Do you feel it? That new year energy that’s electrifying and energizing us to create goals then run towards them? But we’ve been here before… we’ve felt exhausted and deflated after a few weeks when we realize we’ve lost our motivation.

What if we tried a different approach?

We can think of our goals as building blocks. These build us into the person who achieves the next level of growth in our lives. We can focus on the behaviors we can control versus the outcomes we hope to achieve. These behaviors help build us into that person, instead of fizzling out in the launch.

To do this, start in the pause, and take a breath. Before making any goals, take a moment to assess what space is available. Looking over our commitments for the next few months, we see what’s possible. Then focus our plans on behavior-based goals instead of lofty outcome ones.

In doing so, we gradually establish a sustainable pace that allows us to accomplish them with ease. And we find the power in the pause.

To do this, try these suggestions:

  1. Consult your commitments for the next few months, and even throughout the year. What has already been committed to? What do you have space to take on?
  2. Consider the areas of most fulfillment. Where do you want to grow the most. As the feeling comes up, “I should…” question it. Why? Put the areas of fulfillment at the top of the list for setting goals.
  3. Create behavior-based goals that allow foundational strength to be built so you can achieve any overarching goals. Instead of “I’ll lose 20 pounds” focus on “I will work out 5 days per week.” This moves us out of overwhelm and into sustainable balance.


If this resonates, you may check out my Balanced Productivity audiobook, as I talk more about sustainable goals in Pillar Three.

In the meantime, how would it feel to start a new year with a pace that feels sustainable instead of quick to burn out?

Feel free to share any thoughts below.

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