Often throughout life we see something we like or imagine the person that we want to be, getting ourselves worked up and over excited. Thinking of how awesome it would be to finally be there. To be able to look back and see how far we can from where we were. Especially around this time of year.
We wish for it intensely. We write out a plan and we execute it perfectly. But then we start to fall of. At first it’s no big deal. You’ll pick it back up in awhile right? All you have to do is double up on your next session. But then one day you realized you stopped all together and lost motivation. You still want to get there but now it just feels like a hopeless chore.
Well here’s your first lesson: Motivation is cool, but unreliable. And a wish is just a goal without a plan. All those other wishes you had in life failed for one of two reasons. Failure to plan, or failure to execute. So how do we carry all the way through this time. How can we be sure that we will actually succeed this year instead of ending up like every other year.
This year I have a few wishes of my own.
First, I would like to speak turkish. I have always love the way that Istanbul looked and I have always wanted to travel there. It’s a beautiful place and I like that it sits and is influenced by both the West and the East. I know that a lot of people there speak english but I feel like to truly understand a set of people that you have to speak their language. So I want to be able to speak functional turkish, enough to convey my thoughts, buy from the bazaar, read books in the language, and converse with the locals outside of the main metropolitan areas. And I believe if I know the 3,000 most common words in the language and am able to utilize and parse them correctly I will be able to accomplish this.
Second I would like to gain 15 Lbs of muscle, work towards a muscle up, flat back tucked planche, tiger bend push-up, and front planche. I have always loved the calisthenics/street workout movement since I accidentally came across it. But, I also need to gain 15 Lbs so that I can be more competitive for when I try out for The summer seven league in my city.
Lastly, I want to increase profits within my business. I do small business B2B customer acquisition, which basically means that I do a lot of cold-calling and email marketing in order to gain customers for my clients and get contracts signed. But I have been lazy with growth and only average $100/ month because of it. But I want to be making $2,500 a month by the end of next year.
But it’s one thing to have goals. A whole other to see them through. These are the steps I’m going to use to see them through Generally. But each one of these 2 points will get it’s own more in detail post later in the week.
These are the steps I use to find and set goals.
Step 1: Pick SMART goals.
A SMART goal is one that is,
Specific– Many goals fail because they are too general. “I want to be more successful”, “I want to lose weight”, “I want to get bigger and more muscular”. The reason these fail is because they are vague and don’t have an accomplishment point. Better goals would be, “I want to raise my income from X to Y”, “I want to get down to 12% body fat”, “I want to gain 3 inches in my arms and lose 6 in my waist”.
Measurable– You know a goal is specific when it has built in milestones. You can track each of these goals objectively instead of subjectively. In order to keep determinism up you have to break your long term goal up into short term goals.
Attainable-To say I want to go from not being able to lift half my own bodyweight to a 1000 Lbs deadlift in 1 year is just crazy. But saying you want to go from 80 to 150 pounds is very much more likely, but still high enough to be worth the effort.
Relevant– Your goal has to tie into your wish. To use someone else’s example if you want to learn something new everyday you could read a new word in the dictionary everyday. But it would be more relevant to watch a documentary or research novel ideas.
Timely– You have to have a deadline in order to be able to keep a timetable and measure progression. Along with your milestones, you need to have an idea of when you want to reach them, or be able to adjust to making progress faster that though in case you need to up the ante on your goal.
Step 2: Write it down
Writing down your goals makes it more likely that you will carry through with it, because now you have made a visible commitment to the plan. And it will also be a nice reminder later on keep going.
Step 3: Keep track
Many people fail at this point because they forget to keep track of their goals and metrics. I don’t think many people actually give up, they just gradually fall of because they aren’t keeping track of it. When you keep track of your goals you can see clearly where you are vs where you want to be. It’s much easier that way to see when you start to fall off, and when you are working hard enough.
Step 4: Find motivation outside yourself
Self-motivation is fickle and tends to come in waves. But if you have people to help support and motivate you it can help your determinism. Finding friends to go through it with you, or a mentor who has already done it can help you tremendously in achieving your goals. But it can also help to find people to look up through to go through it with you. Even if they aren’t directly mentoring you, it can help to have someone to look-up and aspire to.