How many of you woke up today thinking that today would be different? That today would be the day you’d finally live to your potential and would transform your life. Or wait I’ll change the question, how many of you slept last night with that goal in mind? That today you’d wake up early and workout and drink that green hipster smoothie everybody’s crazy about, that you’d do yoga, be super productive and get all of your work done?
If you’re reading this particular post now, I can confidently bet that 99% of you did or at least have done sometime in the past. Now of course it’d be unfair to standardize what goals you made and for what reason. But I’m confident that sometime or another you have resolved to change your life for the better.
But now we’ll move to the more juicy part of this discussion.
For all of you who made goals:
How many of you actually followed through on the promises you made to yourself?
Did you wake up early? Did you go workout? Were you super productive? If you answered “no” to even one of your goals there is a problem. How can it be that you want to be better and you have the means to be better, but you aren’t getting better? Take 3 these scenarios for examples:
- You make it your goal to wake up at 5:00 AM and set your alarm clock to 5:00 AM. Why do you press snooze and NOT wakeup?
- You make it your goal to go the gym after work and even have your training clothes in the car. Why do you NOT go workout?
- You make it your goal to finish your project today and have all the means to do so. Why do you NOT finish?
Sound familiar? In life if something is out of your control such as the weather, it’s something you just have to live with and adapt to. But if you have control and have all the means to change something then the blame for living less than what your capable of is only on YOU. It’s your fault you’re not waking up at 5:00 AM. It’s your fault you’re not working out after work. And it’s your fault you’re not being productive. What you need to do is understand why? And find out what’s holding you back.
I mean its nerve wracking when people come ask me to help them reach their goals. But they still make excuses for themselves. Like “I really want to go to the gym after work but I’m just so burnt out after my 8 hour shift that I lose my motivation.” Because if you REALLY want something you’ll get it. It’s just that simple. If you’re making goals and are repetitively coming up short, it’s simply because you don’t want that goal enough; you don’t have the drive.
The reason you press the snooze button on your alarm clock and don’t wake up at 5:00 AM is because you value your sleep over your goal. Your goal is less important than the discomfort you’ll feel when you wake up early. And it is the same reason for every other goal you make. The reason you don’t go to the gym after work or be super-productive is because you value your comfort and relaxation over your goal. And until you begin to value your goal more than everything else you will never be successful doing it long term. You might wake up at 5:00 AM a day or two but eventually your motivation will die off because that motivation wasn’t there in the first place. Your mind just didn’t want it bad enough.
So you might be asking now what? What do I do?
Well I’m getting there. But before that I want you try holding your breath for as long as you can and keep reading. Ok ready. BIG breath in.
Getting harder isn’t it. Well you can stop now, but think back to when you were holding your breath. That moment when you were just about to run out of oxygen “how bad did you want to breathe?” At what priority was “breathing” on your to-do list? Pretty high I bet. I’m sure it was higher than everything else you were doing. I’m pretty sure that even if I offered you 1 billion dollars to not breathe for 60 more seconds at that point when you ran out of air you would refuse. Because at the end of the day you value your life more then the money. Breathing is at the top of your priorities and you wouldn’t let ANYTHING get in its way. But I think you’re beginning to get where I’m going with this.
Unless you value your goals more than what you’re giving up you will never be able to achieve them.
The Psychology Behind Goal Setting
So taking the 5:00 AM example again, I want you to take analyze these 2 scenarios:
Bob makes a goal to wake up every day at 5:00 AM because he needs to get to work at 6:00 AM and it’s a 45 minute drive to his new workplace. His job is the only source of livelihood for him and his family. And he knows that if he goes late he will lose his job and therefore won’t be able to provide food and nourishment to his young kids. Bob values his family more than his comfort and therefore resolves to wake up at 5:00 AM everyday regardless of when he slept or how tired he is.
Bob is successful in reaching is goal and sustains the habit long term
Sam makes a goal to wake up every day at 5:00 AM because he read online that productive people wake up early and he wants to be successful. Sam resolves to wake up at 5:00 AM everyday regardless of when he slept or how tired he is.
Sam is successful in reaching his goal for 2 days but then stops waking up early. Sam then goes on CodeofLiving.com to figure out why he can’t seem to wake up early.
You can learn a lot from these two examples. In Scenario 1 Bob has defined reasons for waking up at 5:00 AM that he uses to motivate himself. His wife and children are relying on him and his job, which is his only source of income, is more important in his eyes then his sleep. Sam on the other hand in scenario 2 has an unclear reason for waking up at 5:00 AM and while he is able to wake up at 5:00 AM for a few days, his sleep eventually overcomes his initial motivation and he goes back to waking up late. So while Sam does have a reason to wake up at 5:00 AM, it’s still less important in his eyes then his sleep.
So to connect this to the initial topic, do you know why today is not different and why you didn’t finally live to your potential? It’s because the motivation isn’t there and you’re doing whatever you’re doing for the wrong reasons. So break it down and get to the root of your goal. Find its derivative (d (goal)/dx) and base your goals on the right reasons. Don’t wake up at 5:00 AM just to follow a trend or fashion but find a personal reason to do so. Find a reason that resonates inside of you; that you value more than any of the hardships you might face in reaching your goal.
I personally recommend you make a unique list for each of your goals and write all of the reasons down so that you can visualize the benefits. But in the end always remember that your potential is unlimited and that only YOU limit yourself. If you put your 100% of your mind and heart into something you can achieve anything.