In our family we have a tradition, like many other households we know, of setting goals for the new year. We save them for the next year, to compare back and check off as we reach our milestones.
We have a very high success rate, too!
Granted, sometimes the bar isn’t set very high, like the year my son said that his primary objective for the next 12 months was to “take more warm baths.”
With a little more context, though, you can see the validity of the goal of my then five-year-old. He regularly accumulated a little-boy’s stash of gunk between his toes, in his navel, sometimes even behind his ears. So he could finally agree with his mama that it might be time to spend less time protesting baths, and more time enjoying them.
When they were at that young age, we would help them with goals by asking them to name sub-goals, sub-products, or markers along the way that would help them realize their goals. My son was able to identify his primary objection to bath time: baths are so boring! He also came up with his own solution: he built a wooden boat to play with in the bath.
We had attempted to solve the problem for him in the past, with bubbles or music or toys. But it wasn’t until he solved the problem himself that the solution stuck.
Four years have passed, but that wooden boat is still the highlight of bath time. I suspect he will take it to college.
As our children have aged, their goals have become increasingly sophisticated. The bar has been set a little higher (thank goodness!). This year, they have set some big targets for themselves, on par with some of our own goals as parents. They might even be better at setting and achieving goals than we are!
I read that only 23 percent of goals set in the new year will get accomplished by the year’s end. And more than a third will give up before the end of January!
I’ve found lots of great advice out there about setting goals and accomplishing them. Worthy examples include making goals realistic, measurable, and something that we want badly enough to actually change.
Most goals do require at least some change on our part. It’s in changing conditions that my husband and I have an advantage in the technology of Scientology.
This year, our 11-year-old daughter had a realization that led her to reach for that knowledge. She saw that, in order for something to become “a new normal,” one has to truly change the condition or state of things.
For example, if you want a healthy diet and exercise to be part of your daily routine, “a new normal,” that doesn’t just mean making a list of do’s and don’t’s and pushing hard enough that you stick to the list. It means a true change of condition from “not interested in healthy eating and regular exercise” to “I naturally eat well and exercise regularly, it’s not stressful or strenuous to maintain.” That would be a true change to a new normal!
Her goals aren’t about diet or exercise, but I don’t have my middle schooler’s permission to share her goal (ah, parenting!).
I can say that she came to this realization after reading the definition of “condition.”
Condition: The state of something with regard to its appearance, quality or working order.
After reading that definition, she got interested in something that she has seen her parents do, both for our personal lives and for our work: applying specific steps (formulas) to improve the condition of something.
Our daughter decided to do a short course at our local church called “Formulas for Living.” The content is not religious, and one can enroll at any local Church of Scientology.
In doing the course, our daughter had an important realization along the lines of her “new normal.” The Condition of Normal is a specific state, and there’s a formula that goes along with it, covered in the course. However, the goal she had set was for an area that wasn’t in a Condition of Normal yet… it was more like in a Condition of Danger.
So, she has created a point system for her goal. She is going to apply the correct formula for a Danger Condition. She will work her way up to “Normal.”
And while I’ve made some pretty big life changes, emboldened by my New Year’s resolutions, watching her set up her goal graph made me realize there’s so much more I can do to handle areas of my life in need of “a new normal.”
So, I offer this data and advice to you as my Happy New Year. Name the condition of your goal correctly, apply the formulas for living, and may you achieve all your goals, in 2020 and beyond!