It won’t be long before your inbox begins to fill up with the goal-setting missives that generally start flying in around this time each year. While I would never relegate goal-setting to one specific time of the year…December does seem to be the most popular month to reflect.
January 1 tends to be the Monday of every diet. UNLESS January 1 falls on a Saturday …then let’s be honest, January 3 is the beginning of a new year.
Our brains are rather crafty little creatures, aren’t they?
And listen…I know you know all about goal setting. And if you don’t, you can open any of those other emails in your inbox and get a dose of goal-setting techniques that probably belong more on a wall calendar (do people still have those 🤔?)
But I wanted to talk about the goals from a slightly more holistic approach.
“Holistic” – now, if that’s not a word that screams it belongs in the goal-setting vernacular, I don’t know what is.
A holistic approach to goal setting
Aka…the big picture.
Either way, whether you choose to set goals or you don’t, next year, on this exact date, you will be where you are.
Hahaha…that sort of reminds me of a dear friend whom I used to work with back in my first travel job – We’d sometimes find him asleep under his desk Monday mornings wearing what he had on the previous Friday – and he always had these profound, meaningful words of wisdom.
Like some Buddhist monk, he’d often say…”No matter where you go. There you are.”
Blatantly obvious cliches that oddly…sort of apply and make sense. And it’s how I approach goal-setting.
You are going to be somewhere next year, at this exact moment – might as well be where you want to be rather than where life ends up taking you. Am I right?
Set one big goal, but make it spectacular
Something super impossible. Something that seems so big it makes you sick to your stomach. You’ll think it’s impossible because up until now, you’ve never achieved it. It’s the kind of goal you feel almost sheepish to talk about at the holiday dinner table lest you are met with the white of the eyes of your friends and family.
That’s when you know you are on to something.
It should scare you a little bit. After all, you have an entire year to accomplish it. As a master procrastinator will tell you….you’ve got 364 days of smooth sailing before you’ve got to get your shit together and get to work. Just kidding.
Assume you are going to fail and be okay with that
Seriously…think about that for a second. Who really cares if you achieve the big, audacious goal in the first place? Conversely, who really cares if you don’t. You’ve probably set goals in the past that you didn’t achieve. I’m betting that’s a big part of why you are hesitant to do so again.
But things will be different this time.
I honestly believe that most of the time, we make our goals so small out of fear of failure, and there is a little part of us that kind of thinks…come Jan 16th…” who really cares?” And we give up.
But that’s not what is on the menu this year. I’m suggesting we set an Elon Musk type of goal. Do we really think that Elon shoots back a glass of bubbly every Dec 31st and thinks…dang…this year…I’m going to shed those last obnoxious 10 pounds?
Mind you, I have yet to be invited to a New Year’s Eve party at the Musks, but if I were a betting (wo)man, I’d bet that’s not Elon’s approach to goal-setting.
Your goal needs to be so big that you look back on the year when you achieve it and think…
DANG girl! You did that. That is friggin’ impressive.
What’s your ‘”why?”
Ugh, another worn-out cliche when it comes to goal-setting. I almost threw up in my mouth a little bit when I typed that out, but…
All I want to say on the “why” of goal setting is to promise yourself one thing…don’t set a goal thinking that you will finally find happiness if you achieve it.
And you might need to pull up a comfy chaise lounge to work out why your goal is what it is. Just know…happiness shouldn’t be the goal. Because, while you will most likely experience happiness as a result of achieving your goal, it will be fleeting.
Exact duration varies from human to human, but I promise, it won’t be long before your mind adjusts to that level of happiness and thinks…what is next?
You have to embrace happiness along the way.
Goal achievement does bring pride in accomplishment, but it doesn’t create happiness. The person who rolls out of bed and puts two feet into her pants this year is the same person who puts their pants on the same way next year. (maybe the pants might be a bit looser – that’s entirely possible)
The only difference is, you’ll just have one big ass massive accomplishment under your belt.
We were put on this earth to evolve
I’m not about to get religious. And I accept that you may or may not agree with my take on things, but I firmly ascribe to the belief that there is some divine purpose to our existence.
And I further agree that we’ll probably never really know who is correct, or at least not on a conscious level and in this time-space continuum.
So I say…since we don’t know for sure, why not believe the way I do. We were put on this planet to evolve. We might as well accept it and then choose the way we wish to develop.
Don’t allow…” I don’t know” to be the killer of your dreams
People’s biggest thought error in goal setting is thinking they don’t want to think too big because then they won’t know *the how* to achieve it. “I don’t know how” is the biggest crock of shit.
What if you did know? Or better yet, this question posed by Tim Ferris is a great one to ask yourself as you are about to sit down and start planning.
From my experience, we often over-complicate simple stuff. Tim Ferris has also been quoted as saying, “If the answer isn’t simple, it’s probably not the right answer.”
And sure, there are a lot of helpful goal-achievement tips that I’m not going to go into in this article because I sort of feel like it’s been done. I’ll leave that for the other guys, but I will say, taking action is by far the best advice you can take.
Action begets action. And…when you don’t know what your next move should be, the pathway will appear by taking action. That might just be a universal truth and gift.
The positive side effects of making big goals
Something magical happens when you make big scary goals. Whether you achieve them or not… all sorts of wonderful benefits occur as a positive side effect. When I think back on this past year, I can’t help but notice the wonderful unexpected things that happened along the way. Crazy stuff! Stuff that never got pencilled into my calendar but showed up due to some nutso step I took trying to get where I wanted to go.
This has been a shocker. And like…really good stuff. Opportunities that appeared that probably wouldn’t have had I stayed in my cave and not ventured out.
All because I set a massive scary, impossible goal.
My final words on the topic…
Make goals or don’t make goals, up to you.
Either way, you’ll be somewhere new a year from today; why not take control of where you end up?
And if you want some help with that…I’m your girl. Now is the perfect time to sign up for one of my coaching sessions. Let me walk you through both the process and the opportunity. Book a complimentary call with me below. I’m here to help.Schedule Appointment