As the calendar begins its rapid descent toward the new year, the thought and conversation of goals and resolutions will begin to circulate more and more as many people start to aspire toward wanting something new. I’ve had the privilege of working alongside many individuals, teams, and organizations as they sit in hopeful spirits charting the course toward what they would like to see show up in their life and business. Sometimes these plans are short in detail and others are like a well-drawn out battle strategy full of metrics and contingency plans.
While I have witnessed both flavors of the goal setting process find varying degrees of success. What I’ve seen most are plans that create initial excitement and then ultimately stall and fail to produce the result that they were so ambitiously created for.
I’m not here to share a “new” goal setting process with you. The internet world is full of self- proclaimed success guru’s claiming to have the secret for achieving your wildest ambitions. This is not that, in fact I will boldly say….it’s unlikely that you will achieve your goals and ambitions in the coming year or any year after for that matter regardless of program…. unless you can honestly and clearly answer one question and then act on it.
This is not speculation. This is not theory. This is a principle that has existed from the dawn of human civilization. This is not secretly reserved for the upper echelon, upper class, or social elite. This question is not designated solely just for individuals, it is a question that should and must be addressed as part of any goal setting process in a family, a team, an organization, a city, or nation.
The question that we must ask and consider when setting goals is – Who must I become to achieve this goal? As simple as it sounds, I’ve yet to know anyone that actively seeks to answer this question as part of their goal setting process. I also believe the question could help to ward off many struggles of new marriages….I can say this because I’ve tried marriage twice now and the first I never asked, the second I did and continue to do!
Why is this such an important question? Because, it is impossible to act consistently in a way in which we do not see ourselves. In the world of psychology this principle is called cognitive dissonance and it says that we can’t hold two conflicting thoughts about things, especially ourselves and who we are.
This is a deeply personal question that ultimately hinges your goals toward success or failure. Without considering this question and the subsequent answer you might momentarily achieve your goal but the likelihood of sustaining it is not in your favor. (It’s my belief that not asking is the root cause of so many lottery jackpot winners ending up in terrible situations.)
Consider this example – “I want to get a promotion at work this year” or “I’m going to find a job that I really enjoy” or “I’m finally going to start that business I’ve been talking about”
If we consider the question, “who do I need to become to get a promotion this year?” The action steps then become more proactive than just a wet finger in the air. The answer to that question will likely lead you down the road to such remarkable and insightful ideas (sarcasm) such as: I need to become a product expert. I need to become a better sales rep. I need to become someone who is more comfortable speaking in front of an audience.
If you don’t know who you need to become, then just simply look at those that have gone before you and have done what you want to do. What do they do? Where do they go? What books do they read? What kinds of conversations do they have? What kind of questions do they ask?
In nearly every situation you can think of someone has already done it before, learn from them and what they do.
If you ask and listen your intuition already knows who you need to become and in turn the answer to “what should I do next?”
What happens if you ask the question “who must I become?” and you land on an answer that you don’t like or steps that you aren’t willing to take?
Don’t be afraid to reevaluate the goal.
This is a sign that that you don’t have a deep enough reason as to why you want that goal or the goal might be out of alignment with what your soul is desiring or really needing at that time (I’ll elaborate on this at another time).
It’s important to note that it is not uncommon to experience some internal resistance when you first ask, “who do I need to become?”
The step to take if you find yourself at a point that you feel you can’t become the person you must, is don’t abandon the goal. Keep looking for the point of intersection where you are comfortable changing your identity. Goals and ambitions are the signal of our soul that there is more available to us than what we are currently experiencing. The fact remains to achieve more, to do more, to have more, we must become more.
From experience with it in my own life and having witnessed in the lives of others I can say with 100% certainty- we don’t get what we want, we get what we are. The question to answer is, “What do you need to be?”
With the utmost gratitude, thank you for reading!
Sean Z. Callahan