The New Years Goals Game (Let’s Play)

The New Years Game

Every year people do it, they set new years goals and resolutions.

Every year lots of people over estimate what they will do in the next 12 month but underestimate what they can do in the next 10 years. Do I think this is what they want?


Then why do they do it?

Let’s talk about some of the reasons why people may set goals that aren’t congruent with what they really want and how we (you) can interrupt their pattern. (I may mash a few buttons in the process)

Why Do We Do It?

Why do we set goals that we really don’t want to set?

I’ve found there’s a few reasons but first let’s ask why do we set goals in the first place.

We set goals because of:

  1. Our need to fit in  (lose weight & make more money = so that we’re seen as more attractive)
  2. Our wanting to be excepted (Our need for connection, if we become more attractive we’ll be more liked and excepted)
  3. Our need to feel we’re moving forward in life.

Weird I know, right? (Ok, not really but bare with me)

We’re hard wired to want to fit in and to desire connection. And we’ll do almost anything to obtain them. (Including setting goals that aren’t congruent)

“Human beings consider any social intercourse, even if negative as better than none at all. This need for intimacy is why people engage in games. These become a substitute for genuine contact.”- Eric Berne, Author of ‘Games People Play

In short, games=drama.

Without a clear understanding of what drives us emotionally or a clear understanding of our hierarchy of values, we end up setting goals that aren’t really our goals.


What I believe is this. People set those unrealistic goals unknowingly that they will create strife in their lives. This strife gets them attention in some way when they don’t accomplish those goals. Their spouse, families or co-workers will give them negative feedback. Therefore they create situations that get them attention and social interaction regardless of the fact it’s negative.

It’s one reason why small children or young teens may misbehave (Ok even adults). They want attention and misbehaving is the only way they know how to get it. So why not set goals that aren’t congruent with what I really want and cause myself to get some attention. Any attention.

Sounds nuts I know, but it’s real for many people. It’s called a secondary payoff and lots of people aren’t aware of the fact their living it.

I feel there’s a 3rd reason why we set incongruent goals.

Because we think we should.

Anytime you begin using imperatives like you should, supposed to, need to, or aught to it’s a sign you’ve injected other peoples values system into your own. You’re force feeding yourself other peoples values and you’re attempting to live out your life through them.

Setting goals because you think you should is just as dangerous as setting the type of goals you think you should, like making more money or losing weight.

Ok, maybe you should do those things but if you’re not doing it for your reasons you’re going to lose that battle. If you can’t really see yourself doing the things it takes to make them happy you’ll never do it.

You can never out perform your self image.“- Dan Kennedy

That’s a hard road to travel but people drive it everyday just because they don’t know any different. You’ve got to do it for your own emotional reasons otherwise you won’t.

Unless you’re doing something consciously and purposefully for your own emotional gain, you’ll never really do it with your whole heart and love the process or if you do you won’t feel fulfilled or accomplished when you do. You’ll be like, “You mean this is it?

What To Do?

Many people are no more aware of their own hierarchy of values than they are of the meaning behind E=mc2. Sure, we’ve all heard of the equation and many can even tell you who came up with it, but we aren’t really clear of even just a simple understanding of it or what it means to us.

Identify your values in order to get ahead of the goals game. It really really helps.

Listen I’m just as guilty as any one else of setting news goals in the past and not getting past the 15 day mark with some of them.

However I asked myself:

What must I believe about myself in order to substitute games I’m playing for real intimacy in my life?”

Let’s face it, we’re looking for some sense of intimacy in our lives when we accomplish our goals:

  • Lose weight? Feel more attractive and get a hot mate
  • Get more money? Help more people, have nice things, attract a hot mate
  • Find a meaningful relationship? Um yeah, attract a hot mate

*Hot mate doesn’t only mean physically speaking either by the way 😉

I’ve made it my belief that you and I have special abilities that can and should be done better by us than by any other person. I believe that never before has there been any other person exactly like us, and there never will be again. If there had been or were going to be, there would be no need for you and I to be here.

Let’s Play The Game

So all of the above could be complete bullshit or for some people it could be a complete truth. This meant to get us to think more than anything and yes educate too. I really just wanted to bring light to the fact, why is goal setting such an issue for many people and how can we help raise awareness?

What’s your spin?

Does this make you think at all about how you’ll approach setting your goals for 2011?

Will you put some muscle into your goal setting by doing it purposefully or will you haphazardly set them?

Leave your comments below, I’m interested in hearing your feedback and how you set your goals and why you set them that way. Do you have a system around it?

Share this post on Twitter, Facebook or even email it to a friend. You never know who you’ll help (interrupt their pattern) by doing so. 🙂

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