We’ve been raised to believe that we can accomplish any goal if we “put our mind to it”. And it’s true, we are capable of accomplishing anything we want. Achieving a goal however, takes much more than to simply “put our mind to it”, because putting your mind to it is what’s known as thinking. And we can think all damn day, but until you start to put those thoughts into action you haven’t really achieved anything, yet.
In my experience, the key to achieving a goal lies in the doing. So, I’ve come up with this little rule for myself: twenty percent (20%) thinking, eighty percent (80%) doing. Few goals will be achieved without thinking and planning. And that thinking and planning – and sometimes research, too – can easily take up 20% of your time and because plans change and “life happens”, the same will happen with your plan to achieve your goals. So from my point of view, there is no point spending more time thinking than you are going to spend doing.
PRO TIP: Before you get to the doing, be super clear on the vision and mission for your goal. Have a keen understanding of WHY you are doing what you are planning to do. It’s imperative you know the WHY and what you will get out of this. When all else fails, this will be where you turn to find the strength to keep going.
Just like everyone else, I have fallen victim to the roundabout thinking that happens when you decide to move toward a goal; because it’s the easy part. Make no mistake about it, nothing about achieving goals is easy but the doing is the hard part.
The doing is the part where you have to take that plan and put it into action. It’s the part where you feel exposed and vulnerable – and no one likes to feel that way, because it’s scary. Doing new things, setting goals and forging forward down the path less travelled is scary. I mean, what if you fail?
However, the doing is also the part where the magic happens; it’s the part where we learn and grow. This is the part where we get to course correct and find better, more effective ways to get to our end. There is no success without failure. A lot of us focus on how much time and effort it takes to accomplish something (thinking!), we get overwhelmed and therefore stop “going for it”; whether it’s because we hit a bump in the road or we just don’t want to deal with the overwhelming feels and give up.
The thing is, we can all achieve our goals if we come at it from a different mindset. Instead of only focusing on the grind of the big picture when we’re planning (thinking), we should acknowledge that our “big hairy audacious goal” is nothing more than a series of smaller goals whose sum is that which we choose to achieve. There is no need for the big picture to become overwhelming or distracting because there are so many milestones on the way to the finish line. If we focus on the task-at-hand instead of what-comes-next, and celebrate the successes and failures across the journey the process becomes more enjoyable and before we know it, BOOM!, goal achieved!
Yes, you read that right: celebrate the success and the failures. Successes are awesome but failures give you the chance to learn more about yourself and where you’re headed. Failures help you find the best path forward and can be your biggest motivator if you let them.
To sum up my thoughts on setting and achieving goals, these are the key messages I hope you walk away with:
- – Dream big, even if you fail you’ve learned more than you would by thinking small.
- – Be very clear about your vision and why you are setting out after this achievement. This is going to be your North Star during the journey.
- – A long-term goal is only a series of smaller goals that all deserve the same respect and grind from you. Focus on the task at hand, not just on the big picture.
- – DO WORK! The success of this journey lies solely in you and there’s no way to get around doing the work, so do it.
- – Find the positive and the lesson in every success and failure. If you’re learning, you’re still moving forward.
- – Don’t get overwhelmed when things don’t go according to “plan”; this is life and shit happens. Course correct and move forward, a failure is the universe telling you that this isn’t the right path and you need to find a better way.
- – Get excited about the journey. Write it down so you can share it later. Someone you know now, or will meet later, will need the same lessons you’re about to learn.
- – Lastly, stop thinking – start doing. You won’t regret it.
About the Author:
Dana “SweetDee” Rygwelski
Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Dee was a cheerleader for 15 years before moving to Los Angeles in 2007 and began lifting at DogTown Crossfit in 2011. In 2012, Dana moved back to Philly, trained at Crossfit Delaware Valley and competed in powerlifting at Iron Sport Gym – where she met Big Tone Barbaccio and later joined the Jersey Iron Powerlifting team and learned what it means to really be a powerlifter and to train on a team. In 2014, after two years and many successes with Jersey Iron, Dana’s professional life moved her to Austin, Tx where she found Austin Simply Fit and began training as a multi ply lifter. In little over a year, Dana has put over 300 pounds on her multi-ply total and recently earned a spot on the all-time Top 10 181 list with a 1433 total. She is also the Texas State Chair for Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate (RPS).