Tag Archives: goals

Knowing When to Jog & When to Sprint On Your Goals

In my previous post, Find Your Why, Repeat Your Why I’ve talked about life and motivation working like a roller coaster. That there are going to be up’s and down’s for everyone, and that recognizing this, and knowing how to work with this natural flow, can help you not only overcome the lows, but also to keep things in perspective.

Something I’ve found to be incredibly helpful, is understanding and applying the differences between standing still, jogging, and sprinting in anything that you do.

Standing still is exactly what it sounds like. It’s when we’re not moving at all, when we feel stuck, when we’re not making any progress towards our end goals. Standing still is quite possibly the worst place we can be.

Just as iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water putrefies…

If you’re feeling stuck, and find that you’re standing still, one of the quickest way to get unstuck, is by taking the smallest step you can. A Little Victory can go a long way in getting you from standing still, to jogging, and once you start jogging you can turn your focus to keeping that pace.

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Start by thinking of the smallest, littlest step you can take towards one of your goals. Have a goal to read more? Just open the book and read one sentence. Have a goal to exercise more? Just do one sit up. Any goal that you have, think of the smallest littlest bit of work you can do towards that goal, and do it. By taking this one small step, your suddenly, no longer standing still. Now if we can do this again the next day, and then again the next day… you’ll suddenly realize, you’re jogging.

Jogging through life is a solid baseline to making great progress towards your goals. Too often people try to work back-and-forth between standing still and sprinting. They’ll procrastinate working on their goals until they have a sudden burst of motivation. Then they’ll shift to sprinting until they gas themselves out and wind up standing still again. This goes back to the up-and-down, motivational roller coaster, that people ride.

One is always greater than zero. This mindset will help you keep ‘jogging’ towards your goals. 1 > 0

What we want to try and avoid is riding a roller coaster that has such steep inclines and declines. What we ultimately end up with is a lot of hard work on a sprint, only to lose most of that work while we’re standing still. Anytime we end up in the standing still scenario, our goals become farther and farther away. This is what makes jogging and little victories so important.

By getting into a good pace of jogging, and working towards our goals every day, we raise the bottom line of our effectiveness. Instead of taking a zero for a long period of time while we stand still, we’re getting a one, and one’s start to add up quick. Think about it, if you only even did the smallest amount of work towards a fitness goal, say one pushup a day. By the end of the year, you’ll have completed 365 pushups. If you’re not a person who normally works out, that’s most likely 365 more pushups than you did last year, and that’s pretty solid progress.

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Knowing how to go from standing still to jogging is a must. Where I find I tend to struggle is recognizing when to go from jogging to sprinting and back down to jogging. What I’ve found to work the best over the course of my life is that if we can get ourselves to jog at a regular daily pace, we then just have to identify the right times to sprint.

Sprint ahead on your goal when the daily routine starts to become boring.

I’ve found two moments that have really stood out to me as great times to sprint. The first, when the jog has started to become mundane. When you usually start jogging, it’s new. Your body and mind are adapting to the new pace and the new way your day is unfolding, but after a while, your body adapts and what was once difficult, and interesting, has now become boring and repetitive. These are some of the best times to start sprinting.

In these cases, I use sprinting to provide some variety form the mundane and to push my regular routine a little bit farther. If I’m reading one page a day from my book, I might sprint and read for 30 minutes, and then adjust my “jog” to start reading two pages a day. This short sprint tends to recharge my mindset on what I’m working towards, reinvigorating me, and then I slow back down from the sprint, but at a higher level jog. This has been great for pushing forward when things get dull.

Sprint ahead on your goal when things start to “feel” right.

The other time I love to sprint on something I’m working towards is when the opportunity feels right. I say, “feels” because it’s not always something that you can really quantify. It’s more of that feeling of knowing everything is starting to line up, you’re feeling great, and deep down you just know, it’s time to sprint. As I’m writing this article, this is exactly the sprint I’m taking. I’ve been working on this article a little bit at a time, but today, for whatever reason, this piece really just felt right to sprint on, so here I am, typing away.

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These types of sprints tend to be more about opportunity. They aren’t an attempt to push yourself farther or to try and overcome routine. These types of sprints fall more into the creative category. When you’re just, “feeling it” sort of sprint. These are important sprints to recognize and take advantage of, because they tend to come and go as they please and are not always aligned with our plans, however they can help us make great strides towards our goals. When ever you’re starting to feel, that little bit of extra motivation and you can see the pieces falling into place, it’s time to sprint!

Remember that sprinting towards something can not only help us take great strides towards the things we’re working for, but can also be used to shake things up and help get us to that next level of jogging.


Dream Big Long-Term, Work Small Short-Term

When it comes to setting goals and trying to figure out how to reach them, I’ve done my fair share of experimenting (you can see some of the strategies here: The ‘I HAVE To’ List).

But of all of the methods I’ve tried, and all of the ones I’ve failed at, there are a couple of things that have stood out as being helpful, across the board.



Dream Big Long-Term

In “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr (which I recommend buying and reading, it’s like a $10 book with about 20 pages in it), he discusses setting objectives, or goals, at a level that requires more than the average amount of effort to achieve. He follows this up by stating that even if a person, or team, only achieves a percentage of their goal, say 85%, that this is still a success.

The thought process behind this is that we too often limit our potential by trying to set reasonable goals… yet it is the unreasonable goals that actually drive innovation and progress. If you’ve ever heard anyone say, “shoot for the moon and you might land on a star”, this is what they are referring to, and it’s more than just a simple saying.

Setting big goals with an aggressive deadline will quickly put you into a different level of drive and this is exactly where you want to be, to achieve your goals.

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The thing that trips most people up though, is that they become very impatient to reach their bigger goals. Many people expect to hit the gym for a week or a month and then decide to give up, because they aren’t where they thought they should be. Peoples expectations on how quickly they should find success is terribly misguided and is often the cause of people who give up too soon.

This is what makes Dream Big Long-Term valuable. It tells us to continue to aim extremely high, so that we can continue to innovate and grow, but it also reminds us that we need to be running the race with the tortoise mindset and not expect to reach the finish line so quickly.

You can’t fast-forward to an achievement you haven’t earned.

Work Small Short-Term

While we need Big Dreams to set us on the right path, being a dreamer alone won’t get you where you want to go. And while our expectations should concern the Long-Term, if we’re not making enough happen consistently in the Short-Term, we’ll never get there.

That’s why Working Small Short-Term matters and it’s all about staying consistent, quickly. We can have a goal to win a race, but the only way to reach the finish line is to start taking steps. And the person or team that can show up every day, no matter the obstacles, and take another step, is the one who is going to reach the finish line.

Working Small Short-Term means looking for the Little Victories and trying to obtain as many of them as possible, as quickly as possible. The thing that tends to slow down a lot of people, when trying to reach their goal, is getting too caught up in trying to make the right decision.

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Maybe they over think what their workout routine should be, or they spend too much time trying to consider every option out there, and so they burn a bunch of time and energy on just thinking… but the thing is, no one can make the right decision always (unless of course you can predict the future).

Something that might look like a sure-fire, right decision now, might turn out to be a terrible choice 6 months later. You might think it’s a good idea to go to the grocery store, and then get hit by a car on the way. Suddenly that sure-fire choice just took a wrong turn. Life has a funny way of working like this, isn’t it ironic?

The point is, don’t get too caught up in trying to make the right, or even the best decision. Start taking actions and steps that you think might move you forward toward your goals ,and along the way you’ll figure out which choices work most of the time.


How Many Goals Should I Have?

I used to ask this questions all the time. How many goals should I have? Should I have just one big goal that I focus all my energy on? Should I have 3 goals so I don’t put all my eggs in one basket? Should I have more goals? Less? How the hell do I figure out how many goals I should have?!?

This was a really difficult question for me to answer for myself. I kept going around and around on the right number of goals until I made a couple of discoveries about myself. Like always, I sat down, opened up a couple of books and started diving into how goal setting worked and how to do it right. It only took me roughly 10 years to actually figure it out…



When I first started out, I used to set 1 goal. One target that I would work towards. This actually worked out fairly well for me seeing as outside of that 1 goal I was in my 20’s and spent most of my other free time doing dumb shit like most of us do in our 20’s.

photo cred: Danny Howe

There’s nothing wrong with that but it’s important to understand that at that point in life, having 1 goal can work great when you don’t really have a lot else that you are looking to achieve.

As I started to get older, a little more ambitious… 1 goal wasn’t enough. I didn’t just want more than 1 goal, I needed to have more than 1 goal. I started a career, a family, becoming a home owner, etc, etc, etc… I didn’t just want more goals I had a need for them and so I started playing around with the idea of 3-5 goals at a time.

This strategy actually felt like it worked less than 1 single goal. Where as before, I could dump as much time in as needed, as I was getting older, I was having less and less time for things, and having more goals was spreading me even thinner.

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I stayed stuck in this sort of limbo where I had too much going on and then on top of that too many goals that I wasn’t actually achieving very much.

I had no problem laying out my goals in my mind and how I wanted to do them but I was terrible at execution. I just couldn’t make it all work out correctly. I would have a plan, but I just couldn’t execute on that plan…

Then one day, about 3 months ago, I made a new discovery…

The problem wasn’t how many goals I had set…. The problem was really two -fold. I had this expectation that I needed to achieve each of my goals at 100% perfection. So if I couldn’t get up and go to the gym and lift thousands of pounds for an hour straight, then I just wouldn’t workout that day. Perfection became my poison

I also then played victim to, “I don’t have any time to work on my goals.” What I mean is, I didn’t have time to sleep in, go to work, take care of my kids, watch movies, play video games, screw around on weekends, AND achieve my goals.

What I learned was I felt I had to be perfect and I felt I had to devote more time to my goals than I really needed to. Once I eliminated those two factors, I was able to take on multiple goals. Multiple…. like.. 10+ goals… and I’m actually able to achieve them.

You see when you stop worrying about being perfect and you stop worrying about needing all this time to actually do it you can have as many goals as you want and make movement on them! Let me walk you through an example.

Let’s say you want to:

1. Get in shape

2. Write a book

3. Start a new diet

4. Earn a promotion

5. Remodel your kitchen

6. Get out of debt

7. And read a book

That all seems like a lot, especially if you consider you probably have a normal life on top of that. A job, kids, a marriage, bills, housework… so how do we make all of that fit into a single day? By being in it for the long-game.

photo cred: Capstone Events

Instead of trying to achieve all of these things in day, or a week. Be in it for the long-game. Play the long-game here and chip away at each of these goals every day. So while you will still have to get up and go to work, pick the kids up from school, do homework with them, and do your housework, you should also then…

Do 1 sit up.

Write 1 sentence for your book.

Pack 1 healthy snack for tomorrow.

Write down 1 work item you can accomplish.

Buy 1 item you need for your kitchen remodel.

Balance 1 part of your budget.

Read 1 sentence in your book.

Not one of those items on that list takes longer than 5 minutes. And the more you keep doing each one, the more you do it day-after-day, not expecting perfection, but chipping away at it each day, the better you’ll get at it.

Before long, you’ll say, “You know I’ve been doing 1 sit up for 2 weeks now, I think it’s time to do 2.” And then you’ll do it again, for another goal, and if you keep doing that, if you keep chipping away….

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Then in a year, you’ll have, completed 365 sit ups, written 365 sentences, eaten 365 healthy snacks instead of junk, completed 365 work tasks, taken 365 steps to a new kitchen, budgeted 365 times, and read 365 sentences.

You will have made so many more strides and steps towards your goals than you ever had before! So lay out your goals and lay out lots of them. Do as many as you want to do and plan to do them a little at a time. Small steps that chip away daily at the goal.

Play the long-game and you will reach your goals.


How To Stop Failing At Your Goals

Reaching our goals is tough. It’s so incredibly tough that most of us never actually reach them.

But there are some ways to actually making your goals much more of a reality and they’re not as complicated as you might think.


Let’s start with the big one. The number one reason people fail at achieving their goals is actually the elephant in the room. It’s not some surprise thing that their not doing or some off the wall trick that they just haven’t figured out yet. The main reason people fail at their goals…. is because they quit.

There I said it.

And it’s the big truth in anything I’ve ever seen people try to achieve or I’ve ever tried to achieve myself. Most people tend to have no problem starting a goal, it’s sustaining the goal that they fail at. It’s the waking up and showing up everyday part that most people can’t seem to get down. And here’s why.

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Most people expect to come at their goals at 100% every day. They expect that they are going to be highly motivated like they are when they first start their goal. They think they are going to come out and show up to their goal at 110% and crush it every day.

Then life comes in and punches them right in the mouth. A bad day comes along, they have a bad nights sleep, a shitty day at work, or something completely unforeseen happens, like getting into a car accident. And as soon as this bad day comes along, people quit. They say, “ya know I’ve had a rough day, I’m not feeling it today, so I’m going to skip.” Just like that, they’ve lost their goal.

photo cred: Dan Burton

What we can do though, is recognize that this is how life works. We can understand that life is going to purposefully try to throw us off, that life is going to come to us and say, “How bad do you really want it?” and when that happens, we have to be ready to answer.

There are two ways I’ve found to answer this question that life asks of us. The first is about getting back up. It’s about simply knowing that life is going to knock you down and it’s about getting back up anyways and trying again. Notice that I didn’t say it’s about getting up and getting it all done, no I said it’s about getting back up and trying again. It’s about not quitting, remember?

The second piece of advice is once you’ve gotten back up. Once you’ve mentally made the decision to try again understand that it doesn’t have to be all out. It’s better to have showed up and lost the fight than it is to have never shown up at all. What that means is that it’s better to show up to your goal and half ass it, than it is to never try at all.

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So if your goal is weight loss, it’s better to have done good on half your diet than none at all. If your goal is writing a book, it’s better to have written one sentence than none at all. If your goal is to quit smoking, it’s better to have reached have of your goal than it is to have completely abandoned the goal all together.

Remember, the number one reason people fail at their goals is because they quit. Because they think they have to do it at 110% everyday or it’s not worth anything. That perfectionist mindset is poison towards your goals. Don’t let yourself think that way.

Get up and give it 1% every single day.

Good or bad .

and never…

ever…

quit.

The Two Rare Skills You Need To Be Wildly Successful

There’s a lot of things out there to learn in life.

I remember being fresh out of high school and changing my major about 500 different times never really knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I felt like I had to find the right skillset or I wouldn’t be setup to be successful later in life. Unfortunately, the skillsets you need to actually be successful in life aren’t even taught in the class room.

For anyone out there reading this and trying to figure out how to be successful at what they’re doing, understand that it has nothing to do with what you’re actually doing. The two skills that you need to truly be successful can be applied to any job, any relationship, and any situation. They are the secrets to success.

Skill #1

photo cred: Moritz Mentges

The first skill is the most important one. It’s the one that actually creates action and makes things happen. Skill #1 is Work Ethic.

Work ethic means that if you put in the hours, you put in the work, you collect feedback, and you take time to learn, you will find success. Work ethic is the number one ingredient to making things happen.

Life is often times like a set of dominos except every so many dominos gets bigger and harder to fall over. Each time you knock down a domino, a couple of them fall, but then they get stuck on a domino that is even bigger than the others. That’s when you have to come along and work to make that next domino fall.

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And they don’t just keep falling for you. That’s a trick that a lot of people fall in to. They think they can just work hard for a few days, a few weeks, a few months, and then dominos will just keep falling, but that’s just not how it works. Your domino’s will stop falling and you will have to go put in more work to make the next one fall.

Skill #2

photo cred: Nathan Dumlao

The second skill goes right along with the first. It’s what keeps us honest and balanced and it’s life’s way of making sure you earn what you get. The second skill is Patience.

We live in such a, “give it to me now” society and we’re so used to instant gratification. We want to do one workout, one little project, one day of hard work, and then expect the lavish rewards. Life doesn’t reward you for one single great effort. Life rewards you for consistency. You can’t go to the gym once and get in shape, you have to do it every day, over-and-over and to get to that point, you have to be patient.

Lacking patience is what makes people quit too soon. The lack of patience has people hitting the gym for a week and then giving up because they don’t see any difference on the scale without realizing how close they really are to getting there.

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Try to understand that life is longer than you think. All of that, life is short talk that you see online is garbage. It’s just another marketing point to get you to spend money. “Life is short, take the vacation…” but the truth is, life is pretty fucking long. You literally spend years of it drinking and partying (aka college) and then come out the other side 10 years later with a job and a family.

Life is long, be patient with your goals and with yourself.

If you take these two skillsets and you mix them together you have everything that you need to be successful. Don’t expect to put in 1 day of hard work and reach your dreams. You haven’t earned it and it wouldn’t be fair to anyone else that had. Life rewards you with what you deserve. Work hard, be patient, and reach a point where life has no choice but to reward you.


Should You Have One Big Goal?

Having one big goal. One big target for what you’re after in life. A dream.

That’s what it’s all about. Time after time we see athletes and musicians have one big dream to grow up and make it big. They have this one dream, their life is all about it, and they are 100% focused on this one thing to make it big.

And the rest of us try to follow suit. We try to have just one big dream, well and then the other demands in life, school, work, family, social responsibilities. They all seem to be getting in the way of our one big dream, yet these other athletes and musicians don’t seem to have that problem? Why not?

The reason why not is actually quite simple. This idea of having one big goal and one big dream and only that one dream…. IS…. A…. LIE….

Let it soak in for minute….

….

….

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This idea that you have this big target you’re aiming for and that’s the only thing that you’re about is a trick. It’s something that’s used to sell self-help books to millions of people that still can’t manage to achieve their goals. Funny how so many books are sold yet so few people don’t achieve their dreams. Don’t feel bad, I was one of those people.

David Goggins once said he had an NFL player reach out to him and ask, “How do you keep that dog mentality. Once I got to the NFL I’ve struggled to keep the fight in me” and David responded by pointing out that the person had a finish line in their mind.

Basically they had this one big goal and once they reached it, their dream was over. They’d crossed the finish line and now realized they didn’t know what do with themselves anymore.

photo cred: Adi Goldstein

This is the problem with one big dream or one big goal. Even if you manage to achieve it, once you do, you’re left wondering what to do next. The drive that existed on the journey is no longer there at the finish line.

So here’s the thing, life is a lot longer than most of us realize. What good does it do to drive hard for 10 years to spend the next 30 unsatisfied?

And even if you could focus in on your one big goal and drive it all the way to completion you’d suddenly realize that you now have nothing left to look forward to. You would have built your whole life on one thing and one thing only. And let me tell you about how life likes to take dreams that you have and shove them in your face.

Don’t back yourself into a corner on a single dream because that’s what you see in a Nike commercial. There is enough time in life to do it ALL. I promise you. Life is long and there is a ton of time to do things.

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So my advice is to go out and set multiple dreams. If you want to be a musician great! Go practice every day. Then think of what else you want to be. What other hobbies do you have? What other responsibilities do you already have? Play any sports? Great go work at being great at that too. Spread your dreams out and work towards all of them.

Quit putting all of your chips into a single bet because that’s what the media has been telling you to do.

Go live a full life and DO IT ALL!

If you’re not doing something different every day, you’re wasting your life.

How to Reach your Goals in 24 Hours

Twenty-Four

It’s how many hours we each get in a day. Rich, poor, middle class. Black, White, Hispanic. Straight, gay, bi. We all get the same 24 hours.

We all get exactly the same amount of time to work with every day. No more and no less. Yet some people seem to get so much done while the rest of us are fighting to keep up. How do they do it? Is it because they have people to help them, trainers… chefs… assistants? Is that how they are doing it? If so, then how did they get to that point in the first place? Were they born with those trainers, chefs, and assistants?

Nope.

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The truth is, most people don’t start off getting everything done in a 24 hour period. The truth is, most people don’t get everything done in a 24 hour period but there is a key difference between the people we see with massive amounts of success and the every day joe.

That one key is consistency.

You see most of the time, when we see someone with massive success we are seeing them at their peak. Think about it, when we’re inspired by an athlete or a musician, an action star or a politician, a motivational speaker or an author we are seeing them at their peak moment. The moment where they’ve finally reached great levels of success.

How many people knew J.K. Rowlings before Harry Potter? How many people knew Taylor Swift before 1989? How many people knew Steph Curry before 2015? It’s not to say that these people were completely unknown, but they weren’t household names prior to these moments.

photo cred: Dominic Hampton

What we’re not seeing though is how they got to those moments. We don’t see their 24 hours, every day that led up to those moments. But if you take the time to look at their 24 hours leading up to those massive successes you’ll notice some similarities.

  1. They weren’t perfect. They had off days, but they showed up every day.
  2. They had drive. They kept trying and trying and trying. Every 24 hours.
  3. They didn’t waste their 24 hours. They didn’t say, “gosh I need a break.”
  4. They put in the work, every 24 hours.

They did all of this before the trainers, before the assistants, and before the chefs. They did it even when they could have been watching netflix or going out partying. They did it even when they could have been playing video games or napping. They put in the work for a full 24 hours every day.

photo cred: Markus Spiske

And that is the secret hard truth to getting it all done in 24 hours. It’s about sleeping less, playing less, and working more and for some that sounds unenjoyable. For some, people say, “well I don’t want to live that kind of life that sounds miserable” but I think this is the mistake most people make. They equate hard work to not being enjoyable. They think that life is about comfort. That it’s about avoiding hard work and then they can’t figure out why they feel a sense of unfulfilled potential.

But I think if you asked Taylor Swift if she has fun writing her music she would say yes. If you asked J.K Rowling if she had fun writing her book, she would say yes. If you asked Steph Curry if he has fun practicing basketball, he would say yes.

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So when you look at what you want to do with your 24 hours and how you can manage to get it all done, if you’re thinking it all looks like a lot of miserable work, then you’re probably going to wind up on the couch again. If you can look at what you’re doing in your life and remember why you enjoy it, why you got started with it, you’ll be right on track to be in line with some of the greatest!