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Want to Stick with Your 2019 Goals? Part 2

Choose Hope. Part 2

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Read part 1

The Hope Cycle

Why is a coach talking about hope?

Because hope is an endless cycle that moves you toward your goals. Hope is about choosing to connect your head and heart to create momentum. It is not about success or failure. It has everything to do with your head and heart moving towards a goal and contributing something to this world.

Hope also has nothing to do with whether you develop new habits, set resolutions, or pick a word of the year. You do all three. You might even be engaged in new habits, goals and claiming your word. These are all good things.

As you think about 2019, what I want to coach you toward seeing your goals and plans for the year ahead through the lens of hope. Because, friends, the world needs more hope. And if the world needs hope, you’re a part of the world, and that means YOU need hope.

In Part 1, I shared with you one of my goals from 2018 was to launch a podcast. We did, it is called LeaderCast. It’s not important that you know my goals. But this goal illustrates the three elements of hope.

According to leading psychologist C.R. Snyder, here is the trilogy of hope:

  • goals
  • pathways
  • agency

If you hear nothing else I say, hear this:

If you want to stick with your goals this year, choose hope.

Here’s why.

Hope is created Sara Thomas coach

Hope is a choice.

I’ll say it again in case you just glanced over that headline. Hope is a choice. It can be learned. And, hope multiplies when shared.

May I offer you a few more reasons? Hope is the place your head and heart come together. A resilient spirit is filled with hope. How do I know?

I begin with Scripture:

  • Psalm 71:5 (CEB) —  …because you are my hope, Lord. You, Lord, are the one I’ve trusted since childhood.
  • Matthew 12:21 (CEB) — And the Gentiles will put their hope in his name.
  • Romans 8:18–21 (CEB) — 18 I believe that the present suffering is nothing compared to the coming glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19 The whole creation waits breathless with anticipation for the revelation of God’s sons and daughters. 20 Creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice—it was the choice of the one who subjected it—but in the hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from slavery to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of God’s children.

I could go on. But, I’ll simply say this: in Jesus, we find our present and future hope.

TAKE ACTION: What choices are you making for 2019?

But, be clear. Hope is not wishful thinking. Psychologists have studied people with hope.

Guess what? I don’t know if they realize it, but they’ve confirmed what Scripture says. They’ve simply found a way to explain hope so we can comprehend how to become people with high hope.

Here’s a simple diagram to illustrate how hope works. It’s based on the work of CR Snyder and Shane Lopez.

The hope cycle Sara thomas

The Trilogy of Hope

Let me unpack the trilogy of hope for you. Hope happens when we have the ability to set realistic goals (goals), able to figure out a way to achieve our goals (pathway), and believe in ourselves (agency).

  • Goals are about answering the question, “What do you want? Where are you going? What are you looking forward to?” People with high hope set realistic goals.
  • Pathways are how you will get there.
    • Pathways are not straight lines from point a to point b. There will be resistance and detours on every path.
      • Need proof? Think about life before we had a GPS. Or, the number of times you’ve heard your GPS announce, “rerouting” or “at the next opportunity, make a U-turn.” And if you’ve never heard these things, it’s time to live a little, ok?
    • People with high hope know how to navigate around bumps in the road, see how to get back on a path when there is a detour, and to keep going.
    • New pathways emerge when roadblocks and detours happen.
  • Agency is about believing you have what it takes to get to your goal.

Pathways and agency work together to create momentum toward your goal. You don’t become a person with high hope with a path alone. Said differently, you need more than a plan to be a person with hope. You need agency. Conversely, we don’t become a person with high hope with agency alone. With agency alone, you may risk becoming arrogant or self-centered. You need a path and purpose, too.

When you encounter a detour or a curveball is thrown your way, or doubt, fear, or thoughts like, “I’m not good enough” rise up in your soul, you need hope. Together, goals, agency, and pathways offer us a framework for becoming high hope people.

Take action: What do you want for the coming year?

What paths exist to accomplish your goals?

What do you have and need to make your goals a reality?

Ready to multiply hope? First, we need to make a pit stop at the garbage.

Read part 3