How many goals have you set and achieved?
What does your success ratio look like?
If it’s anything like mine, it’s about 2:9843455….
So why is achieving our goals so difficult? Well there can be a number of different reasons, but I think that ultimately there is one key flaw in our goal setting that is holding us back and I don’t think it has anything to do with the goal itself.
Have you ever asked yourself what would happen after you’ve reached your goal?
Let’s say you wanted to lose some weight. You sign up for an 8 week program, you do that program, you lose some weight… and then what?
What happens after that 8 weeks?
What happens after you’ve reached your goal?
This is the area of time I don’t think enough people consider when they are setting their goals. What happens AFTER you’ve reached your goal? Well if you go back to behaving like you did prior to starting your goal…
Guess what’s going to happen to your weight…
People tend to be terribly short-sighted when it comes to goal setting. It’s just a natural part of who we are as human beings. We’re quick to jump on a new strategy or plan if we think it will get us to our goal faster but we’re not stopping to consider what happens if we actually reach that goal and we’re especially not considering what happens after.
What we’re really missing some perspective on, is the journey towards the goal.
It’s not the goal that gets us in shape, it’s the pursuit of that goal that gets us in shape.
It’s the journey that gets us in shape.
David Goggins, one of the most intense athletes I know, once said,
“An NFL football player comes up to me and says, “Goggins can I ask you a question? How do you keep that dog mentality?”
And I said, “Let me ask you a question? When you were younger, what did you want to be?”
He said, “An NFL football player… but once I got there I lost that dog mentality…”
He had a finish line in his brain. Guess what, a true dog mentality…
I have a dog at home, he never gets full.”
You see even those that can achieve amazing accolades, those that can reach the peak of athleticism, can reach their goals and not know what to do next.
This is the same mistake many people, including myself, make when setting their own goals. Our mind is too far spent thinking about the finish line, and not about the journey.
The journey is really where we should be putting our time and effort in to.
But yes, we do still need a goal. A goal sets us on the journey. It gives us a direction, but the goal should only give us the direction. It should only be to point us to where we want to go, it shouldn’t be a finish line.
So the next time you set a goal, don’t set one that has a finish line. Set one that is grossly unachievable (Setting Big Goals: What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up) and then spend your time focusing on the journey.
Don’t worry about ever trying to achieve your goal, worry about what you’re doing today, that is taking another step on the journey.
Go all in on the journey and never stop walking the path!