In October of 2014 my wife and I tried a new weight loss program and had quite a bit of success. We followed it pretty well and we both lost some weight (I lost more than 20 pounds!). Then in November and December “life” happened. We had two weeks of business travel, holidays that feel like they’re akin to Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, and everything else that goes with the end of the year stress and craziness.
Really what happened is that we didn’t have a PLAN. We didn’t plan what would happen when we traveled. We didn’t plan on how the “holidays” would be different this year. I ate ate ate and, without surprise, I gained the weight back that I had lost.
I know that my weight is keeping me from meeting lots of different goals. Instead of exercising, I yell at people who are jogging on the street and ask “WHO’S CHASING YOU? ARE YOU OK!!?” But deep down inside I want to be them. I assume that they’re not winded when they climb a flight of stairs. When their knees hurt, it’s from doing something active, rather than just walking through the grocery store. I can only assume that it feels good to be fit and to be able to buy trendy clothes that look good on you.
I’ve spent the better part of my adult life gaining weight like I gained debt. I did it a little at a time. I didn’t just walk into a pizza buffet and gain 100 pounds. I did it 5-10 pounds a year for 10 years. In college I rock climbed three days a week. I would run back to my dorm after dinner to make sure I was there in time to see the Simpsons. I felt good. But “life happened”. I got a real job, got married, had kids…. you know the drill (or the excuses).
It’s the exact same way with debt. First you get a credit card so you can “build your credit.” Then you get a car loan, a couple more store credit cards, student loans, then a mortgage, borrow some money from family and all the sudden you’ve got 75K in debt. Just like dieting, there is no magic pill that will take away the debt. You change your life by being disciplined. You’ve got to be disciplined to make a budget, to eat less calories than you burn off, spend less that you make, skip dessert and don’t go on vacations when you’re broke. See the correlation?
So how do you move the needle? You can’t just say “I’m going to pay off $50,000 in debt this year, or (in my case), I want to lose 75 pounds in 2015.” You have to create a plan with goals that can be measured. For me, 75 pounds is 6.25 pounds a month. That doesn’t sound to hard, but it will only happen if I’m intentional about it. If you want to pay off $50,000 this year in debt, that’s $4,200/month. What if you don’t have the income to do that? Then the goal isn’t attainable. You’ll be disappointed with your progress and the outcome because you set yourself up to fail. That would be like me saying that I wanted to lose 75 pounds by Easter. It’s not going to happen. But I have listed a specific goal that is bound by time.
That doesn’t mean you can’t accelerate your goals. That does mean that I can’t lose 20 pounds in January and then 7 each month after that. More importantly, if I fail to meet a goal in a certain month, I can gauge if I need to pick up the pace.
We’re a week into 2015 now. Many people write “new year’s resolutions” that they’re really excited about from about December 26th-January 3rd. After that, they fall right back into their old habits of complacency.
I believe that for most people, reaching your goals requires help. Announcing that I want to lose weight feels like I’m announcing I’m fat. Really though, everyone already knows I’m fat, I’m just acknowledging it. By announcing my goals to my friends and family, they are then charged with helping me reach them. It’s a permission slip to bust my chops when I haven’t exercised. Or when I want to stuff my face with pizza. If you want to reach your goals, your chances of success will increase dramatically if you get your friends and family to help motivate you.
So here it is:
In 2015 I plan on being BOLD. I plan on changing my life. In 365 days, I will NOT look back at this year and wonder what I’ve accomplished. So, in an effort to create a dialogue, be completely transparent, and ask my friends that pay attention to this blog to help me out…. here are my 2015 goals (and how I intend to reach them):
1. Lose 75 pounds. This is by far the hardest thing I will do this year. I’m hoping that the first 20-35 pounds come off quick by hitting my nutrition and exercise harder than I ever have. It’s time to burn my la-z-boy.
2. Speak to at least 25 different audiences in 2015. I launched my “speaking career” in 2014 without much fanfare. That’s ok. I didn’t expect much out of the gate. This year I’ll be taking my message to anyone who will listen.
3. Offer 50 different personal financial coaching sessions. This might be 50 sessions with the same family, or 50 different people who just need some solid advice. I’ve already done 1 this year, so only 49 to go.
4. Launch new business designed to help build and grow small businesses…. (yes, this is coming and it’s going to be amazing)
5. Run a marathon. Hopefully somewhere really flat. And downhill. In a perfect world, I’d run my first (and most likely my last) marathon in the late fall with my good friend Mike Walter, but he doesn’t know that yet. Again, when we’re talking about measurable goals, I know I need to run several 5-10Ks in the very early spring. I expect some quick weight loss and the ability to run a little bit without feeling like I’m dying will help. I’ll try to do a half marathon in the summer and then train hard to do a full marathon in late October/November.
6. Work my dream job. This is kind of cheating, because as I sit here and write this post, I’m having the time of my life. When I did financial coaching yesterday morning, I was on cloud nine. When I speak to groups of people or help business owners come up with unique and awesome solutions… I couldn’t be happier. So, I’m technically already doing it. I just want to make it my full time job (see item #4). But if I have to deliver pizzas in order to finance the opportunity to do this, I will. The best part is, as long as I’m serving others and helping them grow, I get to check this one off.
SO THERE! It’s written down. It’s out in front of the world. I HAVE to do it now. I expect the people who call my their friend to hold me accountable (and help me achieve) these goals this year.
What are your goals? How will you measure a successful 2015? In 365 days, will you feel like you’ve wasted another year, or will you step up to the challenge to make this year different?
Leave a comment below with your goals for 2015! Are you ready to announce to the world what you want to change about your life?