When you start to make progress, do you move the goal line?
For most of us setting big goals is not the issue. We’re all pretty good at making a plan and then starting to do the work to achieve our desired outcome. So, why is it that we so often fall short of accomplishing our goals?
We move the goal posts before we finish the drive.
When a football team is driving down the field, they have one goal: to get the ball into the endzone; to score a touchdown. They know exactly how far they need to go in order to score, and the goal line never moves.
When we set a goal in life, we are running a race where the distance is unknown. The most difficult part is the mental challenge; we never know if we are an inch, or a mile away from achieving our dreams. We have to find a way to balance motivation, discipline, and effort for inconspicuous amounts of time.
Even so, many of us are able to do this. We begin to make progress toward achieving our goals. But as we progress, our perspective changes, and as our perspective changes, so do our expectations and goals. Before we ever achieve our original objective, we begin to set bigger and more aspirational goals.
We move the goalposts before we ever cross the goal line.
So, why does this matter– Isn’t it a good thing to have big goals and big aspirations?
The answer is yes, but.
To achieve anything meaningful it takes conscious, consistent, compounding commitment. You must be willing to sprint when the distance is unknown.
When we move the goals posts we do ourselves a disservice, we make our race even longer.
There is a difference between delayed gratification and delayed happiness. “One leads to fulfillment and the other to regret” – Todd Meleney
In order to have a high level of output, for the sustained period of time you need to achieve your goals, you have to allow yourself to be happy.
In what areas are you delaying yourself happiness, and masking it as delayed gratification?
Cross the goal line on the first objective, before you move on to the next.
The gear you train in (and with) matters. I learned this the hard way back in my Ironman years, where slight adjustments to position on my bike resulted in increased power outage that compounded over the 112-mile rides. I’ve experienced similar performance benefits by changing out the footwear I wear to the gym. Every day I train in Flux because the Zero Drop sole allows me to feel the floor during Olympic Weightlifting movements and other CrossFit workouts.
This is an excellent (old) piece by Marc Andreessen on creating opportunities in your career.
Opportunities never find you sitting on the couch.
I am always out meeting new people, attending/ hosting community events, or training with friends.
The opportunities that I have created in my life have come from moments like these.
I never know where a relationship will lead, but by consistently putting myself out there and trying to provide value I have been able to create my own opportunities.