As the new year approaches, it’s a good time to reflect on what gets you out of bed in the morning. Here are some possibilities:
- You’ve hit the “snooze” button on your alarm clock three times and now you’ll have to sprint to catch your train.
- You can’t wait to get to the Starbucks down the street so you can dive into your first Venti Blonde Roast.
- You feel a mild sense of duty to your team, who are counting on you to get where you need to go and do what you need to do.
We all probably have days like these but if you experienced a string of them in 2016, you may want to take a look at your goals.
Without a set of highly motivating goals, you can be working long hours but still feel adrift. Every day can feel like “déjà vu all over again,” to quote Yogi Berra. I recently had a coaching session with a client who was feeling that way.
We were in the middle of our third coaching session. The first two had been useful but I didn’t have the sense that we were in territory she felt passionate about. Midway through the third session, I found myself saying, “There’s something not quite anchored in our work together. What are your goals?”
To my relief (because it can be risky to name something like that), she said, “I don’t really know. I’ve been working hard but I sometimes question my own value.” We went on to create several highly motivating goals that she immediately claimed. She went from ho hum to humming in the course of a phone call.
Having inspiring goals can make you feel like a new person. Research has shown that when you have goals, your mind automatically scans the environment for information relevant to them. Goals provide focus and direction in a way that works below the surface of conscious awareness.
Another benefit of goals is that working on one can open the door for other positive changes as a byproduct. For example, if you start exercising, very likely you’ll see a positive impact on other areas of life such as diet, self-confidence, patience and productivity. Strangely enough, exercise also has an impact on seemingly unrelated behaviors, such as reducing the frequency of credit card use.
At the end of the day, pursuing inspiring goals makes a difference in one’s energy level, connection to other people, enthusiasm and overall quality of life.
So, as you contemplate the coming year, I invite you to set some really thrilling goals that will have you jumping out of bed with enthusiasm.