#69 Why You Shouldn't Focus on Goals For 2020

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As the new year dawns, goal-setting becomes the mantra for many. Yet, by the time Valentine's Day approaches, a majority of these ambitions often fall by the wayside. Whether you're aiming to revamp your physique or reshape your self-perception, the focus shouldn't be solely on the end goal. It's the journey, the methodology, the actionable steps that truly matter. Without a concrete plan in place, you're not setting goals – you're merely daydreaming. Dive in to learn how to transition from mere aspirations to tangible achievements.



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Happy new year, welcome to the first episode of 2020. Thank you so much for all of your support throughout 2019 and know that we are heading into a banner year.

To start off, I want to give a big thank you to Avie64 for the lovely review she left for the BCRC podcast.

Avie64 said
Avie64, 12/26/2019

Positive and uplifting

I am undergoing chemotherapy for triple-negative breast cancer to be followed by radiation. I hadn’t long moved to this state when I was diagnosed so don’t have lots of support nearby but find this podcast to be such a huge support for me. Listening to Laura feels like I’m listening to a good, wise, and encouraging friend. The topics are always interesting and informative. I can get through this marathon of treatment with the help of Laura and her podcasts. I’m grateful to have found this gem of a podcast.

Just to be clear, I don’t read these reviews to toot my own horn but to acknowledge how much I appreciate the extra effort that it takes to write a review and because I hope you enjoy hearing your review on the show and knowing how much I appreciate you.

If you’re listening now and you haven't left a rating or review for the show, I would appreciate it so much if you could find the time to do that as a kickoff for an awesome 2020 or whenever you happen to be listening to this episode.

OK,...so let’s have a little fun as an introduction to today’s show.

I want to share a  numerology definition of the number 2020 that I found on numerologyangel.com

According to this website:
When The combination of two numbers 2 and 0, is repeated. It carries amplified energy. In numerology
, the number 2 resonates with relationships, your intuition, and the very purpose of life.

The number 0 is associated with spiritual growth, its journey, life cycles, and the connection with the spiritual world. In addition, zero is quite meaningful as it is considered infinite, and has the rest of the other number’s attributes. Furthermore, when two zero’s appear as in 2020 it is an indication that you are about to enter a new chapter in your life.

So happy 2020 and welcome to the beginning of a new chapter in your life.

Now we all know that the popular topic at this time of year is goal setting but what we’re going to talk about isn’t what you want to accomplish but how you’re going to accomplish whatever it is you want, closer relationships, weight loss, healthier eating, recycling more, taking a dream vacation...whatever it is you want to do in your life, you need to have one important thing in place to make it happen...a system…

Sexy right… a system...but trust me. 

When I first started writing online courses and learning how to structure them, I learned that an important step is building in accountability. It’s vital to give my students a calendar and a checklist and get them to write things down. 

As one of my favorite life and business coaches, Marie Forleo says, if it's not scheduled it’s not real!

I’ll share a conversation I had with a student of mine recently. This woman is struggling to find her footing since recently completing her treatment. She’s wrestling with some pretty powerful thought patterns that are holding her back rather than helping her grow. 

Now there are lessons in my REVIVIFY program that address her specific challenges, but she hasn’t been working the program. So after a lovely one on one call with her, she said to me, now I get it and I know what I have to do. I’m going to start working on the lessons again tomorrow which i was of course thrilled to hear but I had to ask...how are you going to do that? How is it going to be different for you this time than it was before?

Because I know that if you want to accomplish something differently you have to show up differently. If you’re listening to this right now and you’re thinking about a goal that you’ve told yourself you really want to accomplish and you not only haven’t accomplished it but if you’re really being honest with yourself, you have to say that you’re not even taking steps toward accomplishing it...I’m willing to bet you don’t have a system.

Let’s take weight loss for example because it’s one of the most common year-round goals I hear. If your goal is to lose ten pounds and you “clean up your diet for a couple of weeks but don’t hit your goal or don’t feel like you’ve lost as much as you should...that goal will fall by the wayside and end up on the list of frustrations titled diets that didn’t work. 

But, if you focus on creating a healthy habit, I will pack my weekly lunches on Sundays between 3 and 5 and you put that on your calendar, and you actually commit to the time like you would a nail appointment or a dentist appointment, you will begin to eat healthier.

If you say I want to do more yoga in 2020...chances are you’re never going to see the inside of a studio. But, if you say I will go to yoga on Sundays at 8, Wednesdays at 7 and Fridays at 10 and then you buy a membership at your local studio and you write those times down on your calendar or schedule the recurring appointment in your phone with a reminder. Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California, conducted a study that found humans are 42 percent more likely to achieve our goals if we write them down.

If you’re thinking yeah yeah I know that I've heard this before, ask you yourself, are you doing it? Have you created a system to achieve your goal and written it down, do you look at it and rewrite it every day to hold yourself accountable to the step by step system.

James Clear, in his book, Atomic Habits which is an incredible book, where he teaches the importance of focusing on small consistent changes to achieve lasting results, says 

“Achieving a goal only changes your life for the moment...We think we need to change our results, but the results are not the problem. What we really need to change are the systems that cause those results. When you solve problems at the results level, you only solve them temporarily. In order to improve for good, you need to solve problems at the systems level. Fix the inputs and the outputs will fix themselves.”

Let’s look at the example of managing weight again/ how many people do you know who have lost weight and then gained it back...probably just about anyone who’s ever tried.  But think about what people do when they decide to lose weight. For the most part, they make a temporary decision to eat a certain way in order to achieve a certain goal. Their eye is on the goal and when they start seeing progress toward the goal or even when they’ve achieved it what happens...they tell themselves, well I've done good so now I deserve this treat _______, or things have changed so now I can have that...and before you know it, their size 6 jeans are on a hanger in the back of the closet again waiting for someday.

This is because they didn’t focus on the habits that we're working against them in the first place...things like, don’t go down the center aisles in the grocery store, set up a time for healthy meal preparation, work on changing the thoughts and the cues that trigger the need to eat.

Let’s switch to something a little less tangible but very common and very real that causes a lot of pain after breast cancer. Your thoughts about yourself. Another favorite quote from the fireball Marie Forrleo is “ the most powerful words in the universe are the words you say to yourself.”

And this works both ways, meaning if you use negative and demeaning self talk it’s powerful if you use positive, uplifting self talk it’s powerful. So, if you make a choice to reach out for support because breast cancer or anything else in life tore you up and you’re not feeling the way you want to feel or look the way you want to look, you must start by looking at the way you’re thinking about yourself. And the thoughts that are in your head when you choose not to do the work or you choose to self-sabotage.

So let’s talk about how do you set up a system to improve your thoughts. First, you make it real by writing them down. 

In my REVIVIFY program, there are several writing exercises. One of the first ones is designed to help my students release the thoughts and the expectations that are causing them suffering and frustration. The module itself is called release.

Recently, one of my star students and a guest on my podcast on episode 58, Mary Ann, told me that I should emphasize that release is something that has to be done repeatedly because even if you go through the initial exercise and you feel good about what you’ve done...stuff keeps coming back up and she’s 100% correct. 

Your thoughts and the state of your mental well being (forgoing an actual illness)  is a constant work in progress, just like everything else in life. 

If you go to the gym and get in the best shape of your life, you must continue to train if you want to maintain that shape, 

if you work hard to create and stick to a healthy eating plan you have to keep doing the work and the planning it takes to stick to it, 

if you build a million-dollar business you have to stay committed and consistent in working on it to maintain the success, and if you want to think about yourself in a more positive light you have to work on training your mind to let go of anger, judgment, the past and continually seek out constructive inputs, face fears realistically and own the way you think about yourself and the world. 

It’s a lot of work and it takes commitment.

I tell you this because I think so often our goal setting is short-sighted. I believe we want to do more than accomplish anything, we want to evolve as a person.

Do you want to take a trip or do you want to be a traveler, do you want to work out or do you want to live a healthy lifestyle, so you want to write a published article or a book or do you want to become a writer, do you want to think more positively or do you want to be a happy person?

The becoming and the maintaining who you become is the process. It’s the step by step consistent action that you take to become the person you want to be and to create the life you want to live. And that takes work and commitment and support and a system.

So do I think goals are pointless...absolutely not, I love goals and I write my goals every single day. But I write them to keep them top of mind and to inspire and motivate me to stick to my plan, to do the work, and to keep learning, growing and moving forward.

Some time ago I started a practice that I think I read in Rachel Hollis’s book, girls don’t apologize. 

I decided on three words that I would want people to describe me with. I set alarms on my phone that reminds me of those words three times a day.

My words are inspirational, empowering, and connected.

When the alarm goes off, the words pop up and I'm reminded, this is the person I want to be. And I have to ask myself if I’m behaving like a person who is inspirational, empowering and connected, or am I at least taking some kind of action toward becoming that person. 

If I didn't do that, as busy as life is for everyone, I have no idea how much time might go by before I would think about those words and use them as a filter to guide my actions throughout the day...make sense?

So the tough part in all of this is

1- Are you ready for a change?

2-how ready are you-meaning how much time are you willing to make to create change, how much money are you willing to spend, how many roadblocks are you willing to overcome

3- how are you going to do this?

What is the first step? 

This could be something as simple as I will not turn on the TV when I get home until I have stretched for 15 minutes, or packed tomorrow’s lunch. I will not pour a glass of wine in the evening unless I have written 500 words, meditated for ten minutes...you see what I’m saying? If you want something to change, you must show up differently. If you want to be more connected to your significant other how will you do  that… will you commit to date night every Friday at 6:30 pm so that time is booked. Will you cook dinner together on Saturday nights while you listen to your favorite songs from when you were dating.

If you want to spend two weeks in Italy, how much will that cost, how much will you put toward that fund weekly, who will watch the dogs, water the plants and collect the mail. 

Don’t use these things as obstacles to why you can’t live the life or become the person you want to be instead, look at all the things that you must address when you create your process, your system to manifest the change you want to see.

A few weeks ago I sat down with my husband to plan our goals for 2020 and it wasn’t easy because we won’t allow each other to put a goal out there without a how behind it...and sometimes the how is tough because you have to face making a change, or accept that what you want is going to take longer than you think because of resources or time limits or lack of knowledge. 

Yo might even need to hire someone to get to where you want to be. But in the work of planning process, when you come up against resistance or obstacles, it makes things more real. Because let’s face is life is full of obstacles so be honest with yourself about what you want, and how you will handle set backs.

I mentioned the book atomic habits and I will post a link to that book in the show notes for this episode because I think it’s an incredible resource. James Clear the author advocates for 1% change and for creating systems that help you develop these small new habits that accumulate over time to big changes. 

Think about when you were a kid and your room was a mess. Your parents would say you can’t do anything or go anywhere until you clean your room. You would have a fit and what should have been a ten minute process turned into a 3 hour ordeal of fighting and pouting and then finally the goal was accomplished. The room was clean and you were free to go. You would tell yourself it felt good and you wouldn’t go through that again but because you didn’t change the habit of throwing everything on the floor as soon as you walked in, you’d find yourself back in the same situation by the next Saturday night.

This works the same with our goals. How many times have you attempted the same goal and not accomplished it or even gotten any closer? So maybe it’s time to take your eye off the goal and take a closer look at the path to the goal?

Here’s one more thing that I’m not a fan of when it comes to personal goals. Setting time limits. Now if you’re talking about business goals or a project plan, that’s a different story, but when you’re talking about personal development, or physical change. I truly believe it’s the process and the journey that matter.

Because you will have to adapt as you work towards change. Notice I didn't say you may have to...you will have to! That’s how life works, there’s always a curve ball my friend. Always!

You’ll come up against internal and external blocks that you will have to work through, you’ll fall down and you’ll have to get back up and keep pushing forward. 

When I first decided to start an online business and live a “ freedom lifestyle” I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't know how much work it would be how much technology I would have to learn, how much time it would consume..online seems so easy to everyone but trust me, there’s no easy button about it. Three and a half years into it, I'm still learning, adjusting and growing to get to the point I thought I would be in year one ...but that’s ok because I’m moving forward and I’m figuring it out.

I feel like setting time limits on personal goals opens you up to the whole self flagellation, I'm such a failure thing and you have to do whatever you can to avoid that. Life is a process, growth is a process, building anything is a process and now you know that achieving a goal is a process. 

So I have created an action sheet for you to start building your process toward your goal. You can find it at Lauralummer.com/goals or on the show notes for this episode..ll /69.

Go ahead and download it and print as many copies as you need to start creating your process toward living the life you want. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions. Email me @[email protected] or join my free facebook group the BCRgroup and post your questions and your successes. I love hearing from you.

You can also download my free guide CARe 4 steps to healing after breast cancer and please remember to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode or the upcoming announcements I have for you in 2020. I’m moving and shaking here behind the scenes and I will be rolling out lots of new and fun things for you over the next couple of months.

Thanks for listening, happy new year..talk next time]= .                     

When women live rich, in every sense of the word - financially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually - everyone wins: you win, your family wins, your community wins, and the world wins.

Marie Forleo



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