Today I want to share with you one really simple, but also super effective goal setting hack to help you achieve your goals.
This isn’t something you’re going to read about in a lot of places, because frankly, it goes a little deeper than most of the goal setting knowledge you’re going to read out there.
Achievements are hard, especially those that may be long-term and drawn out like most of our yearly goals are. There’s a pretty common saying that one of my mentors, Brendon Burchard, says quite often. He says “when opportunity knocks, it’s work that answers.”
This is where it’s easy to get stuck with goals, doing the actual work. Because beyond the glory and excitement that is goal setting, it’s usually a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into accomplishing them, so I want to try to give you every possible advantage that you can get to help you out.
You often feel really excited when you set goals initially, and you might even make some good progress in the beginning, but eventually when life gets in the way, it’s easy to fizzle out and return back to your old habits.
The technique I want to share with you today will help you with this as you begin to think about what you want to accomplish in the near future. It will help you bring substance, meaning, and real tangibility to your goals. They won’t just be some outlandish hopes of accomplishment you wrote on a piece of paper, or typed into your computer.
They’ll actually mean something to your life, and you’ll begin to see how they will make you a better version of yourself.
Discover the Meaning Behind Your Goals
Without meaning and substance, goals are nothing
I had a goal this year to add 100 pounds to my deadlift. Through the first few months of the year I hadn’t made much progress on that goal. Why wasn’t I improving? Why wasn’t I working towards that goal?
It wasn’t because I was lazy, injured, or caught up in other things, although it’s easy to tell yourself these things from time to time (by the way, if you want to accomplish something, it’s up to you to prioritize your life and get done).
It was because I hadn’t really thought much about the meaning behind what achieving this goal would mean to me, how it would improve my life, how I would be a better person because of it.
I’m not a meat head by any means, but I do enjoy working out and staying in good physical condition. Staying in good shape, physically and mentally, is a huge part of continually developing yourself. So I started thinking about why I wrote that goal down on my list in the first place.
- I pictured myself being able to lift 100 more pounds
- I felt the strength in my body while doing so
- I imagined the effect it would have on my physique
- I thought about the sports I like to play and how it would improve my performance and prevent injury
- I thought about how this would impact my ability to perform other lifts
I pondered for a good 10-15 minutes just thinking of all of the ways my life would be improved having accomplished this goal.
By the end of this exercise, I had a dozen reasons why I wanted to achieve this goal. It wasn’t just to be able to say “I can lift more than you.” I’m sure plenty of you can out lift me, especially if any of my Four Barrel CrossFit friends are reading this :).
No. the meaning to me went much deeper than just being a little bit stronger.
So when I finally took the time to think about those things and discover them, I wrote those down as well, right along with the the goal I had set.
From there I was far more motivated to achieve that goal because it had substance and meaning to my life. I had several reasons I wanted to get it done, and knew how it would positively impact my life on a deep level.
And as I sit here writing this article, that lift has increased over 110 pounds this year alone.
So that’s what I want you to do. As you draw closer to setting goals for the new year, be thinking about not only the WHAT that you want to accomplish, but the deep down WHY behind it.
- What will it mean to you as an individual to accomplish these goals?
- How will your life be improved for the better?
- What effect will these goals have on your future?
- How will you feel when you finally make these goals happen?
- How will things now be easier for you having accomplished your goals?
Ask yourself these questions and write down a couple of short sentences to answer them next to each specific goal they relate to.
These will become your “WHYs” for your goals, which are far more important to your life than the “WHATs”
Why Does This Work?
While logic does come into play in a lot of our decision making, our behavior is driven largely by our emotions.
By going through this exercise and discovering the positivity and enhanced feeling that achieving your specific goals is going to bring to your life, you are bringing emotion further into the equation, and you are effectively supercharging your level of motivation.
You’re taking what is usually a logical decision (I want to lose weight so I look better), and you’re turning it into a logical AND emotional journey (I want to lose weight so I look better, perform better at work, have a better relationship, am perceived better in career environments, etc).
You’re creating incredibly deep and defined goals that bring real meaning to your life. When your head and your heart agree on something, it’s really difficult to put a stop to it.
Next time you set a goal, go through this exercise, and I can promise you’ll be far more motivated to achieve it.
PS: If you found this article helpful, would you mind sharing it with a couple of friends that might like Academy Success? Just use the sharing links to spread it around, or use this link to email it out directly. You’ll be doing them a favor, and I would greatly appreciate it as well.