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More On Goals And The Secret Ingredient That Is Often Overlooked With Their Achievement

I’ve written at some length on this blog on the importance of clearly defined goals and other factors that experience as a coach has shown me separate those who succeed with body transformations and those who don’t.

Yeah, we all know resolutions don’t work very well, and either do flimsy attempts at “getting in shape” or other loosely defined objectives.

There are some startling statistics in research on this subject and it today’s post I wanted to share an infographic that highlights a few of the big ones. I’ll follow up with some commentary at the end.

More after the jump…

Here’s the infographic I was referring to:

Setting Goals Infographic


Personal Commentary

Is it time to re-evaluate what we’re teaching our youth?

I don’t know about you, but I find it pretty alarming that 8 in 10 people say their life lacks an overall goal. We’re increasingly becoming a society of disenfranchised young adults who lack purpose, passion, and direction for their lives. Granted this isn’t the case with everyone, but I find this to be true far too often.

Call me old fashioned or whatever you want, but I’m not sold on this feel good “everyone gets a ribbon or trophy” culture that has permeated everything from academics to youth athletics. This trend to want to move away from a grading system in our schools or not pick winners and losers is a very bad idea in my book.

It sounds all warm and fuzzy on the surface, we want our youth to feel good about themselves and not put them in any situation that could negatively impact their self-esteem, ever. But here’s the problem…in the REAL world there is such a thing as winners and losers.

In the game of life, not everyone gets a ribbon.

Sure there’s the opposite end of the spectrum where we shouldn’t be pushing a “win at all costs” mentality, which is sadly the case with many parents who live vicariously through their children.

Yes, we want to encourage the idea of always doing your best and not punishing them when their “best” doesn’t meet our expectations.

But here’s the thing, doing your “best” should also include looking to consistently get “better” with any endeavors. Obviously each individual has their own God given set of talents, abilities, and passions. Our objective, not just as parents but as a society, should be to help our youth uncover those talents and passions.

The idea that hard work pays off and that nothing worthwhile comes easy, is being replaced with you’re always a winner no matter what. Thus we see a lack of purpose, direction, and passion as teenagers become young adults and enter the real world.

Why set goals when you’re ingrained with the believe that you’ll always be a “winner?” Go to college and rack up thousands of dollars of student loan debt, because it’s always the pathway to success. Yeah right, tell that to the scores of young adults now entering the work force who are being smacked in the face with the reality that a diploma guarantees you nothing.

This is not to make a case against higher education, it’s to make a case that we should be reinforcing the idea of purpose, passion, and direction. Find what you’re good at and put some purpose behind it. If your passion and purpose is best served through continued academia and higher education at the collegiate level, then by all means proceed.

But if your passion and purpose is best served through a trade school, apprenticeship program, etc, then we should be encouraging that as well. While our education system has opted to drop things like “shop class” and put all emphasis on college prep courses, we’ve been doing a disservice to a whole segment of youths who might excel in the trades.

I’d much rather have my son or daughter (if I had one) to have direction and purpose while being happy and making a good living doing whatever it is their good at, than become a young adult who wanders aimlessly into the real world expecting a high paying job to land at their feet just because they have a degree.

Why do 8 in 10 people say their life lacks an overall goal?

I believe it’s because as a society we’ve drifted on many levels from the principals that once made this nation great. It was because of the people, people who had purpose and goals to strive towards achievement in their lives, whatever that meant to them.

I could go on and on here, but you get my point and I understand not everyone may agree with me and that’s ok. This is just how I see it.

Goals versus no goals

Think that the lack of goals doesn’t have an impact on your life, think again. Look at the figures in the middle of this infographic regarding whether or not setting goals is worth it.

Graduates who had goals (13%) were earning on average twice as much as the 84% without goals, ten years after graduation.

The 3% who had clearly defined WRITTEN goals were earning on average 10 times as much as the other 97% of graduates. This is striking and eye-opening to say the least.

But let’s not just revolve this around money. It’s applicable to any endeavor in life. After all money isn’t everything. There’s a bigger picture here with having purpose and direction.

The one “secret ingredient”

What’s the one factor in all of this that often gets overlooked? While there’s a case to be made about simply having goals and writing them down, there’s something bigger behind it.

People who set goals and write them down are often passionate about it, or they wouldn’t take the time to do so in the first place.

It’s the PASSION that I believe is the secret ingredient. When you want something bad enough, you think about it often. These thoughts permeate your subconscious which acts somewhat like a computer, processing information and finding solutions to what’s been programmed.

The act of writing something down really doesn’t do much. However when strong emotions (passion) is put behind the frequent visitation of those goals, by reading them, visualization, etc, then there’s power.

Little by little, day by day, week by week, the individual finds themselves getting closer and closer. Things start lining up and falling into place. Many will call success a “lucky break,” but I for one believe that more often than not it’s the world aligning up with one’s thoughts.

I could point to evidence upon evidence to back this up, but it’s something you either believe in your heart or not. Sure we have randomness in this world and there is such a thing as “chance,” but it doesn’t mean our thoughts are totally irrelevant to our outcomes.

Even though I never totally have full control, I’ll choose to be an active participant in the direction of my life and not a helpless spectator of it. My hope is that you do the same.

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. He specializes in helping people achieve a body transformation with burst training exercise and whole food nutrition. You can receive a FREE no-obligations trial of his Charleston personal fitness programs and start experiencing the Shaping Concepts difference today.

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Category: Shane's Commentary.