The first time I remember setting goals was back in my Junior year of High School. I can’t remember why I set them, or what prompted me to set goals; but I do remember some great advice from my High School coach. Set your team goals ahead of your personal goals. If the team does well, you will likely hit your numbers. That year, and for the following five years (one in High School and four in College), I followed that advice. One key piece of information he left out was that it is more fun to achieve your team goals. The emotion experienced from winning a Championship far exceeded any feeling I ever had from achieving a personal goal. When you achieve a team goal, you celebrate with others. When achieving a personal goal, the party of one gets quite lonely.
It’s a New Year, so that means its time for people to set their New Years Resolutions! Forbes estimates that roughly 45% of Americans set New Years Resolutions (I was surprised it was that low!). But, only 8% actually achieve their Resolutions (and I was surprised it was that high!). There are many reasons why people don’t achieve their goals; but I’d like to focus on two areas.
First, I believe individuals simply lose focus of their goals. This was an issue for me for many years, and not just for my New Years Resolutions. I would lose sight of goals I set in Athletics, for Business, and in my personal life. I’d spend time thinking about my goals and why they were important to me; but a month or so later, I stopped thinking about them. One concept that I picked up while reading Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Habits is to set ‘alarms’ for yourself as reminders to stay focused on important tasks. I began setting alarms on my phone that would repeat at designated times on designated days. Each alarm has its own label; so, when the alarm goes off, I am reminded of a goal I set. It keeps the goal fresh in your mind.
The second reason why I believe 92% of people fail to achieve their goals is because they simply lose passion for what they set out to achieve. Tony Robbins once said, “People are not lazy, they simply have impotent goals – that is, they have goals that do not inspire them.” I will respectfully disagree with Robbins in that I do think people are lazy. Admittedly, I am quite lazy; but I do not succumb to laziness because I am passionate about what I want to achieve. But I think Robbins nailed it when he said “they have goals that do not inspire them.” A common goal for people is to lose weight. Bodybuilding.com states that 73% of individuals who set fitness goals “gave up before meeting their goal.” Getting into good physical shape should NOT be a goal we miss. The consequences for being overweight and unhealthy are not only bad for us; but they are bad for everyone else around us. Not meeting our fitness goals affects our family, our friends, and even our co-workers. But, unfortunately for many, they simply aren’t passionate about achieving their fitness goals. Giving up the food that they so much enjoy is too hard. They may not have yet been diagnosed with a condition or disease. They simply find too many reasons why they should abandon their goal. Unfortunately, they haven’t developed the passion for getting into shape. When you develop a passion for something; and constantly ‘feed’ that passion, you will be surprised what you can achieve.
Whatever the goal is that you set for yourself in 2019, keep the fire burning inside of you to achieve the goal and never lose sight of it until it has been achieved. For you young baseball players out there, tape your goals next to your bedroom door. Put it somewhere you can see it every day. Tell your goals to your coach, your parents, and your friends so they can constantly remind you of what you said you wanted. If you set a goal to hit .350 this Spring, set a reminder on your phone each week that has a label of “WHAT WILL YOU DO THIS WEEK TO HIT .350”. This should prompt you to set times aside to hit or study video. Or, set a label of “IMAGINE HOW YOU WILL FEEL WHEN YOU HIT .350.” The thought of having success will surely keep that fire burning inside of you.
So, go ahead, set those goals; but take action to make sure you see them through.