Thursday, August 13, 2009

Goals



Today is part 15 of a 30 day commitment. To read about how I am blogging to change my life please read here first.

I'll be honest with everybody, I'm having a hard time tonight. I am having a hard time getting my thoughts clear. Some days are like that. But, I made a commitment to post something every night for 30 days, so here I go.

I was talking to Amy this morning about goal setting. I am extremely goal oriented. Without goals I flounder. I am almost afraid to live without setting goals for myself because I will not hold myself accountable to anything. One of the reasons that I have done well with running is that I have set goals. I had a goal of running 10 miles. When I did that I set a goal of a 1/2 marathon. When I did that, I set a goal of a marathon, then a 50k then a 50 miler then a 100 miler. The thing that seems to make me tick is to set a goal that seems hard or impossible to reach then do whatever it takes to make it happen. The buzz I get from achieving a goal that once seemed hard to reach or impossible makes me feel alive.

I told Amy that I thought that many people set goals that are huge, then have a hard time figuring out how they are going to get there. They would like to accomplish something big in their lives, but it is hard to imagine how they will get to it from where they are. I try to approach my big goals from a software engineer's point of view. If I decide I want to be the country's largest motorcycle wholesaler I then have to reverse engineer what needs to be done and set milestones. I go backwards. I would need multiple locations. I then need to figure out how many employees it would take per location, and how many locations it would take. And then where the locations would be placed. And then how much money I would need to fill them with x amount of bikes. And how long it would take to get them up to speed. And how many computers per location. And how many square feet per location. You get the point.

If you can do that to your big goals then you can start setting smaller, more achievable goals for yourself. It starts to become manageable as opposed to something so big that it is hard to figure out how to connect the dots.

That is what I am trying to accomplish here. I don't know how to write a book. But by blogging everyday I am tackling it in small bites. Next I have to investigate what it takes to write it out in detail. Do I get a ghost writer? Do I write it myself in better detail? Who do I get to proofread it and edit it?

Amy actually had a great point that I didn't consider. She said that she thought that some people don't set big goals for themselves because they are so maxed out for time in their life it is hard to imagine finding time to work on anything else. She felt that that certainly would be true for mothers in this modern world. They are going like crazy from the time the get up until the time that they conk out at night. Wake up early and exercise, get the kids up, get them ready, make lunches for school, go to work, pick the kids up, take them to soccer, make dinner, do laundry, clean up, then maybe take a few minutes to watch their favorite show before the go to bed and do it all over again. Who has time to set big goals for their lives?

I mentioned in an earlier post that my business growth was influenced heavily by a book called "The E-Myth Revisited" by Michael Gerber. One of the main concepts of the book is that business owners need to set time aside to work ON the business, not IN the business. I think that same principal should be applied to living a more fulfilling life. None of us wants to go to the grave thinking that there were so many things that we thought we could do, but never set the time aside to make them happen. We need to prioritize our time and commit to a certain amount of time per week to work ON our lives. Watch one less hour of TV per week and write down what you want to do that you haven't started on yet. Spend an hour per week with your husband or wife and write in a notepad what you want to achieve. Once you put it in writing you start the ball rolling to getting it.

2 comments:

YM said...

Way to go Nate...you are halfway to your GOAL of 30 days!! Another great entry...keep going!!

Love ya Cuz :)

Tony said...

Like you said Nathan, big goals can be a bit overwhelming. I make list all the time. At one end of the list is my big goal. At the other end of the list is where i am now. In all the blank space in between I write in all the things that need to happen to get to the big goal. All kinds of little things, minutiae, and not in any particular order. I will add to the list for days, weeks, Then at some point I take all the little steps, put them in some sort of order, and I'm on my way. The little steps are manageable, doable and there is a sense of accomplishment. On and on it goals. Sometimes I don't quite make it to the big goal, but I'm still left with a sense of accomplishment because I at least took a lot of positive steps. Sometimes the big goal doesn't even turn out to be as meaningful as all the little steps I was able to get to. I've learned not to get discouraged when I've given my best effort (and even when I haven't given my best effort!) and I move on.