Back in the old days, setting goals at the end of the year for the next year was a ritual. Now, I realize that most people didn’t follow through on those goals, however, some did manage to achieve what they set out to do. Nowadays, most people don’t even think about setting goals, let alone write them down and commit to them. Do you ever wonder why?
Thinking about some of my past experiences with goals, I believe that most people don’t want to feel the frustration of having to think about something they know they won’t accomplish. The pain of goals used to be in the work of trying to accomplish the goal, i.e., reducing your sugars, doing push-ups, or jogging a mile to lose 10 lbs. Now the pain happens before we even do the work. For the large part, we have become a society of pain avoiders which is why we take more “painkillers” and “anti-depressants” than any other country in the world. We don’t want to feel pain or sadness, even if it’s going to lead to something better down the road. We are a “buy now, pay later” society. In other words, we want to feel good NOW but put off the work required to feel good until later, if ever at all.
Well, it may be time for you to “pay now, buy later”, put the work in required to achieve your goal now, and stop focusing on the actual goal until further down the line. There is great honor in setting and accomplishing a goal that is challenging and at the end of the day, makes you a better human being.
It’s time to focus more on the process and less on the goal. Instead of the “lose 15lbs” goal or the “limit time on social media” goal, maybe it’s time to set the “only eat 20% of my meals from a box, bag, window, or counter” goal or “take social media apps off my phone” goal. It’s usually not about the end goal, it’s about WHO you will become through the process of moving toward your end goal.
There is power in “thinking” about your goals, writing them down, and holding yourself to a higher standard. Create yourself an “action plan” to move towards your goal. Build time into your calendar weekly and commit yourself to what you need to DO to move towards your goals. Setting goals is about becoming a better version of yourself, and at the end of the day, isn’t that something we all should be striving for?
For me, setting and achieving goals in life is 3 step process.
- WHAT- Determine what you want to achieve or do. What’s the long-term goal? For example, “I want my BMI under 28″.
- WHY- With crystal clear clarity, WHY is this goal important to you? “I want to be a blessing to myself and the people in my life, not a burden to them. I want to be able to do ALL the things that I need and want to do in my life, not be restricted or limited by my poor health”.
- HOW or WHO- HOW or WHO is going to help hold me accountable for the work that is required for me to achieve my goal. “I am going to start working out with a partner or coach”, “I’m going to PAY for a coach, a program, and some serious accountability around my eating, drinking, and exercise”.
Don’t stop setting goals because of the immediate pain of knowing you won’t achieve them. Begin with the end in mind and feel the joy of accomplishing your goal or being engaged in the process of accomplishing your goal. Imagine yourself as a new and improved person. What does that look and feel like? Have faith in yourself. However, realize that as the bible says. “Faith without discipline is dead”.
Best in Health,
Dr. Blake Derrick
PS, if you enjoyed reading this, please share it!