Do you want to know how to get from your current life to the life you actually want? It all starts with how to motivate yourself into changing your behavior. If you don’t change your behavior there will be no significant changes in your life.
People do not like to admit that they have no idea what they are doing with their life. Everyday you go through the motions and eventually you get in bed so you can wake up and do it all over again.
Being able to motivate yourself everyday is the missing piece before taking action towards your goals.
For a decade as an entrepreneur I taught business women the S.M.A.R.T. goal concept. Smart goals consist of specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time based conditions
I would teach the system, follow-up with their progress, and always I was hearing lack luster results. Years and years of nobody being willing or able to change their behavior in order to reach their goals.
How could such a widely used system be such a let down?
It’s always later. I’ll do it later. I’ll do it after this thing happens. I’ll do it after this dates passes. I’ll do it Monday. I’ll do it when things aren’t so busy.
Once you have a smart goal, you know the steps which need to be taken to reach the goal. Nobody is confused about what to do after they have that smart goal. But time and time again they just wouldn’t do it.
Knowing exactly what the goal is somehow isn’t sufficient to motivate yourself to be successful.
I racked my brain for years trying to discover why.
- Could every single person I worked with be lazy?
- Could every single person I worked with lack the skills to reach their goals?
- Could every single person I worked with be so busy that there is not a single minute to execute on their goals?
Lying to Yourself
Eureka! I figured it out. Every single person I worked with was lying to themselves.
Yup, that’s right. Lying.
The reason they weren’t changing any behaviors is because the goal they set, wasn’t important enough to them to change for. When you set a specific, attainable, relevant goal then reaching it is going to feel like a shoulder shrug no big deal.
In light of this realization, I pivoted my coaching process. I asked entrepreneurs to set higher goals and break that goal down with the S.M.A.R.T. system.
Big Hairy Audacious Goal
Author Jim Collins coined the BHAG idea in 1994. A Big Hairy Audacious Goal is one that is clear, exciting, focused and everyone gets it right away.
I call these the ideas you let live in your head but don’t usually say out loud. You’re deterred from talking about these ideas because one time you told someone about the idea and they told you it wasn’t possible. You’ve convinced yourself that this idea is best left to your daydreams since it’s unrealistic in reality.
Years and years I helped people dream big and make a plan to reach those goals. Still, it wasn’t working. Why?
It was a big goal. They said they wanted to reach that goal. Yet, they would not change the behaviors necessary to make that goal a reality.
The original goals my clients told me weren’t enough. The dig deep audacious goals weren’t enough.
It’s because there’s a third level of desire buried even deeper. I call this goal the Kick That Idea in the Face level. These are the dreams that are so ridiculous, as soon as it pops in your mind you kick the idea in the face.
You tell yourself, people like me don’t live a life like that. Of course you won’t tell a coach about that level of desire, you won’t even let yourself think about it. This is a level of desire nobody understands it’s not clear or focused. Your dream doesn’t excite other people, in fact it might annoy or offend their sense of reasonability.
The only way to motivate yourself everyday is to have a goal so insane it would be awkward to talk about. But in order to do that, you have to let yourself think about that idea.
If you’re ready to explore your Kick That Idea in the Face level goals, get in touch. I’d be thrilled to support you on your journey to living the life you didn’t realize you wanted.
In case you need a little inspiration….
I lived in the suburbs, had a white picket fence, drove an electric vehicle, commuted my kids into an expensive private school in the city, and was “living the dream.” We took luxury vacations to Paris, London, Moscow, Madrid, Zurich, and more. Nothing to complain about right?
I gave it all up to become a minimalist. Now my family of 4 lives internationally out of 6 suitcases, as slowmad travelers (in-between a nomad and an expat). We’ve lived in Dominican Republic, stayed a month in Cairo and a month in Bangkok, right now we live in Tokyo.
Nobody understood the goal before we moved. Most people are still pretty skeptical even after almost two years on the road, and that’s ok. It’s our life.
[updated August 23, 2022]