Do You Have Goals or Plans?

When choosing their goals, most people ask themselves, "what do I want to achieve?" Do I want to be a 20 point scorer? Do I want to play college basketball? Do I want to win a championship?

This seems logical, right? But by focusing solely on what you want to achieve, you're deceiving yourself. The real question you should be asking is, "what am I willing to sacrifice to reach my goals?" 

Are you willing to eat the broccoli to get the the ice cream at the end? You can dream about dessert all you want, but unless you eat your vegetables, Mom isn’t going to let you have any of it.

Everybody wants to win a league title, get a division I scholarship, play in the NBA and become an All-Star. But simply wanting something isn’t enough to narrow down your goals.

What separates you from everyone else around you, is not what you want, but what you’re willing to give up to get what you want. 

  • If you want to get a Division I scholarship but you’re not willing to give up partying, it’s probably not going to happen. 
  • If you want to win a national championship, but you’re not willing to hold your teammates accountable, it’s probably not going to happen. 
  • If you want to be a 40% 3pt shooter but you’re not willing to get shots up outside of practice, it’s probably not going to happen.

Here’s a helpful question you can ask yourself: Are your habits in line with your goals? (related post: 7 Questions to Ask Yourself this Offseason)

This is pretty obvious, but it’s not how must of us choose our goals. We have big dreams about where we’re going to go and all the success we’re going to have. We daydream about what it will feel like to reach those lofty goals. And it makes us feels good when we think about what we’re going to achieve (related post: Don't Share Your Goals). 

But what our mind conveniently leaves behind is the sacrifices it will take to get there.

  • It’s not fun to think about the mornings that you’ll have to drag yourself out of bed when you didn’t sleep well. 
  • Or the workouts where you get your butt kicked by your teammate. 
  • Or the trip to the beach you miss with your friends because you were in the weight room.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with choosing ambitious goals. In fact, they can be very inspiring. But be careful, because if you choose lofty goals without a real understanding of what it will take to get there, you’ll reach the end and realize how disillusioned you were really were. 

A goal without a plan is just a wish
— Anoine de Saint-Exupery

To sum up: If you want a giant ice ream sundae with chocolate sauce and a cherry on top, you better be ready to eat a hell of a lot of broccoli.