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March 12, 2019

Goal Advice: A Case Study

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I want to share a success story that has been a long time coming. For almost a year now I have been getting on a call Monday morning with my buddy Zach. He is my peak performance partner, as coined in the book, The Compound Effect, where we share our goals for the week, reflect on how we performed the previous week, and provide criticism, praise, and ideas for each other.

Zach is a very high functioning. He's on the fast track kind of young professional who will undoubtedly do great things in his career and life. But, he has one weakness, which is he can’t get himself to wake up in the morning!

He’s very motivated to get up earyly because he has great days when he is active in the morning, posting up at a coffee shop, and gaining momentum as his morning progresses. But, his body tells him he can’t, and instead he spends too much time being home in bed trying to talk himself into it, not even getting good rest.

To add, I believe that pressing snooze first thing in the morning means that you give yourself a hall pass with the first decision you make in the day, setting the tone for the rest of the day to accept other excuses.

To continue with Zach, we started working toward his goal of getting up consistently at 6:30 A.M., using a report to me as his accountability, but without success.  We were slowly transitioning him to that time, but a funny thing happened. Since the goal was titled, "get up at 6:30", he wasn’t motivated to wake up at 7, or 730 even, because he had already failed to achieve his goal and figured he might as well keep sleeping.  So, to aid in the transition, we shifted the wording of his goal to “Don’t snooze”, which could objectively be measured and applied to all times of the day.  In the first week, he didn’t snooze once and is has already gotten himself down to a 7am wake up time!

I tell this story to emphasize the importance of setting practical goals that are designed for us to achieve. By setting incremental goals, you can slowly tweak your goals to become closer to that target goal!

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