We have an amazing ability to create scenarios in our minds of how things “might go” or the way they “should go”. These are romantic ideas based on an emotional response to an event or activity that we enjoy or are looking forward to. Like when you were a kid and you’d dream up the fast car, the mansion you were going to have, the far-off places you would travel, or even that rock band you were the lead singer for! These are all fun and exciting ideas to think about. But what exactly is an ‘Idea’? The dictionary defines it as “a thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action”. Could this mean that ideas are closely related to goals?

Man and woman holding bows on beach next to lake and mountains

The definition of the word ‘Goal’ is, “the object of a person’s ambition or effort” an aim or desired result”. I’ve always looked at goals as a “dream with a roadmap”. For over 17 years I’ve helped build and program these roadmaps for others and myself as a fitness professional. It’s been quite the ride, to say the least.

Over those years I’ve heard the word “goal(s)” used in many different contexts and seemingly as many different realities. The mere fact that the word “goal” is now used (in my opinion) very loosely in attempts to create some sort of motivation, tells me that people aren’t “preparing to live life” as much as they are “dreaming about a life they would like to have”. Would it be possible to find success without a plan?

‘Success’ is defined as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose”. This speaks to me as the before mentioned “dreams & goals” that can be tied together with success. Unfortunately,  more times than not, these don’t tie together due to the idea of any one of them just magically happening.  Instead, they come to fruition after solid preparation, planning, setting your goals, making your roadmap, and envisioning your dreams.

Man and woman working out with ropes and pushups in backyard

‘Preparation’ is defined as “the action or process of making ready or being made ready for use or consideration”. Here’s where the sticky part comes into play. I once shared with a mentor of mine  that I had “thought of an AMAZING invention!!” The man, much wiser than I, responded “great! What steps have you taken to get it started?” I thought for a moment because I really wanted to have an answer, a plan… truth is, I didn’t. “Well I haven’t yet, I just thought of it”. He then said, “so you have an idea?” I took a moment to consider his question. He then said, “Ideas, aren’t worth the paper they’re written on unless you have a plan of action.”I was floored… I couldn’t believe how spot on he was. I was defeated to say the least.

Man and woman shooting bow and arrows in field with mountain in background

Life is exactly as that man explained. We can have the best ideas, intentions, and thoughts of how we are going to conquer the world. However, if there is zero plan there will surely be zero success. When I start working with a fitness client I have a long and extensive conversation with them. I aim to learn what drives them, what their interests are, and how they plan life. What do they consider to be weaknesses, how do they typically deal with stress, indecision, and what’s their main motivation?

I know we are connecting for a reason and I also know that we will need to prepare a plan, make our roadmap, and take all the steps necessary to reach our set goals. Otherwise, we would just come up with “Ideas”. None of it will magically happen by chance. The same man told me later in life ”nobody has EVER become successful on accident.” I have thought about those words for most of my life and that statement has never been proven untrue.

My point is this, success takes discipline, structure, mental toughness and the ability to adapt.

Success REQUIRES a plan.

I prepare for life the same way I prepare an athletic event, a vacation, 10-day backcountry hunt, a surprise for a loved one, etc… it’s important. The only way to ensure success is with critical preparation. Use this ideology when you’re looking at yourself, your future, and goals you would like to achieve. Know that these goals and dreams can ABSOLUTELY BECOME REALITY if you prepare to succeed.

3 ideas that may help you turn this new idea into a powerful habit:

      1. Write your “daily to do’s and goals down before you go to bed so it’s the last thing you think about before going to sleep, and read them again when you first wake up. This keeps the idea fresh in your mind and keep you on track. Dry erase markers are perfect for leaving notes on the bathroom mirror.
      2. Find an inspirational quote, phrase, or even write down a 2 week goal so you can see it large and in charge. Read it, soak it in and take it seriously!
      3. Share your goals or plans with a loved one and ask them to remind and encourage you to continue following your roadmap to success.

Practice how you play. Prepare to live the life you want, know without this preparation it’s all just a dream. Dreaming is an important part of life, but preparing for life gives you a big jump start on reaching your goals!