Episode 37: Intensity vs. Consistency

Good morning! Are you happy with where you are in your life today? Are you satisfied this late in the year, December 2019 that you have given your best to reach your goals for the year? Or have you been frustrated, as many of our listeners have been, and not feeling that you’ve accomplished that of which you are most capable? Well, today we’re gonna start you on a journey for a new you. So the year 2020 will not simply be a repeat of 2019. This will be the next two episodes. The guiding force to help you become bigger, better, and bolder you in 2020.

Hey! Thanks for joining me, this is Jimmy Williams with Live a Life by Design. Your Monday morning moments of motivation, that’ll help you see the future in a much bigger panoramic view then you’ve ever seen before. Folks, I gotta be honest with you. I ate a little too much last Thursday. Now, did any of you suffer from this dilemma. It wasn’t my fault, you see, here’s the issue. When you’re a gentleman like me that enjoys good food. I use a saying every now and then, that some folks in the countries of Africa, of course, do not have food that’s amply supplied and they eat to live. Here in the United States we’ve been so blessed with an overabundance of food that we live to eat.

Man, and we had a good feast on last Thursday. Celebrating Thanksgiving in the United States is always a fun family affair for my family. I will say, though, that the second helping of turkey and also the second helping of perhaps pumpkin pie didn’t help. But, anyway, I digress, is simply because I wanted to. I’m still running it off. Had a great workout earlier today. Feeling good. Just ready to take on this Christmas season as we begin to celebrate. And I again, this is my favorite time of the year. I want you to know that you’ve got to find happiness. This is the one time of year for certain that we can locate happiness within ourselves by seeing the smiles we put on others faces.

Today we’re gonna visit for just a few minutes on what happened the last episode. I hope you listened to the episode number 36. Women in leadership, and I had the great opportunity to interview a young lady that is the Miss Oklahoma USA, Triana Browne. She shared with us some of her struggles. Some of her triumphs. She shared with us some of her stumbles that she made in route to reaching the top. The apex of her profession, and how she got there was obviously a stair being climbed each day. But sometimes those stairs led to doors that were shut. She also shared with us how she had a support team. And I hope you take hold of that and utilize that in your own lives. I have a wonderful support team behind me that is so, so positive, and so supportive in all that I do. But also very honest with us.

And so you’ve got to be honest and have people around you that’s not just gonna tell you what you want to hear, but they’re gonna tell you what you need to hear. But they deliver it in a way that they don’t take away your pride, or they don’t take away your self esteem, right?

So I hope you go back and listen, if you haven’t, to episode 36. Persistence to her was the key to her success. And that led me to thinking, she looked at her goals and decided what was most important to move the needle on her career, her life, her self esteem, and she just sought it with a vengeance. So I want to bring today to share with you a few moments on how I look at goals. And this isn’t your ordinary goal speech where you’re hearing people say, well, you gotta have goals, and you’ve gotta have so many in each section. That’s not what I’m talking about today.

What I’m talking about today is particularly the two types of goals that I focus on to really move my life forward. And I will tell you, I live 24 hours at a time. Just like everyone of you. But what I pack into that 24 hour period is astonishing. I enjoy life to its ultimate pinnacle. And I will tell you that I sometimes don’t reach the goal. But I simply recharge. Get a good nights 8 hours rest and then jump right back up on the planet and go doing what I was meant to do. And that’s to help people live their lives better and show direction and creativity in how we do that.

So the two goals we’re gonna talk about today, and we’re gonna describe these in some detail, are Achievement Goals and Habit Goals. We’re gonna talk about how these two interact and how you can utilize this process, today, to help you turn 2020 into the year the best that’s ever been lived.

First and foremost, you know, I am the kind of person that had goals since, I’m guessing, I was about a pre-teen probably when I started writing down my goals. I wanted to achieve a certain rank in the Boy Scouts, for example. Or I wanted to serve on staff at the scout camp. Or I wanted to do this or that. Student leadership. I always had goals. It was only in my mid 20s, after I graduated undergraduate school, that I realized where I had erred in how I wrote my goals. And so I started changing the written goal format.

I’m gonna share some of that with you this day as well. Goals should be designed and implemented though to cover all phases of life. Now I have some friends that focus purely on career goals. Why this is a shortcoming is this reason, if you are a one sided individual and that is the only goal that you pursue is one to enhance your career, you’re gonna be neglecting some very important areas of life that make this world worth living. I found that many of these friends of mine that only focus on career goals tend to have fewer deep friendships. Their families are not as cohesive unit as I would like. Not as warm and loving. You know they may drive a faster car, live in a bigger home, but I don’t see the happiness coming from tangible goods. At the end of the day I always look and wonder what is it so empowering about reaching a career goal that it overshadows every other area of life?

Now I’m not against career goals. Don’t leave here thinking that. Don’t turn off the podcast saying Jimmy’s saying you should have career goals. That is not what I’m saying. But what I am suggesting today is that you need to live a balanced life that raises your entire family, your work life, your spiritual life, your financial life. Everything should be raising to new levels and new heights for you then just your career.

In my world, I look at about 10 areas of goals each year. First is my spiritual. I have vocational or career goals. Avocational or my hobbies, you know I want to get better at playing golf or I want to do better at something. I always, as a hobby, want to list some goals in that area. I look at financial goals. Marital goals are important to me. I want a happy spouse. As we say, happy wife, happy life, right? Charitable goals, intellectual goals. I never want to stop learning. I want to improve my craft, just like this podcast. I sought out ways to start the podcast. And if you listen to, admittedly, the first couple of episodes, maybe the first three, it took me a moment to find my voice. It took me a few episodes to understand how this works. To feel more comfortable around the process so that I could then bring you better content and better delivery.

I also love parental goals. I have two beautiful daughters. I want to be the best parent that I can be. And the only way to do that is, in my opinion, to set goals to achieve certain levels of performance. And lastly I have social and physical goals. You know, how crazy is it that we would have career goals, or vocational goals, and have this great career but our body not be able to sustain the level of performance it takes to make the career last a lifetime. I often wonder about these people that are so one dimensional and how they can’t see what’s going on around them. But you’ve got to understand that seeing and then understanding when you’re so caught up in one particular area of life is much harder to do than we think.

So you most likely will not be able to focus on all 10 of the aforementioned areas everyday. I don’t do them everyday. I do make sure, though, during a given week that I have worked on one of the areas at least once. So I may have more personal goals this week if I’m on free days, for example, then I would my vocational goals, or work goals. I look at my financial goals every week. I need to make progress on it. You know, eat the elephant one bite at a time. So if I make amounts of progress each week, by the end of the year I have truly met my goal.

But choose your top three areas of those I mention, that move the needle for you and focus on them for this next, say, three months. This next quarter starting January through March. Just pick three big goals from each of those 10 areas, pick three of those, and let’s work on them in this first quarter.

Achievement Goals

Now let’s talk about achievement goals. Achievement goals have a terminal point. For example, you reach the ultimate objective and the goal is complete. Let’s have a party. You know, we made it work, we got to the end. It was what we wanted and now life is better. You know, achievement goals are like reaching a certain body weight, for example. And I’m inferring, if you didn’t catch that, lesser than what you currently have. You won’t see Jimmy on Thursday saying, hey I’m on my goal for watching my weight. No, I was watching it ok, it may have been going upward instead of downward.

So saving for a particular vacation. Or reading 52 books in one year. There is a saying though that achievement goals, after they have been reached are complete and you’re done, you set a new achievement goal to the next level. These types of goals have a pointing time. You can clearly see the end result, you can check it off your list and those goals make you feel good.

You know, the purpose of these types of goals is to instill growth and focus in your life. You should review your goals everyday to be certain you’re making progress toward the accomplishment. You know, if you write them down in January, and this is one of my pet peeves folks, and you don’t look at them again until December 1 and you go, hmmm, well I didn’t make a whole lot of progress. Out of sight, out of mind comes to play. You have got to review what’s important to you on a daily basis. To me it only makes sense that if I know that I’m working toward a goal, and I keep it top of mind, it has a greater chance of success than one that’s just written on a piece of paper and either thrown in a binder, or thrown in a drawer somewhere and no longer to be seen.

You know, many times we fail to plan accordingly and achievement goals become a cram session. You know, you remember back in undergrad school when you didn’t study all semester and now it’s time for that semester exam and you, your friends all get together. It’s a midnight donut run, it’s coffee at 2am. And you show up the next morning at the exam, bags under your eyes. You’re looking like a sad sack sitting in a chair. Your clothes are disheveled, your hair hasn’t been combed. And you go in and you do just well enough to pass the test. Now how many of us have used this method to complete a semester exam or research paper. It did not make us feel that we gave our best effort.

To properly plan for completing an achievement goal, you must focus everyday on completing some step in the process that moves you forward toward the goal. And I don’t need these to be giant 6 feet steps. These could be just simple one foot at a time to get you to the end result. Continuity in this type of goal, the achievement goal, is critical for ultimate success. You can adapt and change an achievement goal based on what life brings you. I’ve got to be honest, I don’t control every facet of my life. There are things in life that you can not control. And by that, you’re going to have to look at your goal based on your current environment or circumstances, and say, hmmm, that may not be achievable, let me adapt that into this manner. And change it downward, or move it up, or whatever we need to do.

You know, to me, if you’re attempting to save 25% of your net pay for your future retirement, and your spouse walks in the door and tells you that she has just come from the doctor and she’s now being diagnosed with cancer. Now you’re focus is immediately going to be, I have got to help her get over this and get well. We’ve got to take on cancer and defeat it. I just don’t see that you can sit there and say, well, ok I get that, but I’ve got to save 25% of my net pay. That is critical to me. When you go back and look at your marital goal, the one I mentioned of the ten, and you have something that is not congruent with that goal occurring in your professional life then we have to sit down and do a little reconciliation. We have to find out really what is most important of these two.

There’s a story of a gentleman that did a great job of clearly writing down defining and describing his achievement goals. Now achievement goals require intensity and consistency. The difference between intensity and consistency is the consistency is the marathon of the goal. It’s got to be completed within that 52 week, one year time frame if it’s an annual goal. If it’s a quarterly goal, I’ve got 12 weeks. If it’s a weekly goal I’ve got 7 days. But intensity comes to play by creating the possibility of getting it done now. Some part of it. Intensity means focus. And intensity and consistency work against one another during the goal process.

It’s hard to look 52 weeks down the road and go, hmm, oh I’ve got plenty of time, I don’t need to work on that today. And then you look up and the calendar has rolled around and it’s December 1st. And now you’re going, oh man, I did not work on this goal for 11 months. I better get to work. Now intensity kicks in and you’re best effort may not be done, so you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Let’s talk about a gentleman, you’ve heard, this gentleman was born, I think, in water. I think he was a fish to start with, I’m talking about the Olympian, Michael Phelps. Now this person, Michael Phelps, was just like you and me. He was born of parents. He was born in the greatest nation on the planet. He had been given opportunities to excel at a certain area of sports and he loved it. He looked for opportunities to grow by finding a coach, someone that could help keep him motivated. And Michael Phelps was a success story, at least in the Olympics.

Michael Phelps awoke on August 13th, 2008, like he did any other morning. He awoke that day at 6am. He awoke at the same time everyday while training for the Olympics. He performed the same routine everyday while performing and preparing for the Olympics. Michael Phelps even ate the same meal every race day during the Olympics. He utilized the same pre-race stretching routine for two hours prior to the race. Now folks, I’ve gotta say something here. My entire workout doesn’t require two hours. So Michael had some intensity on the day of race. He utilized consistency in his life to prepare for it. He then would look at some warm ups. Jumping in the pool, getting warm for the water, getting his muscles all warmed up. And then he would get out of the warm up pool and he would put on headphones listening to hip hop music until the race started.

He would develop and create his own environment of no one to distract him. Because he was in the intensity zone to accomplish his goal. Now this was his achievement goal. To win gold at the 2008 Olympics. That was his goal. He actually had pictures of the person that had the record that he wanted to defeat, at the 2008 Olympics. Now he didn’t want to defeat the person. He had great respect for Mr. Spitz. But he did want to beat the record and guess what, he did. He developed such a routine, such a focus and brought intensity when it was needed on the day of races that in the Olympics prevailed tremendously. He won 8 gold medals and broke the record of Mark Spitz, check mark number one.

He had 28 lifetime medals won. He holds the record for all time Olympic gold medals, Olympic gold medals in individual events and Olympic medals in individual events. And the last by product of all this, is his approximate net worth is 60 million dollars. Now this is what a goal setting trifecta would achieve. He not only sought out a challenge, to win the gold medal in swimming at the 2008 Olympics. During the time of those Olympics, he focused on nothing but the lane that was assigned to him, maintaining the strict routine for his ultimate razor like focus on the task ahead, and simply created an environment that distraction would not be allowed during the games. The results speak for themselves. Now I’m here touting that Mr. Phelps is the superhero, the end all swimming, and he’ll never have his goals broken. His records will never be broken. I promise you, someone will come along someday and that’s the reason we have records. For them to be broken.

So the achievement goal was met by Mr. Phelps in our scenario. Now, let’s talk about, though, the second type of goals. They’re called habit goals. Habit goals help us reach these achievement goals by creating habits that are positive and move us forward in the process. You know, the approach to a habit goal is very similar to an achievement goal, but it has no terminal value. What I mean is there is no end date until you end. In other words, you continue to implement this habit goal everyday for as long as you desire.

Habit Goals

You know some of my habit goals are very, very simple. 1) Drink 64 oz of water each day; 2) Floss my teeth daily; 3) Read 1 hour in a book each day, goes back to my intellectual goal; and I 4) Write in my journal each day. These are just some of the things I do as habits that keep me focused on my ultimate achievement goals. These in life are necessary to maintain proper health, increase my knowledge in my field. How about clearing my head of negativity or overwhelm by journaling each day. These are not difficult tasks, but they do need to become habits if you do wish to achieve your ultimate achievement goals.

To accomplish a habit goal, I write down three or four key motivations for why this goal is important to me. Next I write down the very next actions or steps I need to perform to initiate this goal. Make these simple. I’m not reaching for a mile away, I’m reaching for an inch. Just what it takes to get the ball rolling. Kind of envision yourself at the top of a hill. Packed with big time snow. We’re talking four feet of snow. There are no people in the valley below and you’re on a steep hill. You start off rolling this small, small snowball at the top of the hill. You set it at the very edge of the cliff. Looking down below at the hill, thousands of feet down and all of the snow that you see packed on the side of it. With a simple nudge the snowball begins to decline. Down the hill it goes, then something miraculous catches your eyes. As the snowball is rolling downward, it picks up size. It picks up more snow as it makes progress, ending at the bottom of the hill as one giant snowball.

So, at the end of the day, I always like to give myself the best opportunity for success by setting up the night before. You’ve heard me say this regarding Thanksgiving. I liked to get prepared for tomorrow, today. I also like to write down a reward that I will use to celebrate my success when I feel the habit is ingrained in my life. You know, a little side note, this reward doesn’t have to cost money. I get a lot of rewards out of things like, for example, if I set up a goal of, a physical goal, for example, and I want to drink 8-8 oz glasses of water a day. And I have now got that ingrained into my lifestyle. Well, I may find a new cave to go hiking. I may go find a new place to go kayaking or canoeing. It doesn’t have to be something that costs money as a reward. And lastly to keep me on track, when I am changing or adopting new habits, I keep a streak tracker. It’s just a checkmark for each day that I perform a task. Now if I look at my streak tracker and I realize there’s some gaps in there, ut oh, I’ve got some work to do. My goal is to put a check mark each day that I’ve got to perform each habit until it becomes so ingrained that I will make the decision for the action without thinking.

I highly recommend an authoritative and easy to read book on habits by Charles Duhigg, it’s titled The Power of Habits. This book, to me, was instrumental and incredibly informative. It told me why I do some of the things that I do that are not positive habits. Now I hate the word good and bad habits, so I like to use the word positive and negative habits. Now, let me give you a negative habit would be for me to eat two slices of pumpkin pie everyday. I promise you, you’re waistline will let you know the score. But a good habit would be drinking that 64 oz of water each day. It gets the body in good shape. It keeps your stomach full so you don’t eat other kinds of foods that are calorie driven or carbs. You’ve got all those fats in it. Just learn to drink water instead of soda and all that other stuff that’s not good for us.

But The Power of Habits is a book that’s easily defining how we, by using scientific means, create these cues in our life that then triggers us to a habit. So by changing what the cues are in our life, we may be able to change the negative habit to a positive one. If you want to read this book, it’s real simple. You can go to our website at livealifeby.design and look at the top right hand side of the menu. It says, ‘Jimmy’s Top Reads’, simply click there and it’ll take you right to the books that I recommend for a positive, powerful moment in your life.

You know, while you’re there, look at those other titles I recommend. Wouldn’t hurt anyone to read something positive and powerful during the holiday season, in my opinion. To successfully implement a goal, you must be critically honest with yourself in wanting to achieve the goal. If you can not see yourself winning the goal and you’re resulting changes of yourself, whether it’s a physical goal or financial goal or whatever. If you can not picture yourself in the end with this goal accomplished and how it has changed your life, I’ve got some bad news. It’s most likely you’re not going to have a positive experience.

You know, I’m an eternal optimist. My goal today is to help you see your bigger, better, and bolder future for what you want it to be. Not what the world wants you to be. You have the potential to achieve greatness, as you define it. If you will only make the commitment to do so. You see, that commitment goes back to what Michael Phelps did. He didn’t wake up the month before the Olympics and go, hmmm, well, it’s July, I better start training for the Olympics next month. No, he trained for the Olympics for years to become the athlete he is today.

You know this is part one of a two part series on goals. This time of year, it’s often thought that many people have seen the results of the current year and will adopt goals to change their lives. That’s why I’m bringing this to you today. These are not resolutions that you simply write down only to break or lose within the next 30 days. Our goal now is preparing for 2020 while still in December 2019. Picture yourself, write down the goal in a vivid description of what you want it to look like when you’re there and define success in your own terms. Like what would it take a dream vacation every year. How would that look Would this motivate you sufficiently to stay focused on the goal of setting sail, and watching the horizon disappear in a wake of ocean behind you as you wave to your friends on the shore.

Use language that’s gonna help you create a vision for accomplishing the goal or setting the habit. Are you ready to conquer life, instead of suffering defeat at the hands of circumstances? You can control your attitude, and this is the most important and powerful ingredient and goal achievement. Everyone around you that is not doing any forward progress in their life will try to keep you comfortably next to them. You are not a comfort person. As you’ve heard me say many times before. I am comfortable with discomfort. I do not want to be in the same position now as I was a year ago, and next year I certainly don’t want to be the same person I am today. Today is the new day. Don’t repeat the past. It is time you realized your full potential.

Your challenge this week is to list your top 5 goals you wish to achieve in 2020. And to help you achieve these goals, go to our Facebook page at Live a Life by Design, and list your goals for 2020. If it is a personal goal, you can simply list what you see as the end result. We want to see success in your life, and you can do this!

One exciting item we’re bringing in 2020 for our listeners and subscribers, we are bringing a Facebook page dedicated to you, the subscribers and listeners. We’re gonna open this page up for interaction. It’ll only allow those to be members that listen to the podcast. We can share great ideas. I’ll be putting some tools on there to help make life simpler and more powerful. I’ll be giving away products and things of that nature that will help you on your journey. But you’ll be looking forward to that announcement soon and we will be bringing just a simply ‘Members Only’ Facebook page for Live a Life by Design.

Next week’s episode will tackle the process of initiating the goal and will provide you our Success Achievement Dashboard to keep you on track for this task. It’s certainly been an honor, a privilege to join with you today on this Monday. To help you realize a bigger week. These are the seasons that I enjoy most and I hope and wish for each of you listening that your 2019 finish is just a speck compared to the great capabilities you have in 2020 to realize.

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