I love that old saying, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”
It’s easy to set goals – to arbitrarily write down how much we want to weigh or how much money we want to make or what kind of parent or spouse we want to be.
Set It and Forget It
Too many people set it and forget it. They create a list of goals and shove them in a drawer and only run into them a year later when they create a new list of goals.
Set it and forget it might be better than nothing, but it’s probably not a great system for optimal growth.
I’m the poster child. I never used to create goals. Then I started creating goals and trying to review them periodically. Then I started creating little disciplines to achieve the goals. Then I’d forget to do the little disciplines.
In other words, you shouldn’t read a thing I write. I kind of suck at this stuff.
Intentionality, Goals, and the Like: Skills to be Learned
Actually, I’m going to take it easy on myself. I didn’t set goals for nearly 37 years of my life. I practiced not being focused on achieving things. I got by on natural talent and, dare I say it… charisma.
Just like a high school football star knows that natural talent only takes you so far, so do natural talent and charisma in the business world and otherwise. At a certain point, there has to be some intentionality about things.
That’s what I’m trying to become better at: Being intentional and sticking to it. It’s a muscle. I’m working it out. It’s taken longer than I expected to get good at it.
The primary key to intentionality, though, is a clearly defined goal.
Not only a clearly defined goal, but a goal that has high emotional value (I’m stealing from Weldon Long who brought us the book The Power of Consistency, which I’ve written about here, here, and here).
Creating Cognitive Dissonance
Every morning, I’m sitting and imagining these clearly defined goals as accomplished. I’m taking into account all five senses, across all areas of my life.
What is the result of such a flaky practice?
The cognitive dissonance that Long talks about in his book really starts happening. Cognitive dissonance is that thing we feel when the way we are acting or what we’re saying doesn’t line up with what we feel to be true or important.
If I pick up my phone to play Candy Crush during work because ‘I’ve earned some down time’, I start feeling this pull. It’s like a good angel in a workout outfit screaming at me, “Does someone who makes ______________ a year play freaking Candy Crush at work? If they do now, they didn’t when they were where you are!!! Put the phone down!”
He’s nicer than that, but you get the picture.
So… clearly define the goal. And connect your heart, soul, and mind to the goal (In my world, this includes a good bit of prayer).
Maybe it will help you not shoot at nothing in particular. Perhaps it’ll help you get the things that you are trying to get.
Today’s Listening and Reading
SPI 116 : Copywriting Tips and Formulas with Kevin Rogers – Pat Flynn: If you want to get a handle on copywriting for business, even if you can’t spend hours and hours being a copywriting perfectionist, give this episode a shot.