An important question to ask

You wake up one morning and decide that it’s time to set some goals. You may have gone through a period where you are feeling a little bit flat and you need that spark to help get you motivated again and moving towards growth, this can be an exciting time as you look for opportunities in areas that you want to develop.

After thinking about what these areas are, you sit down, get out your pen and paper and set about extracting your goals out of your head and onto paper. At this moment a lot of people can become very ambitious, the process of thinking about their growth enables their minds to explore the possibilities of what they can be. This can be a good thing but it can also lead to setting up goals in a way that may be unachievable. 

The ambition we experience when we are goal setting is important but it’s also important that we ask ourselves some questions that keep that ambition in check. One of the best questions we can use at this time is: What do I have to give up to achieve this goal and am I willing to give this up? 

Let’s say one of your goals is in the area of fitness and you decide you want to do a 100km cycle race. This is a massive step up based on your current ability as you are only currently riding 30km twice a week. While you know this is a huge challenge there is a local race that really excites you and once your ambitious mind has thought about it you are determined that you are going to do it. Once the challenge is set, the goal is in place. 

For some people having an ambitious goal will work well, but for others they will experience road blocks pretty much straight away. Let’s take a step back and look at the question from above, this can help us in the goal setting process. After determining that you want to do the 100k bike race you ask yourself ‘What do I have to give up to achieve this goal and am I willing to give this up? 

This question allows your mind to see what achieving this goal will really take, you are removing the blind ambition and exploring the reality of the goal. After doing some thinking you determine that to achieve this goal you will have to give up: Your morning sleep in, you will need to pull back on a hobby that you have, give up your Sunday morning coffee with your friends and going out on Saturday nights for the next two months, you’ll also see that there is a financial cost for bike maintenance and gear, sports nutrition, and race entry.  

After exploring these answers you will have a clearer picture of what it takes to achieve your goal. Some people will give up these things more easily than others, and for those who are not prepared to sacrifice so much, they could look to shift the goal to a place where they are more comfortable with the sacrifice required. They may sign up for the team race at the event where they do 50km, this is a much more realistic goal and there’s a higher chance that they will achieve it. 

When we set goals for ourselves we are hoping to gain so many things, growth, life experiences and results that reward us. But with every goal there are sacrifices as well, often these sacrifices are worth it but it’s important that we are aware of them when we create our plan. Ambition is a great thing but blind ambition can lead to us setting up goals that will make us fail. Knowing the full picture will help you become more successful on your path.  



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Bevan Eyles