I just wrapped up my Goal Setting Seminar at the gym yesterday with Coach Jen. I thrive when talking about goals and action plans. There is something about a process-oriented approach that I have come to love. In full transparency, I think it evolved from being kind of a crappy (read: mediocre) athlete. I had to embrace the suck, per se, and learn to work hard at developing my skills. It might also be because I’m Type A and like lists. Or it might be because I’m just weird like that.
Anytime people start, be it a new year or another arbitrary start date, they are jazzed about “possibility”. They begin to possibilities they have before them and what life will be like when they get there.
The motivation is palpable. It’s likely you’ve experienced this before. When I started going to industry seminars I would come back with the “seminar high.” So much to do, so little time. And so little changed.
Alert ahead: shit goes sideways when the rubber meets the road.
The rent always comes due. You have to get your hands dirty.
It’s the end of February as I write this and if you visit your local health club you’ll abundant parking and free reign of most equipment. New Year’s resolutions are long forgotten or, at best, willfully discarded and tabled until next year.
There are goal-setting strategies that increase your likelihood of success; however, I feel there’s a more important component related to success: review and reflection.
Since the days of first draft papers in high school and college, I feel most people have not effectively used review and reflection to their advantage. There is an implicit understanding that what you’re doing isn’t working.
We romanticize our future self as a bold and empowered individual who is impervious to the blizzard of life. This is exciting and so you charge forward without asking poignant questions about what in the hell caused this dip in your life in the first place.
Setbacks are inevitable. There’s a certain clumsiness to new endeavors that you have to overcome. Some people are derailed by this. Some double down and boune back. Still, few will inquire answers as to where their efforts should be applied.
These questions are valuable to anyone — from you dear reader to the dad who’s helping a youth sports team develop their skills and strategy.
Look, we all know someone who needs to think about their life choices (i.e. “really, they went back to dating each other again…ermahgerd“). If you’re reading this, YOU need it. I’m writing this, I need it.
The “small hinges swing big doors” is a theme dovetailed into much of my work (and my thinking). You can make significant progress with small, consistent, and strategic action. This review process is easy to gloss over–after all, it’s a history project.
It’s a learning opportunity that guides future actions. If you like repeating the same mistakes over and over, disregard this. Otherwise, start building daily and weekly reviews into your schedule and goal-setting program.
I feel confident that reflection is more important than telling you to eat kale that has been sung to by angels.