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The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” – Melody Beattie [Tweet this.]

Casual couple having coffee together at the coffee shop“How can I ensure that 2015 is my best year yet?”

Last week I was having coffee with a client when she asked this question.

She was asking in regards to both her business and her personal life. I shared four keys to sustaining goals with her. Today, I am sharing them with you too. I hope you find them beneficial as you prepare for your best year yet:

1. Take off the restrictor plate. A restrictor plate is a device installed at the intake of an engine to limit its power and top speed. (They’re put on race cars to slow them down.) Many of us, whether we know it or not, have put them on ourselves professionally, relationally, emotionally, spiritually, physically or financially. We have due to a lack of energy, belief, support or resilience.

The result is limited airflow to our dreams. It’s been said that an individual isn’t old until regret takes the place of dreams. Today, no more regrets, no more looking back and wondering ‘if only.’ Choose to take off that restrictor plate that’s slowed you. Race forward.

2. Do NOT be reasonable. We’ve been taught since we were little that we need to be reasonable. But this year, I want you to try something different. Be unreasonable as you race toward your goals!  As George Bernard Shaw wrote, “the reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”  [Tweet this.]

My friend, regardless of where you’ve been and where you are, the best is yet to come. But first you must be unreasonable!

3. Connect your dreams with your purpose – so your dreams can become a reality. So frequently we set vague goals that aren’t deeply and clearly attached to an underlying purpose, so we loose steam before we accomplish them:

  • I want to quit smoking.
  • I want to lose weight.
  • I want to more money.
  • I want to be happy.

It’s okay to desire these things, but in order to attain them, you have to take it one step further.

Ask yourself “Why?” you want each of these things. After you answer it the first time, read your answer and then ask the question again.

In going through this process with a client years ago he shared he wanted to quit smoking.  I asked, but why quit? 

Because it’s a lousy habit. But why quit?

It’s expensive.  But why quit?

Others don’t like when I smoke around them. But why quit?

Because I am sick of this stupid habit, I know there are health consequences and I want to walk my 7-year old daughter down the aisle someday.


When you finally know your why, you can endure any how.

4.  Don’t set goals in a vacuum. Making change is hard. Setting goals and taking action is difficult. Sustaining it throughout a year is almost impossible! It’s easy to show up at the gym on January 1st. It’s a bit harder the following week.

The key to sustaining your goals is to invite one person to walk with you for the year. Invite a spouse, friend, neighbor or coworker to be your accountability partner. Share with her what the goal is, why it matters, and specifically what she can do to walk with you as you accomplish it!

Maybe she works out with you…or maybe it’s a simple text that shares with her each day an update on your progress. It will keep you accountable. And it will inspire your friend to write her best chapter, too.

Take off the restrictor plate, be reasonable, connect your dreams with purpose and don’t set goals in a vacuum! Here comes 2015, your best chapter yet.

Do you have other keys that have served you in goal setting? Please share them with me and the Rising Above community in the comments below.

0 replies on “4 Keys to Make 2015 Your Best Chapter Yet”

My daughter writes a letter to herself on January 1 every year, regarding her goals, hopes and dreams for the coming year. She works all year. Then on January 1 she reads last year’s letter. Sometimes we forget how far we have come, or what our mindset was last year. I think it can be beneficial in how far you have come, even if you change goals mid-year or blew the top off of it.

Hi John –

Long time. I hope you and Rob were able to connect about the Cardinals.

I loved this column, especially point #3 and the GB Shaw quote.

I did however, notice a critical typ-o in the close —
Take off the restrictor plate, be (UN)reasonable, connect your dreams with purpose and don’t set goals in a vacuum! Thought you might want to fix. Happy Happy

loved these goals for 2015 cousin. I read them to all yoga classes this week! Thanks, and keep these good words coming! Congrats on the book deal too. Looking forward to reading it


The staff loved your presentation on Dec. 12. Please let me know how you want me to get their email addresses to you.

Thanks again!

Hi Pam — thx for your note! We’ll send you an email about how get your team signed up for my inspirational emails. Have a happy new year! J

It’s often helpful to review the past year before planning for the next year. There may be an emotional wound that needs attention or a broken relationship that needs healing. We sometimes need some time to grieve our losses. We sometimes need to come to confront what contributed to our failures or let go of a person or situation that impedes our ability to move forward.
Setting goals and planning for the future are easier when we’re not carrying baggage from our previous journeys.
Keep up the great work! I hope you and your family have a wonder holiday season and a great 2015!

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