How this Started
I’m walking through the cubes at work and see two colleagues. A quick smile from each of them suggest a stop to say hi. I stop and open with your normal cordial comments. They return them! “What’s exciting”, I ask? We are talking about new year resolutions. “I should have Chachi set goals with me, he always reaches his”, my colleague replies. We continued on about some of my goals and beliefs about them. Then it leads me to this result. I do reach my goals often. I don’t get them all. There are some I let go of, which is okay too. However I figured I share; why I set the goals, how I set them, and what I do to achieve them.
Belief and Values
I’m a deep thinker. I always go deep into conversations and thoughts, sorry to those that struggle through my convo’s. I may start at the fruit of a tree however sooner or later I’m breaking down the roots. From my point of view if you don’t ever start at the root of anything you won’t make any goal long lasting. If your goal isn’t something you want life-long then why is it worth your energy. With that being said all my goals start off with my Beliefs. Not only do they align with what I believe in, they must also be something I believe I will accomplish. Not just something I’m going to try or hope for. If you believe 100% you will give 100%. There is no way around that. Believe Believe Believe. One belief of mine; if one human can do or accomplish something any human can!
My values make my decisions. Knowing your core values makes everything easier for you and also leads to calm pure feeling. Once I established my core values I noticed why I felt great, about some of my behaviors and why other just seem to pull me down over time. The ones that pulled me down didn’t align with my values. I also noticed the goals that overlapped with two or more values received energy with ease. Not only energy but also effort, time, and excitement. Quick suggestion, if you don’t know your core values this should be the only goal you set. Figure these out pronto. This is a game changer and easiest way to hit goals. Here is a quick website to help you on your way. Alice Waters, an American chef and author said, “The decisions you make are a choice of values that reflect your life in every way.” Roy Disney, brother to Walt, solidifies what Amy stated with his comments, “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” When it comes to my physical goals two of my values always make an appearances; passion for achievement and inner-vision. That is why working out, eating for health, doing obstacle course racing, running marathons, and practicing yoga are all staples in my life. I set goals around these, and specifically as I’ll get into shortly, the behaviors behind them and not results.
Get out the Map!
Once your foundation is completed with believing and living your values the preparing and planning comes into play. I personally like to shoot from the hip. Go wear the wind blows. However when I prepare and plan I always have consistent progression. As Tony Robbin once stated, “progression is motivation.” Let me tell you in times of adversity the motivation of progression will pull you through, pure will power. Plan and prepare, and you will last longer with your goals and accomplish more. For most people who set goals they jump too many steps, when trying to set goals and because of this they fail. Not only do they skip the first two steps listed above but also steps in the preparation stage.
“The height of cultivation runs through simplicity” Bruce Lee
Remember this always as you progress through life. Our society and way of life now in 2016 is saturated with the believe that abundance is happiness. Many people have more than what they need in almost every category. Yet success and happiness travel through simplicity. The same is true with goals. Stay Simple. Think of any person that you would consider great. Each one of them maintain simple steps that led to more complex goals. Yet all their goals stayed in one category or field. Jordan was great at basketball, Gandhi with human rights, and so on. If your goal can be broken down into a smaller or simpler goal, do it.
Purpose and Vision
The second habit in Steve Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people is to start with the end in mind. Imagine and envision your goal. How are your behaviors once you have acquired this new skill or trait? What are you now able to accomplish? Picture yourself in action with your new acquired trait and the feelings that are involved with being in control of this new skill. Put the skill into play. I plan on learning Spanish one day and see myself chatting with my grandmother while drinking coffee. There is a summary of Steven Covey’s second habit here
for more information. Tied with a vision of your goal is the purpose. A very common goal for people is losing weight. Losing weight is a result of a foundational purpose. Establishing a purpose gives room to several possibilities, which losing weight is probably not the only result or path from this purpose. In recent years I’ve had a few different nutritional plans. I’ve been vegan, vegetarian, no red meat, used Herbalife, and few other custom plans. Currently I use Herbalife and have a mix of blood type diet with Paleo. I’ve never set a goal to be a vegetarian or vegan. I’ve never set a goal around any particular plan. My purpose has kept me nimble and on path. This is why I’ve also been successful with maintaining and losing weight. My purpose is to live a life free of obstacles that are in my control. What I eat is in my control and unbeneficial nutrition leads to other issues that are preventable. Because of this purpose I can change my diet as long as it keeps me in control of my physical and mental health. Crazy, it also has ended with weight loss and muscle gain. Which were indirect results. See your desired end and set a purpose that keeps you grounded.
I’ll Take YOU!
At this point you know your core values. The vision of yourself in the future is seen. The grounded starting point is set with your purpose. Now its time to get things done. David Allen the author Getting things done, explains the best way is by listing all your desired wants. Be creative with this step. There is no skill, goal, or trait that should be left out. Don’t second guess or limit your list to what you think you can achieve. Everything that comes to mind should be listed. I even like to take a break after I’ve listed everything I can think of. Once I’m done, I come back to the list later that day or even the next day. I almost always have more that I can add. Once your list is done the priorities will outshine. Some on the items, you will be drawn too and some are just more important. Remember your values and purpose, they will help you select your top 3. From your top 3 select your number 1 through 3. Remember one of the main factors in achieving goals is keeping actions, plans, and ideas simple. Of the top 3 you will only work on 1 of them till it reaches the level you envisioned. Then the next one and so on. “It is far better to make progress on one thing then little to none on many things,” said Tasha Eurich, speaker on TED.com.
Now you have your goal or as I like to say a direction. Direction better describes what a goal does. A goal is a focal point in a distance that you are truly trying to get too. As we move in that direction we may notice that the path to get there has other obstacles or lessons that makes us slow down, speed up, change directions, or realize that the goal was something that we thought we wanted. When a goal is a direction you can focus on what truly matters. The goal is not what matters. What matters are the behaviors and actions you are taking every moment. Once your goal is set, forget it. Set a plan for what you will now do every day and week. Have short term vision. Only plan out what you will do each day and up to one week in advance. Use three questions that former NFL football player Reggie Rivers used. What will you do today? What will you do tomorrow? What will you do this week? Your action plan should be based around those 3 questions. It is that simple. Also predict the obstacles that you will come across. Knowing in advance makes obstacles much easier to overcome. Even picture yourself saying, “No thank you, I don’t want a donut today”, to your coworker. The picture and state your plan. I’ll only eat this today! I’ll run 3 miles tomorrow! I will run 15 miles this week and follow my week nutrition plan! Then each day reflect on how you did that day. Then each week reflect on what you did that week. Then start the 7 days over again. You will be surprised to see the progress you make by only focusing on what you are doing and not the goal. Measure only the actions and not the results. Did you eat only your nutrition plan? Did you run 3 miles? Did you run 15 miles? If the answers are yes, you won that week! If the answers are no then change those behaviors and start winning each of these little battles and soon you will win that war!
Then jump to the next one! It is that simple, that easy!