Goal Setting: How To Start Preparing Now To Stay Ahead Of The Game In 2020 (Dominique Grubisa)

Dominique Grubisa
Dominique Grubisa

Published 9:52 am 1 Feb 2021

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Hi, Dom here, and welcome to this live end of year session. Congratulations on 2019, the year that was. Before we look backwards or forwards or do any further reflection or self-analysis or stock take, I wanted to just take a moment with you to reflect on what’s really important and how we can get better outcomes moving forward. And I thought we’d do that in this live session by looking at goal setting. Most of us use the end of the year, which is fast approaching, we’ve only got a few weeks now, we use that as an artificial line in the sand, and that’s when we really do a self audit. And what tends to happen is we make out New Year’s resolutions. And they tend to be as a result of the self-audit and the stock take of the year that was, or where we’re going. We tend to have a moment where we plot out where we’re going.

But for whatever reason, for 99% of us, it is not really a turning point. It’s lip service. Often it’s because we know that at New Year’s Eve parties or New Year’s Day, people are going to say, “What are your New Year’s resolutions?” And if you want a little bit of a tip for share investing and trading for those quick day trades, big spike in things like debt management and debt control in the new year, because people say, “Right, I’m going to get my credit card in order.” Big spike on gym memberships, fitness first, Light and Easy diets, all those sorts of things, they do their best month ever in January. And that’s on the back of a whole wave and a rising tide of people with New Year’s resolutions.

But very few of them make it past February and even fewer by March. They’re often all dead and gone. And we’re back on that habit loop again. Why is it that New Year’s resolutions don’t stick? The fact is that we are the sum total of where we are now because of what we do every day, day in, day out. They’re our habits and that’s on autopilot. It’s often not questioned. And what happens on New Year’s Eve or at that artificial line in the sand at the end of the year is we say, “Right, things are going to change and I have to create some good habits.”

Our brain though is conspiring against us because deep down in our animal brains, we’ve got two parts that function, the habit part, what we do day in, day out, every day, that’s on autopilot and that’s more of a primitive brain. That’s a brain that operates more from emotion. That’s our subconscious. So our subconscious is this repository of all these emotions and memories and data stored over time. So we may think that property is bad because we’ve had a bad experience. We’ve got a memory there, that of pain and hurt. And in our subconscious will tend to shy away from that investment or whatever it is, it’s a data bank of memories based on emotions.

And what happens is our emotional brain isn’t rational. We started off with this reptilian brain that evolved more into a feeling brain, but then a rational, logical thinking brain is the most recent evolution and manifestation. And because it’s a newcomer to the levels of our brains, it just doesn’t pack a punch. It doesn’t rate. We don’t actually act on logic. We act on emotion. And the habits, the bad habits that we want to get rid of come New Year’s are a result of habits. So we know logically yet we should lose weight. We should exercise more. We should join a gym. We should quit smoking, all of those things, we get that logically. But for some reason, it can’t override our emotional brain. And that’s because the bad habits, the stuff we want to do less of in the new year, the bad habits are a result of emotion. We eat or we drink because we’re upset or it’s a coping mechanism at, oh, end of the day, end of the week, I need a drink.

We don’t exercise as much as we should, whatever the habit it is, you’re trying to break that bad habit, comes from emotion. Do I feel like going for a run? Do I feel like going to the gym? No, the emotional feeling, the pull is no, I don’t. So good habits are born of logic. And remember the logical part of our brain, that traunch of our brain that deals with rational decisions of what’s good for us, that isn’t able to override the emotional side of our brains. So it’s always a tug of war every new year to start a good habit, a new habit, because we’ve logically made a rational decision on the 31st of December that things are going to change and we’re going to join a gym or we’re going to diet or whatever it may be. That is our New Year’s resolution. That logic doesn’t stand a chance without deeply entrenched emotional habit loop.

And we struggle, we struggle in January and February because we’re ready to grow. We’re ready to change. We’ve made a logical decision, but we’re not willing to let go of those old habits. Rationally we are, emotionally we can’t. And there’s a trick to this, it’s an art. It took me a long time to actually tap into and solve the puzzle about goal setting and how to set good goals and stick to and keep them. Because the problem is when you’re talking about a tug of war, the reality, our concrete reality, the reality of our every day is so much more powerful. It’s more tangible than the abstract nature of our vision for the future. So the reality is always going to outweigh the vision or something that’s far more nebulous of a skinnier you, or a healthier you or whatever it may be that is your goal. That’s out there, but it’s not real. The reality, the concrete, tangible reality is what’s in front of you now, and that’s pretty compelling. And it’s really hard to cut the cord on that.

First thing we need to know then, and I’ve actually said, this is my quote, but if I’m really honest, one of my mentors told me this many years ago, but I’ve coined it because I thought it was someone else’s quote. I’ve Googled quotes. I couldn’t find the actual quote, but you’ll see the sentiment everywhere. It’s the fact that you cannot ever move away from something. You can only move towards something. It’s hard to actually grasp for this concept. Even though it looks really simple, it’s not easy. It’s simple, it’s elegant, but it’s not easy. What it’s saying is that we often, when we’re setting goals, we’re thinking about what we don’t want. I don’t want 2020 to be another year where I achieve nothing or I don’t quit my job. I want to get rid of this job that I hate. I want to get away from all the debts that I have. I want to get away from my unhealthy lifestyle.

We want to move away, but we don’t actually set the target or the actual goal to move towards. Not in any tangible sense, because our tangible reality is what confronts us. And all we know is I don’t want this, but we fail to create the concrete vision and put an emotional attachment to that. So two concepts at play here. Remember, first of all, I said, our brain doesn’t respond to logic rationally. We can say, “Yep, got to quit smoking. I know it’s bad for me. Here’s all the reasons. Here’s the pros, here’s the cons.” Make sense, emotionally and habit wise, we can’t. And because we’ve been doing it every day, and that’s our reality, a world where we’re not smoking is so vague and far off into the future, it’s not a concrete reality.

So two things with goal setting that will make a powerful change for you is first of all, make it concrete, make it real and have an emotional underpinning for it. Have an emotional attachment, not a logical attachment. It has to align with your values and your emotions. Once you nail those two things, have the goal be emotional and make it real. You would have people talk about visualizing. Make the reality non-negotiable. It is so real and tangible, it’s the equivalent of your current reality and you’re moving towards it. We never nail that precision. So we’re always very, very certain and sure about what we don’t want and what we want to move away from, but we don’t set the target with emotional connection and tangible, visible reality of where we’re going.

And if we understand how we’re wired, we’ll know that we are actually teleological creatures. So teleological, tele comes from the Greek word telos, so think of a telescope focus. We work well when we are heading towards something. We need a target that we have to hit. And we thrive on the telos. The teleological. So we actually need purpose and productivity. You will see examples of this across the board. You’ll see examples of people who say, “I want to retire when I’m 65 and I want to do gardening,” or whatever. And then they get bored. They’re life defined them by the job that they did, the purpose that they had, whatever it was. They had this nebulous idea that there’d be a happily ever after in retirement, but then they’re actually bored doing gardening or not having purpose and structures to their days.

We actually need something to go for. We need railroad. And if we don’t set those for ourselves, other people will. So we will become aimless, purposeless. Our brain, the way we’re wired, the way we work is always to move forward. It is a journey heading for a target. The targets are going to change. You’re going to hit goals, but you always need a direction. If you don’t have a direction, you’ll either wither away or others will set that for you. So if we don’t set our own goals, society will set them. Or your employer will give you your KPIs and your direction and this is it, you’ll wither away inside. Or teachers, mentors, whoever it may be who calls the shots, they’re going to do it for you. And the problem with that is that unless you’re emotionally connected, unless it comes from you, it won’t actually stick.

You know what’s best for you. No one knows what’s inside here, what’s going around, what your values are, what gives you joy, what your destination is except you. No one can know you better than you. So it’s up to you to set your own goals, not to please your parents or authority figures, teachers, employers, whoever it may be. Now we can set goals for other people, but like they say, you can lead a horse to water, you can’t make it drink. So at the end of the day, empower yourself by saying, “Okay, everyone has a target. Everyone will either set their own targets and have some control and some autonomy and some responsibility around it, or others are going to set them for you.” So it’s up to you to harness your time and energy now. And let’s do it now. Let’s not wait till the 31st of December.

Purpose is what gives life meaning. If your life has no meaning now, if you’re thinking, I hate my job, I hate what I’m doing, this year hasn’t been fulfilling. The last decade hasn’t been fulfilling. Then find a purpose that does fulfill you. Set the target. Don’t worry about the past. You can’t move away from something. You can only move towards something. And think big when doing that. Because often we mistake the limits of our vision for the limits of the world. If all we’ve seen, if our conception and our belief stops at a certain level, we’re never going to surpass that. Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich once said that whatever man can conceive and believe he can achieve.

Often we have tunnel vision. They stay that we’re the average of the five people that we hang around the most. So if we’re hanging around people doing a certain thing, that becomes our normal and that’s what we achieve, and we never really set goals or strive beyond that. We need to expand our vision as to what’s possible, set the target, move forward. As you move forward, you’ll set new targets.

So goal setting is very much a fluid, dynamic process. It’s not just, and this is a first tripping point for people, is that they tend to just set their goals. And then that’s it. Lip service. New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, they’ll write down a list and say, okay, this is what’s going to happen in 2020. And that’s the end of it. There’s no follow through. There’s no accountability. There’s no testing, measuring, checking, staying on course. And we need to do that because what we set as a goal for ourselves now, as we move forward, we’re going to be a very different person in six months time, and the target will change. The purpose will continue, but we need to adjust and adapt as we move forward.

So if we’re setting a goal to buy four properties or to buy a business or to have more money or whatever it may be in 2020, what we’ve got to realize is that, yep, that is something on the horizon. We’ve got to break that down into bite sized pieces. So instead of saying lose weight, I want to lose 20 kilos. That’s moving away from the concrete reality. I want to lose 20 kilos means I weigh X today, and I don’t want to wait X. Better way to do it is to say, “I am going to exercise every day. I’m going to eat less every day.” They’re measurable, tangible things that we can do as we move forward. Then as you move forward, you may decide that 20 kilos isn’t enough or it’s too much, or you’re thinking too small, or that really wasn’t the issue because the person who starts to form that new habit and swim every day or walk every day, or join a gym and keep at it is going to be a different person in a month’s time.

And their initial goal may not be really what you want. So realize that we’re fluid, we’re changing, we’re evolving. The person that you were 10 years ago, 20 years ago, as a child, that person doesn’t exist anymore. We’re very dynamic beings, so be prepared to adjust along the way. It’s not black or white. It’s not I set my goal. I didn’t reach it, forget about it. Who cares? It’s just do something every day. And as that happens, you will be a different person. Your goals will change, your purpose will change. So it’s not about the bullseye of the target. It’s about something to aim for and a purpose in moving forward. And it’s not a science. It won’t come in at 20 kilos that you lose or whatever. It’s more an art and you’ve got to get comfortable moving forward and changing as you go.

So goals give us a direction. They give us some way to move forward and affect change, but they’re not an end unto themselves. As you know, life’s not about the destination, it’s the journey. It’s the stuff that happens along the way. We don’t have to impose our will to just to get to a target, no matter what. What we can do is the stoic philosophers called it [foreign language 00:16:30], which is Latin. It means love your fate. Love everything that happens and realize that it’s all part of a bigger purpose. So for example, as you’re moving forward towards a goal, because you can’t move away from something, you can only move forward. As you’re moving forward, stuff will happen and it’ll feel like that wasn’t meant to happen. Why did that happen? I had it set in stone. I was going to do this and it’s not happening fast enough and I’m not achieving.

Love what’s happening, because there are things that you can’t control. And it may be, for example, I missed out on a property that I really wanted. All the pieces fell into place. That one deal was going to knock off my whole goal for the year and I didn’t make it. Something else happened. Someone bought it from under me. Someone offered a lot more. And that made me angry because I put so much time into sourcing that property, bringing all the players in who I needed to get advice. I’d spent money on getting there, and then suddenly someone else bought it. Loving your fate means to say, “Okay, as I move forward on the journey, I’ve still got my target to do this development and what I’m going to do. It didn’t come off in this deal. There’s a reason for that.”

Love everything that happens along the way. And what happened was that that deal wasn’t the thing that I thought it was going to be. It actually had some restrictions that I couldn’t see at the time, that as I learned more, as I moved forward on my journey, I realized that would have been a massive bullet. I dodged a bullet missing out on that deal. So everything happens for a reason. The opportunity cost of doing that deal would have been mistakes, failures, yet a lot of learnings, but setbacks and the opportunity cost of the ultimate deal that I did do with the knowledge that I gained along the way with was a far better deal. So they say it’s always darkest before the dawn. If it’s not working out, love the journey anyway, and trust in the bigger universe that you are moving forward towards where you’re wanting to go. So adapt along the way to the journey.

You have to be clear at the outset. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not woo, woo, I want to lose weight, so it’ll just happen. You have to be very, very clear about where you’re going, because the clarity of the target that you’re aiming for will bring you the focus to know the action steps you have to take along the way. If you’re very, very clear about the concept, you can start to take concrete actions. Remember we said a nebulous concept will always be overthrown by a concrete reality. So if your goal isn’t clear enough, if it’s not specific enough, if it’s not concrete enough, you won’t have the focus to pursue it. It’ll be outweighed and unfortunately overrun by your definite concrete reality.

What will happen then is that when you set a clear goal, you may not hit a bullseye straight to the target. You will be able to set out with certainty and clarity on a certain direction. And as you’re moving in that direction, what happens is the tools that you need, the relationships, the people that you need to know, the stuff that needs to happen to get you there comes to you along the way. And that’s because of, and this isn’t woo woo hippy stuff. This is science. That’s because of our reticular activating system, part of our brain that acts as a filter when calibrated to bring you information that you need at the time when you need it. You would have seen this. It operates every day in daily life. If you don’t tap into it, it’ll just bring you random data that you’re interested in at the time.

So you may hear a story about, I don’t know, the price of gold going up, and someone may have told you that. And then you’ll be at a dinner party and you’ll say, “Wow, what a coincidence. Someone was just talking about gold. Now you’re talking about gold.” And then you’ll read it in a newspaper, something about gold. And you’ll go, “Well, gold is the flavor of the month.” No, it’s not. That’s your reticular activating system tapping into that. There may be 20 articles in the newspaper, but because that data is relevant to you and it’s on your radar, your eye will go to the article about gold. So our brains work to help us achieve our goals. Once we can harness the power of the reticular activating system by having a concrete goal, a vision of where we want to go, a certainty that we can tap into and focus on, we’re able to move forward.

As we move forward, we get some momentum and our reticular activating system kicks into action and brings us the contacts, the people, the information that we need to move forward, because there is an emotional attachment, not just a logical rational, I should do this because it would be good for me, but an emotional target that I really want this, because when we do something, when we take action, the first thing that our brain will say is, do I feel like doing this? And if it’s a new, good habit, that’s logical, but not emotional, it won’t stick.

So attach emotion to your goals. And that will be, for example, if it’s to lose 20 kilos, a clear vision, non-negotiable what you’ll look like, what you’ll do when you’ve lost that weight or whatever the case may be.

Even though it may seem like a really long journey ahead. And even though you’re thinking, well, 2020, I’ll worry about that later, just think of 2019. Think of how fast that’s gone. I can remember shopping for Christmas like it was yesterday. And I cannot believe that that was a year ago. Yes, on a granular level when I think of everything that’s happened and the days that have gone by and the little tasks, yes, it has been a year, but gosh, it goes quickly, doesn’t it? And 2020 will go just as quickly if we don’t set out now with an emotional target, a very clear vision to outweigh the abstract nebulousness of the future, very clear, focused vision, and start to make it a reality.

How do we do that? Mark Twain once said, “If you do it first thing in the morning, your day will be wonderful.” So it’s a great thing to do is start your day. Your morning is your rudder of the day. Some of you may have heard me talk before about Miracle Morning, that book by Hal Elrod. Miracle morning is what I practice and many of our community do, a way to start your day, just in one hour, just to get your day started right. Because the morning sets the direction. That’s the rudder of your day. With your new habits, do them first thing in the morning, without even thinking, jump out of bed and deep dive into it. If you have to eat a frog, do it first thing in the morning. And if you have to eat that frog, don’t look at it that too long. Often when we look at something too long, the fee makes the wolf greater than he is. In other words, we look at it and then we procrastinate. So we need to just get momentum, start moving and make things happen.

To that end though, and to finish the year on a strong note and to hit the ground running into next year, I’ve got a Christmas present for you. I always say that the greatest gift I can give is the gift of knowledge. And I studied goals and goal setting as a science for a long time. I’ve cherry picked everything that you need. And when I say eat that frog, take action steps, I’ve broken down into action steps for you. And I’ve created this into an online program for you. So on the link below my Christmas gift to you, and this is something that I will be selling them. The value of this is massive. This is life-changing value. What I’ve done is, and it’s unique to goal-setting.

I looked around for other programs that did this. I’ve enabled and empowered you to set your goals according to your standards. Often we set goals according to other people’s standards, the five people around us, our parents, our superiors, whoever it may be that we admire or want to follow. We say, “I should be doing this. I should have more money by this stage in my life. I should be fitter. I should be looking like my friends or the five people I hang around,” whoever it may be. And that becomes our goal. There’s no emotional attachment there.

And we’ve talked more about our personality types. Remember North, South, East, and West, if you followed me in the stuff I talk about before. Different personality types have different things that motivate them in different ways to get to the end of success. So this online program will help you move forward, identify your goals, what’s important to you, where you’re going, and make them concrete, make them aligned with your values and have emotional significance to you to make them achievable and give you the action steps to do first thing in the morning every day.

So what it’s going to teach you is how to identify your high-level goals that matter to you. So what I think doesn’t matter. What anyone else thinks is irrelevant. What other people think of you is none of your business. At the end of the day, it comes down to you, and if they’ll help you identify you and what’s important to you in terms of setting and identifying those goals. I’m going to show you how now in this program you can achieve your goals more naturally. It won’t feel like, oh, I’ve got to get rid of bad habits. I’ve got to find good habits. I’ve got to implement them. It won’t feel like a chore if you work through these modules.

And I’m going to show you how to overcome the inevitable roadblocks that come with achieving any goal. It’s not an arrow that goes straight to a target. Nailed it. Move on to the next one. Of course that’s not life. Life is about the messiness and the disconnects and the random stuff that happens when we set a goal to swim every morning. And then we get sick and get pneumonia and can’t swim for two months. That sort of stuff happens. Doesn’t need to derail us. So this program we’ll walk you through it.

As I said, it’s something that I created as an online program for sale, but in your best interest, and to make you the best you that you can be in 2020, I’m gifting that to you as my Christmas present from everyone here at DGI. So if you click on the link below to register, we’ll send you that, get started now. Don’t wait till the 1st of January where you wake up with a hangover, feeling bad and negative and decide everything that you want to move away from. Attack that frog now and decide where you want to be this time next year. And we’ll probably be having a very different conversation.

Congratulations on all you’ve achieved in watching this space to see a lot more and look forward to hearing your results and your feedback and watching that journey from my new goal setting program, my gift to you at Christmas.

I’m open for questions, guys. Any questions, feedbacks, comments, that’s what these live sessions are about. Doesn’t seem to be anything. Otherwise leave comments below. I love to hear from you, love to know what’s happening. Any feedback, anything you want to say, leave it below. Otherwise we’ll watch this space with the online program.

Congratulations, have a Merry Christmas, have a really safe holiday period. And I look forward to catching up with you in the new year.