Tag Archives: goals

If you want some things to change in your life…you need to change some things in your life!!

One of my former colleagues used to live by the mantra “If you want some things to change in your life, you have to change some things in your life”.  While it is the most obvious of truths, it is difficult for most to actually put in to place.

Think about it.  About this time every year, people start to assess their lives, determine what they would like to change and then make ‘resolutions’ around achieving that change.

C’mon, admit it.  How many of your resolutions have been repeated for 3-years or more?  I am willing to bet most of us have at least one.  I know that in past years, I certainly have.  So I have decided I am not going to call the resolutions of our past ‘resolutions’ any longer – I am going to call them ‘wishes’.  Resolutions imply being resolute – wishes are things that just happen.

Resolved [ri-zolvd]

                Adjective

Firm in purpose or intent; determined

Wishes carry the implication that the results are up to someone else.  The Genie gives Aladdin 3 of them.  Cinderella gets hers granted by her fairy Godmother.  Pinocchio’s are granted by wishing upon a star.  See the trend?  Besides all being Disney classics, they all also relied upon the power of others to receive their wishes.

If it is to be, it is up to me! ~ Anonymous

So how do we ensure that this year we make resolutions vs. wishes?

  • Wishes are nebulous – Resolutions are specific. Eat healthier.  Exercise more.  Reduce debt.  Be a better friend.  All of these are great aspirations but are horrible resolutions.  So if I eat a tomato today with my salad did I achieve the ‘eat healthier’ wish for the year?  Make sure your resolutions are specific in the actions that will help you achieve the larger more nebulous wish.
  • Wishes last forever – Resolutions have an expiration date. When are you going to achieve the end result of all of your hard work?  Put it on a calendar.  This is critical to making the next step work.
  • Wishes focus on the macro – Resolutions focus on the micro. If the end that you have in mind is to lose 30 lbs, we set a goal of a target weight (big picture).  While having the end product in mind is important, you need to focus daily on the little steps that will get you there.  Exercise 5 days a week.  Get your heart rate up to specific levels.  Make sure you do not exceed specific caloric intake levels.
  • Wishes magically happen – Resolutions can be measured. Now that we know what we need to do every day to step closer to our end result, track it.  Cutting back debt?  How much is being paid off and when?  Being a better friend?  Who are the 3 people you reached out to today?  If you did not track it, it did not happen.  Depending on the nature of the resolution, I am sure there are dozens of aps already designed to help you track the activity surrounding your resolution.
  • Wishes are luxury – Resolutions are necessity. When you wish for something, you are neither surprised nor disappointed when it does not happen.  After all, it was a wish.  When you are resolute about something, you are going to make it happen.  It is a necessity.  This especially shows through in 4 out of the 5 of my travel Guardrails.  Want to guess which rule is the one I break the most?
  • Wishes are private – Resolutions are public. Now this one may be uncomfortable but you are far more likely to achieve a goal, even a well-crafted one, when you have accountability.  Find a family member, a mentor, someone on the same path as you or even one of the many website/aps out there that assist with this.

Remember, wanting to make a difference in your life is a good thing!!  Let’s just make sure we are really making resolutions and not just making wishes.

Are you ready?

Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted. One moment. Would you capture it or just let it slip away? – Eminem

In life you have to be prepared to take advantages of opportunities when they pass by.

This past Saturday, I had an opportunity come and smack me in the face.  While training at the karate studio, the Master Instructor asked me if I was ready to test for my Second Degree Black Belt in 13 days!!!!

Thirteen days?  Are you crazy?  I trained for 8 intensive weeks to receive my black belt……and that nearly killed me!!! (You can read that story here). Thirteen days!?!?!  There is no way I can do that!!

Now up until that moment, we had not even discussed the possibility of testing. No commentary on what would be needed to be prepared, where he or the other instructors saw weaknesses in my game or even the structure of the new test.

Just a spontaneous “are you ready?” conversation.  There was only one answer I could give…..

“Absolutely!”

You see, I train with a purpose and so should you.

Now your purpose is probably not the same as mine.  Not many people are actively training in multiple martial arts and focused on being able to go 10 rounds or stop multiple assailants on a plane if needed (yes, I really do think like that).   However everyone should put a purpose behind their health goals.

It is easy to skip a workout, or multiple workouts, when you don’t have a clearly defined purpose.  It’s easy to order the chili cheese fries when you don’t have a goal staring you in the face.  It’s easy to have that extra glass of wine when there is nothing to focus on.

Without a big goal to command your focus in the long run, the decisions you make in the short run lend themselves to the easy rather than the best choice.

So what is your goal?  Is it…

scale

Weight loss:

You know this is a simple matter of calories in, calories out.  You also have to understand that it is the marathon of goals, not the sprint.  Set a weight target and a realistic date to hit it and then track your ongoing progress (there are lots of great apps and calculators out there to help you do this).  Put that number everywhere you turn so it is constantly reminding you of the real treat, seeing your number on the scale.

Blood pressure

Lowered Blood Pressure:

Talk to your Dr. About what you need to do specifically in this area but I know for my family it is keeping salt to a minimum and making sure we are exercising.  Skip the salt shaker and get your 20 minutes in everyday.  Believe me you will feel and sleep a whole lot better.  Track it regularly and celebrate small incremental decreases.

energy

More energy throughout your day:

Foods high in refined sugar and carbs lead to spikes in blood sugar and corresponding crashes.  Remind yourself before indulging in those cookies of how you will feel an hour later.  Is the short term burst worth the crash later that day.  Sometimes the answer is ‘yes’ but work to make ‘yes’ a rarer and rarer answer.

headshot

Fitting in your clothes better:

When I started this fitness journey about 5 years ago, this was a major goal of mine.  When I am on the mat I am often wearing a rash guard/compression shirt.  They show every ripple, bulge, love handle, muscle or lack there of.  I was embarrassed enough of my body that I would wear a t-shirt over the rash guard until it was time to step on the mat.  Vanity was, and still is, a major motivator for me.

Interestingly, I fill out t-shirts and rash guards much better now but I still am in the habit of wearing a t-shirt over them for the most part, even in the gym.  I guess some habits are really ingrained.

But let’s not lose sight of the bigger issue here, you have to have a long term goal to help you make good short term decisions.

G2G

Jim Collins in his book Good to Great defines it as a BHAG -Big Hairy Audacious Goal.

If you have a clearly defined BHAG, and you keep it front and center, when the opportunity arises for you to make a choice that either gets your closer or moves you further away, the answer will be clear for you too.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a test to go train for.  Time to go spar, roll and practice katas.
See you on the road.