The truth about setting goals. TFW Portland

Good morning, Portland! This is Coach Josh from Training for Warriors Portland.

I'm so excited to bring to you some ideas on goal setting. I was thinking about it all weekend. These ideas been popping up a lot for me in my life and I just wanted to share it with you real quick. I don't know if you're thinking about goals on Monday morning. Maybe you are. Maybe you're not. But I wanted to sort of break down the goal setting process and how you go through the process of achieving your goals.

If you're like me, you've probably done a lot of reading. You've probably heard the term SMART goals thrown around all the time:

Time-bound/ time-oriented

Which is great! Those are important. 

For me, having that concept of a SMART goal is the North Star. That's the end goal. I'm always looking at the North Star because that's where I'm headed.

But if you've been in this process for a while (for example, you're trying to lose a bunch of weight or you're trying to earn more money, change careers, etc...) it's easy to get discouraged. That's because most of the time, you're in some in-between place while you're in your process and when you're setting your goals. AND it gets really discouraging and distracting to look at the things you don't have and what you haven't achieved yet.

Something that helps, is practicing gratitude, referencing where you came from, and continually re-evaluating and reminding yourself of all the good things you've done. That helps a lot. But one simple drill that you can do when you're in your process or you're looking at your goals, is to shift your focus. 

Focus on the next step

take the next step


Instead of focusing on the goal aka this thing that is seemingly WAY far away, focus on the next step. It's really kind of simple. It's like alignment perspective. If you stick your thumb out in front your eye and you put it in between you and somebody else's space, you can either see your thumb or you can see their face. You can't see both. Goal setting is somewhat similar. If you're focused on the next step, it's gonna be much more easy to achieve that one bit instead of trying to eat the entire elephant.

Build momentum

If you're focused on the goal itself, you're not really paying attention to what is happening directly in front of you. You're actually kind of missing the moment. In that moment lays the stuff that you need to do, whether it's get up early and go workout, make your smoothie, or make that phone call, etc... If you shift your focus from the overarching goal to just the next step, it becomes a lot easier to succeed. You will begin to build momentum, which is really what you want when you're on your way to achieving your goal. Even if your goals are in alignment with your process, even if your next step is in alignment with your goals, it's still better to focus on the next step because that's the thing that's most important. Completing that step is what is going to take you closer.

Now, you have probably heard you should do things like, "Have your goal. Write them down. Look at them every day." And I believe in that! Write down your goals, keep them in your wallet, on your wall... wherever it needs to be. 

However, the most important thing is focusing on the action. 
You want to focus on the input. 
You wanna focus on the thing you have control over. That's the next step. That's the football that you're carrying right now.

Use the momentum

By shifting your focus, you're gonna be a lot more empowered, a lot more successful, and a lot more excited to start your day. It's actually pretty easy. I've been working on a lot of things in my life for a long time. It's easy to get fixated on what you haven't finished and what's not going well. Be patient and continually focus on the next step and before you know it, you're three, four, SEVEN steps down the line. You'll gain momentum, which is the thing that really makes it easy to stay on track, easy to stay in the process.

If you're doing it right and you've set your goals well, then what happens is as you take more actions, you become a different person. The process of reaching that goal, the process of stepping towards that goal, it kind of changes you. And by the time you get there, you're gonna be different than who you are now, which isn't bad news. It's good news. There's that saying, "Don't ask what you want to have. Ask who you want to be." Be the person... Decide who you want to become and that person will attract the things that you're wanting in your life. And that process of change occurs between the now and the goal.

Shifting your focus to the next step and focusing on the input is what is going to make you more successful in the short-term. That's going to make you feel more empowered now, which is ultimately the thing that you need to build belief and to gain momentum and will get you to take more action. Shifting your focus can do a lot for your mindset, habits, and for your success.

Coach Josh, here at Training for Warriors Portland, helping you bring out the warrior within.