There is a ton of information out on this wild place called the internet about goal setting. Plenty of big names out there that have podcasts, books, blogs, smoke signals, etc. that can give you the science behind why goal setting matters. Or, as Tony Robbins will tell you, “Goal Setting is the Secret to a Compelling Future.” Based on what shows up with a simple Google search, it would seem that setting goals is the one key thing to turning your life around, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, and becoming a millionaire within a year. Now, obviously, a lot of that is crap or hyperbole, depending on your level of cynicism. However, there is enough evidence out there that shows setting goals can help increase our motivation through increased dopamine hits every time we achieve a goal or step in the process. As someone who could benefit from increasing my motivation and dopamine through ways that don’t involve legal narcotics like sugar, I decided to start setting some goals, both short term and long term, to see how it affected both my motivation and my happiness. This post is step one in the process.
Almost every single article out there that discusses goal setting will go into the SMART principle. This means that a goal should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time bound. It’s worth noting that some people (Mr. Robbins himself) say the R represents Realistic, but that would make it represent Redundant in my mind, so we’ll stick with Relevant. While these are admirable guidelines that are worth keeping in mind while setting goals, I wanted to also focus on setting smaller goals on the journey to large goals. With that in mind, I’d like to outline several goals that I have set for myself and commit to updating progress and lessons learned along the journey.
Goal #1 – Weight Loss
-My Specific goal here is to lose 3-8 lbs to weigh 165-170 lbs. Obviously a pretty measurable goal and one that I can achieve, as I’ve previously weighed in that range and have found myself slipping (remember that comment about sugar?). As a part of wanting to leave traditional work early maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an important factor, and while weight isn’t always a direct indicator of health, for me losing weight has been a great motivator for exercising more consistently. As a part of wanting to feel more accomplishment and feedback throughout the weight loss journey, I have set some intermediate goals that I can follow. 1. Lose 2lbs/week (except weeks of work travel, in which case maintain weight). 2. Lose weight down to 160 lbs before shifting focus to weight lifting. This is more of a goal for my body type, where I know that I need to shed fat before building muscle, or else the fat will just hang around and I’ll start eating peanut butter all the time because I’m “bulking”.
Goal #2 – Functional Workshop
-This thing has been going forever at this point (and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it), but it is time for me to focus and get to a point where I can actually use the workshop to complete all of my other projects. So my specific goal is to have the interior finished (walls finished/painted, floor done, ceiling done, workbenches built and installed) before the end of the year. Seems pretty achievable and definitely relevant to my overall goals for this blog and my life. My intermediate goals, again focusing on accomplishment/feedback in the journey, are: 1. Finish drywall installation by 10/13. 2. Finish floor by 11/3, 3. Finish ceiling by 11/17, and 4. Finish workbenches by 12/31.
I’ll leave these as my two main goals for the next several months (including my weekly and periodic intermediate goals). At the end of the year I plan to revisit this topic to discuss not only how I did achieving my goals, but also how the act of setting goals and achieving them over time helped my motivation and mental health. Thanks for following along, hopefully you have some goals that you can take 10 minutes to brainstorm and set for the upcoming months.
This week on the coffee tour around the world, The Flat White. Depending on who you talk to, this one is from Australia or New Zealand. The origin isn’t as important as acknowledging that this is a delicious drink. Similar to a latte, this one consists of a double shot of espresso and steamed milk. The key difference here is that there is slightly less milk used in the flat white compared to that latte. Another difference, although minor depending on how much of a coffee snob you are, is that the steamed milk has the foam folded in throughout the milk, leading to more creamy texture throughout the milk. Definitely a delicious drink worth enjoying if you like lattes or cappuccinos.