“Just get moving!” is a common exercise creed.
Moving with a Destination takes forethought. If you have been sedentary, any movement is considered “good” movement. It doesn’t matter where you go or what you do, just move!
In life, to accomplish almost any other goal, “just move!” isn’t going to work. In fact, it is the human condition to spend our time trying to get away from something we don’t like, rather than spending time thinking about where we really want to go, and why.
Goal setting and the discipline of writing down goals is not a new concept, but why do so few people actually do it? Human beings can spend time complaining, ruing their lot in life, and dreaming about the day they don’t have to do whatever it is they are currently doing, and yet they don’t feel they have time or mindshare to sit down and – in a concrete fashion – determine what they want next.
One of the reasons it’s hard to confirm where we want to go is that we haven’t thought about why it matters to us. A new job? Why? Just because you don’t like where you are or because there is something you are impassioned about doing? A new place to live? Why? Just because you hate the cold (or the hot) and you want to move away, or because you know you will be happy living somewhere in particular? The “why” question is an important one to ask. It gets at your values and what you care about. Seeking a new goal will be much easier if you determine why you care, and what it means to you.
The second reason is fear of commitment. If I say I am moving in one direction and have a clear goal line to cross, what if I miss out on something else? What if other opportunities come along that distract me from my destination? We often don’t like to fail, and we don’t want to miss out on something else. Instead of staying focused and determined, we waffle a bit.
If you know you need to get somewhere, and you are committed to doing so – let’s look at four steps to take that can get you moving in a direction that really matters to you:
(1) Write your desired outcome – have quantitative and qualitative measurements as success criteria. Think about this: “What does success look like to me?” Paint a clear picture of what you want.
(2) Now write why you want it. Why is this goal important? What does this goal mean to you? How will you think or feel about yourself once you get to this goal? What will your life be like when this goal becomes a reality?
(3) Identify the steps in the process. Take the time to be clear about what you need to do to get to the next goal. What big things, and little things, will you have to overcome? What information will you need? Who can help you along the way? Know what you need to do before you do it. Keep a plan with steps and timeframes in front of you each day and work, even just a little each day, to take one step and then another.
(4) Enjoy the journey. Yes, it’s an often overused phrase, but the truth is that you will learn along the way headed toward your destination. You will find out more about yourself, and the people in your circle. You will be a different person with each step that you take. Know that you are moving forward toward where you want to be, but that along the way, you can enjoy everything that happens to you as part of the journey.