If you only care about the achievement of your goals you might miss out on the most important things…

“It’s not about achieving the goal. It’s about who you become in order to achieve the goal. The juice is in the growth.”

Tony Robbins

Perhaps an alternative way to think about this is to turn the quote inside out. Have you ever achieved a goal that you desperately wanted, and hated the person you became through the process? I position it this way not to be a “Debbie downer” but to illustrate the power of purpose and the importance of choosing the right goals for our lives.

Perhaps we should stop making our plans based on achieving some specific thing or outcome, but instead, we should select our targets based on the process of growth that we will have to complete to make them a reality. Maybe we should choose our goals based on who we want to become through the journey.

Let me share a simple example. Several years ago, my wife (who was my girlfriend at the time) and I traveled to Colorado and climbed Mt. Yale, one of Colorado’s famous “14’rs” (mountains that have their peak above 14,000 feet). We started just after daylight and achieved the summit just before midday. We enjoyed a few minutes at the top of the mountain, took some pictures, and then headed back down the trail for our 6-mile hike back to our car. My memories of that day, and most of the pictures we took along the way, are of the journey. It was the entirety of the shared experience, what it meant for our burgeoning relationship and a discovery of a shared passion for challenging hikes that made the journey meaningful and impactful. Achieving the goal was nice, but it wasn’t the thing that truly mattered. What happened along the way was what was actually important.  

Do you choose mountains in order to achieve the summit or do you want to soak in the experience of the journey along the way?  “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”‭‭ Matthew‬ ‭16:26‬ ‭ESV‬‬ 

Is it the achievement of the goal that matters or who you become in pursuit of the RIGHT GOALS that is truly important?  

Wildflowers near the top of Mt. Yale

If you want to win, you have to run the right race…

“You cannot be anything you want to be—but you can be a lot more of who you already are.”

Tom Rath

So much of our lives can be spent in the pursuit of something you think you want, yet isn’t coming from a place where you are maximizing your God-given gifts. No matter how much I like running, I am never going to win marathons or half marathons. This is just not what my body is built to achieve. However, I can still enjoy running and I can still enjoy the distance and I can still improve on what and who I am within the sport.

The key to success in life is to develop extreme awareness of self, who you are and what powers and drives you. Then put your full and complete effort into becoming more of that person, better at those particular things.

Developing this sense of self means you must become finely attuned to what and who you are not so that you can dedicate the time and energy into being the best version of the person you built to become.

Know your race. Run your race. Improve on your race. That is how you win.

sunset men sunrise jogging
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

To avoid regret you must take the antidote…

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

C.S. Lewis

I can think of no better way where the old axiom “age is just a state of mind” applies more fully.

This quote is the antidote for a time and place in life where you could look back and have regret over what you didn’t do. Dreams and goals are the opportunity to take whatever has happened, whatever results have come from the decisions you did, or didn’t, make, and turn it into something new and beautiful.

Eyes forward. Heart forward. Mind forward. Go forth and do…

person on a bridge near a lake
Photo by Simon Migaj on Pexels.com

Relentless growth…

“Goals live on the other side of obstacles and challenges. Be relentless in pursuit of those goals, especially in the face of obstacles. Along the way, make no excuses and place no blame.”

Ray Bourque

I see relentless growth as having to keys for success. First, if one can set the right goals, then those goals will inspire the effort required to bring them to fruition. Second, living life in an authentic manner without judgement, excuses or blame enables you to learn from failure and achieve those more difficult and inspiring goals. Becoming the person we were meant to be requires both.

A goal that is chosen because it is likely to be free of obstacles or challenges isn’t truly a goal. It is a choice for the easy path, to go along through life simply existing. Goals need to be hard enough, to be inspiring enough, to be powerful enough to stir your soul and make any obstacle or challenge that happens to come up worth the effort to persevere. If you have goals like that, then being relentless is simply a result of the power of a well-crafted goal.

And when you fail, and we all will inevitably fail, be candid and honest with yourself about that failure. Don’t condemn yourself, or others, and don’t justify the failure. Simply look at it through the lens of learning and growth so that the next goal has an even higher likelihood of success.

Success over the long-term requires both of these traits, and they are synergistic. Do your goals measure up? Are you learning from failure? If not, dig deeper…

Take good risks…

“There’s no such thing as ‘zero risk’.”

William Driver

Nothing in life is risk free. There is no “sure thing.” There is an opportunity cost for every choice that we make. We can work throughout our lives to have as little risk as possible, that is always a strategy one can follow. Or, you can make smart choices, that carry with them some risks, and achieve amazing returns for the risks that you take..

Risk exists, manage it well, make choices to embrace the right risks and if you make a bad choice, make another one.

Who knows, you might see some amazing views along the way.

Catalina Protest March – Barcelona, Spain

Who have you become?

“A goal is not about what you accomplish.  It’s about what you become.”

Michael Hyatt

Who have you become through the pursuit of your goals? When you take the time to think about it doesn’t that transformation matter more than the achievement of the goal itself? I can’t think of one goal that I have achieved in life that had a more lasting impact than the person that I became through the pursuit of the objective.

The example that comes to mind was the goal of completing my first Ironman race. Completing that race was awesome, but the personal journey I went through to make that a reality was far more impactful. I achieved that goal 8 years ago but the lessons I learned, and the person I became, I have carried with me every day since then. The process of achieving that goal shaped and reshaped me into a better person.

What goals have shaped your life? What goals are you pursuing right now will shape the life you live in the future? Who are you becoming through the pursuit of your goals?

Write that down…

“People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.”

Brian Tracy 

Half of 2019 has already passed and the beginning of the 3rd quarter is already here! It is time to review the progress made against Q2 goals and make sure that the right ones are set for Q3.

It is amazing how powerful the act of simply writing down your goals can be. Writing it down makes it tangible and real and puts the focus on defining the next action needed to make the goal a reality. I have used a written goal planning methodology for years and I couldn’t imagine not having written goals and objectives. I truly think I would be lost without this process.

What are your goals for the next three months? The remainder of the year? Are they written down?

Discipline fuels success…

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”

Jim Rohn

Knowing what you want and knowing how to get it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t do the work. That is what discipline means to me. Doing the work. No. Matter. What. No complaints. No griping. Just get it done.

People will ask me, “why do you get up so early in the morning?” It is a very simple answer. Because that is what it takes to get the things done that I want to do. Do I enjoy my alarm going off at 3:50 AM? Nope. Are there days I want to sleep in? Yep. But if I do, I am making a choice not to do something that I want to do and that just isn’t acceptable to me.

To be completely honest I still don’t accomplish all the things that I want to do. I would love to get more done. I feel like I need to improve my personal discipline and focus each and every day to become the person God created me to be.

How do you demonstrate personal accountability and discipline in your life? How does extreme discipline help you achieve your goals?

Just do it…

“The most important thing you can do to achieve your goals is to make sure that as soon as you set them you immediately begin to create momentum.”

Tony Robbins

Goals that are too far over the horizon are hard to use to motivate yourself to do the things that need to be done now. Taking that goal and breaking it into the building blocks that you can focus your energy on is what really matters.

The Nike slogan says it best. “Just do it.”  If you don’t you can’t build the momentum you need and you have no one to blame but yourself.

Failure must be an option…

“If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.”

James Cameron

I would argue that if your goal doesn’t scare you just a little bit, it isn’t set high enough.  If your goals are too easy, they just aren’t going to make you stretch.  They won’t make you push, make you dig deep and find that extra effort and energy you didn’t know you had.  

Goals shouldn’t be targets set to where you know you can hit them, they should scare you because you really don’t know if you can reach them.  Only then will you find what you are really made of.  

Are you willing to aim so high that you might fail?  If failure isn’t a real and potential option, your goals are too easy…  

 

What pushes you to grow?

“To succeed, you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.”

Tony Dorsett

What gets you out of bed in the morning?  What is that big thing that drives you long after everyone else has given up?  That something that pushes you out of your comfort zone and into new levels of growth?  

It doesn’t have to be a big thing, or something that will impress others, but it has to be YOUR thing.  When you find that bigger than you something that will drive you to grow beyond your current self, you will have succeeded.  You will have the fuel necessary to make the changes needed to grow as a person and as a leader.  

One word of caution, make sure that the thing you hold on to, that motivates you, that inspires you doesn’t become an idol that OWNS you…

Doubt can be fuel for the engine of accomplishment…

“If people are doubting how far you’ll go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.”

Michele Ruiz

There are two powerful lessons for me in today’s quote.  First, I recognize that some of my greatest motivators in life have been when someone has said “you can’t.”  For me this fires an immediate “I can” mentality. Looking back on life I can see a number of really positive outcomes that were seeded by the doubts of others.

Second, the danger of being a person that casts their own fears and doubts onto others.  In hindsight I recognize that some of the “you can’t” people had limiting beliefs about their own abilities and for some reason they needed to project that onto others.  They weren’t happy unless their “I can’t” mentality was twisted into a “you can’t” and shared.  I never want to be this person.

How have the doubts of others fired your engine of accomplishment?

 

 

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”

Paulo Coelho

I love Paulo Coelho’s book “The Alchemist.”  It is one of my favorite reads and another book that I try to read at least once a year.  If you haven’t read it is the story of a young shepherd boy who is on a desperate search for a worldly treasure.  He keeps his eyes open along the way and pays attention to the many omens that he finds to bring him to the treasure he truly seeks.  It is an easy book to read and carries much deeper meaning than what is available at first glance.  

What does it mean for you to “concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want?”  For me it means clearly answering, with great detail, these questions:

What does success look like?  What is it we are trying to achieve?  What will it feel like when we get there?  How will we know we have achieved our goal?  What would prevent us from getting there?  These are key questions and ones that cannot afford to be overlooked when planning out our goals.  Far too often I find that we have good ideas but don’t put in the effort to clearly define what exactly it is that we are trying to achieve.  

For me “keeping your eyes open” is doing the hard work up front to paint a crystal clear vision for yourself of what it is that you want to accomplish.  Without this it is just muddy and subject to many detours and deviations along the way.  It reminds me of Yogi Berra’s quote, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”  

 

 

Discipline = “No!”

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” 

Jim Rohn

In today’s world everything is beeping and dinging and chirping to get your attention.  Their is a constant barrage of information coming at you to try and take part of your precious time and energy.  In this world of continuous distraction how can you focus, where do you start?  

It starts with writing down the goals.  I’ve found that anything short of a written goal is simply a wish or an aspiration.  Writing the goal down, meditating over it, thinking through the necessary steps to make it a reality.  That’s where it starts.  But that isn’t enough.  Actually taking action and putting those steps in place on a daily and ongoing basis requires the discipline to say no to the things that going to get in the way of making that goal a reality.  

I think that is the key.  Discipline isn’t some great “yes” to suddenly doing the right things.  Discipline requires a strong “no” to the things that are going to get in the way of your goal.  Knowing what needs to be done, and then having the conviction to do them, is critical.  

It reminds me of the great quote by Muhammad Ali, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'” 

To enhance your ability to make your goals a reality what do you need to have the discipline to say “no” to?

Start today!

“You will never win if you never begin.”

Helen Rowland

Starting something new can often be the hardest part.  The work can appear to be  overwhelming when you look at the goal and how much needs to be done to make it a reality.  The key is to break whatever it is into the smallest tasks and just start today.  

I signed up for my first Ironman race having only done one sprint triathlon and one half marathon. I was in way over my head and had no business trying to take on that extreme of an endurance race.  But when the race morning arrived one year later I was very relaxed and I knew, barring any unforeseen accidents, I had already won the day and finished the race.  It wasn’t because I had discovered some unknown physical gifts, it was simply because one year earlier I had committed to my goal and then planned my work out to achieve that goal. The Ironman race itself ended up being a reward for all the work that happened in the year it took to prepare.  Finishing the race was the easy part once I had a plan and committed to the daily effort.  Just starting every single day with the task for the day was the key.

Whatever it is that you want to achieve find the one small thing that you can do to start today and do it.  Even if it is simply writing the goal down and capturing why it is important.  It starts today.

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