Why Do Goals Matter?
Today, we are gonna start talking about why goals are so important. Above all else, this is pretty much the thing that I preach. All of my friends know how much I care about goal setting, and that's because I truly believe that it is the bedrock to creating a life that you're proud of.
To create a life that you want to be living, you need to have good goals that are grounded out of the things you really want. They'll give you a head start! I believe that the first step to really living a life that you love is to have clarity on what you want.
So that begs to question, what is going to be a life that you love?
And that’s gonna take a while to answer.
One thing that I have noticed is that there are plenty of people that have amazing life opportunities that are just coasting by and not really appreciating all that they have. They are comfortable and not really doing much. In order for any of your goals to come to fruition, this can’t be you.
You’re going to have to work hard. If you truly desire something for the right reasons, not for fame or money or power, but because it's something that's true to you, that you really love, then you owe it to yourself 100% to go after that goal. That goal is gonna be your fighting chance at survival in this crazy world. Our goals are like ammunition!
Maybe you want to start waking up earlier, or you want to start working out every day, or you want to get in better health. Well, the reason is so hard for you is because you don't have a solid reason backing why you want to do it. Everyone knows that they should be healthy and should do this and should do that, but the reason that we are held back is because we don't have a reason to make it happen.
Really, the most important part to living a life of your dreams or a life that you're proud of is to have a reason for it all, and I feel like many people don't know that reason.
Some people call this their purpose, their passion, their drive, but at its core what it really is, is a reason to keep pushing forward, a reason to get back up again when you get knocked down, a reason that gives you the motivation to keep trying over and over and over again because you have to.
It's no secret that life can be pretty challenging at times, and if you don't have a reason to keep going, it's going to be extremely hard to keep going. So, above all else, goal setting starts with defining your reason, your reason of why...
My reason for why really started after I lost the function of both of my arms. I was an electrician and I got very bad tendinitis that turned into a chronic pain syndrome, which literally left me unable to use my arms for the better part of two years. I couldn't drive for longer than 15 minutes, I had to stop mountain biking, I no longer could work effectively...I was going insane!
It was a terrible time in my life, and I wouldn't wish that upon anybody, but the thing is, this terrible challenge, this horrible life event turned into giving me a reason on why I need to push myself more. Before I was healed from my chronic pain injury I wasn't working out regularly. I wasn't really eating that healthy, I wasn't sleeping well, I was way too stressed, working crazy hours, and I was simply neglecting myself in every way possible.
Health and Wellness? That was not me. And yet, on the outside, I looked fine. However, deep down I knew that I was harming myself.
When I ended up getting injured, it wasn't even slightly surprising because it would have happened to anybody in that position. But now, after healing and coming out the other side, I have a real reason backing all of my goals. If was to go back in time, I still would have taken that lesson because, through it, I have created my two businesses, Wild Grit and Grit Cycles. I have so many other gigantic plans for the future, and none of this would have been possible if I hadn't experienced what it's like to be completely helpless, unhealthy, and dependent on other people.
This terrible life event turned me into the person that I am today, and I'm very proud of who I’ve become. As terrible as the worst thing that ever happened to me was, it gave me this gigantic gift, it gave me a reason to help people. To help others not have to go through the same thing that happened to me. It gave me a reason to protect myself, to be healthy, and live a better life.
If you haven’t done this before, I highly recommend examining the experiences that have helped shape you into the person you are today. Maybe through those negative experiences, you might find a reason.
And once you have your reason, goal setting becomes far more effective. Goals are how you’re going to turn your reason into a tangible reality.
Maybe your reason is that you want to help people. Maybe your reason is to make yourself proud. Your reason can be whatever you want, but that reason is going to give you goals. And those goals are going to take you towards creating a reality that you are proud of.
I am now an incredibly goal-oriented person. When I find something that resonates with me on all levels, I'm going to start working on it immediately. This ranges from my businesses to showing people what's possible, to health and wellness, to doing the sports that I do. For example, with mountain biking, I want to do a very specific jump in the desert of Utah. That is a goal that I'm devoted to. So all of the crashes, all of the broken bones that I might have are all adding together to that goal that I someday want to reach. For another example, business for me is worth it because I know that I can help employees. I can help people in my life directly benefit from the financial gift that a business can bring. And so, I'm going to get back up again over and over and over, because I know that I can offer something to the world that is special and needs to be there.
All of these different goals from business to mountain biking, all come down to being very reliant on my health, eating healthy, being strong, taking care of my mental space, and so if I can do those things, then I'm already on my way to the goals that I want to achieve.
I feel like the most common goal out there is “I just wanna be happy”. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a happy and good life, but the thing is...life isn't gonna be happy all the time. There will always be ups and downs, and you really cannot control that.
You can control the way that you respond and the way that you think about challenges and hard times, but ultimately bad things will happen and they will happen to you too. It's really a 50-50 balance, and we all need to accept that during the hard times, we can have hope and during the hopeful times we can build for the days that will be hard.
You don't wanna stop exercising when you feel fit and you don't wanna stop therapy when you feel happy. Your progress towards your goals should always be constant and never dependent on your emotions. Focus on your reason for these goals that isn’t dependent on an emotion.
So maybe you don't have a reason yet... That's okay! This is why goal setting is important. Go sit down with a notebook and think it over, take some time alone, or go for a hike. Think about your reason for pushing through. Think about those hard times and all of the good that has come from them.
Let’s say you already have your list of goals. Do you know why you want them?
Some common goals are “I want to wake up early”, “I want to be more fit”, “I want to lose weight”. All great goals to have but these are results-based not reason-based. If you can back up all of those things with reasons, they're going to be so much easier to achieve.
Ask yourself why do you wanna wake up earlier? Is it because you want more time to work on a project that you're passionate about? Is it because you just want solo time? What are your reasons for waking up earlier?
You should think about this with all of these goals that you have. If you analyze the reason behind your goals, you might find that there actually is a greater reason that you're not paying attention to!
Goals keep you in the Power Zone.
Another awesome thing about working towards a goal is that it keeps you in the Power Zone! All of those challenges that you have from not wanting to wake up early, to not wanting to go to the gym, nearly dissolve when you're in your power zone. Instead of having to force yourself up every single day, you have a reason that's pushing you out of bed. Who needs coffee when you can have a steaming cup of ambition?!
When I was working on my book, I was waking up at 5:00 AM every single day. Not easily, albeit. I still had to force myself up, barely conscious. But, I did it. Every single day.
I knew that I wanted to write this book. I wanted to finish it. I wanted to make it awesome. And that meant maximizing my hours working on it. Some days I was working for 12-15 hours on this book project. And while it wasn’t awesome for a work-life balance, I really believe that if it's something that you know is going to make you really proud, who cares. You don't wanna be working that long if it's for something that you don't care about, but if it's something that you truly love and cannot wait to see come to fruition, then do what you gotta do and go after it! It’s awesome to have something that you want to work that hard for.
You can learn major life lessons through trial and error
Another reason having goals and working towards them is so important is because they’ll teach you a ton of valuable lessons through trial and error. With my injury, the only reason I was injured was because I was working way too much towards this goal that I thought I wanted. But if I had been honest with myself at the time, I knew that there was something wrong. There wasn't a pure intention of making myself proud.
These days I know the difference between a purely good goal that's correct for me and a bad goal that's motivated by my insecurities. And this is just one of the many, many lessons my goals have taught me.
These goals that you have are gonna teach you tons of valuable lessons through trial and error. I can guarantee you that it's never a straight shot. You're never gonna set a goal and instantly achieve it in a week. And those people that do, they are lucky! It's awesome for them to be able to figure out what they want and the reason behind it, and to get it quickly, but you should take pride in the trial and error process because you are learning lessons that they might be missing out on.
Life is a journey and it's gonna teach you crazy things that you’d never think you needed to learn. That's the beauty of it! You are always gonna be a student, so accept the student card and just keep on learning.
Your goals point you in the direction of your dream life
When I think about goal setting, I think of it as a pyramid with three tiers. The very bottom tier, the foundation of the pyramid is your purpose. It’s your reason for why you want what you want. I believe that my purpose is to help people live more adventurous and fulfilling lives.
The second tier, the middle section of the pyramid is your passion. The thing (or things) that you love doing. The stuff that drives you and makes you happy, excited, and driven. The thing that satisfies you! For me, this is business and mountain biking, those are the things I love to no end.
Lastly, at the very pinnacle of the pyramid is your health and your wellness. You need to be healthy in order to have your goals feel good. You might have the passion and the purpose, but if you don't have the health to back them up, those goals aren't going to feel as amazing as they would if you were healthy.
I think of goal setting and your dream life as this three-tier pyramid. Purpose, passion, and health, because those things are what will give you a fulfilling life no matter what.
I want you to think about this pyramid. What the different tiers are to you. Think about your purpose, your passion, and your health. How are you doing? And how can you use those three aspects to create goals that point you towards the life of your dreams?
How to figure out goals that will lead you to the life of your dreams
I encourage you to work on identifying what your purpose is. Think about who you want to be and why. Identify your reasoning behind anything that you want. Find your why.
Start thinking about your passion. What are you passionate about? What areas of life light you up? Is it a sport that you do? An activity? Being with friends? What gives you that feeling of “I could do this forever”? What is that passion that drives you forward?
Lastly, think about your health and your wellness. Think about the things that you should or could be doing to amplify your health and your wellness. Do you sleep well? Do you eat well? Are you exercising? Think about the essentials of your health - your mind and your body, and identify what you need to work on.
If you can fulfill this three-tier pyramid, you are going to be coming in hot towards your goals. Health, passion, and purpose are going to add together to create the life of your dreams. This arrow formed by the pyramid is going to point you in the direction that you need to go with your life.
Talk to you soon.
This blog post is based on the transcript from the Wild Grit Podcast. To listen instead, hit the play button below.
Hey! I'm Callie.
I'm a mountain-obsessed skier, hiker, and mountain biker based out of Bellingham, Wa. I am the founder of Wild Grit, teaching online courses and creating videos to guide you towards a more adventurous life.
To learn more, click here.