Feb 8, 2022
Matt & Niki discuss goal setting: clear goals, digging
deep to identify your whys, and how different personalities can
effectively develop goals.
If you're trying to lose weight, get stronger, change your
nutrition, gain muscle you've at some point identified you'd like
to make change the direction of your life. Whether you formally
identified your goals or made a quick decision, somehow you
identified you didn't like where you were and shifted the
trajectory of your life.
What can often happen, though, is that as the process of
improvement continues, we can forget why we began. When things get
tough, we might not be able to latch onto a clear purpose, and we
will struggle to continue.
Goals guide actions. Actions determine metrics. Clear goals
create clear actions and metrics. When you've dug deep into why you
want to do something, oftentimes the how becomes almost
Some perform this process of delving into their whys
internally, by themselves and mostly with silent reflection. Others
perform it alone but by writing down answers to questions. Others
bounce ideas off other people, seeking some feedback and refining
what is essentially their rough draft ideas.
The 5 whys is a good process, and really highlights how
effective goal-setting is finding your deeper purpose.
Once you've hit your why, you often have a physical reaction.
It's emotional. It resonates. It's not superficial or some cliché
or thing you've been told you should care about.
A superficial goal is often an unsustainable goal.
If you've been floundering on identifying how to achieve your
goals, you might not have pinned down your goals.
Now, you can get after the hows.
Before you start pursuing action, you might try an
intermediate step and ask (and then answer as best you can): why
haven't I achieved this? This can help you identify obstacles and
hurdles, which you should account for in your actions.
You develop your actions to achieve the goals. These should be
specific and timebound. You should be able to identify with a yes
or no answer if you accomplished them.
Your metrics inform the actions and the goals. They give your
information so you know if you're heading in the right direction.
Metrics help you make decisions. So, if you're tracking something
and unhappy with your progress, you should change what you're
doing. If tracking a metric does not change behaviors, you
shouldn't track it.
You should be able to clearly express your goals to others
(and yourself). To ensure you can do this, write your goals down.
If you can't clearly define your goal--or if others don't
understand it when you're sharing it--you need to do some more work
to ensure you understand what you really want.
They end by asking, is getting the goal really the goal? As
with strength, the process of undergoing voluntary hardship refines
us. We're glad we get stronger, but doing what it takes to get
strong makes us a better person, beyond getting stronger.
This leads into a cursory discussion of a future but
not-too-far-off podcast: habits. Building healthy habits will lead
to health. The habits are oftentimes more important than the
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