I have been so blessed through the years to have interacted with a number of amazing professionals. Some are brilliant physiologists with PHDs, others are enlightened beacons of wisdom and joy. And still, others are dynamic entrepreneurs or coaches whose mental and physical energy and creativity knows no end.
Whether they were a mentor to me, a teacher, or a colleague, I have discovered they all possess a similar trait that seemed to fuel their success and happiness. They had a clearly defined goal or result that was unique to them.
We have all heard the importance of setting defined goals. I think we all generally agree that stating your goals gives you a much better chance of achieving them. But I believe the highest form of fulfillment comes from making sure the goals you set truly represent the result that you want.
Sometimes we can get distracted or sidetracked by goals that we think we should set for ourselves.
Most of the time these goals are tangible (things, amounts,) vs intangible (habits, attitude, feelings). For example a high paying job in a popular career, a big house, luxury car, exotic vacation. Or perhaps it’s to maintain a certain grade average in grad school, be the perfect parent, the most selfless civic volunteer, the fastest runner in your age group or the strongest in your Cross Fit class, you get the idea.
The challenge with tangible goals is that we have no control over the final outcome. Any number of factors could occur that would derail the desired result no matter how hard we tried, worked, etc. If your tangible goal is to secure a promotion with a higher salary and the company decides to downsize or another qualified candidate who happens to be family of the CEO decides to apply you can’t do anything about the impact those events would have on your goal. Another example would be to run your next marathon in a personal best time and the day of the race it’s pouring rain and hot and humid, you can’t control that.
What you can control is your attitude and your response to those unforeseen circumstances. This is where intangible goals come in.
The best perspective from which to set your goals is one that you have control over. Not overspending on clothes, your car, and vacations so you can save for that dream house is an example of a strong intangible goal. You can control your own behavior including how you spend your money. Deciding to stay positive and work on your overall strength and flexibility when you become injured and cannot run for months ahead is another example. Deciding to add more raw fruits and vegetables in your daily meal plan by setting a goal number to consume each day is another intangible, controllable goal.
You see the best thing about intangible goals is that they cause us to look inside of ourselves to define what we really want in life. They also help us identify weaknesses we may have that need to be improved upon regardless. It’s refining your own way of thinking and way of living.. It’s the process of becoming a better version of you that’s most important. Because by experiencing that process you become stronger, smarter, even happier!
As you review your current goals, first ask yourself: are these in line with what truly makes me happy and helps me contribute to the greater good? Once you are confident you have defined what you truly want you must identify the actual steps needed to get there. Write those steps down. Assign a deadline to achieve each one. Focus your attention on them, one at a time. In this way not only will you increase your success rate but you will learn more about yourself and strengthen your character, and your quality of life along the way.
Submitted by: Sonja Friend-Uhl – Fit With Sonja