Every year, around the changing to the new year, millions of people set out to reshape and redefine their lives. Some click, but so many never see the fruition of completion… so frustrating, yet, WHY?
Well, with a simple reframe, I am going to give you a tool to guard against that, so you can start shattering ALL your goals… or are they actually goals??
We are all aware of the stats, or at least heard the numbers, of how frequently we set a goal (in this case we’ll call it a “New Year’s Resolution”) only to watch it dwindle into nonexistence within 2-3 weeks.
To tackle this conundrum, I began thinking back upon my experience as a professional baseball player and my mental interactions with that environment. If you’re looking for excellent case studies on goal accomplishment (and failure), at a high level, and with a massive sample size, professional baseball offers an outstanding plethora of subjects.
Think about it. If you include all levels of baseball, for the MLB down to Rookie Ball, you are looking at, roughly, 7 teams per organization, with 25 players per team, spread out over 30 organizations… that’s an estimate of 5,250 individuals all chasing major, high level, life-long dreams!!
Why does it click for some and not others?
Of course, it’s fairly impossible to say with 100% clarity, and I certainly can’t speak for everyone else, but as I reflected on my own experiences and what helped me, one idea kept slamming into the forefront of my thoughts like an older brother giving noogies.
As a pitcher, it was never my goal to win a game. Instead, every game was a challenge of whether or not I could win! The difference is oh so slight, yet OH SO POWERFUL!
And with that, I give you… the REFRAME… the most powerful tool in the psychological universe!
A reframe is just fancy psychology talk for looking at something differently… or, perspective, if you will.
Can we agree that how you view the world will greatly impact how you interact with and respond to it? Could we, then, also agree that the same could be said for current situations and even, yes, you guessed it… goals?
“OK, Jonah, you’re losing me.”
WAIT!!! Don’t go just yet. Humor me with 5 more minutes of your attention.
What if I told you that goals really aren’t goals, but instead challenges.
It all comes down to the narrative you are running in your own head, and here’s how it works.
Let’s say I have a goal to start drinking 8 glasses of water a day. The narrative in my head, or, what I’m telling myself typically looks something like this, “My goal is to drink 8 glasses of water a day.” Simple, right? However, don’t you find something very passive about that?
What if, instead, that narrative looked like more of a challenge?... A dare, if you will.
Come on, we’re all suckers for dares are we not?
Let’s step outside your own head for a moment, and allow me to create the narrative for you. I am going to say the same thing to you in two different ways. You tell me which one throws a little spark into your desire.
“[Insert your name here], I would like you to drink 8 glasses of water today.”
“[Insert your name here], challenge, can you drink 8 glasses of water today?”
Oh stop it… if you have even the teeniest desire to be a better you, it was the second one. It’s the same reason we fall sucker to the dare. How about this, for all you really competitive achievers out there, “ I DARE YOU TO DRINK 8 GLASSES OF WATER TODAY”
You are achieving what you want, you’re just telling yourself a slightly different version of it. Now let’s step away from the benign water drinking example and apply it all across the board.
Want to lose weight?... “Can I lose 5 pounds this month?”
Want to start reading more?... “Can I finish a book this month?
Want to start eating healthier?... “Can I replace treats with fruit and vegetables for 2 weeks?”
Want to nurture stronger relationships in your life?... “Can I call a different person each week to check in on them?”
Jonah, I noticed that none of these challenges are longer than 1 month!
Excellent observation and a vital part to crushing the goals we set. It’s about process, not result, and it’s about digestible portions, not gluttony. We will, however, save those for the next post on how to properly go after your big goals.
For now, challenge yourselves, and go crush!