At the beginning of a new year, people love to set goals, to establish dreams, to create plans. “New year, new me”, right?
Studies show that over 70% of those plans are usually abandoned by the end of February, and people go back to their old habits, telling themselves the same stories about why they let go of the goals and dreams.
Why do we get energized by new beginnings only to get bored and come back to old habits that don’t serve us? What is the difference between the people that succeed in replacing old habits with habits that serve them better?
And why are we talking about habits when we should talk about motivation and goals?
And what does expanding capacity has to do with everything?
First things first.
In „Atomic Habits“, James Clear has a really interesting point of view, a point of view that has been demonstrated tenths of times in my coaching practice. People don’t fail at the level of their goals, they fail at the level of their habits.
Why? Because motivation will only get you so far. Motivation is overrated. Yes, it’s important, but it’s not 100% sustainable.
Nobody can be motivated 100% of the time, everyday of every week of every year.
Habits aligned with our goals are the ones that do the job. When things get though, in order to move forward, you have to be able to sustain the habits that give you that 0,01% of progress.
It’s not much, but it’s still progress.
So what needs to change?
In coaching, we have this concept of „performance-possibility gap.“
Let’s think about it for a second.
When you set a goal, you are this person here, right now. In order for you to reach your goal, you need to become someone else. Maybe you need a mental shift, maybe you need to take actions that you didn’t take until now.
The space between the person that you are right now and the person that you need to become in order to reach your goal, is the growth space. That’s where growth happens.
That is the place in which you perform, you try, you fail, you win, you take action in order to reach the possibility of accomplishing your goals.
Let’s make a visual out of it, so you can get a better idea.
The performance-possibility gap is the space where you expand your capacity.
To reach any goal, any dream, it means that you want different results from what you get now. You will get different results, only when you will take different actions.
Albert Einstein once stated that the definition of insanity is trying the same things over and over again and expect different results.
In order for you to take different actions, something in your perspective or mindset needs to change, because only then you will be able to be open to new possibilities. Basically, in order for any change to happen, you need to grow a little bit more.
The performance-possibility gap, or expanding capacity, requires challenges, wins, failures (ESPECIALLY FAILURES), resistances, fears, stepping outside of the comfort zone.
For you to live a larger life, you need to be a larger person in your life or job. What capacity or skill do you need to expand in order to reach your next level? In order to change that habit?
What growth is required from you so you can evolve?
You are not defined by the stories you tell yourself about you (I am this way, I am that way). Those are only beliefs that are limiting your potential. You are an adaptable human being, that needs to evolve constantly, and that happens only when you expand your capacity to be larger in your life.
Expanding your capacity starts with being able to question the stories you tell about yourself. To questions the things that you take as general truths takes an incredible amount of courage, vulnerability and humility. And we can say that this is a pretty essential tool for anybody that wants to grow, that wants to accomplish their goals or/and to live their dreams.