties, whether you’re willing to set a goal or not, there are things in your life that you want to be different.

[00:05:46] So if we want things to be different, I’m going to prove to you that being willing to set a goal gives you. Better chance, a higher probability of getting closer to where you want to go. So they each were followed for six months, the non-res resolves and the resolution setters, and they would interview them.

[00:06:08] So telephone interviews, and they would determine this through self-reported outcomes, predictions of success, and change processes. The two groups did not differ in terms of demographic characteristics, problem histories, or behavioral goals. In other words, they had a lot of the same goals. It was your normal ones.

[00:06:25] Weight loss, exercise programs, quitting smoking. Those were the most prevalent. Now, here’s where it gets really good, at least if you’re me and you’re trying to convince a pessimist to try New Year’s resolutions, the resolvers, the ones willing to declare their goal, so they were willing to state, this is what I want.

[00:06:42] They reported higher rates of success than the non-res resolvers. In fact, at the six month mark, 46% of the resolvers were continuously successful compared to only 4% of non-res resolvers. So just wanting something but not declaring it, not writing it out, not saying that you want it, not having an accountability part, or just taking this attitude of, I don’t want anyone to know.

[00:07:06] I’m not gonna talk about it. I’m not gonna say it. I’m not gonna. , okay, but to your demise of progress because only 4% of that category actually, Success had growth versus 46% of the resolvers who were willing to share who had results. And I am going to share with you how I think we can bring that number up.

[00:07:28] So let’s keep going. Okay. So they both wanna change. They wanted different results, but one group declared it and the other did not. So here’s the very first step. The first step is we need to declare it. We need to write it out. We need to to. Clear what we want. It can’t be abstract. We have to say, this is what I want and I’d like it by this time point.

[00:07:49] Now, this is a guesstimate, so you might not be guessing the right timeframe. You might not be guessing realistically what’s possible. But isn’t it awesome if you make progress, if you get closer to what you wanted? Cuz right now you’re at the starting point, you’re at zero, right? There’s, there’s no growth.

[00:08:06] You just want it. If you’ve got 70% closer. That would be pretty incredible. So the very act of being willing to declare helps us set our intentions, which leads to a stronger commitment, and that gets us closer to our desired results.

[00:08:26] 

[00:08:26] I’m gonna share a concept that it’s kind of a gut punch, but I love it because it’s clear and it’s truth. Our daily behaviors broadcast our deepest beliefs. So how do you feel about your daily behaviors? Do you like what they’re broadcasting? And this comes to the intention, the process. The process is what creates the.

[00:08:49] If we’re obsessed with the outcome and we don’t give any attention to the process, then those daily behaviors, they’re not gonna lead to the results we want. 

[00:08:57] So let’s talk about increasing your chances for success. Actually, let’s just start with why. I believe so many people fail to get the results they want. They stop at the goal. The goal is step one. It’s not the only step they are. focused in on the outcome and they completely forget to create a process to get there.

[00:09:20] Here are the steps to goal setting. One, define the goal. That’s not where we stop. That’s just step one. Step two, build the plan. The process. What are you going to do? When are you going to do it? Where does it fit in? It cannot be abstract. It cannot be, I’m going to try to squeeze it in here or there. It has to be scheduled.

[00:09:44] It has to be planned. You have to know where it’s going to happen, and I’m even gonna share two goals that I have set year after year. One that I reach every year, and one that I don’t every year. I fail every time. That’s the truth. Yes. I fail at some of my goals and I know exactly what it is. One has a very clear process with scheduled time to make it happen and the other one does not.

[00:10:06] So we have to build the plan. Step three, we plan for what will try to block us, so. , the all or nothing attitude is I have to do it perfect. I have to get it all right, and as soon as I don’t, I fail. But that’s of course not true in anything we do. Even when we’re doing the wrong thing, they’re still right in there sometimes, right?

[00:10:25] If we are not liking an area of our life and we can see where we’ve really made some bad choices, they weren’t all bad, just too many of ’em were bad. And so we don’t like the. . We need to shift that and don’t look for all of them to be good and perfect, but we need more of them to be good so that we like the results.

[00:10:48] So as we start approaching our goal, we’re gonna first start by looking at, well, what’s gonna try to block me? What’s gonna try to get in my way? I have shared this before, but I realized with running. Morning is hard. It’s our, our defenses are down. It’s really easy to wanna stay in that warm bed, to stay comfortable.

[00:11:06] And so anything that wasn’t working out just right, it was easy for me to want to just stay in bed, crawl back in bed, down to, if I couldn’t find a rubber band to get my hair in the ponytail, I would be like, Ugh. Forget it. So it was a really, really simple solve. I just put a rubber band on top of all my workout clothes.

[00:11:25] Literally everything was there and ready for me, and that way it made it really easy. I love drinking lemon water. I drink lemon water. I’ve been doing it all year. I drink it every single morning, and I squeeze one whole lemon into my cup, and then I leave it on my bedside, and then I, I drink about 16 ounces of water with this.

[00:11:46] As soon as I wake up. Well, one of the things that I noticed is that some nights I’m just really, really tired. I crawl into bed and I’m like, dang it, I didn’t make the lemon water. And I don’t feel like going and squeezing the lemon. It’s, it’s that you’re, at the end of the day, you’re just not as strong in your decision makings.

[00:12:02] And what we want long-term does not seem nearly as appealing as what we want in the instant. And so I came up with this really simple solution. I got an ice tray. I squeezed one whole lemon into. cube and then I froze them and they’re in a Ziploc container. So some days I squeeze the lemon, and some days I just grab a lemon out of the freezer, drop it in, and it’ll be ready for me in the morning.

[00:12:29] Super, super simple solution. Simplicity is beautiful, but I had been doing the water for a long time and then I started not doing it as well because. I would be like, oh shoot, I forgot to buy lemons. Or, oh, I’m already in bed. I don’t wanna go squeeze a lemon. This solved that problem. I looked for the block and I said, okay, how can I solve it?

[00:12:48] And then I just put it in place. This is such a silly, simple thing, but I, this is how we reach our goals. And then I got back on track. I didn’t just quit and be like, well, I’m done cuz I failed. I just got back on track. Jumped back into drinking my lemon water each morning. Next is I like setting rewards.

[00:13:06] I like having something that I can look forward to the result. Sometimes it’s the results, but sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s like, well, if I keep doing this for 30 days and I don’t miss a day, I’m gonna give myself this, this fun reward that I can look forward to. And then the fifth step of goal setting, and again, this is where I think we really miss.

[00:13:25] Readjusting for new blocks. So I start out by thinking about what do I think will get in my way? But I don’t know everything that’s gonna get in my way until I actually start doing it. And once I start doing the thing, then I start recognizing where, um, something can really get me to give up to stop. And I put in a small, simple process to help myself overcome that block.

[00:13:50] If I set a goal and all I’m thinking about is the end result, then the second I mess up, it’s just over. But if instead, I focus in on the process, not the results, the process, and enjoying it, making it fun. Doing anything I can to make that process more appealing, the steps that I’m going to take, the new routines and rituals that I’m going to put into place, then I have a much better chance of keeping my progress.

[00:14:17] Here’s what I know more than anything else. Commitment is the key to success. It’s not sexy, it’s. Not cute and clever on a mug or a t-shirt, but commitment is the key to success in anything. It is the number one predictor for how things are going to work out, but commitment is not a synonym for perfection.

[00:14:38] When we get stuck in believing that we have to do it perfectly, perfectionism, then it’s so hard to keep going after we’ve messed up. Now I know I’ve said that and I’m saying it a second time. Maybe you didn’t quite hear it the first time you were doing something else or got distracted for a minute.

[00:14:52] Maybe you just need to hear it twice. We jump in so often with this all or nothing mentality, but how often do we really experience anything in all or nothing? It’s not a fair way to approach progress. Progress should never be looked at as all or nothing. It is a process and it takes practice, and practice is never perfect.

[00:15:14] Bottom line when it comes to progress, when it comes to reaching goals, achieving New year’s resolutions, whatever it is, this version of us, that’s the next better version. I like to think of myself almost like. An iPhone, right? There’s all these versions. It’s version one, 0.1, 0.1, and now we’re at version 15 point.

[00:15:33] Whatever. I am this continually improving version, but in order to improve, I have to be willing to do now what others plan to do later. In order for you to reach that next level, you have to be willing to do now what? Are planning to do later, whether that is getting up earlier, taking better care of our finances, learning something that you need to learn so that you are more prepared, more capable.

[00:16:06] We have to be willing to do now what others plan to do later. Think about it. Everything you’ve ever tried and fallen short, and me too, by the way, things went wrong because we weren’t willing to do now and we put it off for later. now two goals that I had mentioned earlier where I feel like one I kill it at and one I totally bomb at.

[00:16:26] I set the goal to read a lot of books and I do it every year. In fact, this year, 2022, I actually set the goal to read less books, but to implement more. Now, in the past, I’ve always had this goal of reading at least 50 books. and every year I will surpass, but I have this amazing plan it to where it’s scheduled, not scheduled like eight to 9:00 AM but every scenario for the car, I had a different book to be listening to.

[00:16:53] So if it’s just me and my son, me and my girls, me and all the kids, just Taylor and I. just, um, or the entire family. Every scenario had a different book. And I also had, when it was just me, I had walks that I’d go on for lunch. I had all these different places and times where I would listen to these different books.

[00:17:11] So I very much was able to achieve that. Now the other goal that I have had year after year after year is to learn a second language. I buy the courses, I buy the programs. , I look into getting a tutor, but where I fall short is that it’s not scheduled. I don’t have a place. 

[00:17:26] I tell myself, oh, I’m gonna listen to the language audiobook. I’m gonna try to listen to it every day, but I don’t say when. I don’t say where, and so it doesn’t happen. Questions. Need to be clarified because clarity equals confidence of actions. The question is, where is this gonna happen? I didn’t get clear, I didn’t create clarity on when, where it was gonna happen, so there wasn’t confident action.

[00:17:50] Jim Ron says, we must all suffer from one of two pain points. Okay? The pain of discipline or the pain of regret, the difference is that discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons. An ounce of discipline is worth a pound of regret. A little discipline every day is the key to our health, our wealth, our relationships, and our happiness.

[00:18:12] And that’s why progress is so powerful. It’s creating processes that are as simple. as possible. Wall effective, making them fun, enjoyable, looking for any way to make it so that we actually want to do the thing. Here’s what we need. We need motivation. But motivation, it lasts such a short period of time.

[00:18:32] It’s so small. Motivation is the thing. It’s the kindling. It’s the thing that starts the fire, but it doesn’t stick. The fire will burn right out. Motivation does not stay. We need to then move into the ability that’s building the process, building the plan, making sure we understand where we pro, where we progress, where things don’t work for us, where the blocks are, where the hindrances are, we build a plan around it, and then that increases our confidence and those are the elements for success.

[00:18:59] This is how we achieve our goals. So what are you going to try to accomplish? What is the thing. You want to achieve? What does you 2023 look like? What does 2.0 version or 3.0 version or whatever, wherever you’re at, what does that look like? And I’d love to hear what is your goal and what is the process that you’re going to use?

[00:19:22] to accomplish it. Where are you scheduling it in? How are you making it happen? What are the blocks that you think might get in your way? In fact, send me a DM or reply to an email. Shoot me an email. I would love to hear what you’re trying to accomplish. The most common New Year’s resolutions are. Exercise more, eat healthier, lose weight.

[00:19:40] Spend more time with family and friends. Live more economically. Spend less time on social media. Reduce stress on the job, improve performance on the job or within your business. Quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol and becoming vegetarian or vegan. Those are the most common New Year’s resolutions.

[00:19:55] Is yours one of those or are you doing something a little different? I’d love to hear. So DM me, send me an. . But more than anything, make a process. Get obsessed with your process, not your outcome. Get super excited about that. Figure out how to make it fun and where you’re going to fit it in where it is a non-negotiable because if we keep making progress, if we commit to the process, we will see results.

[00:20:21] Okay, there you go. I hope I have convinced at least one pessimist that it’s worth trying some New Year’s resolutions on for size.

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