Why Setting Goals Could Ruin 2021.Dec 29, 2020
Goal setting could be the worst thing you can do for 2021. Seriously, the best way to fail is to set goals. But before you think I’m drunk on Christmas gin, please hear me out…
Goal setting does work, but only if you first… create your vision. Most people fail on vision because they become fixated only on direct outcomes. Take new year as an example.
The clock chimes twelve and Auld Lang Syne bellows down the streets. Alcohol still streaming through the veins and fuelling the ideas to a brand-new year. Out pop the resolutions and new beginnings. ‘This year will be different’… but it never is. The promises of better health, better finances, a better lifestyle… all forgotten as quickly as the Christmas turkey.
Thing is, when people set goals they simply grab from thin air.
They want better health,
“I want to lose 20lbs”
or better finances,
“I want to achieve six figures”
or better lifestyle,
“I want to work 30hrs instead of 60hrs”
And yes, specifics are super important but not without depth. Why 20lbs? Why six figures? Why 30hrs? Where did these numbers come from?
In most cases, nowhere. Arbitrary numbers which are presumed would improve life. Yet numbers which have no emotional attachment. Sure, it will create an initial jolt of excitement, even motivation. But it won’t last. See, many hugely overestimate what it takes to improve life.
For example, you don’t need to lose 20lbs specifically to be healthier. You’ve just got to do better tomorrow than you done today. Simply modifying some basic lifestyle habits will create an abundance of energy, initially. This will almost instantaneously make you feel better and more mentally focused.
You’ll then become more driven to develop more habits. Over time these small habits compound until eventually you no longer recognise the person you once were. You’ve created a whole new identity. And maybe you only lose 10 or 15lbs, but does it matter? Because how you feel and how it changed your life, is the true measure. Right?
It’s the same for finances. For some reason many new start-ups and entrepreneurs are fixated on a six-figure income. It’s like some form of golden cup for business achievement.
“Nice to meet you, I have a six-figure business. Oh! and I can also bench press 287lbs”
It’s just another way of measuring up.
So, ask yourself; why six-figures? What difference will this make to your business and to your life? Is it the financial rewards you’re after or is it the lifestyle? Is it the desire of building something amazing or is it a way to put more digits in the bank?
The vision is a representation of the life you want to live, the success you want to achieve with the people you want to do it with. It creates depth and purpose. It brings with it an emotional attachment, which if used effectively, is a powerful driver.
What type of person you want to be in the future.
What your life will look like.
What you'll be doing.
How you'll do it.
And how would all of this make you feel? This is key. Feel what it would be like to inspire your kids and teach them the importance of health. Envisage achieving the lifestyle you desire and engage with how this freedom makes you feel. Visualise your achievements and connect with how they make you feel.
By creating a vision your brain starts to build it. It begins searching for answers and solutions. All of a sudden, opportunities appear. You’re suddenly aware of things you had no idea existed before. Vision creates opportunity, because now you’re looking for it. Your subconscious actions and thoughts are then directed more towards possibility and diverted away from limitations.
“If you’re working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you” – Steve Jobs
Effort then is effortless. It’s not a chore or hardship, unless of course you’re not aligned with your vision. Which is very common. I always thought reaching a certain financial number would eradicate my problems. I’d then once again fall in love with my work and get back my life. Yet the work became a chore because it wasn’t aligned with my vision. My vision was actually freedom.
Financial freedom is of course part of the freedom family, but my biggest pain was time freedom. I didn’t have it. I was spending all my time away from my family to build a business. So, in the future I could spend more time with my family. It made absolutely no sense. Yet this is how many people operate.
My vision then was to create a lifestyle. I visualised what I’d be doing and the hours I’d be working. I visualised putting my kids to bed and being there in the morning when they woke up. Something I’d not been consistent with for far too long. I visualised coaching my clients online and how that would look. I visualise being on stage and giving presentations. I can see myself delivering my message to hundreds of people. I visualised writing a book and having it published. I even visualise it lying on someone’s nightstand, ready to read.
All of this visualisation creates a clear picture in my mind of how I want my life to be. I know I won’t be presenting in public anytime soon, and that’s cool. This is my future I’m developing. What I do now, today, is building my future for tomorrow. It’s important I know what that looks like so I can do the work specific to my vision.
Then comes the targets/goals. What are my financial targets to make this happen? What assets can I create that doesn’t require trading time for money? What monthly targets do I need to meet to measure progress? What steps do I need to take each week, month and year? Etc…
Visualise your future first, then design goals to make it happen.
The vision is quite simply the foundation to everything you want to create and achieve. Try asking yourself three simple questions.
What do I want my future life to look like?
What do I need to do to achieve it?
Who do I need to be to make it a reality?
And then spend time just writing stuff down:
This is your vision.
To help you get started, download my FREE Life Performance assessment tool. In here it highlights the 7 key areas of Life Performance. The tool will give you an insight to where you need to focus.
Find out which areas do you need to focus on.
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