Have you ever had the experience of making a New Year’s Resolution and not then achieving your goal? I’m sure most of us have. And it doesn’t feel great.
New Year’s Resolutions are supposed to be inspiring. But they often end up making us feel defeated.
Why is this, and what can we do instead to give us a better chance of achieving our goals?
New Year’s Resolutions, if not worded properly, can set us up to fail. They are often too vague or too grand, leading them to feel unachievable. This can actually increase stress in our lives.
Additionally, January 1 is a fairly arbitrary time to try to make changes, when generally nothing else is new in our lives. The season is the same, you haven’t turned a year older (unless your birthday is December 31), and you’re probably still playing catch up from the holidays. Yet, we allow a sort of societal peer pressure make us feel like we need to set resolutions at this time.
So, does this mean we should give up on the idea of making positive changes in our lives? Of course not.
I’m going to teach you a more positive, effective way to set goals, one that actually works. It’s called asking empowering questions.
What are empowering questions? They are a specific type of question we ask ourselves every day, to get into a mindset of growth and change.
I’ll give you an example, and then I’ll go through it in detail.
If one of your goals is to exercise more, you might phrase the question like this: “How will I get more healthy movement into my day today, and have a great time doing it?”
Let’s break that down. The first word, “how,” is very important. “How” is a question that immediately lights up your subconscious mind to start looking for answers. It’s much more proactive than a simple statement like “I want to exercise more.” Asking “how” will allow your subconscious mind to always be on the lookout for opportunities.
Of course, you can also consciously answer the question. “How will I get more healthy movement into my day today, and have a great time doing it?” Well, I can take a Zumba class, I can go for a walk in the woods, I can choose a farther parking spot. But also, trust that your subconscious mind, which occupies a much larger brain space than the conscious mind, will help you plan your day in a way to align with that goal.
You’ll notice that the question is also worded in the positive. Instead of stating what you *don’t* want, you are focused on what you *do* want. This gives you a clear road map of where you want to go. For instance, instead of making a resolution to “stop eating junk food,” you may create an empowering question that goes something like, “How will I create healthy and delicious meals today?” Setting up the question in the positive will pave the way for positive outcomes in response.
Here are some other tips for creating your personal empowering question.
– Focus the question as much as possible. Make sure you know what you want to get out of it. For example, instead of “How will I be more assertive?”, you can ask “How will I be more direct with my boss at work today.” In that case, you are specifying the place and the time, even if you don’t know the specific situations.
– When you create your empowering question, pick just one theme to begin with. You can always change or add topics later.
– The strongest questions use the word “will” instead of “can.” Assume that you *will* accomplish this goal and set your subconscious mind out on the right path!
– Ask yourself your empowering question every morning.
The greatest thing about empowering questions is that they are renewed fresh in your mind each day. Instead of being a yearly resolution, they are a daily goal, which makes them both more manageable and keeps them at the forefront of both your conscious and unconscious mind.
It may take a few tries before you craft the empowering question that works best for you. This is perfectly normal; it’s all part of the process. And if you forget your question or don’t achieve your goal one day, you can always start again the next day!
So, how will you create an empowering question that sets you on the road to achieving your goals today?
If you prefer to watch my video on this topic you can find it here.