I’m sure most of you are at least as busy as I am. A lot of you are probably more busy. We all understand how difficult it is to juggle life’s bazillion obligations and still find time for ourselves. Even when you do have time, will you have the energy? The trick to getting your you-time is finding your why.Lest you think I have it all figured out and am here preaching about how I’ve solved all of life’s problems, believe me I’m not and I haven’t. I struggle to find the motivation and energy to do things I want just like everyone else. I get bored really fast and I hate scheduling anything. And if I don’t have a good reason to do something, odds are pretty good I won’t.
For any of you who follow Gretchen Rubin, I’m a rebel. All that means is that I like being told what to do so little, I don’t even like to tell myself what to do. Just setting a goal, instantly makes it harder for me to meet that goal.
As for designing good goals, my article on program design basics is a good resource. It’s a good place to start to make sure your designing effective goals from the start. But with me, just having a goal isn’t enough to motivate me toward it. There has to be an underlying reason that I want to make the goal.
In the past, I set a goal to deadlift 400 pounds. I’m not very far from this goal right now and it wouldn’t have taken very long at all to hit it. But I didn’t have any good reason to deadlift 400 pounds, so I never even got off the ground toward this goal.
Perhaps a better solution would have been to pick a date for a powerlifting competition and focused on lifting 400 pounds at that meet. That would have given me something more concrete to anchor the goal toward.
I’ve found that the goals that I’m most successful with are the ones that I make lifestyle goals. I have to identify with the goal and make it a part of who I am, otherwise I’ll just lose interest.
One of my goals this year is to do a strict muscle up. In truth, I haven’t specifically worked toward it much. However, because I spend so much time rock climbing, I’m regularly working toward it by rock climbing. And, being able to do a muscle up will help my rock climbing. From here it’s a small step to add specific workouts to work toward the muscle up. This way I’m targeting the goal from multiple angles and it matters to my lifestyle.
The more areas of my life that the goal will influence, the more likely I am to meet it. I’m not one of those people who will meet a goal just because I should. So if you’re having problems meeting goals, you may be like me. To help, when you set a goal try to figure out why you want this goal and how it can become a lifestyle goal.
Something like losing weight because it will make you healthier may not be enough. Why do you want to be healthier? Will it let you do more things you enjoy? Maybe it will ensure you’re around for your kids longer. Try to make the goal personal.
It’s still going to be challenging to meet the goal. If it weren’t, everyone would be living their ideal lives right! You’re going to trip, stumble, mess up. We all do. I do lots! But if the goal is personal and you have your why, you’ll pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and come back at it more motivated than before. And that’s what achieves goals.
If you’re interested in learning more about rebels, questioners, obligers, and upholders check out The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin.