You Actually Already Know What To Do, Most of the Time
I just got around to reading this take charge post from Chris Brogan, You Know What To Do. I just wanted to add onto it and apply some thoughts on setting goals and reaching them.
Chris is right, you almost always already know what you have to do – you just may not want to do it because it will be hard, you might fail or you just aren’t ready. The hardest decisions are the one’s where there is no right or wrong but you need to make a choice and just go with it. Most of our decisions though, we should already have an idea of what we need to do to get there.
Need to lose weight? You know you need to watch what you eat, change your diet, eat less and exercise more. You know it. It may seem easier to hide behind a fad diet, read another weightloss book and look for more answers online but in the end, you already know what you need to do.
Stuck in a dead end relationship? Romantic or friendship? You know this other person is draining your energy or perhaps they just aren’t right for you right now but having those conversations is hard, hurting someone’s feelings is hard and having your feelings hurt is hard but you probably know what you need to do.
Want a better job? Want to buy a house? You know what you need to do. Complaining about it or throwing a pity party won’t get you to where you want to be. It actually just wastes your energy that you could be using to make your life better.
Setting Goals and Reaching Them
A few weeks ago I read Jillian Michaels’ book, Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life (affiliate link). You may know Jillian as the hard ass trainer from the Biggest Loser but she also is a pretty smart lady who has a lot of advice of getting what you want out of life, she also is a pretty business savvy little lady.
I think the biggest thing I learned from the book was about setting goals and charting your way to reaching them. She said you need to know what you want before you try to achieve it, that makes a lot of sense. She also says that once you have that goal, almost every other decision you make in your life, you should weight it against getting you closer to your goal.
The easy example here is weight loss. If you want to lose weight and you are faced with a lunch decision, you don’t choose what you want to eat right now, or the savory taste you crave – you choose the item on the menu that will help you reach your goal. Faced with some stairs or an elevator? Choose the one that will help you reach your eventual goal.
From a non-weightloss standpoint, thinking like this can help you achieve other life goals as well. Want to save up for a better house? When you are facing a decision about a purchase or a trip – compare it against your goal (getting that house). Will one choice over the other help you on your path?
So if you feel stuck on your way to a goal… it may be time for a gut check. Are you really doing all you can to help you reach that goal? Or you going to sit, wait, whine and wait for something to happen to you?
“Life is about preparation meeting opportunity” – Jillian Michaels
Talk About Your Goal or Keep it to Yourself?
So we have goals, we know what to do to get there but now what? Should you tell your friends, family and tweet about it? There are two schools of thought on this one.
Many will tell you that you should tell people about your goals. The thought is this will make you more accountable. You won’t want to let down your family and friends who are counting on you and cheering you on.
I watched a quick TED talk today that was shared by Lucretia Pruitt that says you should keep your goals to yourself. In this video Derek Sivers says by letting people know about our goals we actually set off sensors in our brains that make us feel like we are working towards that goal, even though we didn’t do anything but talk about it. I thought that was really interesting! Check it out right below.
I talk about goals all the time – with clients, staff, friends and my husband. I always am setting goals – big and small. I do a serious life check in on birthdays, holidays and at major milestones. I also set daily and weekly goals. I know for me, I always want to feel like I am moving forward. Setting goals and checking them off are how I do that.
I have tons of goals I haven’t reached yet, usually I have an idea of what it is I need to do… but I don’t feel like I am there yet. Setting goals is important and so is figuring out how and when you are going to reach them!
Good luck with reaching your goals and I will let you know when I reach some of mine!
Photo credits: angietorres and Scott Ableman