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3 Things Greater Than Goals: WHY Goal Setting Isn't Enough

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It’s that time of year where it seems everyone is focused on setting goals. People are making resolutions, formulating goals, and making decisions to determine their destiny. But did you know that there are 3 things that are even more important than just setting goals?

Setting goals is smart.

Setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) goals is even, well, smarter. But unfortunately, simply setting goals is not enough.  

But how do I know? Every year I talk with people who had set SMART goals, and every year these people, despite their best intentions, desires, and plans, still do not accomplish their goals. 

Right now you might be asking “How can that be?” Well, we’ve all been told that if we follow the rules to goal setting and set SMART goals that we will be successful.  

I believe there are 3 things that are even greater than goal setting. If you implement these three things in 2018, you will undoubtedly increase your ability to actually hit your goals. After all, as Peter Theil says in his book Zero to One, “The jump from nothing to something is infinite.” 

So what are the three things greater than goal setting?

Let’s take a look…

1. Purpose 

Goals are the what, purpose is the why.  

Purpose is what you were created for. It’s why you are here, on this earth, in this place, with the people you are with. 

For instance, as far as I can tell, many famous historical figures didn’t just set goals and wait for them to come to fruition. Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Jesus, Buddha, Martin Luther King Jr., etc. all had set a very clear and driving purpose. 

In fact, I bet if you looked closely at the people you admire most, what really drives them are not their goals but their purpose. I remember reading that Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and Space X, is driven by a bigger purpose to preserve the human race. He wants to colonize Mars as a goal but his purpose is to give humans a second planet in case we destroy this one. That’s a little depressing, but it’s what drives him. And here’s the thing: if his Mars goal doesn’t workout, he’s preserves his purpose that allows him to regroup and set a new goal. 

You can set all the goals you want, but if they aren’t in line with your purpose, there is a crucial piece missing.  BUT if you are working in line with your purpose – there’s simply no stopping you because even if one goal fails, the purpose keeps you moving forward.

The next thing greater than setting a goal is…

2. Commitment

Without commitment, nothing happens. Commitment is not thinking about, wanting to do or trying to do something. It's actually moving forward and doing it. If you aren't taking action, then I'd question your commitment level.

You see, commitment is the spark you need to ignite the ability to overcome obstacles in your life. 

So what do you need to commit to in 2018 so that your goals are infinitely more likely to come to pass? It could be as simple as committing to watching your Mind Movie every day, first thing in the morning. 

And when you commit, commit to your purpose, not just your goal. 

However, commitment and purpose alone are not enough. It’s a start, but it’s not enough. That’s why you also need…

3. Consistency 

Goals are considered the planning stage. Setting your purpose is determining why you want to get there. Commitment is choosing, without doubt, to get there no matter what.  And practicing consistency is how you’ll actually get there after the excitement wears off and when the challenges rear their ugly head.  

The truth is, there are two types of consistency—and you’ll certainly need both. 

Let me explain... 

Most people, when I ask how they use consistency to get to their purposeful, committed goal, tell me they write down affirmations by hand every day. Or they watch their Mind Movie every day. Or some other task. And while all these actions are a vital part of moving your towards your goals, it’s not the only kind of consistency you need.

What I invite you to consider is the consistency of thought. Are you being consistent in thought... and in action... with what you are committed to? 

For example, if you committed to being a writer, are your thoughts consistent with being a writer. Do you even believe – truly believe – paying your bills as a writer is possible? 

Do you know and memorize the stories of writers who came from nothing and created fortunes writing? Do you read books on the craft of writing? Do you live and breathe and dream writing?

When people ask you what you do, are you consistent in your answer that you are, right now, a writer – or does your answer change depending on who you talk to? 

You see, consistency is an extension of your commitment. If commitment is an event... a point in time where you decide to change your direction... then consistency is staying the course in thought, in word, and in deed—in that order. 

Sure, they all fuel each other. And yet, it starts (and often gets off track) in the mind. Therefore, be consistent in how you think about your goal. Constantly renew your mind and take any contrary thoughts captive. 

So there, dear reader, you have the three things I believe are even more important than setting goals: purpose, commitment, and consistency.

One last example to wrap this up…

Let’s say your goal is that you want to lose 15 pounds over the next 3 months, here are the questions I might ask:

  • What’s your real purpose for losing 15 pounds? 

  • Is this for your health and longevity or because you think that’s how you are supposed to look?

  • Are you really willing to commit

  • Do you understand what you are saying yes to? 

  • Do you know what you are saying no to? 

  • And once you commit, will you be consistent

  • Do you know what that consistency looks like? Is it 3 days per week? Is it 7 days per week? Is it a 24/7 mindset shift? I assure you, once the excitement wears off, consistency will be the only thing left to power you on towards your goal. 

Listen, here’s the cold hard truth: 

If there’s no purpose, no commitment and no consistency, the goal will not get fulfilled. 

However, with a purpose, with commitment, and with even a little consistency over time, you really can achieve any goal you set for yourself. 

Now, get out there and make it happen. 

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And if you have any other tips on how to master the inner game of success, please share them with the community below :)



Sean McCool is a US ARMY Veteran, speaker, award-winning copywriter, master life coach, and best selling author. His private coaching clients include entrepreneurs, actresses, children’s book writers, franchise owners, small business owners, authors, podcast creators, and even a member of the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame. You can learn more about Sean by clicking here.








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