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How Goal Setting Really Works

Posted by Pete Visintin on

 

For goals to actually influence our behavior they have to be more than just words on paper. 

 

They have to mean something to us deep down on the inside. We have to want them so badly we are willing to make great sacrifices and take big risks with our time, energy, and money to reach them. 

 

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey I’ve read, watched, or listened to all kinds of different experts and theories on the subject of goal setting. Some say we should write them down every day. Some say we should make them specific. Some say they should be broad. Some say we should share them with others. Others say we should keep them to ourself, and work in silence until they are achieved. 

 

I’ve tried all of the above methods. None of them really worked for me. 

 

The only high level goals I’ve ever reached are those few that I virtually could not stop thinking about. They were those that caused me to feel off-purpose or disconnected if I wasn’t taking actions to inch me closer to them. 

 

I didn’t need to write them down because I was thinking about them 24/7/365. 

 

The biggest professional goal I’ve set and achieved successfully thus far was to change jobs, not because I disliked my job, but because I wanted the opportunity to spend more time during the week with my family. 

 

It took over 4 years of sacrificing half my sleep to stay up and do the work necessary to build my business from scratch. Through this effort I finally got the opportunity I was looking for which enabled me to change my schedule to achieve my goal of being home with my family more. 

 

Here’s a grainy picture from when I was still up working at 1:00am on Christmas Eve during the time period I was chasing this goal… 

 

 

After we achieve a big goal we must set the next one immediately! I once heard the Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots, say “the team is already behind in its preparation for next year” the day after winning the Superbowl. He had already reset his goal to win it again the next year. 

 

For the rest of us non-pro athletes or coaches, it isn’t so easy to set the next goal. When I achieved mine, as mentioned above, I entered into a brief period of complacency. I had to really dig down deep and decide what I would be climbing towards next. 

 

I knew that next goal needed to be big enough to push me far outside my comfort zone yet practical enough to have a shot to actually achieve it. And I knew I needed to start taking actions on this next goal right away. 

 

Again by taking constant daily actions motivated from within, I was able to achieve this next goal, and I’ll continue to rinse and repeat this process over and over and over for the rest of my days. 

 

We’ve all heard cliche quotes like “Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride.” or “The joy is in the journey, not the destination.” 

 

I'll tell you from experience it's much easier to enjoy the journey if we know what we want the destination to be! 

 

Goal setting works, but most of us try to get too fancy with it. Become self-aware enough to understand what is important to you, take action, and do not stop UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES until you get there.

 

-Pete

 

Thank you for reading! :) 

 

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