What Kind Of Goals Are You Setting For 2023?

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I am officially obsessed!! 

For the last couple of months, I’ve become fixated on two things: Camper Van Conversions & Vanlifers. There’s something so satisfying about watching an empty van come to life. I am talking about adding insulation to every nook and cranny, detailed wiring for lights, solar panels, inverters, plumbing for the kitchen sink, drainage, freshwater tank installation, shower tiling, dining set to bed conversion, window cutouts, upper deck install for sitting up top for an incredible view, cabinet hardware so your doors don’t fling open while driving…I am even going in-depth learning about composting toilets… seriously, the list is endless.

I am also obsessing over the freedom of Vanlife. I follow a ton of people who are documenting their full-time journey of traveling the road and living in the van while working remotely. This absolutely fascinates me. I am learning the good, the bad & the ugly of it all… and it seems very tempting in so many ways.

Last week, I watched a full 3-series documentary of this dude driving in his van to the Frozen Artic Ocean in the middle of winter. He reached the “Insanity Zone.” Do you know what that is? That’s when Celsius equals Fahrenheit. Look it up. There’s one point where they intersect, at -40 degrees. CRAZY!! But, there’s something about it that gave me some weird type of inspiration. I haven’t unpacked it yet, but I am processing it as we speak.

Why am I sharing all this at the end of the year during our “Goal” series? Is Vanlife my goal for next year? Nah. Is it my goal for someday? Yes. Well, maybe not the Arctic Ocean Insanity Zone, maybe not even the full Vanlife…but I do love what it represents. And that’s definitely my goal. It represents freedom for me, it represents youthfulness, it represents carefreeness, it represents exploration, it represents curiosity and it represents life…life to the fullest. Sunsets and rainbows, I want to experience it all. And maybe this Vanlife brings it all out on me. Building it and exploring it. 

I just finished setting my goals for next year and I broke them down into the following categories: Intellectual, Emotional, Physical, Marital, Parental, Social, Vocational, Avocational, Financial, and Spiritual. I picked one goal for each. Why? I think balancing these categories and assessing where I am in each will help me prepare for the ultimate freedom…the kind of Vanlife freedom I’ve been talking about. You know…the one that involves composting poop. 

And do you know why am I so crazy about goals? “Because you don’t usually drift to a destination you would have chosen. Instead, you have to be intentional, force yourself to get clear on what you want and why it’s important, and then pursue a plan of action that accomplishes your objective.” I love that quote. It speaks life to me. 


I Screamed My Goal Out Loud

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Okay, golf talk. Don’t go away yet, it’ll get interesting, even if you hate golf.

I’ve been a golfer for 40+ years. And in golf, there’s a handicap system. You play 18 holes and keep an accurate score, and you have to submit the score to an organization called USGA. They rate the golf course difficulty at every golf course ever built. And they are in charge of calculating your score vs the level of difficulty of the course you played and they spit out your official USGA Handicap Index. Just for reference, the US golfer’s most common handicap is between 13-13.9. Remember, this is golf, so the lower the handicap, the better you are.

When I was in high school, I played Junior golf and with all the free time I had, I played and practiced almost every day. In fact, my weekends looked like this. Wake up early, go to the practice range, and play 18 holes. Come home, eat lunch. Go back to the course. Play 18 more holes or until dark. Come home. Wash up. Get in bed. Dream about golf. Repeat. I had a Handicap Index of 7.

Let’s fast forward 40 years. Since then, I have labored through thousands or more practice sessions, played thousands of competitive and noncompetitive rounds, gained huge mental maturity, experienced so much for my own internal growth of the sport, and built so much more confidence, I am even smarter when it comes to strategy and I am using all the latest technology and innovation on equipment and balls that have advanced over the years. Do you know what my handicap was last year? 7. 

So, after another very frustrating round, I screamed out loud…”Aaaahhhhhhh!!!” And I made a declaration. I made a verbal promise to myself. I said out loud, “By my next birthday, I will be a scratch golfer!!” (Scratch Golfer = a Handicap Index of 0). I have unknowingly, out of pure frustration, and out of my desperate desire to improve, set a GOAL.

I heard this the other day: “Goal setting is the most compassionate and the most wonderful thing we can do for ourselves.” 

So, I started my journey. I am a year into my goal and I am proud to say that my current handicap is 2.9. This goal setting and execution is a lot of work and effort but I am also learning a lot about myself along the way. I am not there yet and the journey has had a lot of ups and downs, but I want to list what I’ve done and how I am currently making progress.

If I could sum it up, it would be two things.

  • Make your goal measurable
  • Measure it often

But to elaborate more, here are some steps I’ve learned and been taught about setting goals and making them come true.

  1. On a blank piece of paper, for 10-20 minutes, do a thought download – empty your brain by listing everything you want to DO in your life. List what you want to accomplish, and what you want as the end result.
  2. Pick one to focus on. One that you really really want to go after. For me, it was being a scratch golfer.
  3. Now, this is important: Write it in a 90-day outcome. Write what you can do and what you can measure in the next 90 days. Make sure it’s something that is measurable. (Quantity). And be as clear and specific as possible. For me, I kept detailed stats of my game and I set goals for each stat (% greens in regulation, % fairways hit, # of putts, score, etc – I have 25 goals in total).
  4. Write down everything you’ll need to do in the next 90 days that can help you reach your goal, with as many details as possible. What you need to learn, what you need to know, what you need to do. Make an action list. (I created a practice log that I can focus on if I’m having a difficult time reaching the set goal).
  5. Create an order of execution, again being as clear and as specific as possible. (Basically, after writing down everything you’ll need to do, put them in order that they need to be accomplished). 
  6. Calendar them in 2-week increments. (Schedule everything you can do in the next two weeks).
  7. Keep scheduling until you get to 90 days.

Here’s the beauty of all this. Once all the prep work is finished, it’s as good as done. You’ve made all the decisions ahead of time, so it’s like clockwork. Honor what’s on the calendar. Follow through on what you said you were going to do. 

As long as you are willing to do the work up front, and monitor your progress, you can have it. You can have what you want. How’s that sound? 

I know I still have more work to do, so I am going to keep moving forward. But I know I will get there someday, and I can’t wait to share it with you. I am proud of the progress I’ve made and it also made me realize that this really does work. 

For 40 years, I stayed idling without any significant progress and just dealing with a lot of frustrating days. But having this focus and goal has revived me. I feel alive and this slow progress is keeping me excited and motivated.

What do you want to go after next year? What do you want? Who do you want to be? Share with me. I want to know. Let’s encourage each other – reply to this email, and I will email you back. I want to help. Because I heard it’s the most compassionate and the most wonderful thing we can do for ourselves. I want that for you.


2 Huge Problem With Setting Goals

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If you know me, I might get a bit annoying when the year is approaching the end. I start talking about new year’s resolutions, setting new goals, going over last year’s goals, reflecting on the past, dreaming about the future…etc. I am just wired that way and I am somehow surrounded by people who are not. “What’s the point?” they say. “Why spend the time and effort creating something that you’ll forget all about in mid-February?” They are right. In fact, a record number of people Google “how to get out of gym membership contract” in February since they’ve only stepped foot in there only twice in January. January 1st and January 2nd. LOL.

If you are not a goal-setter, you’ll love what I am about to say. This quote came from Emmanuel Acho (Retired NFL linebacker, sports analyst, activist and author).

“Reaching a goal is a penalty you receive for setting one.”

What does that mean? He further explains, “People live life in a box that the world put them in.  And my objective is to break outside that box.”

Nobody had ever run a mile in under four minutes. That was the box. The box says you cannot run a mile in under four minutes.

Scientists thought it was physically impossible. Some even suggested your heart would explode if you attempted to. Then Roger Bannister breaks outside of a box, runs a mile in under four minutes. But the sweetest part of the story for me, that is not told often enough, is that within the next two years, ten people ran a mile in under four minutes.

What that told me was that we had the physical ability to do it, we just did not have the mental ability to do it. And once we saw that one person do it, then all of a sudden it quickly became possible.

These boxes need to be broken, but there’s still no avoiding the two problems we’ll face in setting our goals:

  1. You don’t achieve it and you feel terrible.
  2. You do achieve it but you realize you aimed too low.

So, should we just get rid of our goals altogether?

No – according to Emmanuel, Don’t set goals, set objectives with no limitations. How is that different? Well, each goal has an end, it’s limiting, so Instead, set an objective with no limitations. Instead of trying to build a $5 million business, make it your objective to grow your business. Instead of trying to become a CEO, make it your objective to become a better leader. Instead of trying to run a marathon, make it your objective to become a better runner. Do you see his point, none of these goals/objectives has an end. You can become an amazing runner and run a 1/2 marathon, then compete in a full marathon, then an ultra, then an ironman…it goes on and on. No limitation.

I am still processing this idea. It’s so different from what I’ve been told and taught…and even implemented for most of my life. But one thing I am coming away with is the idea of thinking bigger, the idea of having no limits. It’s a compelling thought.

I would love to know what your thoughts are on this. Are you a goal-setter? Do you have an insight that’s been helpful to you in the past? Or, is this all just annoying? Hahaha! Have a great week. Shoot me an email, and let’s chat.

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