We’re all given the same amount of time in our lives. Some, may choose to start their day idling, complaining, or thinking of things that do not matter to them in anyway, while some may choose to do things that will get them to their goals.
What goal do you have in mind right now?
I know I have a few. Let me list you some:
- Write a blog.
- Create e-tailer websites selling goods that matter to those who need them.
- Get lean.
Common goals, right?
Goals. What are they and why do you need them?
There’s this saying from one of the, or if not, the most, wisest man ever that’s translated and re-interpreted over time as this:
“Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” – Proverbs 29:18 (21st Century King James Version
I know when I went through my last 4 years stumbling from one failure to another, went overweight, stuck in an almost dead-end job (that I’ve created — go figure), and constantly felt soul-less everyday.
I was grumpy and dreaded sleeping (you can be depressed and not want to sleep, wondering where your life could be when you wake up).
I like how Leo from ZenHabits had said, “It feels like any attempt you make to change your situation will have no real impact. It feels like it’s not worth making an effort.”
What changed me to have goals?
Recently, I have a friend, a predominantly alpha-type person who isn’t afraid to say nasty truths in your face, kept bugging me and pointing out that I’m fat (there is no “better” way to rephrase this in writing).
I remembered just close to a month ago we met up for dinner. We had a huge meal consisting satay, with an array of deep fried Chinese sausages, fish cakes and the likes, with a generous serving of bee hoon noodles on the side.
“Bro, you are fat. I ate as much as you and still perpetually having six packs abs. Come, touch here,” my friend said, pointing to his tummy.
He continued, “you know me for almost 7 years already! I have perpetually six packs and a flat tummy ever since I started training for 10 years.”
I nodded. He’s not any new friend. We used to hang out in a group of 4, where 2 of us eventually fell out and stop contacting, blaming him for “putting too much pressure” on them.
“Dan, you need willpower. I think it is my personality that keeps me up. I asked them to wake up but they didn’t respond. I hope you will also wake up. Join me in gym, this Sunday.” I agreed and went. I understood what he meant by having willpower as my frequency in the gym increased.
Goals. What are they and why do you need them?
1. Goals are milestones of progress that are measurable.
I used to think that goals are those big type of goals that are unachievable, the type that makes you dream up things that are almost certainly unattainable without “much work”. Those “your one true calling” type that you’ve possibly heard others are looking for, and still looking for after many years.
Yes, we all need visions (looking ahead of our present moment to see where we want to be), so that we can keep ourselves aligned to where you are looking forward to be. On the other hand, a person without vision is doomed to “perish”, as in the verse earlier, is “unrestrained”, which is by definition, referring to being unrestrained towards a law or governance that was meant to do right for your life. In other words, the opposite for “perish” is simply, haywire.
I believe visions are given to us in different spaces of time, such as in seasons. Same goes for having goals in season, which can also be better described in this context, as milestones.
A stone set up beside a road to mark the distance in miles to a particular place, or a significant stage or event in the development of something. – Google definition of milestone.
You’ve probably have heard or used the words milestones before. Like during a pitch, we hear others conveying their overall vision through parts, where there is an overall mission statement (overall vision, overall goal, elevator pitch sentence, whatever you would want to call it), and the end-game is being presented in form of milestones where a team will see themselves getting to point A, then point B, while furthering explaining how they may see themselves accomplishing them.
Because milestones can be conveyed, means they are almost very certainly measurable.
2. Goals keep us on track.
I believe that all of us, in order to be very effective or to be known to be an authority in the field where our goals are created in, need to have our personal track records. These are the results that you want, the milestones that sets you apart.
How do we then create goals that are measurable? Easy. One way is to break goals down into simpler goals, or the things that you can see yourself accomplishing that takes you from point now to point big-time results.
I’ve mentioned 3 examples of overall goals that I had made, from writing a blog, to building e-tailer websites, to getting lean. How about breaking them down to smaller goals, with milestones in between to let you know how far you’ve done?
For instance, instead of saying “writing a blog”, let’s break it down to smaller goals like: writing a blog -> 100 entries with 1000 words each -> write first pillar article at 1000 words, and start doing it.
For something bigger such as “building e-tailer websites”, I’ll break it down to smaller goals with milestones like: building e-tailer websites x 5 -> build 1 e-tailer website (milestone) with 3000 items (actual amount I’m working on now) -> upload 10 items a day in an hour (ultra-small goal that I could see myself working on), and start doing it.
For something even longer term such as “getting lean”, I’ve broken this up to smaller goals such as: getting lean -> go gym with friend on Sunday and do till failure -> revise workout alone on Wednesday, and further adding new goals such as eating clean -> cook 3 x a week -> use only extra olive virgin oil -> increase protein intake -> buy organic produce and groceries 1 x a week (Sunday).
On track? Enjoy every moment reaching your milestones and goals.
On my first day at the gym, this was the very first lesson I was taught, “I want you to anticipate soreness. The burn is normal. It is what you want.”
It took the third week before I started revising on my own, triggering the targeted muscle groups to failure using other lessons that I had learned such as doing incremental weights after every set at decreased weight, max out your weight when the burn comes, decrease when necessary and do to failure. Then moving on to the next exercise without wasting time upon getting to failure at the last workout.
Yes, you’ll get extreme soreness the next couple of days, but your muscles will recover and gain in strength and built, and your fats getting burned away to carbon dioxide and water (hydrogen compound) — The mathematics of weight loss: Ruben Meerman at TEDxQUT.
Similarly, can you do one page a day at 1000 words each page (if you’re looking to start a blog), or do 10 products a day (if you’re uploading products to your e-tailer website)?
Yes, you’ll start writing one or working on 10 products and find hours going by at first without completing the task at first. While it took me the third try to get to the point where I got what I needed to trigger muscle growth (failure and recovery), it will also take you a couple of tries to get your writing pace faster, and the speed and quantity of uploading of products higher by finding faster ways or shortcuts to go from 30 a day to 100 a day.
Most importantly, get yourselves some goals, break them down to smaller goals, achieve them, and improvise ways to improve yourselves further.
Let’s enjoy every moment doing what makes you happy and accomplishing goals.