To aim, or not to aim

Bruce Lee said, “A goal is not always meant to be reached, and it often serves simply as something to aim at.” Similarly Zig Ziglar said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”

Most people try setting goals and have good intentions for positive change, but the general flow of human life tends to be toward ease and comfort.

The problem is good intentions and goals tend to remain unrealized because they are too vague and vague ideas are impossible to focus on. Vague ideas are moving targets, and they are far too “dangerous” for us to attempt to hit because of fearing failure and being vulnerable.

We all have moving targets in our life but the keys to your success are three-fold:

  1. Steady the target
  2. Create momentum
  3. Shape the path. 

How to stop a moving target

Imagine you are trying to hit a small bull’s eye on a very distant target. You have never shot with a rifle, but something tells you it is the right thing to do.

But then! From outside of your cross-hairs an elephant’s trunk wraps around the target and moves it out of the way.

So the elephant’s rider gets down and places it back into your cross-hairs and gets back up. As this goes on and on, your chances of hitting the target go from slim to impossible.

This is an unlikely story, but this is a reference to your rational brain (the rider) and your emotional brain (the elephant) when trying to make a behavioral change.

elephant-rider

Every New Year the rational-thinking rider comes up with grand plans for change, and without much more thought says, “OK, elephant, let’s go.”

However, most often the plan for change is too vague, and the emotional elephant knows this. The elephant turns into 6 tons of fear and apprehension, and the rider cannot do anything to move forward with the plan. The first step to moving closer to a goal is to steady your target.

The way to steady the target so you can at least take a first shot is to specifically define your goals and create a plan to make it happen:

  • Write down the life style changes you want to make.
  • Ask yourself, “How am I going to succeed?”
  • Ask yourself, “What is the first thing that needs to be more clear?”

Once you know where you want to end up and how you will attempt to get there you will be much more likely to succeed.

But you have to start moving, and this is where momentum and the path come in.

Create momentum and shape the path

I’m sure you realize how fun and alluring things like partying with friends and doing something that would be considered a “cheat” are easy to convince yourself to do. This is because there are direct emotional attachments to those things.

We love moving toward things that are easy and comfortable but hesitate, worry, and stall when asked to make a new path.

The path to Dunkin Donuts and that delicious double chocolate donut has been traveled many-a-time! I assure you the emotional-elephant trots that path very easily.

So wouldn’t the plan for change the rider came up with earlier be easier to accomplish if the path to success was straighter, easier to navigate, and had an emotional attachment at the end of it? (notice I did not say shorter)

The way to build momentum is to tap into emotion:

  • List 3 reasons why you are going to make the change.
  • Ask yourself, “How much do I NEED to change?”
  • Ask yourself, “What happens if I succeed or don’t succeed?”
  • Ask yourself, “What am I going to do?”

The way to shape the path is by using accountability:

  • Get someone else involved that can straighten the path for you – maybe a coach.
  • Set deadlines
  • Make commitments
  • Enter a contest

rider-and-the-elephant

Start NOW

You can make that moving target come to a screeching halt and blast the bull’s eye right out of it by taking a few minutes to answer all the questions I have provided above.

Oh, by the way I am kicking of Byler Elite Strength Training’s very first transformation contest on Monday, January 30, 2017!

You will be able to train at the gym 2 to 4 times per week, you will follow nutritional habits and we will measure progress to keep you accountable.

If you need help with everything I wrote about above I am here for you!

-Zack

 

 

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