Set Goals For Real

My latest visit to a certain store saw employees with lots of goals written on the walls.  These goals are things like “hold crow pose for 10 full seconds” and “run a half-marathon in under 2 hours.”  In no way am I trying to say these are not great things to accomplish, but I am going to say that I don’t believe they are breakthroughs.  (If you don’t know what crow pose is don’t bother looking it up, just think advanced yoga pose.)

The first person says they can already hold crow pose for 4 seconds.  Can more practice get her to 10?  Sure.  Does anyone doubt that?  No way.  Same with the runner, she’s done several half-marathons all at 2:05 or 2:10.  While it might take a lot more running, no one will really see breaking 2 hours as a huge breakthrough.  Further it’s an arbitrary goal, if she runs it in 2:01 next month as opposed to 1:59, does that really change much about the accomplishment?

I’m not saying that setting goals is a bad thing, indeed having these is better than not setting anything.  Certainly the second girl will be more likely to go for a run than I will today (it’s cold out today!).  There’s a lot of positives in this way of thinking.  So what’s the problem?

First, the path to either of these goals is 100% clear.  No one is doubting what they’ll do to get there.  Run more, crow more, repeat until complete.   My challenge to everyone is to set goals that you truly see as breakthroughs.  When JFK said “We are going to put a man on the moon in the next 10 years” he had 0 idea how it was going to be done.  He made the declaration, and sure enough it happened.  That was a breakthrough to say the least.

Second, I would define these example goals as incremental progress.  Is completing a half marathon in 1:59 instead of 2:05 really something that you’re going to list as one of the top 10 accomplishments in your life?  The first finish is maybe worth listing, but improving that time is not much more.  That is the exact type of thing you do move around in the same spot, it’s not how you create a transformation.

My challenge for you is to truly set some goals that you would consider breakthroughs.  Something you want deeply, where you can truly visualize yourself completing it and being more excited than you ever have been in your life. Something that is a real breakthrough.  Then you’re ready for me to coach you.  Then you’re ready for a transformation.

And if it means that much to you to do crow pose for 10 seconds, come to my yoga class while you’re on your way to the real stuff :).

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