New Year’s Resolutions are inherently a disaster in terms of eventual outcomes, but they don’t have to be. The fresh start available to all of us is the PERFECT time to set change in motion in our lives in the new year. However, there’s a critical secret to launching your new year on a positive and productive start that is neglected by all but the most successful and productive among us. That secret? It’s a simple little equation: Fn(F5) = A
Huh? What in the world does that have to do with living a productive and successful life?!?
Everything. And, as a Certified Wellness Coach, integrating the central concepts of this equation into the discussions with your clients (and your own life), this coming year could be the best yet for both you and your clients.
First, let’s explain the basics behind the equation. F5 represents the 5 key areas of goal setting:
- Field of Play (both professionally and personally – more on the reason for this description in a future post)
The “A” in the equation represents “Action” or the fulfillment of the desired change in a person’s life.
The “Fn” is the secret. Fn, as you’ll recognize from your keyboard, stands for “Function” and is often (almost always!) the missing element in the process this time of year. However, when Intention (the goal) meets Function (how it fits into real life in a practical way), Action becomes a reality!
Most of the time, “Resolutions” or “Goals” for the new year are identified and verbalized within the vacuum of the week between Christmas and New Year’s. For many, this is a week away from work that provides extra time with family, the opportunity to sleep in, exercise, etc. As a result, there is very little “real life” (or function) incorporated into the goals. For example, it’s common for individuals to set a goal along the lines of “Exercise 3x’s/week,” thinking (in the absence of work, kids activities, commuting, etc) that it’ll be easy to make time to exercise just 3x/week. This is a great goal that fits well into F3 (Fitness) and will have a significantly positive impact on the person’s life over the long term. However, in the absence of “Fn” this goal won’t last more than a couple of weeks and then we’ll be back to square one.
However, when Intention (the goal) is matched up with Function (the realities of life), success is not only likely, but practically certain! Let’s take a look back at the above example but add in Fn this time. Rather than simply saying “I’m going to exercise 3x/week in the coming year,” the Fn components might incorporate answering some of the following…
- When specifically will I exercise? (What days? What time? What will this replace in my life? How will I adjust that other part of my life? Will that mean adjusting my sleep schedule?)
- How long will I exercise? What types of exercise will I include?
- Is my spouse and/or family on board with any changes in my schedule? (How will they need to adjust? Are they happy about this? Are they committed to supporting me with this? Have we discussed it in depth and how this change will cause change in their lives?)
- Where will I exercise? (Is there a facility near my work that will allow me to miss traffic on the way to work? What is the cost of that facility? Will that cost impact any current financial commitments/goals?)
You get the idea. The key is going beyond just voicing your intention and clearly identifying how this change fits (functionally) into your life. Yes – it takes more time than simply saying “I want to exercise” but if done well, this time could be the most valuable investment of your entire year.
As a Certified Wellness Coach, invest some time with your clients in adding the “Fn” component to your goal setting, and you’ll likely see the coming year develop into the most successful year ever!