Goals: Do you have them? Do you accomplish them? Before we get started I have a few questions about goals that I would love for you to answer out loud:
How many times do you look at your goals? How many times do you think about your goals? How many times do you accomplish your goals? How many times do you write your goals down somewhere?
Heck, how often do you actually HAVE goals that you are working on? We see articles and ideas and comments about our goals all the time. How many times have you actually sat down and written what your real goal is? How many times have you taken a step back and thought about what you actually want to accomplish? Society has this idea that we have to have a goal in order to feel fulfilled in life. While I don’t want to necessarily debate the merits of having a goal I do want to explain how to have and accomplish them properly.
The first 25 years of my life I can tell you for a fact that I did not have goals. I accomplished several things that I am very proud of, I played college football and I was able to actually get out of the field a little bit and did many other things that I’m very proud of. The truth is never once did I actually write a goal down or think about what I wanted to accomplish in my life and now looking back on all of that, I think that was not my smartest decision.
For the next four or five years I started thinking about making goals. I thought that making goals would propel me forward in my life. These goals were usually outcome based and focused on the usual suspects: finances, Health, family, and other objectives that are easily measured and also easy to talk about. The problem is I rarely hit any of these goals. We will get into the reasoning why later.
In my 30s I started taking a better look into what goals actually should be. I started shooting for real quantifiable goals that could potentially move me forward in my career and in my life. I used the SMART framework that I am positive you have heard about and I used cleverly designed programs to help me write and design the best goals. But yet I rarely obtained the goals that I had written down. I was doing everything the experts told me to so why would the goals not come?
I read, I listened and I looked at all types of reasoning as to why I could not hit my goals. I simply didn’t understand what was going on. I was doing everything that the books that I should be doing and I was following through and even using the right framework and making them SMART. Why wasn’t it working?
My guess is that something similar has happened to you. As a society we talk about goals almost yearly and sometimes even more frequently than that. We talk about what goals you want to accomplish and those typically revolve around finance, wellness, social, and something to do with the family. Statistically speaking, chances are you didn’t hit your goals and haven’t hit your goals in a while. I bet you are wondering why. Maybe you’ve used some type of framework to accurately write your goals but sometimes that’s not enough.
Goals can be very powerful when we have them and when we work toward them. The great thing about that is most people want to improve themselves at least one thing. So why do most people have a hard time completing the goals that they so desperately want to accomplish?
Before we talk about accomplishing any goals we need to define what goals actually are and what goals you should strive for. Goals are ideas and outcomes that we envision for ourselves that we hope to claim in the future. However, unfortunately what happens a lot of the time is goals are missed due to an error in the way we approach them. We actually pick the wrong goals most of the time too.
When I was younger and first started setting goals I was just like you. I chose goals that I thought we’re great for me. I chose to lose weight, to make more money, spend more time with the family etc. but the problem was none of those or what I really wanted. So before we pick goals let’s really dive into what exactly you want.
I want you to think about yourself one, three, five, and even more years from now...What will your life be like? What kind of house will you have, what kind of car will you drive, what kind of family will you have, what will your job be, and what will your health be like? I’m sure you’re familiar with questions like this and have probably answered those before let’s take it a step further. WHY do you want a certain kind of house or a certain kind of car or to lose 20 pounds? In other words, why will any of those answers be the answer to those questions? The only way to fully accomplish our goal is to know why we want it in the first place.
You see, the problem that I kept running into was that I was continuing to set generic goals that everyone else was using. I was setting goals just like everyone else and they were not specific to me. This meant that they did not create any sense of passion or urgency in my life. Only when I really discovered my why was I able to fully develop my goals.
So once you develop your why we have a solid starting point. We have that initial point which we can move forward from. The true why behind your goal and really anything else in life is what pushes you to accomplish things. For a lot of people that is never fully realized and that is why we continue to miss our goals. I want you to pick one to three goals that you want to accomplish in the next 90 days. I don’t care what they are and they don’t have to be fitness related; however, some examples could be you want to drink more water, eat more vegetables, read more, exercise more, or something along those lines. The possibilities are endless.
Once you pick these three goals I want you to figure out why you picked them. Why do you want to read more, why do you want to drink more water or eat more vegetables. If you need to talk to someone about that, reach out and talk to someone about it. The truth is we need to figure out why you want to do that specific thing.
Now that we have those few goals picked out we’re gonna work on them over the next 90 days and in order to fully accomplish them we slowly increase over time. For example, if you are not reading now let’s find a book and start reading for five minutes a day. It may not seem like much but over these 90 days as you’re developing a habit those five minutes will slowly grow to 10 minutes and so on all the way up to maybe 30 minutes a day. Think about how many books and how much information you can absorb in a year by reading 30 minutes a day and it all started with pushing yourself to do five minutes a day...and those five minutes started because you figured out your why.
Currently I work on 3 to 5 goals at a time that lead to other goals. For example, one of my goals this year is to write a book and quite frankly, I’m not used to writing and it does not come easily to me. In order to develop the habit, I’m working on these blog posts and writing in a journal daily for 5 to 10 minutes with just my thoughts. These daily habits are leading me to my goal. I have a strength goal of deadlifting 500 pounds by the end of the year (2020). To accomplish that I have made smaller habits my priority in order to accomplish the bigger goal. These include getting consistent sleep and making sure my protein intake and caloric intake are adequate enough to facilitate strength gains. Those are just two of my goals that I very much want to accomplish because I discovered my why.
I encourage you to take a little bit of time by yourself and think about what you want to accomplish and then think about why you want to accomplish them. We then break those goals down into small, bite-size chunks, that lead you to your bigger goal. For me, that has been a game changer. Good Luck and let me know what goals you want to work on! I am always here to help!