Picking Your One Goal
Ep. 250
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Today, we’re going to talk about choosing one goal. Every time I talk about this, I get the most responses that I get to really anything that I talk about. People are upset and they want to explain to me why they should have more than one goal, why it’s different for them, why they need to do so much more. And there’s a lot of misconceptions of what this one goal rule is.

It’s perfect timing for this episode as we finished the first quarter of the year, and it’s time to check in and see how you did on your goals. How did that work? If it didn’t work out the way you wanted I want you to maybe suspend your concerns or your skepticism of this concept for quarter two. Just try it. You can always go back. You can have all your goals in Q3 if you want, but just try for the next three months. If I just choose one goal to focus on, let’s see how I do.


Show Transcript
Hey, welcome to Lessons from a Quitter, where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you've spent getting to where you are. If ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams. Hello my friends. Welcome to another episode. I'm so excited that you are here. I wanna talk to you guys today about your one goal. Now I get a lot of responses from this idea of choosing one goal. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I did a podcast episode about how you are only allowed to pick one goal for the year. That's it, just one. And every time I talk about this, I get the most responses that I get to really anything that I talk about, people are upset and they want to explain to me why they should have more than one goal, why it's different for them, why they need to do so much more.
And there's a lot of misconceptions of what this one goal rule is. So I wanted to clear up something. I, when I asked on my Instagram, what park has episodes to do, somebody said, how do you pick your one goal? And so I figured that was the perfect thing to not only talk about how to do it, but to really re clear up some of the misconceptions and reiterate why it's so important. Okay, so here is the thing. This is actually gonna come out in April, which means it's perfect timing as we're entering q2. So we finished q1, we finished the first quarter of the year, and it's the perfect time for you to check in and just see how did your goals go from January through March. Okay? What we all tend to do is we pick a goal and we get super excited about it in January, and then we just don't think about it until the next December.
And then we feel bad that we didn't stick to it. We're not gonna do that anymore. One of the things that you have to do with goal setting is to regularly evaluate and figure out what's working, what's not working, what you wanna do differently, how you're gonna change it. That's the only way to stick to it because it's not going to work the exact way you plan it to work from January. Just doesn't ever work that way. And so one of the best things you can do is set a calendar reminder or just remember that at the beginning of every quarter you need to sit down and evaluate what worked in the last quarter, what didn't work, and what you wanna change for the next quarter. So this is the perfect time for you to look back and think about if you didn't choose only one goal, how did that work?
How did that go for you? I'm gonna venture to guess that you didn't make a lot of progress on any of your goals. If you chose multiple ones, you didn't really make much progress on any of them. Okay? And so I want you to maybe suspend your concerns or your skepticism of this concept for q2. Just try it. You can always go back. You can have all your goals in Q3 if you want, but just try for the next three months. If I just choose one goal to focus on, let's see how I do. Because here is the thing that I think so many people do not understand and the purpose behind the rule to have one goal. A lot of people think that what I'm saying is you get to choose one goal versus you having five or six or you know, however many goals you wanna typically have.
Okay? So in your mind you're like, huh, it's between one and many. And our brain always wants more, right? We always wanna have the most of things. So it becomes a really hard choice because it's like I don't want to quote unquote limit myself to want. I don't want to be confined to one. And so we want to have three or four or five so that we can feel like we're productive and we're working towards things and things are changing and I'm hitting all the stuff I need to hit. That's not what's actually happening. It's not one versus many. It's one goal versus no goals. It's one versus zero. That's what's actually happening. Because when you have many goals, we all know what happens. You don't stick to them, you get overwhelmed. It becomes very easy to get confused about what should I be working on if I have limited time?
If I don't have the energy today, which one should I do? It becomes really easy to start beating yourself up. As soon as you work on one thing, your brain then goes to, well, but you didn't do the other one. You didn't work out and you haven't been meal prepping and you didn't, you know, reach out to five people on Instagram for your business or whatever the goal was. And then you're gonna start shaming yourself. And then that's gonna feel terrible. And you're gonna be like, you know what? I don't even wanna set goals. So it's not confining you. It's actually allowing you to make some progress. Your choice is between one and zero goals. It's between doing something and doing nothing this year, right? It's at the end of the year, do you wanna have made progress on one thing rather than no progress and a bunch of shame on a million things.
And when you look at it like that, you can start seeing that it's not about confining you. It's not about restricting you, it's about setting you up in a way to actually reach your goals. That's the entire point of this is why we have to pick one goal. So that's my little spiel of like why you need to do it. For anyone that hasn't listened to the last episode and why I think it's so important to pick one goal, but I wanna go get to this question because it's such a fascinating question to me cuz I get this a lot. Like how do I know which goal to pick? How do I know which one is the right one? Okay, and I've talked a lot in the last episode. If you listen to that, I would suggest going and listening to that first, cuz you'll get all the rules for why I do this.
But just to reiterate, one of the reasons that we pick this one goal is so that we have a way to make decisions, right? So we prioritize, we basically have a filter that tells us like what is my main focus? That doesn't mean that you don't work on other things. I've talked a lot about my goal for this year as my health is specific things around my physical and mental health. That doesn't mean I'm not gonna work on my business or I'm not gonna try to grow my business. I am, but my main focus is my health, which means when push comes to shove, when I have two decisions to make when I'm tired, but work needs to be done when I'm mentally exhausted. But work needs to be done when I need to exercise, but work needs to be done. I know what my choice is.
My choice is dealing with the discomfort of like, hey, the work's not getting done. It's gonna have to be good enough for today because I need to go work out because I need to take this time to meal prep because I need to shut off because I need to give my mind some time to recuperate, right? I've made it very clear that my goal, my focus is to work on my health. So it becomes a lot easier for me to make decisions. That doesn't mean I'm not gonna do anything. It doesn't mean I get, I don't get to, I dunno, pick other things that I guess maybe would be categorized as a goal, like going on date nights and building my business and reading more. But those are just nice to haves for me. Now I'm like, yeah, I'm gonna work on it. I'm gonna try to read every night, but if I don't, okay, I don't.
It's a cherry on top. I didn't, that wasn't my goal. I don't need to make that better this year. And it liberates me from the pressure of having to change everything all the time and overwhelm me and confuse me and do all the things that it does when we wanna change. So much. So, but here's the thing with the, the question of like, how do I pick this one goal, right? How do I make this decision before I answer it? And I will give you some guidelines of like what I think about in order to pick my goal. But I want you to really think about that question and what is problematic about it, right? The reason we have that question is that we believe that there is like a right goal to pick. There's a right one that I have to find. How do I know what's gonna be the best one?
How do I know it's gonna like, you know, give me the most transformation. And this is a way that we've been programmed in capitalism and in our culture where it's like you always have to be the best. You always have to do the best, you always have to be the most productive. And I would just question like what if you don't? What if it's not that serious? What if you just get to pick whatever goal you want and anyone you pick is fine? It's just a way of growing. It's just a way of focusing. It's just a way of getting yourself to like push yourself. And so what if there isn't a right one that you have to pick that like we put this pressure of like if I don't get it right, then I'm gonna regret it or then I'm gonna, you know, waste my time.
That's the biggest one. What if I waste this year? What if you couldn't waste the year? What if anything you worked on was worth working on? Like if you can take that pressure off, it becomes easier that you don't have to pick the one, you just have to pick one. And here's the way I look at it. I'm like, there's so much time. I think that a lot of times when we're in the present moment, the human brain has like a really hard time actually envisioning us in the future. Like you might be able to see yourself like, you know, I dunno, with kids or in a new house or whatever, you can kind of picture that, but you, it's really hard to envision how you'll feel and kind of the day to day and how much time you have until you get there. And so when I look at like again, if I'm gonna set a goal every year and I'm gonna kind of work on a different thing, okay, one this year I'm gonna slow down and work on my health next year, maybe I'll do my business the year after that it might be a hobby.
Who knows? Who cares? There's so much time, there's so many years to work on ourselves, right? And so when I think when you can kind of get away from this idea that there is one goal and this idea that like if I pick the wrong one, I'm gonna waste time. It becomes a lot less pressured in picking what you wanna do. The other thing I see that people do that, I think it's really the root cause of even like the problem behind how we set goals. And I did a podcast on this a long time ago, I can't even remember, I don't know what number it was, but I talked about the difference between destination goals and journey goals. And one of the biggest reasons we have such a hard time with goals is that we try to pick goals because we think we need to get to some destination.
Like I wanna change all of these things about me in order to feel better about myself. I wanna build a business so I can feel like I'm successful or that I'm worthy or that I'm proving myself that I'm good enough. I wanna lose weight so I can feel like I'm attractive and I'm a worthy woman and whatever, you know, whatever the BS standards we have towards the goals that we set, a lot of us are picking goals because we believe we have to change in order to be better, in order to be good enough. And that in and of itself is the problematic thought that in and of itself is what you have to change. Because if you are hating the entire journey to get to a goal and you think getting to the goals was gonna make you feel better, you're in for a very rude awakening because you're gonna get to that goal and you're gonna feel the same.
Cause you're gonna have the same thoughts, you might be happy for a little bit, you might be like, oh yeah, I got a business up and running. Or oh I lost those 20 pounds. Or you know, I dunno, me and my husband go on date night that now every week, but I still have the 50 50 of life. I still don't feel like everything is amazing. My life is stress free. I love myself so much. Like it doesn't just happen. That happens from you changing your thoughts, not changing your circumstances, not changing the goals. And so when you start thinking I need to have all of these goals in order to get there to be happy, if you're trying to get there, once you get there, you're still gonna have the same thoughts and feelings. What you have to work on is feeling what you wanna feel right now, exactly where you are with what you have.
I promise you it's available. I don't care how much money you're making, I don't care what you weigh, I don't care what you look like. I don't care what your relationship status is. I do not care. You have access to pleasure and joy and happiness and love and success and self-worth, all of it. All of it right here. And if you can't find that here, it's gonna be really difficult for you to find it when you get to the next place. This is why so many of us have done that. We got the degrees we thought like once I become a lawyer, once I get my graduate degree, once I make a hundred thousand dollars, once I become partner, once I write the book, whatever it is, then I'll feel accomplished and I'll feel proud and I'll feel successful and I'll feel all these things.
And then we get there and we're like, I don't feel that. I feel a little bit of it sometimes, but I also still feel not good enough and sad and lonely and whatever it is that we're feeling. And so I want you to really slow down and think about why you're choosing the goal. If you're choosing it cuz you think I need to get there to feel better. You're picking the wrong type of goal. Your goal should only be because it's fun to grow, right? I wanna grow more in my life, not because I need need to, to be lovable or to be worthy. Not because I need to, to prove myself to other people, but just because like I'm here might as well do something right? I might as well stretch myself and see what I'm made of, might as well see what's possible out there for me.
Not because I'm gonna use it as like a standard to beat myself up. And so I think this is the what happens. This is the really the crux of the problem behind why people pick so many goals is because we have this thought that like I have to change so much about me, right? I can only be happy if I have a business and I lose weight and I have the perfect marriage and my kids, you know, listen to what I say and my house is clean all the time and I go on four vacations a year and you know, on and on and on. And so we're like, oh my god, I gotta change all of this stuff. I have to have a morning routine and I need to meditate, I need to read, I need to go on date nights, I need to exercise, I need to meal prep, I need to build the business, I need to get promoted, I need to whatever.
And then once I do all that, then I can be happy. I mean it's absurd when I say it out loud, but like that's what we all do. We think like I need all these goals. And that's why so many people have such a hard time letting go of multiple goals. When I tell them like you have to pick one, it's almost this like they don't want the resignation of like, oh my god, what if everything doesn't change this year? But I can just tell you everything is not gonna change this year. This is why we do new year's resolutions and then we stop it after two weeks or three weeks. Cause we know we're not gonna keep up with that. You're not gonna change your whole life in a year and you shouldn't need to, you shouldn't have to, you shouldn't want to. Your life is fine.
Like I said, you have access to so much exactly where you are and you miss it because you're constantly trying to get to the next place. And so that is not a problem, that is solved with goals, that is the problem that's solved with slowing down and learning to manage your mind and learning to see the beauty of where you're at and learning to experience joy and give yourself the time to love exactly where you're at. Not needing to grow, not needing to change things. I think when you can really understand that, that like if you can drop the thought that you are behind somehow, which you are not, I assure you, because there's nowhere to be, you're on your own path, you have your own life. Doesn't matter what other people are doing. When you can drop that thought of like, I need to be further along so I need to have 14 different goals so I can get there, then it becomes easier to start thinking about what do I just wanna work on this year?
Because it's fun to work on, not because I need to change everything about me in order to be happy. So I want you to really catch that thought and I want you to ask yourself if you're struggling with picking your one goal, is it because you think that you're behind? Is it because you're worried you're gonna waste time? What if those things aren't possible? What if there's not possible to be behind? Cuz there's nowhere, there's no end point you need to get to. What if it's not possible to waste time? Because anything you're gonna learn this year is gonna add to who you are and it's gonna add to your experience. If you can take that pressure off, does it become easier to then just choose one goal? And so I wanted to lead with that because I do think that for so many of you, you know what you wanna work on, you know kind of like the one ma major thing, but you're just so stuck in this idea of picking the right one, the best one, the one that's gonna create the most change, the one that's gonna change your whole life.
And I think you need to just work on your thoughts about the goal, not the goal itself, right? I think you just stop telling yourself that you can't trust yourself to pick one. What if you could just pick anyone and it would always be fine. What if you know you get another chance next year to pick another one? What if you knew you could just change it? Even midyear, there's no rules to this. You don't have to stick to it if you start realizing I don't like this goal. So once you kind of work on your own thoughts and you're on board about why you're picking the goal, I'm gonna give you some questions that I ask myself when I'm thinking about what I wanna work on next. Okay? One of the questions that I've already talked about is like I just ask myself what, what would create the most growth for me next year?
Because I have another question of like, what would be fun? What sounds like fun? Cuz I do think your goals should be fun. Like at some point some part of it should be fun, otherwise you're not gonna stick to 'em. So I do really think about like in what way could this thing be fun? But it's not always fun. It's not always gonna be fun. Like the point is growth and growth isn't fun. Growth is what pushes you out of your comfort zone. So I don't want you to only pick something that's like, oh it's gonna be fun every week. No, but I think when you can look at that, it's like where do I really need the most growth in my life? And sometimes that is looking at the scariest one, like the one that I'm resisting the most is probably where my growth is.
And I'm telling you that was for me with my health is like I ignored it for as long as I could because it was the hardest one for me. It became very obvious. I mean I think with the health sometimes it becomes obvious cuz your body says no and your body's like, you know what, you're gonna focus on me whether you want to or not. So part of it was the decision was made for me, but part of it was really like, okay, this is gonna be the most uncomfortable for me. This is gonna be the one that's going to stretch me the most. And how amazing is that? How amazing am I gonna feel at the end of this year when I know that I did the hard thing and I found a way to make it fun for myself and I found a way to love myself through it and I don't, I don't need to do it in order to be a better human. I just wanna do it so I can feel better.
So I would start there like what would create the most growth for you right now? The other thing I think about is like what's gonna set me up for my future goals in the next like two to five years? What's like gonna be the most foundational for what, where I wanna go and what I wanna do? And so some years for me that was like building the business, like growing the business needs to be my focus, my goal for the year because that's what's gonna help me. This last year, again, like this thought of my health was like this is what will set me up to be able to sprint maybe next year if I don't do a lot of business growth this year, having my health in order. Yes. Like I'm slowing down to be able to speed up and to be able to enjoy it.
And so I think that when I started realizing like this isn't just for this year, the way I look at my goals is like stacking on top of each other, right? It's like every year is just gonna stack onto the next and the next and the next. And so it's like, what is gonna be the step that I wanna take this year so that I can build up another step off of it next year, right? And what's the next one like? And even in that, I think it helps me slow down to realize like everything doesn't have to happen this year. Everything can happen as my life unfolds and it's not gonna just stop and I'm gonna keep picking goals, right? I already also told you guys this question I always ask myself like if I knew it couldn't be a waste of time, what would I work on?
Okay. So you have to root out that thought that like anything is a waste of time, even if you don't pursue it. Like let's say my goal was to learn piano, okay, I actually do have, that is a hobby I wanna pick up at some point. But let's say that's my goal for the year, okay? Even if like, I think so much of our society is like, well if it doesn't, you know, go to you being a pianist, then it's a waste of time. Or if you end up not doing it after that year, then it was a waste of time. It's like so backwards thinking about your life and your experiences because truly there's no way to waste time. Time is there, it's gonna pass anyways and it's the experience you have. So like if I chose to learn the piano, then I know that this year would be the most amazing year of me indulging in something that brings me joy in learning a new skill and constantly failing and setting time to do the same practice that I would need to do.
And learning to utilize a part of my brain that doesn't really get utilized in having a lot of fun and likely laughing a lot at myself and you know, learning new things, whatever that in and of itself is worth it. It doesn't matter what the destination is. I don't have to learn how to play the piano. I don't have to become great at it. I don't have to stick with it for the rest of my life. I can know that it would not be a waste of time. It would be very worth my while to just spend a year trying to learn something new and what I would learn about myself and what I would learn about learning new instruments and how it would rewire my brain and how it would help me like expand what I thought was possible. All of it is worth my time.
It's how you're thinking of it. If you think the only way it's not a waste of time is if you have some kind of shiny result at the end, then a lot of your life is spent not actually living, but trying to prove that you're good enough by reaching some result. And maybe your goal is changing that maybe your goal is doing something just for the sake of doing it without any result, without any pat on the back, without any trophy at the end of it. It's just to let yourself have an experience. I think for so many of us that's so outside of what we've ever done in our life, the last question that I ask myself is, what am I most likely to regret not working on at the end of the year? So I envision December of the next year rolling around and I just think about what am I gonna regret putting off?
What am I gonna regret not making progress towards? And sometimes that's a harder question to answer. Sometimes it's really easy, sometimes it's really easy, like it becomes a really clear answer. They're like, yeah, this is the thing that I need to work on the most. And the thing that I've been putting off, and usually it kind of cones exists with like your biggest growth and some of the other answers that we have. But when you go through these things and you answer them for yourself, it starts becoming really easy to see that there's a couple, maybe one or two or three, maybe it becomes really obvious and you have your one, maybe you're between a couple and you're like, these are the things that I really wanna work on that think would be fun, that would give me my growth that I would regret not working on.
And then I want you to just pick one. It truly doesn't matter. Pick something. Let it be a quote unquote waste. Give yourself that gift. Like I can just waste a year. You know what? I'll have a year again next year. I've wasted a ton of years not doing any goals. So guess the pressure's off, right? Take the pressure off of having to do it perfectly and you'll be surprised at how much you actually get done. I'll be surprised at how many things you can actually learn when the goal isn't always achieved and get to a result and get to the finish line when it's just to enjoy the journey and to grow and to push yourself and to have fun. So there isn't like one answer obviously for everybody it's gonna be different. But I really wanted you to think about how you're approaching your one goal because I think so many of you guys are putting so much needless pressure on this thing that is simply meant to be a tool to help you live your best life.
So you get to decide what that is. Nobody else can tell you. You get to decide the thing that you wanna spend your time cultivating. And I promise you, whatever you choose is fine. Whatever you choose will help you grow in one way or another. Whatever you choose will give you the lessons that you need. And then you get to pick another goal next year and another one after that. And it starts becoming so much more fun. So if you need help picking your one goal, you know where to find me, you can join my membership, the Quitter Club. Go to lessons from a quitter.com/quitter club, and this is what we will help you do is figure out what is the growth you need, what's stopping you, why you're putting all this pressure, why you think you're wasting time. It's one of the biggest ones we work on.
Join us and then let's get to work in q2. Pick that one goal, stick with one, stop needing to do it all and watch how much your life changes. All right, my friends, I hope you enjoyed this. I'll be back next week with another episode. Hey, if you are looking for more in-depth help with your career, whether that's dealing with all of the stress, worry, and anxiety that's leading to burnout in your current career or figuring out what your dream career is and actually going after it, I want you to join me in the Quitter Club. It is where we quit what is no longer working like perfectionism, people pleasing imposter syndrome, and we start working on what does and we start taking action towards the career and the life that you actually want. We will take the concepts that we talk about on the podcast and apply them to your life and you will get the coaching tools and support that you need to actually make some real change. So go to lessons from a quitter.com/quitter club and get on the wait list. Doors are closed right now, but they will be open soon.