Big Goals? It's Time to Change Your Habits!
OK, so my last article talked about having big goals - like outrageous, crazy scary goals. You can read it here.
And you are super psyched, right? I mean, it's almost January and you have written down those crazy goals and actually said them out loud (gasp!). Isn’t that enough?
If that were true, I could eat Krispy Kreme all day lounging around in my jammies, making millions of dollars “test” watching Orange County Housewives for a living... Don’t think I haven’t written that down as my goal a time or two.
However, just cuz you want it to happen doesn’t make it so. Let's say you write it down, kinda look at it throughout the day, and think, “That's a pretty daunting goal. Oh, well, I will get there, right? I mean that chick that wrote the article on big goals at Tiger Fitness said I would...”
Then, a year later I get hate mail because your dreams of owning a sweatshop and making a mint didn’t pan out. Well, there is kinda more to it than just writing it down. There is more to it than thinking about it and dreaming about it.
Now, I am not saying that you shouldn’t become obsessed with your goal. Duh. What’s that saying? Where your attention goes, energy flows.
I truly believe that. However, just thinking about it doesn’t make it come true. Did your 7-year-old self believe in Santa? How did that work out for you?
No, you have to have not only thought behind it, but lots of action. A rolling stone collects no moss.
Man, that is such a stupid saying.
However, its a metaphor for... Get. Crap. Done. Yes, it means to get your tail in gear and do stuff about it if you want it.
You have to work harder than you have ever worked before, so if you don’t want to do that - just stop reading right here and now. But if you want to work hard, put in the time, dream big and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will pull off that goal, then read on and I will show you how.
So you have written your goal down. It's a doosie, too. Great job! Now what? You steal a morning ritual.
I steal my morning ritual from Tony Robbins, but you can totally steal from someone else if you feel he is too shifty with his big teeth and stature.
That's totally OK to steal from someone else. It's called modeling. So, you do your morning “ritual” that you stole from someone you believe in or who is successful.
Likely, it will make you change a lot of habits you have formed that aren’t so beneficial. When I slack, I notice my performance sucks. When I look at my day and wonder why, it’s usually because I started slacking on my morning ritual.
I started looking at my phone, or doing something else that felt good. But was a time sucker, like watching cat videos and getting sucked into that YouTube life.
Just a caveat - your morning ritual will feel disingenuous at first. You will feel not so great doing it and you will want to stop, but don’t.
It will get you farther than the hours of cat videos, I swear.
Action, Action, Action
OK, you got your morning ritual down, and you have started. It doesn’t feel great, but you are doing it. Now that you are thinking about your goals, doing your rituals how do you make it all happen?
Now comes the part that is the hardest. You have to do something every day to get to your goal.
So, let's say your goal is to get stronger. What does that entail? Ask yourself this question - what does stronger look like to you?
You need to be super-specific here. If you want a 500 pound squat, you need to write, “I will squat 500 pounds by..." And give a date. Now, you need to write out how you will do that.
What I do is concentrate on one part of a given goal for 4-6 weeks. So, I may write - increase my squat from 320 pounds to 380 pounds by such and such a date.
This breaks it up into smaller, easier to deal with chunks. Let's say it is a weight-related goal. I want to wear a bikini by summer. Wow, that’s so not specific.
So, you need to write daily, weekly and monthly goals and actions on how to do that. So, I would say that wearing a bikini is the big goal. Then, you have to assess how you will do that.
What will you eat today? Will you put what you are eating in an app or write it down? Are you exercising? Did you plan out your day to include this?
The act of action is the most important part of this whole, “Ima gonna change my life” thing.
Let's be honest, you won’t feel like doing this every day. But guess what? You absolutely need to in order to get to your goal. Action, action, action.
Habit Gives You Staying Power
This leads us to habit. So, you wrote your big goal down. You picked a morning ritual from a millionaire who is 10 feet tall with big teeth.
You have written down actions to get you to your goal in a time-sensitive manner.
Guess what? You are faced with adversity. Maybe your partner doesn’t want you to go to the gym or doesn’t like you spending so much time obsessing about your goal.
Maybe your friend tries to bring over chocolate in the hopes that you both can have a gay old time eating your faces off like you used to.
This is where habits help.
You have created healthy habits, habits that you kinda didn’t even know you have created. When motivation leaves you and it is well past new years, this is what you have to rely on. Habit. Habit helps you stay in the zone.
You are used to eating healthy in the morning and when you don’t you feel out of sync.
Changing habits was the hardest part for me in my weight loss journey, but sticking to your habits becomes easier and easier over time.
You actually start to crave the habits you have made, because they are familiar.
Failure is Inevitable
You're gonna fail. Stop with the flogging yourself bit. It’s gonna happen so get over it and get over it quick. The biggest enemy you have isn’t the one or two Instagram haters, it's actually you.
You are the one that can easily get taken over by fear and anger.
Knowing that you will fail at some point, that you will suck at some point and that you are not being the person you know you can be actually was comforting to me.
I never let myself fail before; when I did, I would simply give up. You are not going to feel great when failure happens, whether it's in a business venture or something more personal.
You will start to doubt yourself, and that's when you get sucked down the slippery slope of anger, despair, and fear.
Have you ever seen someone who has no business succeeding? They fail all the time, but they have an eternal confidence that they have no business having?
They usually do all of these steps and fail constantly, but it doesn’t phase them. They believe in themselves and don’t need you to throw any “pity” belief their way.
Can I have some of that, please!?
Recap - How to Be Your Best in 2018 and Beyond
Yup, sounds easy. Well, it's not. Write the biggest, scariest goals down - your dream. Then breathe weird, jump in cold water, then hot water, whatever morning ritual floats your boat.
Oh, yeah, then you need to do stuff. Take action on it. Little bites, my friend.
That is how you eat an elephant.
Once you get that ball rolling, and you take action, it becomes embedded in your brain (called neuroplasticity), and somewhere along the line its now your “thing.”
You have created a habit.
But don’t get all high and mighty - because there are many pitfalls and failure is inevitable. Don't give up and keep fear and anger at arm's length and you will be absolutely astounded by how much you will be able to accomplish in the next year and beyond.