Thank you for reading this week’s Operation Melt update.
Operation Melt started as a blog to share my personal transformation and weight loss story. After achieving success with that goal, Operation Melt has evolved into a platform to help inspire, motivate and equip people to achieve their own personal and professional goals so they can live their best lives.
I am trying to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.
My amuse bouche for you today is a light “dad joke” to entertain your mind before we get down to business.
Did you hear about the recent time travelers’ protest?
A bunch of people were walking around chanting:
What do we want?
When do we want it?
Like any other amuse bouche, you may have hated it, but it was worth every penny that you paid for it, right?
Goal Success by Choice
We can choose to be successful with our goals if we make the right daily choices, build the right habits and behaviors and adopt the right mindsets. Goal Success by Choice shares lessons about the choices we can make that can either move us closer to our goals or hold us back. I hope this post helps you get a little closer to crushing your goals.
The End Game
I unexpectedly had drinks with a friend of a friend. We were having a good time talking about random things when the conversation turned to fitness as it so often does.
We started exchanging stories of recent runs and recent weightlifting experiences. I shared how I had just achieved one of my weightlifting goals for the year, leg pressing four hundred pounds. I explained that it was my goal for the end of the year that I achieved in the first half (#HumbleBrag??) so that means that I am moving on to working towards a five hundred pound leg press goal.
That’s when this friend of a friend asked me a question that I couldn’t answer at the time and still sticks with me daily. He reminded me about my weight loss success and my weightlifting gains. He pointed out that I am setting new personal records on most weightlifting exercises on a monthly or almost monthly basis. This is lots of hard work, especially when combined with the running and when you mix in my Operation Melt writing and coaching. Looking at my exercise routine and Operation Melt together, It is way more hours than a full-time job each week.
What’s my end game?
He was asking me what I am trying to accomplish with all of this work, especially the weightlifting? Am I working towards some big goal and all of these milestones are just steps along that path? Is there a stopping point in the future where I stop pushing myself so hard?
I really struggled to answer his question about my “end game” and still struggle to articulate it today. After reflecting on the question for a bit, I have come to a conclusion about why I couldn’t answer the question about my end game. I don’t have one.
The truth is that I don’t have an end game or a big fitness goal that I am pursuing now.
When I started this whole journey, I followed the classic Steven Covey advice, to begin with the end in mind. I set the classic Jim Collins big hairy audacious goal (BHAG). I wanted to lose over a hundred pounds in under a year to improve my health and life. I undertook all of this journey never having been athletic or been successful at losing weight in the past.
I did all of the right things and I achieved my goal early and significantly exceeded it. But, the hundred pounds finish line was my only end game.
Trust that I have goals, perhaps I should call them micro-goals. I routinely set a goal, I use my project management approach to achieve them, I celebrate and I repeat. But I am not focused on any one big goal right now other than “next”.
The other truth, in addition to not having an end game, is that I like not having an end game right now. It is just what I need and it may be what many people need.
No Goal, No Problem
I am a believer in the power of goals and am a walking example of how they can change a life.
Too many people have goals and they never even try to give them life. This leads to dissatisfaction with life and too much regret. This is one of the reasons that I became a goals coach. I want to help people commit, try and succeed with their goals.
Despite my commitment to the power of goals, sometimes it is ok not to have a goal.
It is ok to start without having the end in mind. It is ok not to see the whole path but still start taking steps to move forward. This is often how the biggest accomplishments are achieved.
If you only end game is “I want to try this next and see what happens,” that is a great goal!
I call this an explorer’s mindset.
The great explorers throughout history started their journeys to see what was out there. They may have had some loose goals and objectives, but their real goal was “next.” They wanted to expand past their traditional boundaries to see what was on the other side. Their only “end game” was discovery.
The explorer’s mindset is a great way to live life to the fullest when you don’t have a specific destination in mind. It is a way to set and achieve micro-goals to push yourself to keep growing and evolving. Plus, this mindset is a good tool for enjoying the journey versus pressuring yourself when you are behind schedule.
The explorer’s mindset isn’t the right tool for every goal, but you may find that it is a more versatile tool than you ever thought possible.
I have found that my favorite long walks and runs were those that I started without having an end game. I will head out to walk or run for a while and will begin on the normal path. Then I make every choice in real-time about which route I am going to take. Am I going to turn left or turn right? Am I going to stop at three miles or will I keep going? Every one of these decisions gets made in the moment without having determined my end game, even for that particular walk or run. I usually enjoy these far more than when I set out to run five miles in a specific time with a specific course.
If you have an end game you are pursuing, go for it. Hit the gas and pursue it with gusto. But, the reality is that life is too unpredictable to always have an end game. By adopting an explorer’s mindset you can still set and achieve goals but also embrace the beauty of the unpredictable.
Did You Like What You Read?
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