How to Make Sh*t Happen in Your Life
Here’s a fact: shit ain’t gonna get done when you’re sitting on your couch flipping through your phone while you binge watch the latest Netflix series. Although I’m a big advocate for wellness and recovery, you need to do something to recover from.
Let’s face it. We live in a world of the quick-fix, one pill, click-of-a-button mentality. We want convenience. We want fast. We want instant.
Guess what? Achieving your ultimate goal—starting a company, running a Spartan race, or getting into your dream college—won’t be easy.
But nothing good ever is.
I’ve set a lot of goals in my life (and reached a bunch of them). I’ve also failed more than I care to admit, which has taught me a lot, especially about understanding the power of purpose. Purpose is the motivation to drive the daily intention you need to reach your goals.
If you’re serious about getting where you want to go, understand that not only will it be hard, but you will probably doubt yourself. You will probably have people doubt you. Your own mother might even passive aggressively question if you can do it. Ignore the voices. It’s all part of the process.
There will be setbacks. You and discomfort will probably become best friends. Only when we get uncomfortable can we actually go after change. Goal setting then becomes not only attainable, but a rewarding challenge. But first, you have to define your desired outcome: a goal, an experience, an emotional state, or maybe a combo of all three.
Understand Your Why
For every goal you go after, ask yourself: what is the desired outcome? Only then can you set a plan and start taking active steps to reach both your desired outcome and the goal you put into motion. Why do you want to start a business? Lose 25 lbs? Get an M.B.A? What is the desired outcome to get from point A to point B, and why does it matter to you?
Identify your why— your purpose— before you start trying to achieve your goal.
My top tips for meeting goals the “old school” way.
Own it. What do I mean when I say own it? If you set a goal that other people think is impossible, if it doesn’t align with their values, if you find that it’s not even realistic for your lifestyle to achieve X, but you still want to go after it? Own that shit. Be brave enough tell others what you want to accomplish. Seriously. If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way to make it work. You must drown out the outside noise and focus on why you’re doing this in the first place. Let your supporters give you the energy and the let the haters hate.
Perform with daily purpose. Each day, find your daily purpose. Identify one goal every day that gets you one step closer to your overall desired outcome. Then, go all in. Be very intentional to achieve that one goal. Don’t crowd it with a bunch of other add-ons. Then, work your ass off—or perform—to achieve that goal. When your day is done, measure results. Evaluate your daily performance. Mark your calendar or track progress in a Google spreadsheet on your phone. Create your specific goals, but don’t worry if you get off track. Start over with a clear mind because each day is the first day of the rest of your life. If you just set off blindly to accomplish something and don’t have any way to measure it, not only will you not perform well, you won’t know if you’re even moving toward your goal. It’s vital to assess progress.
Train smart. We’ve all heard the adage “work smarter, not harder,” and this can apply to your goals as well. Working efficiently comes in handy, especially when you focus on the desired outcome you want to achieve first. For instance, say you want to run a 5k, but you’re not a runner. Your desired outcome is to improve stamina. Instead of getting overwhelmed with where to start, look at your desired outcome. You want to improve stamina, right? Identify immediate next steps to improve it. Are you walking comfortably? If so, throw in jogging intervals. Do you sit all day? Get a standing desk. You will instantly find there are other ways (outside of just running a race) that can get you to your desired outcome, even when your day gets crazy and you don’t have time to do training. It’s often a lifestyle shift, not just a singular event that you’re after.
Learn to fail. I’ve said it and I’ll say it again: failure is one of the best things to ever happen. If you don’t know how to lose, how can you appreciate winning? If you don’t know how to fail, how can you bounce back when life gets tough? One of my biggest gripes in today’s society is the focus on “participation” trophies for kids’ sports. You know, where there’s no winner and no loser and everyone gets a trophy? If our children don’t learn how to navigate through setbacks, how in the world will they navigate through life? Failure should not be avoided at all costs; rather, it should be used an inevitable part of the process and become an advantage. Learning to get back up after you get knocked down is essential to reaching your goals.
Whatever your goal, go after it. Don’t be afraid to take BIG risks. Put in the work. Know that even if you set a goal and don’t reach it, you did a whole lot more than talking about it with your buddies in a bar over a beer for the umpteenth time.
Live your life with purpose!
This story appeared in Thrive Global on August 29, 2018.