Have you ever wondered how people actually stick to their new year’s resolutions? 64% of us slip up within the first month alone. Today we look at the systems high performers create to actually follow through on that resolution time and time again.
We as humans get so hell bent on this meaning of purpose, we run around trying to figure out what our purpose on this blue ball floating through space is and it can be down right overwhelming. As high achievers, seekers of all things growth, and constantly striving to better ourselves, it can be scary to look up the mountain that is our goals and we can find ourselves very quickly getting discouraged around our daily habits barely making a dent in the progress of where we want to be. That’s why 64% of people don’t keep their new year’s resolution within just the first month. Halfway through month one right now and chances are pretty high that we’ve slipped up once or twice on what we originally set out to do this year.
That’s why today I want to break down how exactly I work with clients to set goals that unlock their wildest dreams, unleashing a deep sense of purpose every, single, day in the process.
Before we dive fully into it, I want to take a second to talk about Connect With Your True Identity Daily, my first book which is available now for preorder. As we reinvent ourselves this new year, we are striving to find our true self. This all in one resource is meant to help you explore just that. Giving you relatable tools, stories, and a support system to grow further than you would alone. That’s right, there is an exclusive Forever Athlete community for everyone that preorders the book. Head on over to www.foreverathletela.com to get your hands on the book and start connecting with your life teammates today!
Let’s start with the hardest question I’ll ask you today: what is your life purpose? Or rather, how do you want to be in life when it’s all said in done? I prefer to think of my life’s work through this lens because it allows me to identify how I can then show up each day, but I’m getting a little ahead of myself. I want you to grab a pen and paper, or use your notes app if you’re watching this on the go, and write down this headline: Life Mission.
Your Life Mission is the purpose you’re after, it’s your why that Simon Sinek so famously talked about in his TedTalk. Your life mission is your north start and here’s the catch to it; it shouldn’t be attainable.
That’s right, there should be no way for you to get that mission accomplished. Let me explain what I mean a bit more there. Your mission isn’t something that should be qualitative, there should be no number to it. That means it can be something that you can actually do, every single day, until the day you die.
Let me share mine as an example: My mission is to help athletes, current and former, explore their true potential to flourish in all areas of life, not just the playing field.
I want to highlight another important thing when it comes to your life mission, it’s okay for it to be fluid. Flow is fluid, it’s not this rigid thing that confines us to a box. When you’re coming up with your unique life mission, it’s natural to feel resistance and stress around writing down the “perfect” mission for yourself. The mission you’re on currently could look different in 5, 10, 20, years. That’s okay, I don’t want you to get caught up in this part of the goal stacking process. The first mission that comes to mind that lights you up is perfect for you in this moment, roll with it.
Next on our list is our vision. This is how you want your life to look when it’s all said and done. It’s where we can get a little more tangible with some numbers and metrics if we want to. If your mission was to serve others, your vision would be how many people you want to impact in your lifetime. It’s tempting to say 1 million or even 1 billion, and maybe that truly is your vision. I would encourage you to dream as big as possible with this vision, after all, you only live once, yolo that’s the motto and we about it everyday, everyday as Drake would say.
Once you have a clear picture of what it is you want in your life, who you want to be, it’s time to really reverse engineer that down to who you are right now.
We’re going to do that through a few simple steps.
First, in the next 3-5 years, what needs to happen to get you closer to that life vision and mission? I want you still dreaming big here, you’re life can look drastically different from where you are today in 3-5 years, but you choose the direction it’s going. Think of this as an opportunity to set your gps towards your destination. Yes, 3-5 years is a long time and some road work, construction, or even crashes may come up on your route. But the beauty of a GPS is that it helps navigate based off the feedback it’s given over time.
That’s where the rest of this comes in such handy. We are creating systems that will continually give you feedback to course correct in real time. Not when you pick your head up and notice you’re stuck in traffic on the 405 when you could’ve taken another route.
Setting a yearly goal is what helps you start to navigate better towards your North Star. What is it that you truly want to do this year? How is it in alignment with the goals you’ve set already in listening to this? I would encourage you to diversify your goals on the yearly scale to cover multiple areas of your life. You know we are all about holistic human identity here so outside of work, what are your goals for your family? Your relationships? Your physical health? Your mental health?
Don’t get overwhelmed by setting goals in multiple areas of life, you’ll find that they all end up being an expression of who you are as a human and we can work to find ways to have these goals work in harmony for our life; rather than creating disruptive chaos that they so often do. You can have a travel goal to Europe that works with a fitness goal by signing up for a race of sorts and extending your trip on the back end to truly experience the culture of where you’re traveling to. You can find quality time activities with your partner that also improve your mental health such as learning each other’s love languages and speaking them frequently. Two birds one stone is the approach I like to take when setting effective and efficient goals.
Reducing the overwhelm further, what needs to happen in Q1 here for you to start moving the needle closer to those yearly goals you just set? You don’t have to do it all at once, but what sort of pace do you need to be on to make these things happen?
One thing to be mindful of here is the difference in linear growth vs exponential growth vs logarithmic. Rack your brain back to middle school geometry for a second. Shout out to my math teachers out there watching, Sydnee Prosser I see you girl. Remember what a linear line looks like? It’s just straight, and unfortunately that’s how most of us think our growth will occur. Just a straight line that keeps on going until the end of time. But that is very rarely the case, in some activities yes, but it’s not universal. Exponential growth on the other hand takes awhile to see any initial movement in the direction we want to go. It can be very frustrating and it’s often these activities that require the most patience to see the benefits. One example is the phenomenon of resonance breathing or meditation and the effects it can have on regulating our nervous system for better stress management, reduced anxiety, and so much more. It can be down right boring to implement a mediation practice at first because you don’t see the returns on your investment immediately. Even though you know at some point you will, it can be frustrating and we often walk away before seeing it through. Have the patience to sit through exponential growth, it’s worth it because it continues to pay increasing dividends the more you pour into it over your lifetime. Logarithmic growth is the inverse of exponential. It’s the immediate, “beginner gains” as we like to say in the fitness world. It’s why often times any fitness plan will get you results when you’re a total newbie to workout. The critical thing to watch out for with activities that fall in to logarithmic growth characteristics is knowing when to stick to your planned program and when to mix it up. That’s why creating a system of continually checking back into this goal stack we are creating today is critical for sustained growth in your life. What you are doing right now isn’t a set and forget type activity. When done correctly and consistently, it’s your map forward through life as a whole.
You have a clear picture of Q1 and onwards now, what needs to happen this month to put you closer to those benchmark goals? With the different patterns of growth in mind, what areas of your life are you locking in on right now? Is it a time to really dive into fitness, or with what’s going on in your family life with a recent move or transition, is it more beneficial to focus on another area? The setting of monthly goals allows you to play Tetris with your life in respect to all the moving parts that you have going on within it. We all have “a lot going on” but it helps to get a clear picture of what we truly do and don’t have space for.
Peeling the onion back another layer, what needs to happen this week that moves you towards that monthly goal? What area or area do you have the space for right now to really pour into the way you would need to be in alignment with everything else we’ve discussed so far?
How about today? What is going to happen today, right when you’re done watching/listening to this that you’ll be able to do that will be in alignment with who you see yourself as? When it comes to setting daily goals, I recommend keeping it to a maximum of 5 things. Anything more than that, you’re getting a little ahead of yourself and while you think you’re being ambitious, you’re really self-sabotaging your brain into hyperdrive when it should be in cruise control. Don’t rev your engine if you don’t have to, the benefit of having 3-5 daily clear goals is you have a clear picture of when you’re starting, stopping, speeding up, and slowing down. Writing down these 3-5 clear goals is going to be what is most important to set up continued feedback.
Last thing on goals, I would take a second to set a daily intention that is aligned with the goals that day. It can be tedious, but helpful to have a one word reminder to turn to throughout the day that sets the tone for what you are doing. This intention practice helps keep you on track when you find yourself distracted and it can also be the simple motivation reminder you might need to check off that last thing.
Being in alignment is one of the most talked about habits of being successful, but it’s often misunderstood how to actually follow through on. Goal stacking allows you to make sure your daily actions are in alignment with the person you ultimately want to be.
Now that we have a clear goal stack from today all the way until the end of time, what do we do?
Life is every changing, it’s fluid, and shit happens. Maybe you’re at a point in life right now where shit has totally hit the fan and you don’t know which way is up and how to get back on the course of where you want to go. Depending on what season of life you are in, it might be easier or harder to see the light forward.
That’s where the weekly scouting report comes into play for all of us. This weekly routine will help you plan, pivot, and prioritize yourself above all else.
Here’s how it works:
Take a look back at your past week and assess your progress towards your goals. Don’t be afraid to be critical and realistic, did you set goals that made sense or were they out of sorts?
Refer back to your goal stack we just made. This simple glance over will provide you a boost in motivation and significant bump in clarity.
Set a new weekly goal for the coming week. Look at your calendar as you do this and be realistic with what your expectations of yourself are. We want it to be challenging but not overwhelming. Maybe you have some crazy travel for work coming up, or a big deadline approaching. With this information in mind, you can create a more informed plan of action.
Put into your calendar every thing that needs to happen to move you closer to that goal you just set. This is the scouting portion, plan out each day of your calendar for the week ahead. Things will come up, but trust me this is worth doing. Once it’s in there, you can have a clear picture of exactly what is going on, or not going on.
Personally, I calendar everything. That’s from meetings, to workouts, to deep work blocks to create content such as this. If it doesn’t get calendared, it doesn’t get done in my life at least. You might be thinking this seems very rigid and strict, but it’s what allows me to stay adaptable and agile towards where I want to go when things happen. Just this morning I had one client reschedule to another day and another ask for another time in the day. I was able to quickly shift the hour blocks in my calendar to accommodate both of their requests while still making sure I’m hitting my weekly goals in regards to growing my business and marathon training, my two main focuses in Q1 here.
The last game changing feedback system I want to introduce to you today is called your Daily Cool Down.
Every athlete knows the importance of a cool down after a high quality session. It’s what helps prime both your body and mind to get back to it for training the next day. That’s the purpose of a daily cool down practice and here’s how you can implement it today:
Set a time in your calendar where you begin this routine. Set it on reoccurring repeat for every single day.
Clear your red, all emails of importance, texts, DMs or however you communicate these days should be cleared first. We want to tie up those loose ends and get that nagging red number off our screens.
Look back on what you did today, did you move yourself closer to that weekly goal?
What needs to happen tomorrow? Do you need to make some tweaks to your scouting report? Odds are by the time you get to Wednesday, it looks a little different than you planned on Sunday. Make those tweaks in your calendar now.
Shut off the screens. All of them, TV, phone, computer, Kindle, Apple Watch. You’re now on Do Not Disturb, enjoy that time to yourself and recharge with your family.
Powering down and holding these boundaries outlined above are going to be critical in providing you the ample feedback, time, and space needed to crush your wildest dreams.
With your freshly made goal stack, the weekly scouting report, and daily cool down, you’ll truly step into being an unstoppable Forever Athlete. If you want more episodes like this one, be sure to subscribe to the channel, share with a friend, and spread the word. We grow further together. I appreciate you joining me today and until next time, flow on my friends!