Why We Don’t Achieve Our Goals (or Resolutions)

Why We Don’t Achieve Our Goals (or Resolutions)

First, I’d like to thank you for your support. I really appreciate that you’re reading this right now! The past few months have consisted of rapid growth and change for me, since I get more email subscribers every day. I also have thousands of Facebook and Twitter followers (it’s mind-boggling to me – in a good way 🙂 )

Due to the rapid growth, I took some time over the holidays to do some “soul searching” about what I want to focus on this year. These are my main goals for 2016:

1) Provide more value and engagement with you (expect to see more videos!)

2) More focus on how we can optimize our lives for the better! (achieve happiness, success, and what we hold in our hearts!)

3) Release my next book (stay tuned on that!) Blog subscribers will get first access to get it for free!

I will keep you updated. Now onto today’s post…

It’s that time of year where most of us have likely abandoned the New Year Resolutions that we declared a few weeks ago. Today’s post consists of a quick video to discuss a few of the main reasons we often don’t accomplish our goals or resolutions.

This video is a brief excerpt from the Optimize Your Productivity Course inside Design Your Success Academy (the Academy resides within the Lisa Kardos School of Excellence).

To learn more about Lisa and access resources, visit:

Blog: http://optimizebooks.com
Design Your Success Academy: http://learn.lisakardos.com
Free Webinar: http://lisakardos.com

Lisa Kardos, Ph.D. blogs about how we can optimize our lives for the better! (achieve happiness, success, and what we hold in our hearts!) She enjoys helping people overcome challenges to achieve their dreams.


Dr. Lisa Kardos has experience in chemical engineering, management, higher education, public speaking, and career development. She is the Founder of the Lisa Kardos School of Excellence and the Amazon Bestselling Author of Optimize for Victory: A Simple Approach to Overcome Challenges and Achieve Your Dreams.

My friend’s passing and Thanksgiving

My friend’s passing and Thanksgiving

I lost my closest childhood friend eleven years ago. Though I honor her memory throughout the year, Thanksgiving is a time when it feels a little more painful than usual. She would have turned 32 years old tomorrow. Instead, she turned 21 on November 25th, 2004 and passed away five days later from a very aggressive form of cancer.

A year before that, no one would have ever suspected that would have happened. She was thriving in college, preparing for the LSATs, and was planning her future out. She was one of the most conscientious, caring, diligent, and hard-working people I have ever known. Valedictorian of her class, she pursued excellence relentlessly. She spent most of her time preparing for her future…a future she never got to have.

I didn’t have many close friends growing up. I was shy and it took me time to develop friendships and relationships with people (something I got much better at in my adult life). Her passing was extremely difficult for me to process and I still miss her dearly…I wish things were the way they were in high school and college. We always celebrated her birthday the weekend after Thanksgiving…it was tradition to go to her favorite Italian restaurant and then a movie.

I bring all this up not to depress you, however. I think the holidays are a tough time of year for most people. On the one hand, they help you take a step back and count your blessings. On the other hand, you often think of loved ones you lost, people you won’t be celebrating with this time around. And then, of course, there is all the preparation that comes with the holidays — cooking, cleaning, shopping, parties, end of the year goals (personally and professionally), etc. It’s a lot in a short period of time.

So I just want to sincerely wish all of you peace. I truly hope that you have an opportunity to rest and enjoy the moment with your loved ones, and that it will not be stressful for you as we get into December. It is an important time of year to remember what we are grateful for, and I’m certainly grateful for a whole lot that has happened this past year:

  1. My home and family.
  2. Graduating in January with my Ph.D. (an endeavor that took years of hard work at night and on the weekends)
  3. Publishing my book, starting my blog, starting my online school. Though it’s very challenging and hard to “put myself out there,” I know that it’s for good reasons. I am happy to discover that my programs have been helping some individuals manage their lives more easily. I was very touched by some feedback I received recently.
  4. YOU! I really appreciate that we have connected through my blog or programs! I mean that sincerely. Thanks so much for your support. I sincerely hope that you are finding value in my blog / programs.

On the aforementioned note of peace — I am working out the details now to provide some resources during December to help manage the holiday stress. Following that, as we get into the new year, there will be a new blog series (details to come).

Again, I wish you all a peaceful and very Happy Thanksgiving.



Why Everyone Should See The Lego Movie

Recently, The Lego Movie has become a new favorite of mine. The article below will help you see why. Additionally, what I find very interesting is the idea of the mind being a “blank slate.” Without spoiling the movie, there is a message that comes forth from the character, Emmet, who has a “blank slate” mindset. Instead of having to unlearn negative/fixed mindsets (see blog post http://www.optimizebooks.com/mindset/reframing-and-perspective/), he has such an open mind and is able to use that to his advantage.

It’s an interesting idea — because I’ve noticed that many of us are trying to unlearn a lot so that we may increase our chances for success!

That’s my two cents…check out the article AND the movie!

By the time The Lego Movie ended, I not only wanted to see it again to examine any subtle nuances I missed, but I was also grappling with several central questions of human existence — mainly, how I, one human being in this world of millions, can contribute something important.

Source: Why Everyone Should See The Lego Movie

Learning from Our Children

My husband and I took our son, Gabriel, to his second “Music Together” class this morning. We’ve noticed that he really enjoys it — he smiles, laughs, and appears very excited and engaged! And we have also interestingly observed that he picks and chooses the activities he participates in during the class. Sometimes he takes a few steps off the mat, tilts his head, and watches and analyzes the class while making his decision. Most of the time he chooses to re-engage, and other times he decides not to.


In a sense, he decides where he wants to spend his energy. And if something does not suit him, he will not simply succumb to what’s going on right in front of him.


Could this type of analysis be something we should be doing as adults?


How often do we feel that we have to do something? That everyone is “crazy busy” and spread so thin, so we adopt the same behavior?


When things are thrown at us, we have a tendency to automatically prioritize them. But is this the best course of action? Or should we be deciding if we should even bother to prioritize certain things in the first place. That is, should we not participate at all?


Perhaps this post has more questions than answers. But I challenge everyone (including myself) to consider optimizing for time and energy. Let’s challenge if something actually belongs on our plate or not. Let’s ask ourselves “why” are we engaging and participating.


Last year I had the great pleasure of meeting Al Pittampalli, author of Read This Before Our Next Meeting and blogger/founder of The Modern Meeting Standard. In fact, he autographed my personal copy of his book. What I really like about Al is that he is someone who is not afraid to ask the hard questions, hence his mission to change the culture of the Modern Meeting to be better than what it is today.


Inside my book, Al personally wrote,

“Lisa, End the status quo!”


On that note, perhaps we should consider applying Al’s advice to our lives (in addition to meetings!) and end the status quo by doing what my 21 month old son does: optimize ourselves by choosing how to spend our time and energy.


Isn’t it amazing what we can learn from those who are so new in this world — young souls who have a blank slate without preconceived notions?


Reframing and Perspective

When we feel overwhelmed or stressed, it is sometimes best to reframe the situation in our minds. We can also refer to that in terms of changing our perspective. For instance, if we were to take an aerial view, as if we were suddenly looking down at an issue from an airplane at 30,000 feet, we would feel less stressed because we would physically be in a position where we could not do too much about the issue; we essentially removed ourselves. This teaches us that managing situations can be helped by our mindsets. In Optimize for Victory: A Simple Approach to Overcome Challenges and Achieve Your Dreams, I discuss this concept in terms of identifying the System vs the Surroundings, as we typically do in engineering. You can basically draw a box around yourself — the system — and recognize that everything outside of the box is not necessarily within your control; all you can do is decide how you can be your best self. Identifying what is in your surroundings is sometimes a great stress reliever — you instantly realize you are not responsible for someone else’s actions but can only be responsible for yourself.

Earlier this week we started to think about mindset, especially in terms of the benefits of having a “growth mindset” (Your Mindset is Important). Connecting the concept of a growth mindset with the aforementioned reframing technique can be very powerful for us. Each has its own benefits, but the combination of having a base mindset of growth – that you can develop yourself for success – in addition to using the techniques of reframing situations in your mind when challenges arise – optimizes your chances for success!