Realising that you have the power to create a life you love is exhilarating; and when you hear success stories from people who are further ahead than you, it helps you open your mind and renew your passion for what’s possible.
Life optimisation coach and speaker Brett Eaton has enthusiasm and stories that reach out and grab you. He has 15 years’ experience in the fitness industry (from front desk to general manager), and he is the proverbial “lean, mean, fighting machine”.
If you’d like to hear our full conversation, check out my podcast Goals Do Come True.
Brett has five strategies to help you make rapid progress towards your goals:
- Reflect on how far you’ve come.
- Know why your goals matter to you.
- Bring your goals to life.
- Move from rut to routine.
- Welcome adversity.
Most of the time when we set goals, we look ahead and at the distance between where we are now and where we want to go. Brett offered a new perspective.
Reflect on how far you’ve come
Brett: “If we thought about the goals we set between two and five years ago, we would surprise ourselves with how many of our goals came true. So often we are living a truth that we only dreamed of five years ago. You’ll be surprised by how much you have already achieved.”
Two years ago I didn’t have my own blog or podcast, and now I have one book in print and I’ve just released an updated version (Think Simple Win Big: How to Build the Business of Your Dreams With a Few Simple Goals) specifically for service-based entrepreneurs. Brett’s suggestion to reflect on how far you’ve already come can help you override the critical voice in your head that tells you that you’re not good enough; and when you look for the evidence that you are good enough, you will find it, and it will inspire you to keep moving forward.
I find setting goals an easy and fun process, but without a clearly defined strategy, I procrastinate. If you’re the type of person who struggles to set goals or follow through, Brett offered a second great solution.
Know why your goals matter to you
Brett: “It’s difficult to wake up uninspired and expect to perform at a high level. If you’re not excited by what your day looks like, you’ll hit the snooze button and sleep as long as possible. You need to know what excites and inspires you. The big problem is that people don’t set quality goals. The only thing worse than not having a goal is setting one that doesn’t mean anything to you.
There are goals that sound good at a dinner party, on social media, but if there is no big reason why that will positively impact your life, you stop pursuing that goal as soon as it gets hard (or you go back to how you used to do things).
Having a strong ‘why’ is a game changer. Surprisingly, my clients take a lot of goals off the table when they realise they don’t really know why they want them. When they narrow their focus and go after the goals that are extremely exciting to them, they’ll make faster progress.”
I began goal setting in 2004. I list goals by writing them out on a daily basis, and while some of them naturally fall away and become less important, the goals that consistently rise to the top like cream are the ones I truly want to pursue.
Bring your goals to life
Writing your goals down creates commitment and power. In addition to this, Brett sees it as a way to inject vitality.
Brett: “If your goal is still in your head, it’s only half alive. If you write them down or tell someone who is supportive, they become fully alive. Once you’ve done this, they can start to manifest themselves because you’ve put them out to the universe. Your subconscious mind starts to work on making it happen when you write down your goal.
If you are going to share your goal with someone, be particular with who you tell. A lot of people love to crush people’s dreams and goals; only tell people who will be excited for you.”
Having the right support in place makes a massive difference to how you feel about your goals; encouragement helps you stay on the right track. Brett is in the process of writing a book which will include a chapter on the specific things that winners (and losers!) do.
Move from rut to routine
Brett: “People who win repeatedly do very specific things, and people who feel like they can’t get traction are also doing specific things. We’ve been trained to wait for the right time to go for what we want, but if we wait too long, we’ll waste our entire life. I want people to have a big dose of tangible motivation to take their life to the next level, and that means establishing a routine.
Most people will tell me they have a routine, but it’s actually a rut. A morning routine sets you up for a great day. We get everybody into some sort of fitness commitment that they then follow through on. Commitments and good quality habits are non-negotiable and they’re not always about fitness. During our programme, ‘Better You Blueprint’, we’ve had people lose 20lbs, leave their jobs and follow their passion, or find a new relationship, because they’re showing up as the best version of themselves.”
If you want your life to be different, you have to get out of the rut and make different choices; the definition of madness is to keep doing what you’ve always done and expect a different result. As human beings, we are conditioned to want to move towards pleasure and away from pain, so Brett’s final piece of advice was a breath of fresh air.
Brett: “I’ve had tough times in my life and, since I was about 16 years old, I come back to the phrase, ‘Your adversity now will become your advantage later.’ I believe that whatever you go through gives you a unique perspective. If you look around you, there will be people who live in the same area as you, who are the same age, the same gender, but they have not lived the exact life that you have.
Whenever I look back, I realise that no matter how hard an experience was in the moment, it made me a different person, and that adversity becomes one of my biggest advantages in business, in fitness, in life and in happiness. You won’t like it at the time, but it will give you a new weapon in your holster.”
I can personally testify to Brett’s philosophy of finding strength in adversity. I worked my way up from cashier at the Halifax to running my own financial services business that catapulted me into success then a six-figure debt when the global financial crisis hit in 2007.
I was determined to rebuild my business, which I then sold for a seven-figure sum in 2019. I share how you can achieve any goal with the right mindset and strategy in my new book, Think Simple Win Big: How to Build the Business of Your Dreams With a Few Simple Goals.
If you’d love support or accountability with your goals, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.