What slowing down can do to add power to your goals, plans & dreams this year.

If you’re anything like me you’ve been getting an abundance of emails, post on LinkedIn & other Social Media outlets and encouragement from your colleagues to set your goals for 2019. Now we know from the Harvard Business Review’s research that 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, it’s been my experience that most people become so enchanted with setting new goals, that they often fail to thoroughly look back on the previous year and learn from it before plunging ahead.

Backward thinking is a powerful and instructive process & I encourage all of my clients to PAUSE, PONDER AND PIVOT, before plunging into the new year with new goals.

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.  My clients have discovered great power in the pause. Pausing permits time and space for reflection.

Before you craft your goals for 2019…PAUSE.  Take time to look back on 2018 and reflect.  Identify and celebrate the small and significant goals that you achieved. Bask in the feeling of accomplishment for a few moments.  And more importantly, ask yourself of this powerful 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 in the new year. 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 new goals in 2019.

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 in 2019 and what actions and behaviors will you repeat and 2019. 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 your 2019 goal setting.  I guarantee that your goals will be more meaningful, powerful and achievable because they will be informed with insight, educational information, and wisdom.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about these concepts. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what could work better in the future? Do you have any ideas or advice you would share with others?