I’ve been thinking a lot about my body and health goals lately. I’ve also been reading Dan John’s excellent book, “Don’t Let Go.” I’m not sure how it all came together for me, but I started thinking about smaller goals. If you’ve read any kind of self-help/goal setting stuff – like the Anthony Robbins program “Time of Your Life” that I talk about in this post on creating a fitness vision – you’ve probably heard some talk about translating your big goals into smaller ones. I’ve heard that type of thing A LOT, but it never really clicked for me. Finally, it clicked…
Some of you know that I recently committed to doing yoga EVERY day. I talked about that in my blog post “If It’s Not Working, Try Something Different…” I’m doing pretty well with that protocol, although I might shift the yoga to post workout on my workout days. Anyway, I sat down last night (Sunday) and started thinking about my goals for the week. I guess that’s when I first had the thought that I needed to MAKE SURE that I did yoga every day. With that one thought, a lot became clear – because I was thinking about an individual goal at the day level. I now had ONE thing that I could check up on at any time and KNOW if I was doing what I should be doing to reach my ultimate goals. “Did I do yoga today or not?” That’s it. Small and simple goal. Simple yes or no answer. Pass or fail.
Thinking About Goals on a Daily Level…
Then I started thinking about my other goals in the same way – on a daily level. So, from the big, massive, global goals, I finally – FINALLY – got to the daily behaviors. Now it’s REALLY simple to get things done and focus on what I need to:
- Did I eat completely Paleo today?
- Did I eat enough?
- Did I do yoga?
- Did I do a workout or practice some skills that are on my list?
In a few weeks I’ll add: “Did I do Jiu Jitsu/MMA today?” (On Tuesdays and Saturdays.)
The Problem with BIG Goals…
Big goals are great for “setting the sail” and heading in the right direction. The problem with the big goals is that they can create a situation where you “live in the future” and don’t enjoy or fully engage in the present moment. The NOW. I talked about how this works in my post: “How Happy Are YOU?”
The big goals are great to get you motivated and get you focused on the future and where you want to go. But EVERYTHING happens in the present. This is where the disconnect was for me. I’m here now and my BIG goals are way “over there” in the future. There was no connection between the two. And I’ve been doing the major goal setting stuff for YEARS and not truly seeing this. I FINALLY saw it!
Here’s the Connection Between Today and the Future…
The connection between today and the future is this: Your days HAVE TO add up to the big goals you have for the future. You have to do NOW what will lead you to your future goals. And when you do those things, you have to love them and enjoy them and be thankful to be blessed enough that you can focus on “luxuries” like training, resting, eating or whatever.
You need to ask yourself – every day or even a few times a day: “What do I need to do NOW to have the things I want in the future?” And, to this I MUST add: “Am I enjoying the process of striving for my ultimate goals?”
If you can check in at the end of the day and say that you accomplished all (or most) of your small daily tasks, behaviors and goals, THEN you can be reasonably sure that you’re headed toward the big future goals. As Stuart McRobert has said over and over again: “Get the days and weeks right and the months and years will take care of themselves.”
That’s pretty much it. Simple and profound. I heard this stuff HUNDREDS of times from MANY different gurus, authors and speakers. But I never saw the connection. I now see the connection.
Set big goals. Do the little things everyday that will move you toward them. Enjoy doing these little things as you do them and live in these moments.
It couldn’t be any simpler…
Here’s a passage from Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” that sums it all up perfectly. In fact, this paragraph is highlighted and underlined and starred in my copy of the book. Apparently, it means something to me EVERY time I read it (I’m on time number 3 through “The Power of Now” at the moment…)
“If you set yourself a goal and work toward it, you are using clock time. You are aware of where you want to go, but you honor and give your fullest attention to the step you are taking at this moment. If you then become excessively focused on the goal, perhaps because you are seeking happiness, fulfillment, or a more complete sense of self in it, the Now is no longer honored.”
Set big goals, but enjoy the process, the small victories and the journey… Honor The Now…