Tips to Reach Your Next Level of Greatness
(Systems vs. Goals: How to Make Them Work Together)
By Dr. Dravon James
Are you a goal setter? Do you set health goals, relationship goals, career goals? Do you stick to your goals? Do you hang in there until you hit the mark? Well, if you were raised anything like me, you grew up hearing about the importance of setting goals. But did you know that most goal setters never achieve their desired goal? According to an article in Reliable Plant, “Why People Fail to Achieve Their Goals,” only thirty percent of people who set their goals actually achieve them. Does this mean goals are useless? Should we abandon the practice of goal setting? The answer to both questions is no, but…
Goals tell us where we want to be and what we want to achieve. Goal setting is important, but goal setting alone won’t generate high levels of success. Goals let us know what direction we want to go in, but systems carve out the pathway. There are several systems you can use, but I like the following 3-point system for setting and achieving goals. First, connect emotionally to the outcome during the goal setting process. Second, imagine the person you will be in the future once you achieve your goals and the habits you have formed. Finally, set yourself on the path of creating those habits.
Feeling the Goal
When you set a goal, is it fun? Is it uplifting? Does it make you feel excited? Oftentimes, people set their goals around the things they do not like about themselves. That’s not fun, it’s not uplifting, and it sure doesn’t get you excited. The journey to achieve your goal will inevitably have its ups and downs. For every few steps you take forward, you will inevitably experience a step back. During these times, you want to have an emotional connection with your goal that keeps you on your path. Goal setting is your opportunity to envision yourself in your ideal situation, your next level of greatness. This is your time to create, within your imagination, the health, wealth, and relationships of your dreams. You transform into a magician with a magic wand that gives you the power to conjure the world you want to live in. I encourage you to really embrace goal setting and experience it from a place of feeling instead of thought. The possibility of achieving your goals may be a little nerve-wracking, but you can turn those nerves into excitement. You’ll notice yourself smiling more and more as you begin to occupy the metaphorical space of your newly realized goal. It’s a wonderful privilege to feel happy and fulfilled.
Remember this step is critical. If you do not feel excited and you’re not energized by your goal, stop this process, and start again. Begin by asking, “why am I setting this goal?” Should I change the goal? Am I setting too many goals? Start small with just one goal and build yourself up from there. Remember your goals are supposed to be personal. Your success rate improves when you set goals that are rooted in positivity. Once you’ve realized your goal, you can use start to envision yourself achieving it. Imagine how you will feel and what you will do once you’ve achieved your goal. You’re going to smile, maybe you’ll dance or pump your fist in the air! Imagine yourself doing that right now and once you’ve practiced manifesting that feeling of success and fulfillment, you’ll be ready to bring it to fruition. You can write it or speak it into existence like this: “My goal is to become five pounds lighter.”
Creating Your Identity
Once you have written your simple goal statement, it’s time to imagine the person you’re going to become. Start to shape the identity of the person you will be when you’ve claimed the object of your desires. The more detail you can add in this stage the better. Let’s continue with our example goal of becoming five pounds lighter. In the previous step you described how you would feel when you achieved the goal. Now you’re going to describe the habits of a person who is at your desired weight. What is this person’s day like? Bring as much detail into this creation phase as possible. What time will this person get up in the morning? How much water do they consume throughout the day? What kinds of food do they refuel their body with? Do they have an exercise regimen that they enjoy? How do they manage stress? How many hours of sleep do they get?
As you create the identity of the person who is at your desired weight, your focus will switch from goal orientation to action orientation. The transformation in your thought process will be automatic and appear effortless. Just like the magician with the magic wand, you’ve revealed the secrets of how to achieve your desired goals. These habits, if selected properly, will lead you to success.
Implementing the Habits
Now you’ve done a lot of work. You’ve identified your goal and you’ve described the habits that you will need in order to reach your next level of greatness. Now, it’s time to implement the habits. The implementation phase is exciting because you get to move into physical action.
Habits are the engine of your life. Most of the actions you take during the day are second nature – even breathing. You want to develop positive, conscious, habits that move you consistently and meaningfully toward your goal. When you wake up in the morning – don’t think. Have your workout clothes already laid out for yourself. Know what your exercise routine is for the day. Know what you are going to have for breakfast. Have a plan for how you are going to drink enough water during the day. Have alarms set on your phone to help regulate your life – without thinking – when to get up, when to exercise, when to eat, when to go to bed. If you wake up and think about whether you want to exercise – or whether you feel like exercising – the battle is half lost. Instead, plan to win the battle before it even begins.
This simple approach has been successful for many of my clients over the years. With commitment and a system, you can be successful. It’s important to note that my clients had someone to work with as they implemented this system – let’s call it a fourth step. They had someone to share the journey with them. I strongly encourage you to use this system to gain the success you desire, but get an accountability partner, a friend, a coach – someone who can share this journey with you.
A true partner makes your successes feel even better and your setbacks feel more manageable. They can celebrate with you, motivate you, pick you up, and guide you so you don’t get off course.