The first in a series of articles on “mindset” and how it impacts our daily decisions and outcomes. The articles are purposely short and sweet for us to start acting on these thoughts weekly and building them into strong habits.
Keep asking “Why”.
It is easy to pick arbitrary tasks and call them “goals”. Skipping over reason in the process. I often think about this when I approach both my own training and when I meet someone new in the gym. A few months ago for example, I had the pleasure of meeting someone new and I came across a process I previously have found elusive and unable to quantify, not for lack of trying.
I met this person and I asked him ”why” something he described as a goal was important. He responded quickly, yet I just wasn't convinced by his answer, so I decided to stick with the subject and managed to shape the conversation to re-approach the same area and again asked “why” this was his chosen goal. I remember asking the same question 5 different ways, 5 different times. Eventually, the gentleman sat back on his chair and for the first time in the meeting, he paused for a solid 20 seconds, hand on chin, eyes wandering in his mind before he responded. He had finally slowed down and thought critically about what HE actually wanted and was honest enough with himself to say it out loud. He exhaled what can only be described as a “sigh of relief” in the moment. He’d finally found what he wanted and what was best for him and started could now embark on his journey understanding his own “why” and not someone else's.
At the start of the new year especially, it is easy to latch on to what others tell us we should do. "Lose weight", "get ripped", "beach body ready" and so on... It is convenient, it is obvious, it is mindless and unfortunately, it is the status quo. Few if any of these things connect to us individually. How can they, they are someone else's set of standards that we adopt, yet had no say in creating.
Below is the first task in an actionable list of steps to take before giving yourself a goal to chase and work to do. By finding your true “why”, you will be more prepared, more accurate, more accountable and more likely to succeed. That is not to say things can't be progressed and changed along the way, but we have to start the ball rolling.
Make A Map
A good way to find out where you are going can be to work out where you've been, what you have achieved before and where you don’t want to be moving forward. Mapping your thoughts allows you to do just that. Coming up with a simple page of things you are interested in and reasoning as to why, no matter how scattered or messy it is, allows us to separate out what is important to us, what is useful, accurate, challenging, engaging and rewarding to us and our own set of standards. In order, set up why something is important, then how you will do it before finally settling on what it is you need to do to get there.
It may only take 10 minutes to map some ideas out. However it is essential that we revisit and reevaluate again and again later in the hour/day/week. Give yourself adequate time to settle on a goal and really scrutinize your reasons for wanting it. You’ll be working on it for months to come. So it should be something you feel is both accurate and realistic to you and your life.