Goals 2014. Nip ’em in the bud. – SCN Encourager 1/7/2014

Michael Hyatt is not the only guru worth listening to.

My long-time mentor Deputy Barney Fife is another.

Here’s why.

Don't worry. I'll come up with three decent goals by Feburary!

Don’t worry. I’ll come up with three decent goals by Feburary!

Determining your goals and resolutions for the new year is a difficult task, despite Hyatt’s help.

There are lots of conflicting facts and opinions to sort through.

One source states that if you set a goal at the start of a new year, you have a 90% better chance of completing it than if you decide to go after it at some later time.

Another study says that less than 1% of all New Year’s resolutions are ever accomplished anyway.

Some psychological experts recommend that you publicly announce your goals and resolutions to your family and friends on day one so that they can support and encourage you all along the way until you reach success.

While other psychological experts warn you about doing this and will tell you to “shut up.”

In their view, publicly announcing your goals and resolutions in advance plays a cruel trick within your brain.

The good feelings you experience by yakking about your intentions actually trigger deep inner feelings within you that you’ve accomplished something – when in reality – you haven’t accomplished anything at all.

See what I mean?

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 7.37.55 PMIn the midst of all of this, it’s no wonder the swagger and clarity of Deputy Fife appeals to me.

He confidently cuts to the chase and “nips” all of the trendy psycho-babble in the bud.

My daughters wished my mentor was someone more like Bono, a little more worldly and a tangible, real person.

They think Deputy Barney Fife is a clown. I don’t.

I think he — and every character on the old Andy Griffith show on TV — were really onto something; something that is rarely found in many of the recent commentaries and how-to’s  written about how we should look at 2014 and plan out our goals.

What was consistently portrayed by Deputy Fife and the other residents of Mayberry was “daily life”…  lived on their own terms… their own way… and at their own pace.

My own terms, way, and pace are probably quite different than yours – at least you should hope so – but the point is not what ours are or are not.

There is no perfect definition, formula, or combination. There is no right or wrong. We each have our own preferred approach and style, and it’s up to us to determine individually “what works.”

All of that uniqueness that makes you “YOU” must factor into whatever New Year’s goals and resolutions you make.

For example, the writers of the award-winning Andy Griffith Show were very protective of the show’s emphasis on caring relationships and grateful that the producers gave them the resource of “time” to help them develop fitting scenes and dialogue for the characters.

The writers said that the producers never infringed on their rhythm and pacing, and they could take up to 3-5 minutes of “air time” to move toward a desired emotional response or laugh line.

Contrast this to today’s TV productions, where creators and producers now toss in their emotional or ha-ha funny “jolts” every 35-45 seconds or so.

And this mandated pace is accelerating.

MTV now defines a show’s “jolts” as scene changes, character ins-and-outs, plot twists, and other visual and audio changes – and is pushing creators to begin inserting “jolts” into their shows at a mind-boggling “one jolt per second’ rate.


Even the ABC TV show “20/20” reported a few weeks ago in a holiday special that the producers of the popular BBC series “Downton Abbey” insert 55 to 58 setting or storyline “jolts” in every one hour episode.

So here’s my advice as you determine your 2014 goals and resolutions.

Be respectful of your own terms, way, and pace. Trust your instincts before wrapping your arms around any formula.

Besides, the other suggestions offered by those psychological experts frequently don’t work.

I tried publicly announcing my 2014 goals and resolutions to my wife and daughters last week and they still haven’t stopped laughing.

Tom Page, SCN
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