How to Move Goal to Reality
I have a wedding to attend in September and need to lose at least 20 pounds over the next few months. Of course my record of success has not been that high recently with my previous attempts. What I have been told is that our ability to lose weight is based on our willingness to suffer through a great deal of discomfort. It is the balance of my ability to be hungry and yet resists the desire for a pizza.
You know, trying to lose weight is very much like making any goal a reality. When it comes to the discipline and willpower that is required, most of us feel the need to ‘break’ at some point.
So how can we reduce the amount of pain in making a change? A good friend of mine and my mentor lost his weight just by getting rid of all bread and pasta out of his diet. He focused on protein and veggies. He cooked with spices vs. oils. In other words what my friend did was change the environment he was in to assist in reducing his weight. By changing his environment, he reduced the temptation around him which reduced his need for will power.
Have you ever wondered why someone can lose so much weight, look good, and receive the praise of family and friends; only to gain it all back? It is because while all of us can learn a new habit, such as how to eat, we cannot keep it up if we still have junk food at home. What I mean is, unless we change our environment the temptation is too great to go back to what we use to do.
A client of mine assigned us with the task of increasing the closing ratio of two green peas (new salesperson for anyone reading this who is not in the car business). Every morning we had a conference call to review what steps we had taken the day before. We reviewed all aspects of every minute that we planned out with each of these ‘grean peas’; we did some role-playing both in person with them as well as on the phone. At the end of the day this process resulted in higher closes and even higher grosses. Now you would think they would be happy and would continue down this path we had laid out for them, but as soon as we backed off from the everyday phone calls and mentoring, both of them once again fell behind.
What we forgot to do was change their environment and their life style. Of course how we do this is by setting up priorities, sounds simply right? But as we all know it is not quite that easy.
Most of us set our goals for the month or year. We have all good intentions, but as soon as we get out of bed we fall back to the same old set of habits and it does not get any better once we make it to office. As soon as we enter the office everything is thrown out of the window as we start to put out fires. We have to return phone calls, answer e-mails, and handle issues that have popped up. By mid-day any thought of our goals or objectives are “gone with the wind”.
So what are we to do? Well let’s start by shaping our environment by changing how we start our day. Below are a few things we might want to try:
- Identify three to five things you want to get done over the next month. Try to stay with three but no more than five. Write these items on a pad and keep the pad with you. Take anything off the list that does not get you to your goal. Make sure this list consist of action plans that you can give at least 90% of your time and effort to. To make this work you should prepare your days so your other activities do not take you away from these goals or tasks.
- Determine what would be the result of these goals. Will it be more money, a promotion, a higher level of security? Once you achieve these goals what would you do to reward yourself? Will it be a new car, home, or boat? Maybe a vacation. Whatever it is, get a photo of it and place it on your bathroom mirror so you see it every morning and every night before you go to bed. This action alone will cause you to keep it near and dear to your heart.
- Every morning get up and view that photo, make time to review your list and determine which item on the list is the most important for you on that day. Make appointments with yourself on your calendar for that day to address these items. By doing this you will start to make careful choices in your day with the limited time you have to achieve these goals.
- Sit down with a manager or peer to discuss these goals. Have this person be aware of your game plan so they can monitor you on a daily basis. Talk about your goals and why you have them in the first place. Have your peers or manager challenge you on your goals to make sure these are the right items for you to focus on. One of the biggest mistakes we make is focusing on the wrong set of goals. Find someone you trust who has your best interest at heart and can assist you with this. It will be important that you review your goals everyday with this person.
- If you set a 30 day time limit for your goals, set up a weekly review to check how far you have gone. Set up your own round table with others you believe in so they can review your goals with you and your progress. This will become your support group.
- At the end of the day view the picture of your reward. Review your list before you sleep as well as review the actions of your day. Make adjustments as needed. But know that unless you learn to manage your time and stay focused, nothing will happen.
Oh, a word of advice, be careful what you choose as your reward. Your mind is very powerful and will create a mental environment for you based on your desire. Soon you will see your current environment as being uncomfortable and not where you should be. The discomfort your mind creates will push you to achieve your goals. You will get what you want in the end, so choose wisely.
As I some people say, “fake it until you make it”. Place yourself in your new environment in your mind and your body will soon follow. Good luck on your new adventure.