We chatted to Gabriella and Kai to get their perspective on New Year's resolutions and whether annual goal setting is the best way to go about fulfilling our dreams. They share their tips, insights and wisdom to help you make 2020 everything you envision it to be.
Many people focus on new year's resolutions, but by February a lot of people have ceased working on them. Why do you think this is and do you think we can as a society, reframe our thinking around new year and resolutions?
Fundamentally there is a misunderstanding of what the purpose of a goal is for. When most people today set a goal, they are placing a lot of pressure on themselves to achieve the goal, as if their happiness is dependent on it. And for some people, they have made their happiness dependent on achieving their goal. They do this by forcing themselves to go to the gym, or by working late hours at work to hit deadlines, but if there is no joy in the process, is the goal really a success if you achieve it? Most people have missed the point of setting a goal. It’s not what the goal GETS you, it’s what the goal DOES FOR YOU. A goal, or an intention sets a destination, and creates a direction for one’s life. As a result of setting a direction towards a specific destination, a journey can be made. It’s the journey that will ultimately enhance your life more than the achievement of the goal. Life is enhanced in the process, not by reaching the destination. If one learns to enjoy the process and becomes more joyful as a result of setting the goal, then the goal made them a happier person. If a person continues to set goals, and they constantly create misery, stress, anxiety, anger, disappointment while trying to reach this goal then the quality of their life diminishes for the whole time they are striving to achieve this goal that they are hoping will make them happy. IF YOU PRACTICE MISERY ON A DAILY BASIS, IT WON’T BRING YOU TO HAPPINESS. The way to keep focused on a goal, without giving up after a month or two, is to learn to fall in love with the process of growing. The goal will stretch you, it will challenge you, it will make you face the unknown, and stretch the boundaries of who you are, this is where the true transformation comes, it happens from within, THROUGH THE PROCESS, not because your circumstances change AT THE END OF THE PROCESS. As a society, in order to enhance the quality of life on the planet, we must shift our focus from GETTING, to GIVING, from OUTCOME, to PROCESS. Joy is something that happens from within, the emotions are created within, even if the mind believes they are coming from outside. If joy is manufactured from within, it means that we can be joyful INDEPENDENT OF OUR CIRCUMSTANCES. When we become joyful by our own nature, what we create in the world will bring joy, if we are miserable unless we achieve a goal, then we as human beings are producing misery, and hoping that what we create from that state will enhance the world, but that’s not how life works. Once you become a joyful person by your own nature, you can’t help but create joy around you. If we are going to find lasting joy, satisfaction, success, love, peace of mind, etc… we have to turn our attention inward and discover the source of our happiness from within. In is the only way out, and it is possible for every human being, if they create the necessary conditions to realize this.
What is your approach as life coaches, on making sustainable change?
As I mentioned above, most people are chasing a feeling that they believe will come from accomplishing some goal they set for themselves. We have been raised in a society that proposes the formula for happiness is: When I do X, I will feel Y. When I get this new job, then I will feel happy, When I make 1 million dollars, then I will feel secure, When I find the love of my life, then I will be complete.
If you are using this formula to create the way you want to feel, it can never be sustainable. It’s always dependent on something outside. During the time a client works with us, we point them to a fundamental truth that FEELINGS ARE GENERATED FROM WITHIN AND ARE INDEPENDENT OF CIRCUMSTANCES. As they begin to see this for themselves through insights and realizations, they start to shift the way they function in the world and start finding joy, peace of mind, love, feelings of wellbeing and wholeness from within. Instead of chasing after something to make themselves feel good, they start creating their life from a good feeling, and the results of shifting from an outside in model of living, to an inside out model of living are profound and truly transformational. This is the only way to create true, sustainable transformation, I use the word transformation because it suggests that nothing of the old remains. If a person simply changes, it’s like remodeling or decorating your house. It could feel a little different, but the foundations haven’t changed at all. If a person transforms, they demolish the house, and build something completely new. Now there is nothing of the old remaining to pull them back into old habits, that is what creates sustainability.
How can people turn the vision they have for their life into actionable goals that don't overwhelm them?
A vision needs to be broken down into smaller pieces and from there it can be put into tasks that are easily done. The secret is in the details, how much love and attention you bring to the small details determines the overall quality of the end product. Focus also plays a big role, If you don’t pick one thing and do it until it’s complete, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the big list of things to do. After breaking down what needs to be done, turn your attention inward, and use your intuition to feel which of these tasks will create the most results or momentum. If you think of it as an investment of energy, which one will pay off the most, do that one first until it’s complete. This non-linear approach of executing your daily tasks in order to approach the completion of a larger vision takes something into account that most people miss. YOU ARE CREATING SOMETHING, AND IT IS A LIVING PROCESS. Each process needs constant calibration in order for you to know what is needed next. If you plan everything out in the beginning, and don’t check in on a regular basis, your actions may not be calibrated to what the moment is asking for. Allowing for this flow in the execution is a way to keep the process alive, and it also increases engagement and uses a person’s larger intelligence to execute the tasks. Above all, overwhelm comes from expectations. If a person has high expectations of themselves, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. It’s the pressure that the expectations put on a person and how they manage time that creates feelings of overwhelm. Don’t be in a rush, slow down to speed up, be thorough, and thoughtful, give your full time and attention to what you are doing, pick one thing, and focus on that until it’s complete. If you can focus and direct all of your energy into one task at a time, your productivity, engagement, and ultimately performance will increase exponentially.
How can people stay motivated or continue moving forward when they fall 'off track' or are struggling?
Let’s look at why people fall ‘off track”. Whenever you embark upon a journey, and set a destination that you haven’t yet traversed, there are many steps in between the start point and the end point and many of them are unknown. It’s one thing to have a plan, but plans don’t account for the moment by moment obstacles and inner blocks one faces along the way. When people get stuck, it can be discouraging, and most people get stuck and hit plateaus when they lack clarity about what they are doing. It takes time to discover how things work, how the process of doing something new needs to be done in order to be successful. The most important thing to do when you are stuck, and beginning to feel discouraged is to take a step back, and reflect upon what the purpose of the goal is. Reconnecting to the bigger picture, and the larger purpose can re-ignite a sense of inspiration to continue exploring and experimenting with the process. Above all else, treat it as an exploration, make it fun, be playful, get creative, there is nothing that can stop human ingenuity, it’s relentless, if you bring creativity to the process, it will bring a renewed sense of purpose and excitement and the feeling of the process is the most important part of the journey. If you can enjoy the process, you are much more likely to make it to the end of the journey. The other thing that is necessary, beyond the feeling of enjoyment, is the mindset of learning. You are doing something you’ve never done before! This is a process of learning, so making mistakes is guaranteed, expect them, and learn from them. You win, or you learn. Don’t place so much importance on the accomplishment of the goal, place importance on learning the process, because once you learn the process, you can repeat the result, if you don’t understand the process fully, you won’t be successful in that area of life. Better to be thorough, and to get everything you can from the journey, then to rush to the outcome, and find yourself at the end of the journey burned out, miserable, and not able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
What three key tips can you give to people for reaching their full potential and feeling fulfilled in their life?
Tip 1- Don’t try to be like anybody else. This is the biggest problem people are facing today, instead of trying to be their best, they are trying to be better than someone else. Full potential is about unleashing THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF, it’s not about being better than someone else. If you try to become your best self by competing with another, you will only be one step ahead of another person, you may not even reach your full potential. So really get clear on what YOU WANT and what YOU LOVE TO DO, and follow YOUR PASSION. Every day if you simply focus on enhancing your capabilities and the quality of who you are, there will come a moment when you will blossom, and you will experience a state of devotion towards what you are doing. This is the fastest way to enhance who you are, with a state of absolute devotion towards something. Once you find your own rhythm and unique talents/gifts you will provide a lot of value to the people around you, and this value will turn into financial rewards, but also an abundance of friendships, love, business opportunities, travel, freedom, etc…
Tip 2- Feeling fulfilled isn’t about the things you have, it’s about who you are. When you focus on transforming yourself into a beautiful person, it doesn’t matter what you have, your sense of fulfilment comes from being happy with who you are, loving yourself and feeling gratitude for who you have become, and all that you have received in your life. If you simply see that you came here with nothing, EVERYTHING is a profit, all of the experiences you’ve had contributed to the person you are, you are a work in progress, but look at how far you’ve come in your journey already, look at the richness of all the experiences you’ve been through. On a deeper, spiritual level, the soul is here to experience and learn, it’s not concerned about what it acquires on a material level, you can’t take anything with you when you go anyway, so on a deep level, it’s the richness of your experience of life that will leave a person feeling fulfilled at the end of the day, and at the end of one’s life. If you give yourself fully to everything you do in a day, you will feel satisfied and fulfilled at the end of the night, and living day by day like this, will yield massive results and success, even if that isn’t your main focus.
Tip 3- Don’t put your happiness off into the future. Happiness is created from within, along with every other emotion. Neuroscience has proven that for each thought, there is a mixture of chemicals that creates your feelings. That means, the chemical factory that you experience as emotions is an inside job. You are generating feelings from within, and the quality of thoughts you have in the moment is what you will feel. So when you think to yourself “I’ll be happy when…” you place your happiness somewhere off into the future and you will live a miserable life, chasing after a feeling that is within you. Instead if you choose HAPPINESS AS YOUR WAY OF BEING, you can begin cultivating the feeling from within, independent of circumstances. This is not just a cliché, it really is possible to choose to do things with joy, instead of being dead serious and miserable. Try this as an experiment, the next day you go to work, really engage in the activities of your job, see if you can be playful and have fun a doing your daily tasks and see what happens!