Tag Archives: goal-setting

Why I Don’t Make New Year Resolutions (and Why You Shouldn’t Either)

As the New Year approaches it is quite normal for us all to think introspectively and then talk about what our exciting resolutions will be, to ensure we start this year off on the right foot (not like last year). We hear the reporters interviewing folks on the street, and we read the bloggers giving their best tips to set and achieve new goals.  We read motivating books and then make pacts with friends and family members to enlist their help in keeping us on the winning path to 2014 success.  Sounds like a good thing.
We are often nervous about it all, thinking of the work that needs to be done or the hard sacrifices that need to be made, yet at the same time we are excited at the rosy vision of a new person – the person you really want to be.  We imagine how this year will be so different from, well, yesterday.  We create a psychological distance with our brain to think that the two years, the ‘old’ one and the ‘new’ one, are going to be completely different.  Wow – what an idyllic scene.
Back in 2008 I wrote a blog about why 90% of New Years resolutions fail.  That blog got the attention of an intern at CBC News and I was called in to discuss on New Years morning, hangover and all, my thoughts on how to really set goals and achieve newness.  As an upstart entrepreneur eagerly attempting to get my name out there as The Communication Coach in Toronto I accepted the live interview request, and all in all it went smoothly.  I gave a no frills formula on B.E.S.T. goals, with the advice to make your goals Believable, Enthusiastic, Specific and Time-based.  What I remember most about that interview was the last question the reporter asked me.  Because it was live and unscripted I had no idea she was going to end our interview with “Do you have a resolution?”   Before I could even think of anything to say I blurted out the truth.  The truth of how I really felt about all this goal setting and last minute resolution stuff.  I answered that I don’t make resolutions!  WOW – the coach brought on TV to talk about how to set and keep resolutions admits he doesn’t even believe in them!  That’s right.  The reporter laughed at my candidness, and I think she was relieved in a way too, probably because she shared my views.  I continued to say that it’s about planning all year round, small goals to achieve bigger goals, and then went for the throat on the whole interview by confidently stating that we should not even be using the term ‘New Year Resolutions’ because one can simply predict based on current lifestyle and habits what is going to happen in the new year.  We should all talk about New Years Expectations! 
So there you have it folks.  Instead of talking about our fantasy life that is instantly going to happen at the stroke of midnight December 31stas we focus our energy on a handful of life-altering decisions, why don’t we instead take stock of our current reality?  Start with the idea that if you didn’t make any changes – what would happen, or not happen, or change, or not change, in 2014?  And are you okay with that?  Maybe you are already on the path to success.  Maybe you have already started making decisions in your head that are firm.  Maybe you are sick and tired of something, or of not having something, and are well on your way to making changes with a determined mind.  You may not need a special day to find resolve.  You are doing it.  Maybe the first habit we should break is the habit of making New Year resolutions! 
Finally, as I wrap up this admission of why I don’t make January first resolutions, I leave you with this.  Today when my wife told me all the things she is going to try to change, a quiver of emotional pain in her voice at the thought of forcing herself to do things that are ‘good for her’ to do, I wondered if she realized how great she already is, and how much she has ‘improved’ since we first met.  I then reflected on my current lifestyle, including the work I am doing with 3V and with YEDI, what I eat for food, how I treat my family and friends, and how often I go to do BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu), and I honestly thought that I’m doing pretty good too.  I do not feel guilty about having a holiday break to relax, and I am energized to get back to it all, and to hit the ground running.  I am not making major changes tomorrow.  I am already in the process. 🙂
Best of luck to you and yours in 2014!
If you are curious to see a flash from my past, you can view that 2008 New Years interview on CBC and even the year after when I was invited back on my YouTube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/CommCoach73/videos
Happy New Year!!!

How Do We Build Confidence?

This is no simple question.

Our confidence is greatly affected by our memories, values, previous decisions and environment. I always tell people that competence is the flip-side of confidence. When you get good at (doing) something, your confidence rises. And likewise when you get more confident at something, you perform better, which raises your competence at that task. So it is like the old riddle – “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” The answer is it doesn’t matter, as long as you have both a chicken and an egg, as they are interlinked and there could not be one without the other.  So it is with confidence and competence.

Lesson for today: build your competence in your targeted task, job or hobby in small steps to gain more self-trust and positive feedback from others, so that your confidence rises up a few notches. That will in turn show on your face and in your voice and body language, starting off a very positive ripple-effect. After a while of small successes you can look back at your journey and see the great accomplishments, and feel the stronger confidence gained from your personal goal-achievements.

Now go climb a small mountain! (figuratively, of course!)

Ric on TV Tonight (videos)

Hello –  just two quick announcements:

ONE – If you have not yet seen it, my January 1st 2009 CBC News TV interview is up right now, where I discuss the G.R.O.W. coaching method. Just go to my Youtube channel video here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_CW3Zu0DLk

TWO – For those interested, and who can get the channel (I am not sure how far this broadcast will reach) I will be on a T.V. episode tonight of the W-Network TV show “Save Us From Our House!”, which is on at 9:30pm. For those in Toronto the channel is 27. I have not seen this episode yet, so we will be watching it together for the first time. It is only a half-hour show, and I am not the main host, so my time may be only a minute or so, but that is fine with me. I enjoyed helping the family shop in a peaceful manner and avoid all the conflict that they are so used to having in their daily communications.
Thank you for your support!

UPDATE:  Here is the video or the direct Youtube link to the 2-minute segment I’m on from that TV show:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYsXFywfFbQ

Ric on CBC TV – Jan 01 09 Video Now Up


I hate to so shamelessly promote myself, but I want to provide more credibility to some folks who don’t know me and who want to make sure that I can ‘walk the walk and talk the talk’ when it comes to communication skills.

So if you are interested in seeing the latest TV appearance, I’ve uploaded the January 1st 2009 live interview of me on CBC TV discussing how to apply the coaching G.R.O.W. model to your New Years resolutions and monthly goals.

(Or follow this direct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_CW3Zu0DLk )

Thank you!

G.R.O.W. Yourself in 2009

Hello everyone and happy 2009!

As some of you might know I was recently on television again this year to briefly talk about New Years resolutions and how to create a plan to stick to them. Now personally, as most of you would know from last year’s interview that I uploaded to my homepage, I do not actually set New Years resolutions. I believe in continuous goal-setting as opposed to creating a ‘wish-list’ on December 31st. However this year I was happy to discuss the coaching model that I use for goal identification and planning for my clients. It is called the G.R.O.W. model.

This is not just mine. Many coaches use it, or some variant of it. Here is what I use this acronym for and what I explained on CBC Newsworld national TV a couple days ago. I hope you enjoy it and find it useful for self-coaching and also for helping others around you take the next steps on the path to more success.

G – Goals. What are your new goals and how do they mesh with your current goals already in place? This is where you establish your vision of where you want to be in life. Are those goals SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based) or as I mentioned in last year’s interview, are they BEST (believable, enthusiastic, specific and time-limited)?

R – Reality. What is your current reality? What is your environment like at work and at home? Where are you now, at the starting point, and why do you want or need to achieve these identified goals?

O – Opportunities. Some people use this letter for ‘obstacles’, but I prefer the more positive word ‘opportunities’. What have you tried before that helped or hurt your goal achievement? What opportunities can you take advantage of now, around you, to achieve your goals? Are there courses, books, workshops, seminars, coaches or mentors? Will work subsidize professional development training for you? If you do not ask you will not know what their policy or budget is.

W – Willingness. Again some other coaches use this letter to refer to the ‘wrap-up’ stage, which is fine, but I prefer to be a little more specific and call it ‘willingness’. This is the very important stage of figuring out your current motivation for each of your goals. Write them down, from all different areas (financial, health, professional, communicative, etc.) and then assign a number to each one, based on your motivation to achieve it, on a scale of 1-10. Anything less than a 7 will be difficult to achieve at this point. Use your momentum and focus on the top 2 or 3 goals that have an 8 or above answer. With your new priority list organize an action plan and get to work!

A little more advice was given during my interview that I cannot fit into this article so when CBC sends me the DVD (they promised!) I will upload it to give those of you interested a chance to see it.

By the way, a common question I get is “are you nervous when you are being interviewed live on television?” The answer is simply “yes, I am.” I just centre myself and stick to what I know best, and above all, I breathe! It seems to work out okay.

All the best to all of us for 2009!

P.S. – There is a giveaway Ebooklet called “How to Achieve Goals” that you can check out here to get advice and understanding on goals: http://stores.lulu.com/commcoach1 .

Thank you!

I’m on TV again – Happy New Year!


For those interested in seeing me on CBC TV again to discuss the coaching model for goal setting and achievement, please stay tuned to CBC NewsWorld (Channel 26 in Toronto anyway) at 10:15am Jan 1st morning. their topic is New Years resolutions. I am changing it a bit…

Happy New Year to all of you and truly all the very best in 2009. Don’t let the media scare you about the economic situation. It is what it is.

Refocusing After Setbacks

How many times have you started a diet, a new way of thinking, or tried something new and then a setback occurs and you just go back to the way you were?

Don’t worry, you are not the only one!

Setbacks and difficulties occur all of the time – they are a natural activity of life.

There are two ways of facing difficulties.

You either change or alter the difficulty or you can alter yourself to be able to deal with it.

Deal with difficulties correctly and it will enhance your confidence; deal with them incorrectly and they can do some serious damage to your self worth.

Your response to issues and difficulties

When you are faced with any setback your ability to deal with it can be turned around into a position of strength by asking yourself positive empowering questions.

There is an unwritten rule that says:

Ask your mind a stupid question and you will get a stupid answer!

So, if after setback you ask yourself something like:

“Why does this always happen to me, I never have any luck?”

Your mind will probably come out with:

“Because you are useless and good things do not happen to you!”

Sound familiar?

Instead, if you ask yourself a positive empowering question like:

“What did I learn from this setback for next time?”

your mind will kick into solution mode and help.

Here are some rules and things to think about when setbacks do occur:

• Acknowledge that it has happened. Don’t hide from it. These things happen. So what?

• What positive empowering questions can you ask yourself?
What is good about this situation?
How can I make the most of this situation?
What can I learn from it?
What are the facts about this problem?
How can we make it a successful outcome?

• Acknowledge that setbacks occur to everyone and you are not being singled out

• View them as a challenge to overcome rather than an issue or problem

Think about the negative dis-empowering thoughts that you think of on a regular basis after a setback. Not too helpful, right?

Now, what new empowering questions could you ask yourself to get some better answers?

Write these down now and make them a habit. Re-program your brain!  Build inner strength and communicate with confidence!

Ric on CBC TV now on YouTube – FYI

This is a follow-up to my appearance on CBC News Television January 1st 2008.

I was asked by CBC to come in and discuss why 90% of New Year’s resolutions fail. We only had 5 minutes but we talked about the main reasons why we fail and what we can do to achieve goals. They were kind enough to send me a DVD copy, which I have now been able to upload to You Tube.

If you are interested to learn how you can achieve goals more strategically, please visit this link and watch the 5 minute segment. Thank you.


My Appearance on CBC – Summary

My blog entry regarding new years resolutions caught the attention of someone at CBC – Canadian Broadcasting Corporation – and I was invited in to briefly discuss the topic of resolutions and why we fail. (Thank you very much, by the way.) It aired yesterday at 9:15am on the CBC News Morning Show with host Suhana Merharchand.

For those of you who missed it, here is a quick summary of the relevant points:

  • We fail N.Y. resolutions because of the pressure we create for ourselves to change our life dramatically, often in the heat of the moment
  • We have a lack of planning of the details of how to carry out our new goal
  • We have a lack of confidence in achieving large goals, and often give ourselves permission to fail quite easily

What can we do?

We need to understand how our brain works, how our emotions work. PPP – the Pleasure-Pain Principle really affects us. Also we should understand that intrinsic motivation (from inside) is stronger than extrinsic motivation (pressure from others) to achieve goals.

Use BEST goals to help organize yourself. Believable, Enthusiastic, Specific and Time-limited.

Finally small achievements in goal-setting year-round build competence and confidence in yourself. I suggest calling them N.Y. Expectations – what do you expect to happen in 2008, based on your lifestyle in 2007?

For more info please download a free copy of ‘Achieving Goals’ Ebooklet. Any problems downloading let me know and I will email to you directly.

Thank you and have a great week/month/year!