Updated: Apr 26, 2020
#Goals has become a trendsetting hashtag. #moneygoals, #fitnessgoals, #relationshipgoals has flooded our Facebook and Instagram pages. But what if we didn’t set goals anymore? F***** Your #Goals! ("Forget" - what were you thinking?) Goals get us focused on an ideal that we need to reach - oftentimes “by any means necessary”. What if we spent more attention on the process rather than the destination? Because, most likely, if we have the right process, the destination is inevitable. I posit to you that we change our mindset and language from goal setting to commitment setting.
Goals are cool to be focused on, but oftentimes we set out to achieve that goal in unsustainable and unhealthy ways. And when you get to that goal, you don’t know how to progress from there. You end up going backwards because you want to reward yourself for achieving that goal. Here are some examples:
You want to lose 25 pounds. You try that fad diet from that popular Netflix documentary: Keto, Paleo, Vegan, etc. And you buy that 90-day workout program to burn extreme calories. And you have the occasional binge and purge (by any means necessary right?) Hooray! You lose the 25 pounds! But you were always “hangry” hating your diet being so restricted. And look, now the 90 day workout program is over and you have no desire to do it again. It hurt way too much and you say to yourself, “Why the heck am I training like a professional athlete?” So you’re stuck. What now?! You end up eating cake and ice cream every other day again. You end up sitting on the couch flipping channels all day. And “Hello again” to those 25 pounds in half the time it took to lose it.
Or consider this? You want to finally pay off these credit cards. So you set up your Debt Snowball and work it with Extreme Gazelle Intensity (Dave Ramsey). You work it for a significant amount of time and pay off those credit cards. But on the way to that significant milestone you said “No” to vacation deals, business opportunities, and home improvements. You still have a student loan and a mortgage to pay off, but you settle for the LIE that student loans and mortgages are “good debt”. So you stop your Debt Snowball and reward yourself with that vacation to Florida, you get some business financing for that dream business venture you’ve always wanted to try, and you finally renovate your kitchen. All of which involve - you guessed it - more credit cards, more debt.
If you haven’t already guessed it, I’m speaking from personal experience. Both of those things happened to me and I am just thankful that I am only 33 years old and I still have (Lord willing) at least another 33 years to give this another go.
So as I enter into what I would like to call My Second Half (from Bob Buford’s book Half Time: Changing Your Game Plan From Success To Significance), I am changing my life trajectory to be led by COMMITMENTS instead of GOALS. To make sure that the above events don’t happen again, I am going to set some commitments in place that will hopefully make my real goals of hitting and maintaining that goal weight and getting and staying out of debt INEVITABLE. I am committing to a diet and exercise routine that works for me and my body and not try to fit myself into what works for somebody else. I have already cut up my credit cards and made a commitment with my wife to not use them again. We will save up and pay cash for any vacation or home renovation we would like to do in the future. The only debt we are willing to enter into is our next mortgage.
So what is it for you? If you already have goals, I am not saying to forget about them, but rather partner them with some commitments that you can do today. These commitments will carry you to your goal and beyond.
What about relationships? It’s hard to set goals for a relationship, but what commitments can you make to your spouse, your kids, your friends, your Lord and Savior? These commitments, only if you stay committed to them, will make your relationships more vibrant and mutually beneficial.
What about your legacy? What do you want to be remembered for? Write down some commitments that you can start doing today that will begin to invest into others what can live beyond your time on this earth. Even though I’m 33 years old, some may think I have at least 40 more years in me. Truth is: I can be gone tomorrow. For that reason, I need to begin building my legacy NOW. I need to see how my life can benefit other people now so that whenever God calls me home I can be confident that I’ve given what I have.
So set your goals AND make your commitments. Don’t only pursue a lifestyle change. Make that change NOW. For without commitment, change is impossible!