Convenience is defined as being able to proceed with something with little effort or difficulty. Everything in our lives now revolve around convenience. Credit cards being input from our phone so we don’t have to carry wallets around, valet parking so we don’t have to walk anywhere, pre-made meals so we don’t have to cook, phones that literally do everything for us, online shopping to avoid lines at the store, and about 1,000 other pieces of our life that have been made easier in some form or fashion.
Now, the mistake we can easily make is to confuse “convenience” with a few other terms. Specifically, laziness and efficiency.
I am a huge fan of efficiency, probably to a fault. Everything I do, I am constantly wondering if there is a more efficient way to do it that would be easier and take up less of my time. Now, when we start talking about goal setting, these 3 words and the recognition of how they will affect your goals are of vital importance.
I believe there are only 2 things that can happen when someone sets a goal.
A. You can change your life to accommodate your goals.
B. You can change your goals to accommodate your life.
Unfortunately, because it is so easy to talk about doing something, many of us set a goal and as soon as the path gets a little rocky or uncomfortable, we decide that we really don’t want that goal as bad as we once thought. So what is your answer? Simple. You just change your goal so that your lifestyle doesn’t have to be affected by it. This is about 90% of what happens….yes, that’s a complete guess with absolutely zero data to back it up. The scary part is that it’s probably closer to 97%….
Any goal that is truly worth while to you and important will most likely require some lifestyle adjustments. If not, it probably shouldn’t be defined as a goal. If you are truly taking your goal seriously, the first step in the process is to make the lifestyle adjustments that will make this goal possible. For example, let’s start with something I hear ALL the time. “I want to lose weight and get in better shape!”. Alright, let’s talk about what the lifestyle changes would be for this goal.
1. Make time for the gym
2. Be accountable with what you eat
3. Ensure you get 8.5+ hours of sleep
Let’s just assume that those 3 changes would set you up for success with your goal. Convenience, Efficiency, and Laziness will all be a part of your journey. Will it always be “convenient” to find the time to workout? Absolutely not. Will you have to change your schedule around in order to make time to train on occasion? Yes. Will it be convenient? Nope. Does anyone else care that it won’t be convenient? Nope, it’s your goal, not someone else’s. This is where efficiency comes in to play. You need to ensure that your day is as efficient as possible so you can maximize your time that you can put towards achieving your goal. The danger is that convenience will turn into laziness very easily. The saying that habits take 17-21 days to form doesn’t apply to laziness. 1-2 days of laziness can force you to throw in the towel on your goal. Think about it, how many people have taken a few days off from the gym and then before you know it, it’s been 3 weeks without coming?
Is eating healthy convenient? Not one bit. Will you have 100 reasons why you can’t eat healthy? Yes, and every one of those reasons will suck. “But I was out with friends and felt stupid by trying to eat healthy”. That is my favorite excuse by far. We live in a society where we actually feel bad about trying to be healthy. Is that not one of the craziest concepts you have ever heard? Don’t tell me that it hasn’t happened to you at least once. You have been out and you were embarrassed to order something healthy because of what your friends would say.
Sleep is another hot topic. So many people that I talk to and explain that I get 9 hours of sleep each nite, look at me like I am crazy. “I could never do that, I don’t have time for that”. Don’t make me laugh, yes you do. You may choose not to because it is not convenient, but you could change your lifestyle in order to get the sleep. If your goal was actually important to you, it wouldn’t be that hard to do. You would have to give up your late night Real Housewives of Orange County episodes and you wouldn’t be able to play on Facebook for the hour or more each day. You would have to set a schedule at home to ensure you ate dinner a little earlier and started the bedtime routine with the kids a little earlier, but all these things are very feasible….IF you really want to reach your goal. Lots of people just want to “talk” about their goal and have no desire to actually put any effort into their goal.
I think having the understanding of how your body is affected by your goals is extremely valuable with increasing the probability of success. You have to understand that nearly every goal you will set in your life will not be convenient for you. You have to understand that you will need to change your life to accommodate that goal. Understand that your body will fight this change with laziness. You will need to streamline every facet of your life to carve as much time as possible in achieving your goal.
It is convenient to talk about the lofty goals you want to achieve. Nothing will be convenient if you actually decide to pursue those goals beyond telling people about them. Without efficiency in your daily life, you will never have the required time to invest into achieving your goals. Do me a favor, the next time you want to verbalize a goal to someone, ensure that you are fully aware of what the achievement of that goal will require. If that recognition doesn’t intimidate you, you have probably left some things off the list. Being afraid of your goal isn’t a bad thing, it should demand your respect and understanding of the sacrifices you are willing to make to achieve it. Once you respect it, then you can start the process of destroying it and anything that gets in the way.
Hard to end a post like this without a cheesy motivational video….