Hello, and welcome to Successful Generations. I’m your host Ellie Frey Zagel, and I am thrilled to be with you today.
Happy 2020, or as I’m calling it, the roaring twenties! I’m so happy to be back in my office studio. I haven’t been in front of the mic and over a month. I had a vacation planned over the holidays with my family that got extended when my 80-year-old father, whose birthday it was this year, invited me to go fly fishing in Patagonia. I said, yes, please! It’s one of my favorite things to do, and definitely, he is one of my favorite people. And so my holiday break turned into pretty much a sabbatical.
I’m really thankful for you and for my clients to allow me this time away with my family. I hope you all had an amazing holiday time with your loved ones.
I don’t know if this happens to you, but when I have like a break or experience some downtime, I start creating content like crazy. And that’s exactly what happened. If you are not signed up for my weekly blog posts, I write something weekly, and I’ve got to tell you that what I’m writing right now is really, really good!
Hopefully, that doesn’t come across as too boastful, but it’s really good stuff, and I’m loving it. If you would like to receive our weekly content, please go to successfulgenerations.com and sign up.
On another note, the coaching business: I think most of you know that I’m a leadership coach. I specialize in working with family business—those who work in and with their family—and it has been awesome. I have a full year in business as a leadership coaching, and I’ve been having the time of my life. My clients and I have been having so much fun.
This year, I’m preparing for my first VIP day at the end of January for my package holders, and I’m taking a few of my clients fly fishing this spring. Yeah, why not? This should be fun. You will see some of the stories soon of my clients who kicked butt in 2019. As I said, we are having so much fun, and by fun, I mean that we are working our bumskis off. We are working really hard, living in discomfort. We’re doing the work in order to achieve our goals and in order to become the leaders that we want to be.
On that note, I really want to talk to you about something that’s perhaps a little counter-intuitive. Today we’re going to do a Power20, so that means it’s going to be about 20 minutes. I’m going to talk about goals and not stopping your goals now. So let me explain.
The first of the year is a time of renewal and new beginnings. A time of excitement let’s see what we can do this year. We drop everything from the previous year and start to focus on the time ahead of us.
I think that there are some merits to this, but I want us to think about it maybe a little bit differently.
Let’s try something different. Typically, when we think about our new year’s resolutions, it’s about starting over.
What I’m exploring in this podcast is when you start over, you lose all momentum and the pride in the work that you did the previous year. And I want us to think about this.
Are you the type of person who starts your goals anew? Forget about what you’ve done in the past, what you’ve learned, who you’ve become, and start fresh without looking backward? Most of us are like that. Most of us start our goals over and over and over again — the same goals. Me included. I have a particular goal that I’ve set for the last five years, and I haven’t made any headway on it, and I know exactly why.
For many of us, things come to a halt leading up to December 31. We throw in the towel on the old goals. We don’t bother to analyze what’s been working or not working. We don’t think about what we want to do differently or what we want to keep. We just rewrite our goals with a new end date.
For instance, I mentioned that I have this goal that I’ve been trying to achieve for the last five years—it’s losing the weight that I gained when I had my son, who is now five. I set this goal every single January 1st. I want to lose 40 pounds. Each year, I fail, and I give up pretty close to the end of the year.
I’m not achieving this particular goal. What am I doing wrong? What’s working and what’s not working? What do I want to try differently? In the past, it has been very demoralizing. I set out to achieve my goal with the best intentions. Then a whole bunch of thoughts come into my head about not being able to do it. I’m not ready, etc. And soon enough, I have derailed myself, and I’m eating things that I shouldn’t be eating and not exercising the way that I want to be exercising.
I am not going to keep doing the same things over and over again and expect different results. That’s just not how you achieve goals, right?
As you can imagine, this is incredibly discouraging, and you feel like you failed. You feel like you failed before you even started.
I began to realize this over the course of 2019 through the coaching I was doing and the coaching that I was getting. I gained a new awareness about who I was and who I wanted to become. I started to realize that if I thought that I failed on my goals, I would give up. And so let me share with you another example.
My business coach issued me a challenge. In 30 days, I was to generate a certain amount of revenue. It was more money than I’d ever made in my life in one month, and I was very intimidated and scared of this goal. But, I am also very stubborn, so I said, “all right, let’s see what I can do.”
I set out and got to work on my goal. And for me, what that looks like is a lot of self-coaching, a lot of outside coaching, a lot of adding value, putting a lot of value out into the world, and making asks. And I also really focused on my current clients. I feel like all of these things really have helped grow my business collectively together.
I was doing my work, but I wasn’t going to achieve my goal. I was going to fall short.
At the time, I was in a mastermind with a group of 30 other women, and a lot of them were achieving their goals.
I was listening to them and thinking, “Oh my gosh, they can do it. Why can’t I?” It was very demoralizing.
Near the end of the 30 days, I basically gave up.
I resigned to failure and started planning a new launch where I could take another 30 days to figure out how I could make the goal.
You may be thinking, “What is the problem here?”
I gave up on that goal of achieving a specific amount in 30 days. I thought that I had failed instead of sticking to it and seeing how long it could take me to achieve the goal.
I had given up and started planning all over. Instead of realizing I should figure out how long it could take me actually to achieve that goal and then go from there.
Instead of achieving the goal in 30 days, I ended up achieving it in 48 days. Rather than starting over, I kept with it, and I learned so much. In fact, I was able to do it in a much shorter period the next time. And I know that I’ll be able to make it within 30 days soon.
I set the deadline, and I didn’t hit it, and instead of giving up, starting over and going backward, I thought to myself, “I wonder how long it will take me to actually reach this goal.” And I did it, and let me tell you, I was incredibly proud of myself. So you see the confidence that can build in you when you don’t give up?
Is there a goal that you gave up on? Did you start over on a goal just because an arbitrary timeframe ended?
Think back, did you give up on something that maybe you shouldn’t have given up on now that you think back on it? If the goal is worth it, go back and do it. Keep going until you reach the goal. Then you can do it faster and faster because of what you learn along the way. For me, that was a major mindset shift.
In the past, if I didn’t achieve something, I started over. I chalked it up as a failure and never tried again. “Oh well, can’t do that. Not going to try it. Can’t make that amount. Let me try something less.”
This time was different. I had made 75% of the goal—a goal that I never even thought was possible for me. I made 75% of my possible impossible goal in 30 days, and it just took me 18 more days to finish the last 25%.
I learned so much about how to do it through the process. This goal was something that was way out of my comfort zone. I learned what was working for me and what was not working for me. I stopped doing what was not working, and I created a list of things that I wanted to try differently. I continued going forward.
This is really important: I was becoming the person who makes her impossible goals, who does something that she’s never done before.
So what if I achieved my goal in 48 days instead of 30 days? I still reached it, and now I know how to do it again.
I’ve shared this quote in the past, but Michael Hyatt now uses it in his full focus journals. “A goal is not about what you accomplish. It’s about who you become.” This is how I think about my goals. It’s not about what I’m accomplishing. It’s who I’m becoming in the process that matters.
I’m becoming the person who honors her schedule. I’m becoming the person who serves her clients better than anybody else could ever serve her clients. I am becoming the person who has a real, thriving, successful business. I’m becoming the person, the leader, the business woman, the mom, the wife, that I want to be one goal at a time.
I’m learning how to be that person, and it’s incredibly exciting.
If you have a goal or something that you were working on in 2019 that you don’t want to give up on, I want you to revisit that goal. Tap back into that momentum. We are two weeks into January. I want you to start creating awareness for yourself of how you have gotten the results that you currently have. How long did it take you to achieve your results? Let’s see what you can do in the next 30 days.
In the example that I used about my weight goal, I could think, have I ever lost 10 pounds? Have I ever lost weight? How did I do that? What worked? What didn’t? Did I keep it off? Write it down. I really love the idea of looking at like what, how, when have I done this before? What has that looked like? How have I overcome it? What worked, what didn’t, and then I get rid of what didn’t work. Focus on the things that are working.
If things are working but not as fast as I want them to work, I’m going to try something new. I’m going to keep what’s working, but I may like to see if I can improve upon it and see what happens.
Again, all from analysis, I’m trying to create awareness and keeping that momentum to see what I can really do.
All right, my friends, don’t stop now. Keep going. If you have those goals that you’ve already built some momentum on, I don’t want you to stop. I want you to keep going and see how long it takes you to get to that goal. All right? It’s a little bit counterintuitive, but hopefully, you’re inspired to continue to take action to not start over, but rather to keep going. I’ve got you. Talk to you soon.