A Snowball’s Chance In Hell or How To Set Goals

“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes, this makes planning the day difficult.“ – E.B. White

What if you had both? That’s sometimes the whole point to coaching.

Let’s say you have a busy life and there’s a bucket list of “someday” things that you’d like to get done. Someday Lists might as well be the Snowball’s Chance In Hell Lists, because we all have “Somedays.”

Someday never comes. Unless we do something about it. It can be as simple as literally putting the word “someday” on your calendar, then scheduling in that thing that’s not getting done, or mildly more complex like setting goals.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect, it has to be done.” – My college advisor

Here’s the basic primer on setting goals:

1. Make ’em do-able. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time (shudder). For me it’s do my little physical therapy exercises each moring. My calendear says, “Do less then more!”

2. Make sure some of them are fun, or clearly lead to the outcome. Somewhere someone said “lose weight” should be more like: “Feel better in my body and get laid more often.” Kinda different, huh?

3. Be very specific. How can anyone give you what you want if you don’t know what you want?

4. Write in the present tense. Do not say, “I will have X.” Say, “I now have X and this gives me X.”

5. Start with “I have …” You have to “BE” in order to “DO” before you can “HAVE”.  It does not go in the other direction (have – do – be).

6. Use the (yes, I know annoying) “SMART goals” formula.

Winning a gold medal at the Olympics is a goal, but the action-able steps to get there are what move us forward. A SMART goal towards a gold medal would be: I will work out, at the gym, with my trainer, from 10-11 every morning 6 days a week.

SMART goals are: Specific (will do ‘x’) – Measurable (number of, due date, quantity) – Action-focused (lift weights, write in a journal) – Results-oriented (achieved writing 3 pages, received one “yes” answer) Time-bound ( … by ‘x’ date).

My excercise SMART goal for my lower back pain is: “I am doing 10 minutes of Physical Therapy exercies each morning 5 out of 7 days a week.” Then I use a daily check off list to track my progress.

Goals don’t have to be HUGE, in fact building small ones will help you move towards building larger ones and building the habit of goals. Start with a really easy one: give out one hug a day.



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