Goal-setting & staying true to yourself

About 6 months ago, I listened to a podcast by one of the greatest, Ben Bergeron. (If you’ve never heard of him or checked out any of his posts or podcasts— highly highly highly recommend, you won’t be sorry). His content always inspires me, but this one stuck out to me in particular.

It was all about core values. He said every person should know what their “core values” are– things that define them at the core. Reading this, you may know what yours are, or you might have to sit down and look at a list of words and brainstorm and figure it out. But, either way, everyone has them.

Things like honesty, commitment, loyalty, family, consistency, appreciation, discipline, integrity, etc.. we all have certain things that are most important to us. If something is important to us, the goal is to have it exude in our every day lives. If we value honesty, we should be honest, always, with ourselves and others, and express the importance of this honesty to those closest to us. If we value commitment, we need to put our best dedication into our everyday projects and workings.

But, is it always this easy? Of course not. Our actions always speak louder than our words. I think when we are asked to describe ourselves, we use the best and biggest words, and we are more so describing who we want to be, rather than who we are. AND THAT’S OKAY! We’re always growing, learning, and striving to be better people, right?

So, after thinking hard, and finding 3-5 core values, Ben was describing a process of how to use goal-setting to make sure you live EVERY DAY according to these core values. Day-in and day-out, you are working to stay true to your word, and to yourself. This plan includes, for each core value,  a long term/year-long goal, and a short term/ 30-90 day goal. So I came up with a list of my core values, and short description of what it means to me, a short-term goal for that value, and a long-term goal for that value. My plan was, as follows:

1. Adventure- I want my life to be fun-filled, always different, and surprising. I believe life begins in those unexpected moments that are out of the ordinary and open you up to new experiences.

Long-term/ year-long goal: I will see 3-5 new places in the next year. 
Short-term/ monthly/ 90-day goal: Each week I will put $200 away and minimize spending on unnecessary things. I will sit down once a month, research, and plan out places I want to see and plan expenses.

2. Appreciation- I’m grateful for every thing, every person, every moment. I’m fortunate and lucky to have everything that I have.

Long-term/ year-long goal: Fully and 100% appreciate every second of every day, and express that appreciation.
Short-term/ monthly/ 90-day goal: Every time I think I “have” to do something, I will replace it with I “get” to do something. Every morning when I wake up I will list in a journal 3 things that I’m grateful for today. Every day I will challenge myself to not repeat things in the list.

3. Consistency- I know that success entails putting in hard work day in and day out, regardless of whether you feel like it or not. Your goals don’t change whether you’re tired, sick, hungry, sore, etc.

Long-term/ year-long goal: I will follow my competition programming in preps to do my absolute best in next year’s Crossfit open.
Short-term/ monthly/ 90-day goal: I will practice my weaknesses (bar muscle ups, handstand walks, pull-ups, handstand push-ups) via skill work 2-3x a week. I will show up to the gym every day and if I miss a day I will make it up. Every day I will give my best effort, and I know that some days that will look different than other days.

4. Environment- I try my best to do a part in taking care of the planet when it comes to the food I eat, the things I buy, conserving water, driving slower, etc. It is important to me to do my part in caring for our home planet.

Long-term/ year-long goal: ultimately, reduce my carbon footprint.
Short-term/ monthly/ 90-day goal: Cut red meat and fish out of my diet. Support organic, local farms and businesses. Spend extra money on higher quality products. Don’t drive above 70/75 miles per hour. Carpool when necessary. Take shorter showers. Re-use and recycle.

Now, keep in mind, I said I wrote this plan about 6 months ago. Am I still staying true to this plan? Mostly. Has it been easy? F*ck no. Some days it is unbelievably hard. It’s hard for me to try to get to sleep early because “I get to coach the 5am class” …instead of “I have to coach the 5am class.” It’s hard to not go 80 miles an hour on the highway on the way to and from the gym. It’s hard to get through a grueling training day when I just want to go home and take a nap instead. It’s hard to sacrifice things like online shopping and meals out because I know I need to save my money for plane tickets.

It all goes back to when I said we’re constantly growing and striving to be better people. Nobody describes themselves as lazy. Nobody describes themselves as dishonest. Nobody describes themselves as unappreciative. SO, DON’T BE.

It’s harder said than done, but if you’re willing to work hard, your mindset and your life will change infinitely. I challenge anyone reading this to take some time to think about who you are, who you want to be, and what defines you at your core. Everyone is capable of using goal-setting to get the most out of their daily lives. If you’re willing to do this, and work hard at it every day, you will thank yourself in the end.

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