Goal Setting for Success
Goals Breed Success
Everyone has heard that setting goals is an important part of success. They know they are good and that many successful people use them to get to the top. However, many people do not realize why goals work or even how to properly set goals. This can be a big problem because if you do not know why you’re doing something, and you don’t know how to do it, then to me it sounds like a recipe for disaster. I believe that having goals is a complete game changer in life and in the gym. If you want success in either, I believe that setting goals could be the first step towards achieving them. Even if you have never set goals before, I think everyone can start. So grab a piece of paper and a pen, and get read to set a goal.
The first step in the goal setting process is to understand why you should even have goals in the first place. In my opinion, I believe goals give you three things: direction, purpose, and focus. Goals provide direction. They give you a destination, well, more of a stepping stone towards your next success. Goals aid in providing milestones along your journey and provide positive reinforcement along the way. Without goals, you would not know where you were going. As Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” The absence of goals allows for the infiltration of laziness and confusion. When you have no idea where you are going, you will never reach anywhere of value. It seems valuable to me that you must have a definite direction in order to obtain what you want.
The second valuable entity goals provide is a sense of purpose. When you have a sense of purpose in life, you have your reason why. I believe you do not have to debate if you want to do one thing or the other if you have goals. You just take a look at your goals and if it aligns, you act. If the circumstance does not align with your goals, then you avoid it. Of course escapism is important, but having goals provides you with a moral compass which you can guide your decisions off of. This compass will always tell the truth. It will point in the right direction (towards your goals), if your actions correspond to your ambitions. If not, it will lead you astray, and then you might want to think about reevaluating your choice. To me it seems like a fantastic tool for evaluating your productivity, efficiency, and work ethic.
Finally, goals provide you with a focus, especially when they are set in the proper manner (more on that later). When you have a goal, it is easy to tell what matters and what doesn’t. Anything that helps you attain your goal matters, and most everything else should be irrelevant. From my observations, I can tell when someone makes use of goals. You can see it in their eyes- complete focus on the task at hand. You get in “the zone” and let nothing take you out of it. It is one of the best feelings and the world, and it is blatantly obvious in the results that transpire. Simply put, goals breed success.
However, there are a few things I have noticed that success-baring goals have in common. First, they are uber specific. The more specific you make something the more definite the goal is going to be. Specificity provides clarity. It provides direction, purpose, and focus. The more detail the better. Instead of saying “I want to lose weight”, say “I want to lose 30 pounds and 2 pants sizes.” When you add the numbers, you have a measurable amount that you can shoot for. Your destination is clearly stated and you now have a picture of what you want in your mind.
Second, successful goals are time oriented. Let’s continue with the example of weight loss. Now instead of just having your weight and pants size measurement, you add a deadline. “I want to lose 30 pounds and 2 waist sizes by Oct. 12th, 3 months from today.” This end date creates a sense of urgency. You now have some pressure on yourself to get it done in that time frame. In turn, work ethic increases and success typically follows. Successful people make these goals attainable, but they seem just out of reach to everyone else. Their goals scare them; they are not comfortable. This seems to be a key in major success- setting very high goals and having a strong belief that you are going to achieve them. Make them big and challenge yourself.
Third, they are back with a reason. This is absolutely key. Absolutely everything in life has a motive. Some are superficial, but most actions have a very deep meaning. I once listened to a podcast that claimed your true motive/reason is “7 Whys” deep. State the first motive that comes to mind and then ask why 7 times in order to find out your true reason for your goals. So when you say you want to lose weight, as yourself why. Many people would respond that they want to be healthier. Well, let’s take that a step further and ask yourself why you want to be healthy.
“I want to lower my blood pressure” could be a possible answer. Why do you want to lower your blood pressure? Because the doctor said if I don’t I could possibly have a heart attack. Why don’t you want to have a heart attack? Because I could die. Why don’t you want to die? I do not want to die because I have 3 kids at home who I want to see grow up. Why do you want to see them grow up? I want to see them grow up because my dad wasn’t able to because of his health. He could not throw a ball with me, ride on rollercoasters, or do anything without being in pain. I really wish I could have had those memories with him. Why is having those memories important to you? I was never able to have those memories with my own father and I want to share them with my kids.
Ah ha! Now we found the real reason. The true reason why you want to lose weight isn’t because you want to be healthier, it is because you want to provide your children with memories you did not have. Your goal now reads, “I want to lose 30 pounds and 2 waist sizes by Oct. 12th, 3 months from now because I want to be there for my children. I want to be able to provide them with lifelong memories that I never had.” Now this goal is meaningful. The deep meaning is exposed and now it has possibility for success.
The final and most important piece of any successful goal is ACTION. Without action, nothing will be accomplished. A good way to keep focused on doing is to look at your goals every day, maybe even write them down. Keep it as your dominating thought and put small steps towards it every single day. Consistent effort compounded over time will breed success.
So, what are your goals? What is something you have always wanted to accomplish, but never had the direction to complete? I want to help. Send me a message, let me know what your goal is, and I would love to provide you with as much value as I possibly can. I am still figuring this out too. I am not an expert by any means. However, I do believe I have a special talent for evaluating what other successful people do, and I possess an ability to put them to use. With that said, let’s set some goals and go out and crush them!