Can slowing down add power to your adjusted goals & dreams for this year?



If you’re anything like me you’ve had to adjust your goals right now amidst the new normal we’re living in. According to the Harvard Business Review, people with written and visually visible goals are 3X more successful than those who don’t write them down. Having clear specific goals that are written down increases the chances of actually achieving those goals by 42%. However, as an Executive Coach, I see  most people getting excited about new goals and forgetting to learn from the past before plunging ahead.

Backward thinking is a powerful and instructive process & I encourage all of my clients to PAUSE, PONDER AND PIVOT, before adjusting any goal.


Pause.  It’s defined as a temporary stop.  Isn’t that a beautiful word and a restful concept?   The fast-paced world we live in rarely encourages us to pause. But right now, amidst our shelter in place society, we have been put on pause to some degree. Let’s use it for leverage.  Pausing permits time and space for reflection.

Before you re-craft your goals for the rest of 2020…PAUSE.  Look back on the last year and reflect.  Identify and celebrate the small and significant goals that you achieved. Bask in the feeling of accomplishment for a few moments. Ask yourself  this powerful attribution question: “To what do I attribute the fact that I achieved these goals”?

It’s all well and good to celebrate the achievement but it’s more important to gain an understanding of what actions, shifts in thinking, or changes in behavior contributed to achieving the goals. If you know how you achieved a goal, it’s much easier to replicate that action again. Therein lies the power of pause.


Secondly, PONDER. Ponder is defined as “to think, consider, or reflect on especially quietly and deeply.”  Just the word itself sounds refreshing.  Ponder is another word that we don’t hear often in the business world. But taking time to ponder can give us great wisdom, clarity and knowledge that leads to power for how we set goals moving forward. Setting aside time to quietly and deeply reflect on what went well, what failed, what got in the way, and what contributed to your successes will surely give you power to adjust and accomplish goals in a new way.

Take time to consider what contributed to the failures and what you learned from them as well as what went well and why it went well. What behaviors will you choose not to repeat right now and what will you repeat? And most importantly, ask yourself WHY you want to make adjustments. The power of WHY can’t be underestimated.


Finally, after you’ve taken time to pause and ponder, you’re prepared to PIVOT. Notice I didn’t say “make a radical change”.  To pivot simply means to make slight adjustments. Big changes are difficult for all human beings but if we can make small adjustments in attitude and behavior and be consistent with these adjustments, we’re more likely to make bigger steps toward change in the long run.


So, invest in yourself by implementing the power of Pause, Ponder and Pivot before you plunge into revising your goals.  I guarantee that your goals will be more meaningful, powerful and achievable because they will be informed with insight and wisdom.

I would love to hear from you. Comment below and share your thoughts or questions. What is working for you right now? What advice do you have for others?