by Glenn Proctor

Motivational coaches seem to be everywhere, plying their own brand of teaching to set and reach goals, achieve resolutions as well as life, professional and personal success.

If, however, statistics about broken resolutions are true, then maybe it’s a good decision to get help from professional motivators who have helped others make better life decisions.

According to University of Scranton research, only 8 percent of those who make resolutions keep them. In fact,  Jan. 20 was the day when 92 percent of Americans had already dropped or broken their New Year’s resolutions. The problem, most coaches and academics agree, is lack of focus, commitment and undefined goals or resolutions.

“We say if you can’t measure it, it’s not a very good resolution because vague goals beget vague resolutions,” says John Norcross of the University of Scranton.

Lake Norman area life coaches and trainers agree.

“I have found that too often a goal or resolution is determined because it is expected or dictated by someone else, and that is the main reason it is more difficult to reach,” said Sherré DeMao, author, business strategist and founder of Denver-based SLD Unlimited Marketing/PR, said. “Any goal or resolution needs to have personal meaning to be embraced.”

DeMao offers this litmus test for setting goals:

S – Significance: It has personal meaning and value to you. It matters to you and will make a difference for you or those you care about in your life or at work.

E – Energizing: It excites you and invigorates you, creating a natural motivation to achieve it. You have a passion and care about it being achieved so you are motivated to do what it takes to achieve it.

T – Tangible: You can measure it in some way to know you are making progress. You break it up into manageable steps or phases so you can realize results along the way, which continues to motivate you.

Nicole Greer believes the answer to unfulfilled life quests is a heart and head issue.

“People don’t fulfill their resolutions and goals because they haven’t moved their thinking from their head to their heart.  To stop procrastinating, individuals have to stop and reflect on what is really going on in their life,” said Greer, owner of The Vibrant Coach in Sherrills Ford. “I insist clients make a comprehensive list of the roles they play.  I ask them to answer this question: ‘Are you someone’s spouse, mother or father, a volunteer, a board member, an employee or an entrepreneur?’  An individual’s resolutions/goals must then be aligned with their roles.”

Her coaching role, she contends, is to have clients write down and then execute clearly defined goals. That also means getting in their heads. Greer cites a list of questions for those who want to get in shape, always one of the most popular annual resolutions:

• How will getting in shape affect your roles?

• As a parent, what would having more energy to play with your kids be like?

• What would happen if you had a renewed sense of self-esteem, which propelled you to take some entrepreneurial risks, and in turn earned you more money to support your family?

• What would happen if you took your spouse on a date to go dancing?

Greer said most people struggle with ‘getting their heads around’ their goals and understanding the true benefit of getting positive results.

“To move from your head to your heart, you have to engage your imagination. You’ll have to go out to the future and imagine what you’d look like, how your days will unfold, and what experiences you’d have.  In essence, you make a memory of the future!” she continued.

“This memory of the future is the catalyst to keep you on track with your goals.  When your will is weakened, you simply pull up the memory of who you want to be and where you want to go.”