So often we set goals and work so hard to reach them, that we forget to appreciate the moments along our journey to success.
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
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Enjoy the journey
Hi there everyone. And welcome back to the month of December. So we’re well, and truly into the final stretch of this year, the final stretch of 2021. And we’re looking at this idea of what is success, how do we set the right goals? And so on. And today I wanted to talk about why the journey is so important here, so I’m giving you the punchline already. And let me tell you a bit of the background for this.
So when I first started coaching, so I did my coach training 2014, 2015. All my frameworks and my blog posts when I started my website were about setting goals. And I see that with new coaches actually, it’s all about goals. And I, actually before I even did that coach training was travelling on my sabbatical across South America. And I watched the film, The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.
And so I wrote my bucket list. I’ve still got that post on my website, annalundberg.com, 100 Things To Do Before You Die and that bucket list and the goals and so, served such an important purpose for me in getting me excited. Again, I’d been to my comfort zone for so long. I set myself on tasks. I was travelling, I was doing different things, whether it was travelling to do the Machu Picchu or whatever it was. I think one was like wear red lipstick, which is not so crazy, but that’s the benefit of having a bucket list that has lots of different sized goals. I suppose.
And nowadays I wear lots of different colours of lipsticks, so that’s fun, but that was really important for me. And if you have been feeling stagnant and stuck and you feel like you’ve kind of just been trundling along in that hamster wheel at work and life, and so on. Absolutely, setting goals to train for a marathon or half marathon, 10k, whatever the meter’s right for you and the current goal.
If it’s travelling, if it’s learning a new skill, some people set random things like, oh, I want to learn how to do a handstand or do the splits. I think I’m going to give up on the splits. I’m just not a flexible person at all. Maybe it’s within your business as well, setting goals, right? And that’s so powerful and so important. It’s something, of course we do together with my clients in the business accelerator and so on. Setting annual goals, quarterly goals, weekly goals, and so on.
So goals are super important again, in my coaching frameworks, all around setting those goals and how to get there.
And in fact, even in our individual one-to-one coaching sessions, we always try to start the session by sort of setting a goal for that specific session, as well as the entire coaching engagement over the next few months, right. To really get clear on, okay, what is it you want out of this call?
However, there’s a dark side to goal setting because I feel like we’re constantly chasing that next thing. We’re not pausing to celebrate how far we’ve come and that’s so important. It’s something I’ve struggled with, it’s something that I am always encouraging clients to do. We simply have to look back, celebrate how far we’ve come, see my goodness, the progress we’ve made.
And instead, we’re always looking ahead, when I’ve lost this much more weight than whatever, when I’m earning this much in my business, when I have this many followers, when I’ve launched the podcast, when the book is out and so on. And I feel like we’re missing the whole point because goals are so important. But to me, it’s not so important inherently because of where we’ll be when we’ve achieved it, which is a bit strange because yes, in a way the whole point of a meaningful goal is that it is improving our life in some meaningful way, right?
We’re setting a goal because we are going to be fitter stronger, more in love, happier, more successful, whatever we define success as there is a reason why we’re setting that goal.
However, for me, I’ve come to realise that it’s important because it has given us that sense of meaning, direction, purpose. We’re trying new things. We’re challenging ourselves. We’re getting out of our comfort zone, raising the bar, pushing ourselves to get better, make a bigger impact.
So I mentioned the running often and I am a runner, I guess that’s one of those funny things to do, did you ever call yourself a runner? A lot of people say, I’m not a runner, but I have now been running for, well, I was a runner to be honest when I was little at school, but that was a long time ago. And then I fell out of it and then I got back, et cetera. That’s another podcast episode.
The example I wanted to give was this year, 2021. I wanted to get back into running after my second pregnancy. And so I signed up to, well, I downloaded the free, and it just happened, an app here in the UK, First Couch to 5k. And I’ve shared before. That was a struggle. To be honest, I was so impatient. I would always just throw myself into running and go for a long run and then I’d be in pain and then I wouldn’t run for days and so. And the whole point of the Couch to 5k is that you do walk, run, walk, run.
But for the first time ever, I actually did this and I can’t remember, was it nine weeks? It was quite a long time. Consistently, I was doing it. Before I knew it, I was running 20 minutes, 30 minutes. No problem. Wonderful. Then I hit the 5k. Now, what do I do?. I felt a bit lost. I’ve hit my goal, had the world change? No. I was like, “hooray!” I did a little post on Instagram and now what? Right. That’s the end of my goal.
Then okay, I landed on the idea of, okay, I’m going to do the 5k to 10K. There was another free app. And I did that again. It was nine, 10 weeks, whatever. I think I missed the final week. So it feels a little bit unfulfilling because I was away on holiday, but I did get to running an hour every Saturday, Sunday, whatever I was running 10k and I was feeling good about it. But then, okay now what? What was actually the point of getting to 10K? I actually don’t… Now I want to go for longer.
I don’t really feel like I want to make the time. I don’t feel like I have the time to do hours and hours of running every week to train for a half marathon, full marathon. It’s not my priority right now. Now it could be in the future, but for now I’m wanting to maintain my fitness, my running. And I’m actually doing three shorter runs a week. Now I am actually doing them, not even intentionally, but faster than I had before. I’m working out, I’m doing other weights and things. So I’m certainly fitter. And I’m maintaining that without putting pressure on myself to get to the next goal, which I love, right? Because otherwise, what am I doing? I’m getting 10K to half marathon, half marathon to marathon. Then I’m going to do the ultramarathon. And maybe that’s you. And I know people who do that, and it’s incredible.
And then there are triathlons and iron men and so on, but it’s constantly chasing that other thing, that next thing, and there’s a certain amount of satisfaction that comes with that and seeing how far you can go. But I’m actually really enjoying kind of just settling into that rhythm, enjoying my three runs a week and then maybe shifting my focus to something else.
That has taught me a little bit. Look, the point isn’t to get to the 5k or the 10k, the point is I want to have some time away from the kids and family. Let’s face it, fresh air running by the sea, get that exercise in, feel stronger, fitter. And I love running and I’ve been listening to podcasts. Some days, audible books, I’ve been just running thinking, whatever. Again, 5k to 10k I really like that and I can now run for an hour and I can go out for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, depending on how I feel. And I feel fit and strong, and I really enjoy it.
I don’t know, life hasn’t changed just because I hit the 10k and I can run one hour again. Right. And I have done half marathons by the way in the past. Now, okay, that’s a personal example. What about business? Again in business, we’re always thinking, oh, the next launch, the next programme, when I get this number of clients, when I get to that income level, the six K seven K whatever, right. And not six K seven K, six figure, seven figure, I suppose. I mean, but when we get there, we’re always going to set the next level of goal. We’ll be dissatisfied. And to be honest, there’s going to be other challenges that we didn’t have before.
There’s actually something to be said for having a smaller business, because we don’t have the crazy, well, the expenses, the team requirements, the customer service complaints, because you have more customers and so are my take issues and so on.
If we are constantly waiting for that next level in business, I feel like, again, we’re missing the whole point. Most of us, and if you’re part of my community, and if you’re attracted to my message, I think have started your business to have more free time and more fulfilling work and so on. Right. But, well, if you’re not doing that right now, if you’re just, “oh, I can, I can take more time off When I get to the 5k mark”. Now I do mean 5k. 5k, 10k a month, 20k a month, whatever it is, right. Or now I can have, I can choose more interesting clients once I’ve got that much money. Then I can start being more flexible and fun and creative and so on.
Well, the point of starting was to have more free time or more fulfilling work, more fun. So make sure that you’re carving out that free time choosing fulfilling work and having more fun. Now that’s not to say that you should forget all about the financial monetary targets and not have any goals in your business, and so on. Obviously, a certain level of income is necessary for us to be able to pay our bills and live our lives. And there’s nothing wrong with having ambitious financial income targets as well. But the point is that we don’t have to hustle every minute of every day and miss the whole purpose of the business of why we started. I really want to enjoy that journey. And I hope you can too. And this is what I’m trying to, to get across here.
We will never get to an end point, right? Success, balance, whatever the goal is not one destination. It’s a milestone because then we’ll have another milestone that will set. And it’s a process. And again, we’re getting the purpose, the direction, the meaning from having those goals. Yes. But in the meantime, let’s open our eyes, smell the roses, be present and enjoy the experience of challenging ourselves of working a little hard to get there, of really putting our heart and soul into this and seeing how far we can go.
So for me, I’m much more about the journey now, now. Yes. I’m super ambitious. Don’t get me wrong. I have big plans. I really want to get more people into my business accelerators, the big one now. I’ve got all the systems, the foundations, the learning, the course materials, the experience, the passion, and I want to be able to make a bigger impact. I want to grow the group. I want to work at a higher level of one-to-one clients. I want to do more speaking engagements and get my message out there to a bigger audience. I want to write more books. And yes, I hold my hand up. I am frustrated because I have quite a little bit of time in the week with my little two and a bit and one year old.
Things are much slower than I want them to be. However, in the meantime, I’m really doing my best to enjoy the freedom of going where my energy is. So some days, look, I’m too tired to record the 10 podcasts I wanted to or write work on my book, or course I can’t record the videos as I plan whatever. I’m enjoying, spending time with the kids. I know, and everyone tells you this, of course they will grow up before I know it, right.
And already Zach, my youngest is starting nursery now and my daughter, Sophia is an independent woman. They tell me at nursery and it’s a very brief window of, of those short nights of sleeping badly, of them wanting to snuggle with you and so on. So I’m really working on enjoying, well, it’s not even work. I’m really focusing on being present and enjoying that and loving them and having time with my partner. And it’s tough, but that is a snapshot of today. And as my sister-in-law always says, everything is a phase when it comes to kids, both the good and the bad, unfortunately. And I’m really working on being patient, knowing that I will get next step of the journey. It might just take a bit longer. In the meantime, I am enjoying the time with the kids and so on.
I am enjoying having maybe fewer clients than I’d like to, because that means I can focus more on those clients I can over deliver and overservice them. In the meantime, I can be more creative and flexible because obviously if you have a big organisation and big systems and so on, you can’t just do whatever you feel like doing one day, right? So there are so many benefits to being smaller and more agile and so on as well. But again, really enjoying, first of all, remembering why we started the business in the first place. So carving out that free time, doing the fun projects. And again, it doesn’t mean that you have to say no to all the projects that don’t seem perfect for you. Again, you do have set and income goals and so on, but what I want you to do, and, and Dorie Clark has talked about this recently is optimise for interesting, and I’ve seen a few people talk about it.
So I apologise if Dorie is not the original source, but optimising for interesting meaning, look, if there’s a project that comes along, it might not be exactly what you want to be doing in the future, but for right now, it gives you that excitement, the passion, it gives you more of an impact. It gets you talking to new people. You can see it as a stepping stone in the right direction and it might be zigging and zagging. It’s not going zoom like a rocket ship to where you want to be. But the point is that you’re optimising for interesting. You’re choosing something where your curiosity is taking you. You are enjoying it. And again, making time for the things that matter while you work on that future goal, when it comes to business.
So it’s enjoying the journey, the J word, it’s not just the destination, because let’s just jump ahead and assume that you will get there. What then? Amazing, we can close our eyes. I’m close my eyes now. I can envision what will happen when I’m there, but I’m sure, we talk about things like imposter syndrome, as far as I can tell imposter syndrome gets worse the more successful you are because suddenly you’re surrounded by other people who’ve achieved even more than you have, and you’re just constantly chasing your tail.
And so really enjoying that process, the learning, the experience, the meeting other people, the not knowing because there’s fun in not knowing, and then finding out, the not getting it right, perhaps the fair first time, but next time you’ll learn and do it differently. The whole point of getting out of our comfort zone and learning and growing and trying new things and so on. And also by the way, designing a business that really sort of experientially works for us, for our personality, our unique brand, our unique thought leadership and really designing something rather than just replicating what other people are doing and so on. Right? So really experiencing, settling into that journey, enjoying the process and keeping our eyes open for how we can make it even more magical.
So enjoying the journey that was the episode for today. I’d love to hear your thoughts as ever you can get in touch with me on your favourite social channel, and we’ll be back next week on another topic around goal setting, actually and specifically around the danger of black and white thinking. That’s next week’s episode. I’ll see you then. Bye for now.
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