There is a reason why our company name is Live Better; it is and always will be a pursuit of better. We can all be better, especially when it comes to our goals. Whether we’re talking bigger-faster-stronger or more empathetic, kind, smarter…you name it. Growth is the name of the game and everyone wants it.
But how do we do this effectively over the long-term? How do we ensure success? After all, nobody wants to waste time doing something where they have a high likelihood of failure.
The villain here is a lack of structure. There are a million and one inputs (read: options, especially now where everyone online is a coach or giving advice) for achieving your goals. Internally, we grapple with whether or not the approach we’re taking is actually working. Overall, maybe we feel like the end result does not justify the amount of effort (read: blood, sweat, and tears) we put into our goals.
But alas, there is a solution. The answer is sticking to a structured plan that has your needs, history, future, and capabilities in mind.
Let’s take physical training, for example. One option would be to follow people on Instagram that regularly highlight workout moves that look fun to attempt. You might find yourself regularly trying to emulate these people but wondering why you never seem to get to where they are. You keep adding in new workouts or exercises to keep things fresh but it doesn’t seem to work.
In reality, to get stronger you must challenge the same skills over and over again to create an adaptation. Getting to “simple mastery” takes time, effort, and discipline…not an erratic mix of quick hacks.
Another example is building mental skills and emotional discipline. Coaches love to throw out words like “resiliency, grit, and endurance” without a structure for how to implement those characteristics. Learning about them in isolation might give a quick hit of motivation, but it isn’t sustainable. There is no framework. There is no process.
It should be noted, the first agreement you must make with yourself is patience. You must allow the process time to work. As you get “better”, it takes even more work for an incremental (but smaller) change. It’s thin air with little separation at the elite performance level.
Just look at the difference in times for the Olympic 100m dash. Milliseconds.
When we talk about goal setting, we reference three different timeframes: Macro, Meso, and Micro. Your macro goal gives you the summit view. This is the “big goal” that will take longer to achieve. That goal must be broken down into successively smaller parts until you arrive at what you’re to do right now, today, in pursuit of that big goal.
People get distracted and discouraged by only focusing on their progress towards their Macro goal when really they are making tremendous incremental progress on a day to day basis. The problem is this causes them to jump ship too early thinking what they’re doing isn’t working.
Plans need context, structure, and timeframes for review. This direction allows you to benchmark your progress against a timeline, which gives context for where you’re at on your journey.
Take Home Action:
Consider any goal you are currently pursuing – are you following a specific plan with detailed steps and action items? How much time do you spend prioritizing your schedule around achieving this goal?
Thus, get clear on the steps necessary to accomplish your goal. Do you need to hire a coach? Do you tend to give up too soon? This week your task is to follow through on your commitment to “better,” and learn to love the process by which you learn and grow.