Welcome to the goals in life series. Today we tackle the difference between goal setting, gut checking and how to overcome challenges to goal achievement.
I saw the most amazing thing the other day and it shows the importance of questions. I will get to the story in a minute. First a little more about the idea above.
What’s the difference? Well with goal setting you have to know what you want and then go about a course of actions that take you closer to your goals in life. With gut checking, you just feel if a given circumstance feels right and then adjust from there.
I think it depends on your personality type and goals as to which approach to life works for you. See, personally, my goal in life is to be healthy and happy. My goals in life are also WHO I am. When I am being myself and doing the things that make me happy, guess what? I’m healthy and happy.
So as I go through my days, I don’t go through a check list of life. I don’t reference my goals for family, health, money and spirituality and see if I’m on track. I take the day as it comes and do more of the things that I enjoy. When something doesn’t feel right, I drop it immediately.
A little bohemian you say? Maybe for you and your approach to life but remember my goals are to be healthy and happy. So if I’m doing what I want. I’m happy. If I do some handstands in the living room and some skipping in the basement in the morning, then some stretching in the evening. I’ll be healthy.
Why those exercises in particular? Because I enjoyed them on that day. What if I was supposed to do deadlifts? Well, I know that I like and enjoy doing deadlifts generally. So if I’m supposed to be doing them today and for some reason I don’t feel like doing them. Then there is probably a reason why. I’m just not consciously aware of it. That’s gut check living.
Goal setting should be like driving a car from Nova Scotia to British Columbia. You have a destination, a map and a plan. You’ve done your diligence and can move forward with somewhat of an expectation of success.
HOWEVER… That doesn’t mean that when you hit Calgary, there won’t be any road work or detours. You may run into an avalanche on the Hope Highway as well. Now you need to adapt and overcome depending on your level of urgency and the fashion in which you want to arrive.
You can’t sit at the detour refusing to leave your planned route. You also can’t just head south hoping to make it to Vancouver.
Always have a destination and a plan. But in order to achieve your goals in life you must always adapt, change course, correct course and overcome the obstacles.
Nothing ever goes as smoothy as expected and usually takes 3 times as long.
Writing Down Your Goals In Life
Now that does not mean that I won’t write things down to get them done. A lot of times I’ll write things down so that I can remember something that might seem interesting to me. Something that I think would be cool to be able to do or have. Then as long as it’s fun, I’ll take actions that bring me closer to that goal. The moment that I stop ENJOYING THE PROCESS, I know that’s a gut check to take the off ramp. There just might be a cutie in the small town off to the right that I wasn’t consciously aware of. However, my gut knows that it will make me happy.
Speaking of off ramps..
Slightly off topic but have you ever noticed that you could spend hours fishing, not catch a thing and then go home happy? Does everything feel the same for you when you do taxes?
That’s the difference between enjoying the process (gut checking) or goal setting by the normal definition.
Gut checking is more like the Law of Attraction type stuff. For instance, the other day I made an intention of bringing in 101 new members to my online coaching. Was it because I WANTED 101 new clients specifically? No. It was because I wanted an extra $2000 dollars that those clients would pay me. As far as clients go, what I really wanted was a couple of people that were committed to changing their lives for the better, that would listen to and do what I say.
Here is the mistake I made.
If I wanted an extra $2000, do you think that somewhere in the infinite wisdom (smile) of my life time experiences and connections I made… that there could be an easier and more direct way to come across that money? You bet your right sock with the hole in it there is.
In this day and age of technology and social networking, a person can become a millionaire in seconds. I’m serious. You know how you can put your phone up to the radio now and it will find the song for you to download? What if I’ve been gut checking my way to making music? I can’t figure it out but for some reason, I’ve just been pushed to make a song.
Then, a friend I’ve made because we share so much in common, just happens to get it on the radio. It plays in my city, 1 million people download it in 5 minutes for .99 at itunes and there ya go. No fuss, no muss, easy peasy lemon squeezy.
I could never plan that out! I could however, gut check my way to doing things that I enjoyed. Things that didn’t make sense in the traditional ‘get results’ method of doing things.
Enjoy the process because the process is your life.
How To Overcome Challenges To Goal Achievement
Everyone runs into problems, or better said – challenges. Problems stated in a positive tone, we can call challenges. It sounds way more fun and positive. So, on that note, everyone runs into challenges in life. For those of us that set goals, there will always be challenges that we run into along the way to make things exciting.
Therein lies the secret of how to overcome challenges to goal achievement. The secret is attitude. An attitude of tenacity and persistence. An admirable courage… to win.
― Earl Nightingale
At the core of every epic story is a tale of our hero overcoming obstacles to his goal or mission. Your life is the greatest story ever told… to you. And that’s all that matters.
Some people run into challenges and can’t see a way to solve them. So they quit on themselves. What I want to share with you is a story that will show you that when you have a big enough “why” you want it, you will always be able to figure out how to get over the challenge.
The key is that your attitude be positive enough that you’ll keep looking for the solution UNTIL you find it AND in the attitude that THERE IS an answer to your challenge.
The bigger you make your why, the more extreme you will be willing to go in order to do what it takes to achieve the outcome. A weak why is pretty much a forgone conclusion that you are two steps from throwing in the towel.
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself,” the alchemist replies. “And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.” – The Alchemist
Here is a commonly repeated story to put the idea in context. If someone says they want you to lift that truck over there. You would probably think “Why would I want to do that?” Then the crickets would chirp inside your head but besides that, dead silence in the old thinking compartment. Now if you upped the ante and someone said “Lift that truck because your baby is stuck under the tire!” Now you are a bit more motivated and if you can not lift the truck initially, you most likely will not just give up. First you look for levers. Then you call over people close by to help. Then you phone in emergency services. Actually, and here is the point, you will do whatever it takes because why you are doing it really, really matters to you.
Quickly, I want to tie this into how to overcome challenges to goal achievement in fitness. An excuse like “I don’t have enough time” or “It’s boring and I don’t feel like it” are sad ways of saying that you really don’t care that much. These are not big challenges to overcome. It’s some simple planning. If you really can’t figure out the solution to this then the “why” part of you doing this is really weak and it simply is not that important to you.
The recent story that I saw was about a rancher that was into bow-hunting. He had practised long and hard to be ready for bow season because he had a once in a lifetime opportunity to go hunt elk. Then he got his arm snapped in two by a bull just weeks before the season opened up. Disappointed that his dream would slip away he came up with a solution.
Since he could not hold the bow out straight with a broken arm, he switched arms. Now he could hold the bow out but did not have a healthy arm to pull the string back. That still did not stop him. He sewed a clip to his vest, and clipped the bow string into the clip. Then he pushed the bow outwards away from him instead of the traditional way of pulling the string back. Then when he was ready to fire, he had a trigger release mechanism that only required him to press the button. With that, he went on the trip of his dreams.
When you can get a big enough “Why,” you will seek answers to your challenges until they reveal themselves.
Overcoming challenges to goal achievement takes persistence. Mix it in with focus and the courage to always move forward. Add a positive mental attitude that expects success and the ending to your hero’s adventure will be epic.