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❓Today's question: Did you know that 90% of good resolutions are not kept?

Yes... We are approaching the end of the year, and we genrally tend to focus more on goals’ assesment at this specific period... But this year is so special that I feel like reversing the steps. And beyond my tendency to do things differently, let's be realistic and pragmatic: to make a real assessment, we still need clear indicators!

And this figure anyway is worth spending time on... 😲90%!!!! 😲 No, I'm not refering to the announced success rate of a long awaited vaccine, but about the 90% of the resolutions not kept...


In reality this is probably not a surprise. We have all made resolutions in our lives that we have not kept... I plead guilty there for sure!

Probably because they are often taken on a whim and without real maturation and therefore commitment. Hence the interest in setting goals rather than resolutions AND in learning how to do it constructively.

Experts define goal setting as the act of selecting a target or objective that you want to achieve. So be it... But how on earth do you set objectives?

There is the famous SMART method developed by George T. Doran. The acronym of this method is a good illustration of its ambition: to give a recipe for setting smart objectives. SMART as you probably know stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Whether for professional (within the framework of a project) or personal (for your own development) purposes, the use of the SMART method is recommended. Yet it is based on a prerequisite: that of you having previously defined the scope of your project, your ambition.

The method provides a framework for setting objectives and ensuring that you are able to achieve them. But it is not the only method, nor is it a panacea. 

Especially because in real-life - 2020 will have taught us the hard way- it is important to have flexibility, creativity and adaptability; ie some room for contingencies. And from my perspective, the risk with a SMART objective is to remain stuck in a path defined beforehand and upstream (the path marked out by the "attainable" element). That’s why I’m mentioning it as a useful but to be adapted tool.

The definition of an objective is in fact a ♻️ DELIBERATE AND EXPRESSIVE PROCESS. It starts with the identification of a new objective, a new skill or a new project that you wish to achieve. It continues by drawing up a plan to achieve it. Then by working to bring it to fruition. Which should lead to 🎯

The interest is to set objectives that go in the direction of what you want to aim for, and therefore to know yourself (this will undoubtedly be the subject of a future newsletter), to accept to leave your comfort zone (yes, the same one that I talked about in my newsletter n°1 😉).


Many people around me would say I have willpower. I sometimes feel that the borderline is close with tenacity... even stubbornness.

Fact is, when I decide to do something I give myself the means to do it.

But what I have learnt 💡 from my latest life experiences, in addition to the pricelless lessons from the studies or scientific approaches mentioned above, is:

  1. That no matter which method you choose, when it comes to writing objectives you have to accept to TAKE TIME and ask yourself many questions. It is an investment that is, however, well worth it. Your objective must be in line with your values. Bring your heart into the goal-setting process.
  2. That it is important to have precise objectives (neither too broad nor too overwhelming) IN EACH SPHERE OF OUR LIFE (to find or maintain a balance) AND to set a time frame (so as not to put off until tomorrow).
  3. That a facilitator of success is commitment. One way to strenghten this commitment is to talk about about your goals and enroll supporters that will hold yourself accountable (family, friend, mentor, etc) and write it down on paper (commitment to self),
  4. That it is crucial to break down your goal into actionable tasks. For example, in January I wrote down « Run 12 km by the end of the year 🏃‍♀️» as a goal. And I then broke it down to: go running 4 to 5 times a week 📅, find the right shoes 👟, equip yourself for winter time 🧤 (no excuse when it get’s dark or cold), get advice from people👂, make a little training plan ⏱️, etc. (If you are wondering.. I just achieved this goal despite the two lockdowns and the severe bike fall from this summer…. and it felt like I’ve activated another superpower🦸‍♀️). The more precise you are, the more chance you will have to make the necessary efforts and therefore to deploy the needed willpower to succeed.

Finally, I learnt that the real challenge is not determining if you want the result, but if you are willing to accept the sacrifices required to reach your goal. A question to ask yourself then is: "How much pain am I willing to accept?" . This is a tip I got from a friend and Olympic athlete, Aline Silva. It is one thing to consider what we could do or what we would like to do.... It's quite another thing to accept the tradeoffs that come with our goals.

    I am closing the loop here because in my opinion this is the main difference between a resolution and an objective 🎯 ;)


    A great practical tool to start setting some goals is the 'Development sphere' to visualize which areas to focus on and find a balance.

    Another step then is to keep in mind the concept developed by Stephen Covey in his book "The 7 habits of highly effective people" with the matrix of Important / Urgent things when dealing with time management. When setting goals (yearly/weekly/daily), it’s key to focus on Quadrant 2 (not urgent, but important) as the discipline to prioritize these tasks is key to self-management and achieving your personal mission.

    As I mentionned, ✍️writing down your goals is a key of success. There’s a lot of great planners out there. But one tool that I liked most is the Panda Planner developed by RocketBook. The 🗒️ offers a pattern that help you set your goals (similar to other planners). But what make it stands out is that it combine two elements that are dear to me : eco-friendliness + organisation & productivity. Indeed it’s entirely REUSABLE (you can wipe it clean with water) and connects traditional handwriting surfaces with the power of the cloud. And in case you wonder, I don’t have any affiliated link, I just love to share tools that worked well.

    🔀 Random "WORTHY 5" by Carole Bretteville

    A song🎶 worth listening: 'Parce que c'était lui, parce que c'était moi’ by Michel Sardou

    An activity 🤸 worth doing: Sleeping under the stars after a long walk

    A film 🎞️ worth seeing: The Bridges of Madison County' by Clint Eastwood

      A Maxim🦉 worth spreading: "Because you are alive, everything is possible." Thich Nhat Hanh

      A question ❓ that deserves to be asked: Did you laugh today?

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      ▶️ CHALLENGE

      And what if... against the tide of this newsletter, you challenge yourself not to set yourself objectives for a week?

       Yes, if it's simpler, do it during your next week's holiday.

      The idea being to free up some "bandwidth", to live in the moment and give yourself the space to realise what is most important to you. Because while our modern society always encourages us to think about the next step, we still have the power, if we give ourselves the means (I am not talking about the one imposed by the health situation) to take a break.

      My bet? It is by taking this break in our frantic - and sometimes ridiculous - race to reach our goals that we will be able to set smart goals - adapted to ourselves and our environment.

      Thank you for being awesome, stay healthy and stay curious.

      Until next time.

      Carole Ponchon

      Founder & CEO 


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