“Goals are great - as long as you still want them when you achieve them.”
How do you manage those goals, when you’ve chosen a few too many? We either adjust, adapt, or we don’t achieve them. Let’s take a look at at the circle of influence.
Circle of Influence
In the center is YOU. You can control 100% of your emotions and actions. You are surrounded by others. You do not control those surrounding you, but you can influence them. Outside of that circle is the world. You can neither control nor influence them. What does this mean for us in SMART Goals? Life happens.
It is not a failure, it is a learning opportunity. Learn, adjust your goals, or elements of your goals, and keep working.
You hear me talk frequently about the fact that I love hiking. And one of the challenges of hiking, specifically in the Adirondacks in upstate New York, is that there are many mountaintops that we need to achieve that do not have paths. It's intentional, and I love that challenge, but I have to say it's a challenging mountain range. From time to time and without the paths being already laid out for you, I have known a few people to get to the wrong mountain top.
What does that mean? You're hiking in this direction and you end up end up on that direction. You went down a gully that you thought was just a valley and all of a sudden was something else. These things truly happen.
And we need to adjust for our own safety. Sometimes we only have a certain amount of time in order to adjust or in order to be safe. One time I was out hiking with my brothers and I do not know how, nobody knows where that miscommunication happened, but one entire food bag did not make it on the trip. Two young 20 somethings were hungry and we were hiking and it was cold at night and you need energy and you must eat in order to keep that energy going and we did not have enough food. That was one problem in our hike. The other problem in the hike was that there was a mountain fire on the next mountain over and unbeknownst to us, they closed the hiking trail that we were on 3 hours after we entered in.
We ditched our goals. We got out safely.
What does that mean and how does that look like? We still have that story to tell today because we're all alive and well and kicking, but we didn't achieve what we set out to achieve and yet, did we?
Our achievement usually is that we're having fun together. We're building relationships together. We took fantastic photos. It was a little cold, it was a little rainy. But if you've ever hiked in the Adirondack Mountains, you'll know that that is more pare for the course than not. And yet we still were able to laugh. We still came home safely. We all have our families, and so our lives go on.
So sometimes what's important about Smart goals is to make sure that we let them go when they don't work for us, and so adjusting and making sure that the smart goals are maybe in the general direction of where we want to go. And if they don't work out then we adjust them when we get there.
Lessons Learned & Reflection
Now can I also look back on the other side and say this hike maybe should have never started, given that we were so close to our forest fire. Yes.
Could I say if I know I'm hiking with my brothers ever again like that, we're gonna make sure that we have all the food bags in our backpacks? Yes.
What were the rewards?
I got to spend three and four days with my brothers, when we knew that our lives were going to be facing changes, relationships and adulthood changes as you move forward. And these are special times that you get to spend. And so we have these stories to share with each other as well that no one will ever be able to take away from us. And I think for us now that is more of a challenge and more of the directionality of the life that we highlight for ourselves and for each other than I hiked mountain peaks 1/2 and three.
Adapting & Adjusting
Adjusting, adapting, knowing when to throw out the goals and learn from the lessons that we had and then keep moving forward is such an important part of overcoming the overwhelm. Because if we keep forcing ourselves towards a goal that no longer works for us, that is when we start running ourselves into overwhelm. It's when we start running ourselves into burnout.
As an endurance athlete, I have seen too many people, too many friends, approached what is the real and physical definition of burnout. It's when the stress hormones are on overload and your body is almost no longer responding to them because they have been delivered into your body over and over and over again. It takes months to recover from that, of very focused, dedicated healing physical activity at a very low heart rate in order to overcome the physical definition of burnout as an endurance athlete.
Our goal with overcome the overwhelm is to allow you to understand the warning signs to not ever get to that physical level of burnout.
Our goal is to talk about the
If we continue to force ourselves into a goal that no longer works because life has changed because our values have changed because opportunities have changed, then we continue to force ourselves into a situation that will lead us down the path of overwhelm or burnout.
By being aware of these signals, we are able to limit, overwhelm and adjust and reset the goals so that they work for us and that they align to our personal values. Set your goals, chase them, chase them with all the energy that you have. And when you realize that it's not working, stop.
Readjust. Assess. Move forward in a different direction and take value. Cherish all the lessons that you learned along the way. Chasing excellence will never hurt you.
Burning yourself out by chasing excellence along a path that isn't in line with your values will.