Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about goals and why people don’t meet them.
I work with people that have no problem crushing goal after goal, and others that can’t seem to meet even small ones.
The strange thing is, people (mostly) all believe that they’ll get there when they set their original intention.
So why do some people get to the desired end, and some can’t do it?
It really comes down to one thing…
What pain are you willing to endure?
Achieving your goals depends on your ability to tolerate delayed satisfaction.
In other words, how much struggle are you willing to sustain over time to meet your goal?
This sounds fairly simple, but in practice, it’s quite difficult.
Resolutions are nothing without resolve, and that resolve can’t be short lived.
What are you willing to give up to achieve your goals?
Food? Alcohol? A social life? Money? Freedom? A financial safety net?
Or how about the intangibles? Things like… Being uncomfortable with things you don’t understand? Maybe looking dumb or failing? Not seeing the results you want for weeks, months, and years on end? Asking for help? Hiring a coach? Losing friends and family who don’t understand your vision?
Now, I’m not saying that every goal requires intense sacrifice. However, the loftier the goal, the more satisfaction you have to be willing to sacrifice.
I think that people can envision themselves at the end – once they’ve achieved their goal, but they don’t necessarily envision themselves struggling through the painful middle, no matter how long that lasts.
Think back to the last major thing you accomplished. I bet it’s meaningful because it was harder than you expected. Did you know it would be that hard when you started? The pain you probably experienced taught you that you were strong. And I bet you carried that strength forward.
Last year, my boyfriend and I set some huge, scary, difficult life goals. We set out to start new online businesses, purchase and renovate 2 homes, and a couple other big projects, all while working 9-5 jobs and maintaining our health and fitness. We’re meeting those goals, but it’s certainly been at an intense sacrifice and has been far longer and more difficult than we expected. We have to remind ourselves sometimes that these are worthy goals and totally worth the temporary suck-fest.
Next time you have a goal in mind, don’t just motivate yourself by the idea of the end result. Ask yourself how motivated you’ll still be when it hurts, or takes twice as long as you imagined. Perhaps you should even write down what you’re willing to sacrifice for that (and be honest with yourself).
Your goal is definitely worth some pain. You just have to determine how much.
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