Updated: Jun 11
Today I want to talk about Goals. We get so excited about goal setting. We think about achieving goals, how cool it would be to make more money, have a better body, or take up a second language. Then, we lose motivation. We give up, and wonder what the hell happened? Now this, is what is called "The motivaton trap." People are good at thinking about what they want from life, but not so good at the execution part. We've all been there. I've been there. This is because most of us are lazy fucking assholes. Simply put, we don't put in the work. If you want something, call me old fashioned, but you have to take action. So, let's talk about avoiding the motivation trap and learn about setting standards for your life instead.
So, it's a new year. Here we are again... By now, 7 out of 10 people will have already given up on their goals. Those are just the statistics. People get all excited, they can't wait for their transformative new year. They miss one day of not doing something they were meant to do, then get frustrated with themselves and go "ah fuck, screw it." I was never gonna change my life anyway. I'm just gonna give up. Well, you gotta keep pushing.
Don't worry, you're not alone. No one is perfect. I've set alot of goals for myself this year and it hasn't been going well so far. I even chipped my tooth and can't even get a dentist appointment right now, so I look like a hillbilly. Anyway, I know it will get fixed. I know i'll fall down on some of my goals, but i'm gonna keep going. I will adopt the attitude of stick-to-it-iveness.
If you don't stay consistent, than you're just going to get more of the same. If you don't like your life as it is.... Then you got to change in the ways that require you to be different. To form new habits, we have to practice them until they become ritualistic. That's how they become habits.
One of my favourite quotes is this:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore, excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Doing something great doesn't just happen on it's own right? There has been a steady record of that consistency and persistence.
WHY SHOULD WE SET GOALS?
Well, you should set goals because you need a plan. For anybody who has ever built anything or taken on a major task, they don't just wing it. They map it out. When mankind first decided to launch men to the moon they didn't just "hope it happened." They got the best minds together, they planned and tested, and then we became a space faring planet. When we needed a vaccine for Coronavirus the best medical minds in the world came up with measured strategies to test and perfect just the right concoction of liquids. They had to plan for all sorts of testing, bad samples, temperature, evaluate, reassess, plan the next test, and keep moving towards a goal - So that mankind could move on from this hell that is Covid-19.
I think goals just have a bad reputation because goals don't inspire people. Goals have a negative connotation to it which really means "work," or "I have to make changes in my life now", and I don't like change... Blah blah woe is me. Do you want a better life? Do you want more from yourself? Then call it a "TO - DO" list, call it your "plans of action," your life steps, I don't give a shit. Just do it! That's the point. You need to put in the work. So, if you're gonna complain about what you don't have, then complain about the work you have to put in, that just makes you a cry baby.
So pull yourself up. Get organized. Take a shower. Clean your place. Clear your mind. Meditate. Then, make a plan!
So, now when you make a plan. You want to make sure the plan is good, right? You don't want to set yourself up for failure right? This is a crucial part of the process. So, let's talk smart goals.
WHAT ARE SMART GOALS?
If you know the expression, "work smarter not harder," than this is why this pertains to making smarter goals. It takes your simple goals, and super-sizes it.
Goals can be vague and not clear. Like a turd. So, we're going to make them into shiny turds.
You know It's not enough to just say I want to lose weight. It's not enough to just say I hate my job and I want to do something else. It's not enough to say I want more money. You have to get specific on what you want, how, and why. Then execute. Goals matter.
Smart goals are :
This is what you want to do.
How will you know when you've achieved it? What does the success of the goal mean. You lost 40 pounds. You got a better job. You worked for yourself. You fell in love. What does that end attainment of the goal look like?
Is it in your power to attain it? Do you have the right skills to do it? If not, how do you plan to get those skills and attain the goal?
Can you realistically achieve this goal? Sounds pessimistic, but it allows for brutal honesty. If you want to become a rocket scientist in 6 months without ever studying engineering, that might be ridiculous. So, you be the judge of that.
When time do you actually want to accomplish it by. 3 months? 6 months? Now, don't freak out here. We can't all predict the future perfectly - unless you're Warren Buffett or Elon musk. But that shouldn't scare you or demotivate you, just take a healthy conscious stab.
What is a smart goal example?
A smart goal example is i'm going to lose 40 pounds in 3 months. I'm going to do it through intermittent fasting and a Ketogenic diet 5 days a week, while exercising 3 days a week for 30 minutes. Done!
It was specific, measurable, and had an end date.
Ok, so you've made your smart goals. You know what you want to do. You know how you're gonna get there. You know the time frame. It's time to execute.
Do you wait until you feel like it? Do you wait until it’s convenient for you? Do you wait until you finish the last season of House of Cards? No.
You just do it - which leads me to my next point.
THE MOTIVATION TRAP
So, motivation trap. What is it? I like to also refer to this as the self entitlement trap. Everything needs to be perfect before I start.
When you fall into the motivation trap, you are allowing your lack of motivation to dictate your actions. It's like you have to "wait" to get started on your goals, when you feel ready, when it's convenient for you. If you wait to "feel" like doing something, than you'll be waiting forever to get started.
"Motivation comes and goes. Don't allow motivation to dictate your life."
What you want to do instead is adopt a growth mindset, a strong positive mindset that focuses on outcomes and logic rather than emotion. You need to adopt the mindset of "i'm just gonna do it."
You just let go and start working. When you get to that first step, it will lead to a second, and a third. It's like making sure you're dressed and just enter the gym. When you finally get there, drove all the way, made the effort to just show up, you will naturally get started on your workout.
Then after 20 minutes of sweating your endorphins kick in and you remember why you liked exercising so much.
A strong mindset relies on putting in the work first, knowing the motivation will come later. Not, the other way around. Do not allow yourself to fall into the motivation trap.
"Put in the work first. The motivation will come later. "
THE COMPOUND EFFECT
The next important thing I want you to remember is the idea of the effects of compounding actions. The compound effect in simplest terms means "a reactionary effect from the choices and actions you take." Remember Newton?
"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."
(Newton's 3rd law of motion)
Basically, actions creates results, and then more results after that. The more action, the more results. You actually have control of the pace and speed of your goals coming to you quicker through the fortitude of your choices and actions. It compounds daily with every action you take. Smaller and smaller wins eventually turn into big wins.
So compound your efforts on a daily basis. Remember this when goal setting. Take massive action towards a life that you love.
Referring to Elon Musk again, when he was building Paypal, him and his friend didn't even rent a place. They had no money, so they decided to rent an office space and slept at the office. Elon said during the day he would work on the website stuff and then code at night. He was relentless and never stopped working. He knew that it was a numbers game.
He knew if he put in more hours than the competition, he was ultimately going to win and get there first. If the other guy is putting in 8 hours a day and he's putting in 18, then he's going to get there faster. It's a numbers game. Simple.
So take your 6 month goal, and make it a 3 month goal. Why not? Does that sound good? Just do it. Take massive action.
It's your life.
So, set goals. Stop thinking about it so much. When I stop talking I want you to hang up and get started. If you want to use an efficient workbook planner to map out your life, then click the link in the description.
Wishing you lots of love, success, and happiness in 2021.
Matt Jones is a writer and entrepreneur with multiple businesses who loves inspiring others to reach their full potential. He is also a musician, educator, and world traveler who has been to over 40 different countries on all 7 continents. His personal mission is to create and inspire others around the world to be the best version of themselves.