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Why You’re Not Making Progress!

As I write this article, it is the middle of 2019. 6 months have passed by and we’ve officially reached the halfway mark of the year. How are your New Years Resolutions going? Did you accomplish what you wanted? Are you even still on the path, or did you drop off a month or two in?

Be honest with yourself. If you’re like most people, you’ve abandoned your resolutions. What’s more, you probably abandoned your resolutions after only a few weeks into January.

As you look back on the past six months of the year, you realize you’ve made little to no progress on your goals. Well, that’s okay. Mistakes happen. Luckily, it’s not too late to turn things around and take concrete steps that will steer you back on course and get you closer to your destination.

This whole idea of progress came up in a conversation I recently had with my friend. He started off 2019 so ambitious. He wanted to read a book a month, study hard for his LSATs and Law School and ultimately find a girlfriend. Fast forward several months and none of that has happened. In fact, not only has none of that happened, he’s also gained some weight and faces an abundance of frustration. Not only is he not making progress, he’s moving backwards.

We conversed for a bit to discover why this could be the case. I came up with a theory about what could be going missing. What was the hidden variable that prevented my friend from sticking to his endeavors? As I thought deeply about what could be missing, I noticed others that were on a similar trail. It seemed like no matter what they did, they weren’t accomplishing their goals. What could be missing? Suddenly, it hit me! They Had No Destination.

Now, I don’t mean that they completely lacked a goal. The recently mentioned friend had a goal to go to Law School (and by extension become a successful lawyer). Another friend of mine had a goal to absolutely crush it in her business. However, I believe there’s a difference between a goal and a destination.

By destination, I’m referring to a specific place that you’ll arrive at in life based how what you believe your destiny is. This isn’t a destiny created by others and this isn’t a destination that you think you should have. This is the destiny that you’re choosing for yourself that you’d create even if you were the last human alive.

Goals can be generic and vague. Of course, the best goals are very fleshed out and specific, however most people don’t have goals that detailed. Everyone tends to stay broad. The issue with such a broad goal, rather than a narrow destination, is that you’ll have no idea how to get where you want or what the end goal looks like. As a result, you’ll lose motivation and all momentum, preventing you from actually getting to the goal.

I’m sure you’ve heard that you need a why to get the goals that you’re after. I 1000% agree! You absolutely need a very good reason to do something. Otherwise, you’ll only focus on the absurdity of a goal and never achieve it. However, for this exercise, if you wish to achieve a destination, you need to really buckle down and visualize the specifics of what you want. Let’s say you wish to get in shape. Perhaps you’ve defined your goal as: lose 10 lbs. It’s a good goal but not good enough. There’s no destination.

Answer the following questions:

  • What do you want to look like physically? Do you want to be ripped, toned, slightly muscular, thin? Do you want to have bigger arms, smaller arms, a bigger butt, a small butt, defined pectorals, shapely shoulders, firm breasts, larger legs?

  • How do you want your clothes to fit? Do you want somewhat ill-fitting clothing, tight clothing, baggy clothing, extremely form-fitting clothing?

  • Are you interested in strength? Maybe aesthetics? Cardiovascular health?

  • How will the quality of your life be after you’ve achieved your goal to lose those 10 lbs.? Are you getting more attention? Less attention? Do you care about attention?

  • Are you energized?

  • Do you also wish to have friends interested in fitness?

These are just a handful of questions you should be asking yourself when it comes to your destination. The goal to lose 10 lbs. is far too generic. You need to be aware of what 10 lbs. looks like. You need to understand how it will change your life (if it actually changes your life). Once you do this and truly define your destination, you’ll find yourself being unsatisfied until you reach the ideal version of yourself that exists in your head.

By defining a destination, you have a mental picture of what you wish to accomplish. Compare that to the goal of “I want to lose 10 pounds” or “I want to gain muscle” or even “I want to run a 5k”.

These three goals are all great, but they become problematic when you see any results. You’ll feel as though you’ve accomplished the task and this will cause you to become de-motivated.

Going back to my friend that wants to be a lawyer, I suggested the following questions:

  • What law school do you want to go to?

  • Who do you want around you—who’s in your social circle?

  • What does your social circle do?

  • What does your circle look like?

  • How much money will you make?

  • What car will you drive?

  • Where’s your house?

  • How big is the house?

  • How much does the house cost?

  • Are you considered a top attorney in your specialty or are you satisfied with barley being known?

  • Are you a top attorney or subpar?

  • Are you married?

  • What does your wife or husband look like?

  • Do you have kids?

There were more questions, but these questions provide a framework to create a destination. Until my friend achieves every answer he’s provided, he won’t be satisfied and, if he wants what he answered bad enough, he’ll continue to work until he lives out the destination he envisioned.

A map is required to get you to a destination. However, without a destination, the map is useless. Figure out where you want to go and then go there.

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