otta love those “ah ha” moments.
True revelation includes realizing radically new information, so I’m not quite going there. “Ah ha” is more about the fog clearing from an idea, long known to be important, but never actually understood. “Ah ha” is more “I get it!” (with the obligatory slap to the forehead) than “I never knew” (with mouth agape). This inherently makes “ah ha” more common and more frustrating…will I ever learn!?
Recently, Kelsey and I met with a small business development coach. Faithful to the Full of Days concepts of being intentional and learning why we do what we do; we sought out a business mentor.
The “ah ha” moment from our first coaching session was this: “Goals Change Behavior”. Oh my gosh! Slap my forehead obvious. (I need a Southern sayin’ from my Kin to drop in here!)
All my life I have HATED the exercise of goal setting, because I never really understood the process. There was always a fog concealing the process; “How do you set a goal when you don’t know what the result will be?” Over the years goal setting has become easier but never embraced. Well, the fog has cleared and clarity has come through fresh perspective.
Goals are set to accomplish something new, and new is not reached repeating the old. Accomplishing something new requires introducing something new. Somewhere in the future I want to realize something new (a goal) so I have to introduce something new today (a changed behavior).
Follow as I work though this:
In the phrase “Goals Change Behavior”:
- The word “Goals” comes first
- The word “Behavior” follows
So the “Goal” comes first…the goal is what matters…no that’s not it.
Ok…it’s opposite day (a favorite of my 6 & 8 year old boys); let’s look at it that way.
- “Behavior” is the focus
- “Goal” is somehow secondary…getting warmer…
Left out a word.
- “Change Behavior” is what matters
- “Goals” follows
So “change behavior” is the priority and the goal secondary…ding, ding, ding!
Allow me to backtrack. You have to start by setting a goal. Defining the goal first, got it. But, once that goal is set, you put it in the draw until the predefined future date to pull it back out and see how you did.
In the meantime, the focus is on the changed behavior. The change happens in real-time, in the present, and this is where the focus should stay. This makes sense for a number of reasons. The logical: “I can do more with the present than I can with the future” (simply has too many variables). The lasting: “goals are, by definition, narrow and specific; changes in behavior are lasting and pervasive across character”. So set the goal, but focus on changing/introducing a behavior.
You may read this and think “well…yeah”. But this is truly an “ah ha” moment for me. Goals are no longer scary. Goals have transformed from distant, vague, and halfhearted exercises in futility to present, exciting and a very attainable process that produces a much broader reward – a changed behavior.