Goal setting is overrated. Well over 90% of people who set goals do not achieve them. There’s something that will program you for success.
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Speaker 1 (00:07):
Welcome back to 30 Minute Money. It's the podcast that delivers action oriented smart money ideas and bite-sized pieces. I'm Scott Fitzgerald at Roc Vox recording and production, and Steve Wershing my podcasting buddy from Focused Wealth Advisors here in Hey Buddy Studio. Hey, pal. Nice to see you buddy. Buddy. Forget about setting goals. Yeah,
Speaker 2 (00:26):
Speaker 1 (00:27):
Goals are for WSEs. But that's an interesting, you always have these sort of eye-catching titles for these episodes. Provocative. I am, I am. You've got me. Hook line. I'm
Speaker 2 (00:39):
Speaker 1 (00:42):
So what do you mean by forget about setting goals? Do this?
Speaker 2 (00:45):
Yes. So would it shock you if I told you that you are not in control of your life? I probably not, right?
Speaker 1 (00:57):
It does not shock me at all. Okay.
Speaker 2 (00:59):
No, I know I'm not. Well, it shocks a
Speaker 1 (01:00):
Lot of people. My wife is in control of my life.
Speaker 2 (01:02):
Oh, there you go. Okay. So yeah, we are not in control of where we go. We are not in control of where we end up. Our habits are in control of where we end up. Now we can control our habits, but if we try to jump over those and control it directly, it tends not to work for a whole bunch of psychological reasons, put it this way. So one of the challenges with goals, one of the challenges with setting and accomplishing those goals is that we focus on what the goal is. We might even break that down into smaller goals, but it's monitoring those and going from step to step that really that's just very hard for humans to do. It's just not how we're built. So the secret is if you want to get someplace figure out, well, if somebody who gets there, somebody who's like this, what do they do?
What are the things that characterize them and gradually take on some of those behaviors. And so gradually take on those habits and those habits will carry you to that place. So I'll say a lot of this is taken from a book called Atomic Habits by James Clear. So I can recommend that highly. It's a great book, talks all about how you can break down habits and start new ones. And so rather than talk about goals, it's a lot more productive to talk about habits because if you can get into a habit, then you will accomplish what it is that you want to accomplish.
Speaker 1 (02:32):
Yeah, that makes perfect sense. If your goal is to get in better shape, what better habit to have than to exercise regularly or watch your diet? Exactly. Focus on the habit and how long does it take to create a habit? Two weeks.
Speaker 2 (02:49):
There's a lot of disagreement about that. Three weeks. It can be anything from two weeks to four months. There's a lot of disagreement about that, but there's not that much agreement that if you get the right habits, that you'll get what the habit produces for you. And so anything that you set up that you have to remember is doomed. If you have to remember to do something, if you need a trigger to do something in the longterm, not going to work. But if you can remember, if you can do the things that will create the habit so that after a little bit you don't have to remember it, that's how you succeed. And so we want to start small and we want to start and we want to develop habits as opposed to setting goals. So part of how this works is that what you're actually doing is redefining your identity.
You don't want to say, I want to exercise three times a week. What you want to say is, I'm a fit person. And what if it people do well? If I think of myself as fit, then that's what I do, who I am. So when I took up bicycling, I didn't set out a plan to say, well, I'm going to bicycle so many times per week and I'm going to go so many miles and I'm going to have this map out, this whole progression and that kind of stuff. When I got into the point where I started thinking, yeah, I'm a bicyclist. I like the bicycle, all the other things came out of that because this is what bicyclists do.
Speaker 1 (04:26):
That's the psychological approach. It's almost like going to, when you delve into autosuggestion and things from Think and Grow Rich from Napoleon Hill, if you say all the time, I'm a successful person, I'm a successful person, and you choose to do things based on the fact that you are a successful person, lo and behold, now you are a successful person because you've just accomplished all of these things based on your habits.
Speaker 2 (04:53):
And that can also help when it comes to decision time, when it comes to making a decision,
How do you make a decision? Well, I'm not sure if I want to do this or do that. If you're conscientious about it, if you think about it, you say, well, this is who I am. What does that tell me? How does that inform, what would somebody like me do in this situation? And so if you define who that person is, if you define yourself as fit, you define yourself as successful, you define yourself as frugal, whatever it is, and you say, well, what would a person like that do in this situation that'll help you make the decisions that'll help you get there?
Now, it's not to say that goals are pointless, they're not. They do have a role, and the role though is not to create the action plan to get there. The role is to set the direction. So if you have a goal to accumulate wealth or if you have a goal to whatever it is, save more or be more fit or whatever it is, the goal sets the direction. And so having a goal enables you to say, okay, well if I wanted to be there, if I wanted to be like this, if I wanted to have that, if I wanted to be this kind of person, mean would that, what does a person like that do? Or what does a person who gets to that point, what do they do? And that helps you figure out which of the little goals, which of the little habits that you should start working on getting in place.
Speaker 1 (06:29):
Yeah, that was kind of one of the reasons why I started doing podcasting specifically. My own podcast is about positivity. And the reason why I did that was so that I could be more in contact with positive people, surround myself with positive people, and start calling myself a positive people rather than a negative person and started therefore making those choices based on whatever X, Y, Z happened to me. How am I going to choose to deal with that? How am I going to react to that? I, am I going to let it ruin my day or am I'm going to say, no, I'm a positive person and I'm going to turn myself around and
Speaker 2 (07:15):
Yeah, exactly. And one of the things that Clear says in a topic habits is one of the secrets to making that work is to choose the smallest thing possible, the thing that will interrupt your day the least. So we've talked on other episodes about taking on projects and doing them in little bite-sized pieces. That's why we have 30 minute money is right. We want to do it in little bite-sized pieces. And so whatever the smallest action item is that you can set yourself up to do is the best way to start. So what Clear says is if you want to be a runner, you don't say, I'm going to run a mile today or five miles or chart all that stuff out. He says, what you do is you put your sneakers by the door. If you put your sneakers by the door and you see 'em, and you can say, well, you know what, I think I'll put my sneakers on, and you don't have to go any further than that. Now of course, once your sneakers run, what are you going to do? You're probably going to go walk around outside. You might even run a little bit, but your commitment is not to running a mile. Your commitment is to putting your sneakers on.
Speaker 1 (08:19):
Yeah. I heard a story by Zig Ziglar one, do you remember Zig Ziglar?
Speaker 2 (08:23):
Oh, sure, I
Speaker 1 (08:24):
Do. Zig Ziglar was talking about he was really overweight and decided he wanted to get in shape, and he wanted to do that by jogging, and he was just totally overwhelmed by the fact that he didn't want to jog and he couldn't jog, and he couldn't run that far. So all he did the first time was get out and run from his mailbox to his neighbor's mailbox, and that was it. That's right. And then the next time he ran twice or he ran to the mailbox after that, and little by little, he ended up running marathons and things like that.
Speaker 2 (08:57):
Exactly. Piece by piece. He gave himself what he used to call a checkup from the neck up, right?
Speaker 1 (09:03):
Speaker 2 (09:04):
That's right. And I forget what it was that led to it, but stinking thinking can lead to a hardening of the attitudes. So think is great. So yeah, so the secret is to give yourself a reminder and to do the smallest thing possible because the smallest thing possible is the easiest thing to incorporate into your day. And when you just do it without thinking about it, now you've got to habit and you can build on that habit once it becomes a habit. So that's one big thing. Another thing, as you're trying to start this, because we talked about developing a habit takes a little time to incorporate it. You can set reminders. We all have cell phones now. You can set a little alarm so that when it goes off, it will remind you to do something. I'm
Speaker 1 (09:52):
Trying to get my kids to do that. I'm like, you guys have this amazing tool in your pocket that we didn't have. I have three kids, 20, 19, and 16, and they use their phones for all different kinds of things, but not for keeping themselves organized and not for keeping themselves on time. I'm like, what are you doing? It's so easy. Remember back when we used to have to have it on a physical calendar and you used to have to have a watch. You used to have to go remember that, alright. At this time, it's like, I can barely remember those days. I'm like, why don't you use that? Put it in your calendar. It's such an easy step.
Speaker 2 (10:30):
Yeah, right, exactly. Well, and so that's the other thing that you just brought up. So you can set yourself a reminder. You can also put something in the calendar, schedule it like a meeting, schedule it like an appointment, and that will help if you have it there. That way it'll pop up automatically for you. You'll see it right there, and you won't have to think about reminding yourself to do it. So set a reminder until it becomes a habit, until you do it without thinking about it,
Speaker 3 (10:57):
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Speaker 1 (12:23):
30 minute action item, 30 minute action item is who
Speaker 3 (12:27):
Do you want to be this year?
Speaker 1 (12:30):
I like that. I like that. That's a great way to end this episode. Thanks for joining us on 30 Minute Money. You can find Steve Wershing at focusedwealthadvisors.com and if you look down in the show notes, you'll see a link to his calendar to book a session with Steve and learn more about what he does and what he can do for you. I'm Scott Fitzgerald at Roc Vox Recording and production for all your podcast and audio and video production needs. We'll see you next time on 30 Minute Money. Thanks for joining us.