Timelines to Your Goals – Health Coach Podcast

Hello, everyone, and welcome to “Your Own Wellbeing,” the podcast. Our episode today is going to be about timelines. We are in the middle of the year, right? So what’s today? On the recording day, it is June 15. I am squeaking in this one and a little bit late this week, but that’s okay. It’s fine. It’s odd that I’m late on a week that we’re talking about timelines, right?

Anyway, so I wanted to specifically discuss timelines this week because we’re at the midpoint of the year. For many of us, we’re thinking about the goals that we put down for our new year’s resolution, and many of us are starting to look at those and think, “wow, I haven’t made as much progress as I want to,” or “wow, I’ve already forgotten about those goals.” Maybe some of you go-getters have actually reached those goals, and you’re like, “What do I do with the rest of my year?” I don’t know, maybe that’s you. But no matter what, timelines are something that is very important for us to think about when we’re talking about our goals.

I wanted to give some examples today of when timelines can be useful for goal setting, or when timelines are not so useful, to help you out in determining how you want to make your goals for the rest of the year. Okay? Or how you want to think about your goals.

Let’s start out with the good part of timelines. When is it good to have a real time oriented go? When do they serve us? Well, the nice thing about a timeline is that it gives us a target to shoot for, right? It sets a pace for us in the work that we’re doing. It gets kind of a destination that we’re moving toward and at what point we would like to get there. It’s really nice and really helps us map out the path to reach the goal that we’re working on. So, in that case, a timeline is really nice to have. It’s something that educates your decisions.

Timelines are also very useful when we are talking about time management when we’re talking about task-oriented things. So one thing that I’ve noticed about myself is that when I am doing the task for my life, for my business, with my kids, or whatever, if I have a time limit for it, I will almost always reach the time limit. Like it’s uncanny. I know not all people are like this. I know not all people are so connected to the time on the clock. But like, I’m one of those people that much of the time, I can tell you almost down to the minute what time it is without me ever looking at a clock because it’s like I have this really strong internal clock. It’s weird, but it’s a thing. If you’re like me, then let me know so I won’t feel so weird. But anyway, time for a task is a really good thing, because you will accomplish much more than you expected. Suppose you give yourself a time-oriented deadline to accomplish a task. It is really so interesting to see what happens. It’s such a cool productivity tool for me to use deadlines and time-related goals for productivity-type things. So those are times when having a timeline is a good thing.

Now I want to talk about when having a timeline is maybe not the best thing. Maybe having a timeline; is not serving you so much. The first thing I want to bring up is that timelines are not great when you’re learning something. Like when you’ve set about to work on a goal, yet you do not yet know how you’re going to accomplish it. Maybe it’s that you want to lose weight, or maybe it’s that you want to change the way that you deal with nutrition in your body. Anytime that you’re trying to learn something new, you don’t know how to do it, and you don’t know what’s going to work for you, then it’s almost foolish to have a time-related goal.

I see this so often with weight loss goals, people saying I want to lose so many numbers of pounds, you know, maybe it’s 20 pounds in the next ten weeks. When they think, “oh, I can do that. I can lose if I lose two pounds a week. Ten weeks from now, I’ve lost 20 pounds.” That simple math should work. However, if it were that simple and we could just, you know, map it out and say that’s what we wanted to do. Then everyone would just do that! Right? Like weight loss wouldn’t be so hard. But the thing about it is, we don’t know what’s going to work for us. We may have to try several things before we find the method that works for us. We just don’t know when we’re going to have a plateau. We don’t know when we’re going to have something that pushes us off course. Right? So there are so many factors there in that goal that it’s very difficult, oftentimes, to meet that timeline.

So is it okay to have the timeline? Yes, I think it’s okay to have it. But it may not serve you as much as you think it’s going to the other time is when you don’t really have control of the outcome. This is kind of what I just said but take it a step further when you think about the goal of losing weight. How much control do you really have over that outcome? When you have a goal that is dependent upon someone else making a decision? Right?

For instance, in my business, when I have goals related to growing a business, how much control do I have over someone else making a decision? I don’t, and maybe perhaps not as useful to have a timeline set on that because there are so many factors that go into it. So many things that I’m learning, so much that I don’t have control over, that a timeline may not serve me.

Okay. So when should you use a timeline? And when should you maybe ignore your timeline? Use it when this first one is clutch; use it when you are 10 out of 10 committed to something. So let’s just say that your goal is to lose 20 pounds in 10 weeks; let’s just say that’s your goal. If you are seven or eight committed to that, maybe it’ll happen. Maybe it won’t; you don’t have that much control, and a lot of things can happen along the way. Blah, blah, blah, you might not get there, right?

Every now and then in our lives, we have these moments where for some reason or another, something takes hold of us, and we are 10 out of 10 committed, we are feverishly pursuing our goal, and we have a lot at stake, we are putting everything else aside. Then we have these moments of our lives, which I love. We get so excited when it happens that we are 10 out of 10 committed, and nothing is going to get in our way. If that’s the case, use the timeline, it will fuel your excitement. It will fuel your motivation; use the timeline.

But if you’re seven or eight committed, it may not work out for you, and that’s fine. Most of us with most goals, most of the time, we’re eight, nine committed, not always a 10. Next time use a timeline when you’re committed to an action goal. What I mean by that is when your goal is to complete certain actions, then you can put a timeline on that because it is dependent upon you completing the action, not dependent upon the result that comes from the action. So when you are committed to doing something, then you can certainly set a timeline goal because that makes a lot of sense. No matter what the result is, you will have to fulfill that goal just by doing the action, right? I love action-related goals because they’re very easy to put a timeline on; no matter what the result is, you’ve accomplished a goal, you’ve checked a box, it’s a very good feeling. Then you can take the result, learn from it, then implement new action-related goals. Action-related goals are not a bad thing.

Okay, the last time that I would say, “it’s good to use a timeline-related goal,” is when you know that you are intentionally challenging yourself. Let’s just say you’ve got a goal that’s related to a result. That result, you know, it’s like out of this world, it would be amazing if it happened, but it might not happen. You’re challenging yourself, and you’re going to be okay if you don’t make it, but you’re really going to try. You’re really going to challenge yourself to get to this point. It’s fine to use that goal, then, with the caveat that you have to have the mental capacity to be okay if you don’t make it. It’s kind of like that, you know, shoot for the stars. If you shoot for the moon, you might end up around the stars. I may have said that backward. I don’t exactly remember, but you get my point. Okay, so those are some good times to use time-related goals.

Now, here is what I think this is, to me, the most important part of this podcast today is when to toss those timelines to the wayside. When do you need to get rid of those timelines? All right, first one, when your timeline is causing comparison. So when you’re basing your timeline off of something you’ve seen someone else do that you thought was amazing. It’s making you compare yourself to them, and you’re not living their life. You’re not in their body, and you’re not in their family, you’re not in their home, their workplace, and a million things that could be contributing to their results. You don’t have all of those things, and it’s causing you to feel like a failure because you’re not performing on their timeline.

Okay, we love to look at success stories. We love to hear about people that did amazing things in a short amount of time is so inspiring. Until it isn’t, right? Until it’s upsetting you. When that happens, perhaps it’s time to remove that timeline. When your timeline is making you think that you should quit. When you’re getting closer to the end of a timeline, and you realize, “I’m not going to hit this goal. I should just quit. I’m not going to hit it anyway. I should just give up.” Right? If your timeline is making you feel that way, get rid of the timeline, but don’t get rid of the goal.

What I want for so many of you is to get rid of the timeline when you are committed to any timeline. Suppose your goal is important enough when XYZ is just important enough like that’s just it. There are so many times, and I can share this in my business so many times, that I could compare myself to others and think I’m not as far along. I don’t have as many clients, I don’t have as many podcast watchers, or whatever the thing this. And I could really get into that comparison. But what I have to do is stop and ask myself a few questions, and this is what I would encourage you to do with your goals.

Number one, “Do I still want the outcome? Do I still want the outcome? A year from now, if it takes me two or three years from now, five years from now? Do I still want the outcome? Yeah, I do.” So if it’s important enough for me to keep running it, then it’s important, important enough for me to keep going. Right? If it’s your health that you’re working on, your health is only going to get more important as time goes on. It’s not going to get less important. It’s not going to suddenly get better either without intention. Right? So because it is going to continue to be important, then you should toss the timeline, put your head down and keep working. Maybe you don’t get as far as you wanted to this year. I don’t know, maybe you do. But maybe you don’t. But it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still important; it still matters. And there’s no reason to stop working on it based on some arbitrary timeline that you wrote down on a piece of paper at the beginning of the year. Okay, the piece of paper, or the however you did it.

Like, literally, there’s no timeline police out there. There’s no deadline police telling you that you have to finish it by this timeline, or else you’re an utter failure or whatever. It’s just inaccurate. It’s something it’s allowing, we’re telling ourselves. So don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t give up on your goals, your desires, or your plans just because things might not be where you want them to be at this midpoint of the year. Okay, also, don’t think that you need to suddenly move the goalposts or whatever. Just give yourself the space to keep working. You will get there, my sister.

All right. I hope you guys have had a great day. I will talk to you soon. Bye now.

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