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What to ask before setting your 2018 goals

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What to ask before setting your 2018 goals

By Paula Morand


In all of the quests I take to improve myself and my businesses as each New Year dawns, I have never felt such a failure as a few years ago when, after a horrible year when nothing seemed to go right, I carefully cut all my resolutions from the previous year and pasted them into the New Year’s list.


It was a real wake-up call.


It reminded me that setting goals that are not realistic or are overly ambitious isn’t a means to motivate myself; it is simply a recipe for failure.


These early days of 2018 prompt me to consider goals for a New Year again, but I am haunted by those times when clearly the concept of setting goals did not translate into accomplishments.


I understand more acutely now that goals are not mere lists of dreams that I wish would happen. To work, they need to be more intentional, more focused and broken down to smaller, achievable actions, preferably with time lines.


Then they have to be moved from the New Year’s Resolutions list into my daily agenda.


Otherwise, they are just wonderful, succinct reminders of what I am not doing.


This year I plan to make the exercise more meaningful by exploring the purpose behind the resolution, and then phrasing the goals as actions.


Here are the questions I plan to ask myself that I believe will lead to a deeper understanding of what I want and need in my life. Why don’t you join me and we will embark on this self-revelation journey together?


Figure out what really interests you


By the time we emerge from adolescence, most of us think we know ourselves well enough to be attuned to our genuine interests. But life changes rapidly, and businesses and hobbies that exist in 2018 did not exist when we were making life choices in our late teens and early 20s. We need to go back and re-consider what interests us.


  1. What was the most interesting thing you did last year?
  2. Why was it interesting?
  3. Would you like to do it again?
  4. How could you take your interest in this thing and apply it to your business or your life?
  5. Do you know enough to pursue this interest or should you study it further?
  6. Should you phrase this new interest into a goal for 2018?


Understanding what you don’t want to do


Life is too short to spend our days trudging through tasks that do not interest us at all. We need to be strategic about building our lives around the things that we enjoy doing, and not make ourselves slaves to odious work that we hate. But first we have to draw a line between what we enjoy, what we can tolerate, and what we hate.


  1. What did you begin and leave finished last year?
  2. Why did you stop if you didn’t complete it? Was it lack of interest?
  3. Were you having fun doing this project, or was it frustrating work?
  4. By not completing this work, did you let someone down?
  5. Do you want to invest more time to finish this work in 2018, or should you abandon it?


Finding avenues to be creative

We should all be so lucky that we find our work creative. If we do not, there is no option but to look for other parts of our lives where our creativity can be exercised and sustained.


I am one of the lucky ones, in that every day my work involves a process of finding creative solutions, thinking creatively, writing creatively, or doing something that fills up my creativity bank.


Still I ask myself this time each year, what could I do that would enhance my creativity and take it to the next level?


These are the questions we all have to ask ourselves about creativity.


  1. How will you capture your creative thoughts this year?
  2. How will you set up a process to go back and look at creative thoughts from last year to see if they spur new actions?
  3. What book should you read this year that will talk about fueling your creativity?
  4. What activity makes you lose all track of time?
  5. Which of all the things you do would make you unbearably sad to stop?

How we engage our creativity and use it to enhance our life is a mirror into who we really are.


Creativity has been called the currency of the 21st century, and if we are to thrive in 2018, we need to take time to ensure our goals and our creative urges blend naturally for authentic outcomes.


Paula Morand is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and impact in a more bold fashion.

24 years, 27,000 clients, 34 countries, 15 books, former radio personality, 11x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.

Check out Paula’s bestselling books on Amazon: “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything”, “Dreaming BIG and Being BOLD: Inspiring stories from Trailblazers, Visionaries and Change Makers” book series; and due to be released in January 2018 “Bold Vision: A Leader’s Playbook for Managing Growth”.

For speaking inquiries email bookings@paulamorand.com or call toll-free 1-888-502-6317.




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