If you’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution, then you know the frustrations that hit after about two weeks of working towards your goals—you hit a wall. This can look like running out of the energy you once poured into your goals, giving in to a temptation you’d sworn off, or simply losing the desire to break your hardwired habits and routines. If working towards a goal is difficult, then changing a constant behavior can feel equivalent to moving mountains.
The key to pushing through the difficult times and realizing your desired results is simple, but it’s not easy; you must possess a fire in your belly. You must want the results more than you dislike the pain of consistently pursuing them. This all circles back to your sense of purpose. Dieting to lose 20 pounds isn’t as motivating as “dieting to look and feel better, garnish more respect from those around me, and pursue a healthier, longer lifestyle.” When there is a guiding purpose and passion to your actions you walk with greater swagger, know where you’re going, and know more quickly what to engage in and what to stop wasting time on. That purpose is like a mountain peak that you are pursuing. The journey may be long and arduous, but you keep going because you can see the end and it’s worth it. Walking on a treadmill will never be as motivating as hiking in Yosemite.
The first step in pursuing your goals is crystallizing them in your mind by putting them to pen and paper. The most important step in this leg of the journey is making sure that your goals do in fact align with your greater purpose and passions. If your goals don’t align with your values, then you will never accomplish them because you never really wanted to. 90% of failed goals aren’t for lack of effort, but from a disconnect with real values. The 40-year-old gamer living in his parents’ basement is hitting his goal every year because his prerogative is to leech off others, eat Cheetos, and play Call of Duty every day. He will never break out of this cycle, no matter how many goals he/his parents set for him, until he changes his underlying values. When he decides that he wants to become a beneficial member of society, start a family, and own his own house, then his actions will change almost immediately because he is driven by his underlying purposes.
With this in mind, it’s time to write out your goals with their corresponding purposes. It all comes back to knowing your “Why?”
A poor example would be the goal of getting rich for the purpose of being rich. This goal will become arduous very quickly because it lacks true purpose. It’s a circular goal with no real purpose. A better example would be to reach a specific level of income and lifestyle in order to enjoy time with friends and family, and pursuit of one’s passions. This goal is much more superior and attainable because it is tied to your greater purpose, i.e. the fire in your belly. Goals like these run on autopilot.
So write your goals down in a journal, Word document, or legal pad. As you write your goals down make sure they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-oriented). You’ve got to start with the end in mind and there’s no better place to start than a place of knowing exactly where you are and where you’re headed.
What are your goals for 2019 and beyond?