When we set a goal, it’s easy to think that the best part will be achieving it. We imagine what life will be like when we finally get what we’ve been working so hard for.
However, there is a lot more to consider and appreciate about the goal achievement process than getting to the end.
Despite what you might think right now, the process is the point.
There are also some downsides to achieving your goal that you need to consider.
Listen in as I share how being in the early stages of goal achievement differs from the later stages or even from the subsequent goals you set. You’ll learn about the rarely-discussed downsides to achieving your goals, and why it’s so important to take time to be proud of what you’ve accomplished so far.
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What you will discover
- The benefits of not having achieved your goal yet.
- Two things you need to do once you have achieved a goal.
- The importance of enjoying the ride.
- Why there can be disappointment in goal achievement.
Featured on the show
You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo episode number 509.
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Hey, beautiful friends. So glad you’re here. Today I want to talk to you about goal achievement. And the reason why I want to talk to you about this is because of my son, Christian, who’s a golfer, and a conversation that we had and how important it is to acknowledge when you’ve achieved a goal and to take a moment and pause and reflect before you just move on to the next one.
And also, the other side of goal achievement that isn’t talked about a lot. And I’ve talked about it a little bit, especially with my weight loss clients, the downside of goal achievement. But I want to talk to you about it a little bit more in depth today and maybe help you as you’re going through this process of evolving and growing and creating more for your own life, that you take the time to celebrate and you also take the time to really be aware of identity shifts that can happen and changes of heart that can happen when you are goal creating and when you are goal achieving.
So let’s talk about, let me use the example, I’ll kind of use the trajectory of my own career and I’ll sprinkle in some of what’s going on with Christian, who is my golfing son who is trying to become pro and is well on his way to becoming a pro golfer.
So I have been in business at The Life Coach School or as a coach for 20 years now. A good solid 20 years from when I very first was brand new. And the growth that I have had and the goals that I have set along the way have been increasingly big and exciting and awesome. And lots of work has gone into becoming the person who could achieve the level of success that I had set out to do.
And I remember I was sitting talking to Christian the other day and he’s very hungry right now. He’s very excited about the possibilities of finishing college and going on tour and being able to play golf full time and having that be his number one focus, not even having to focus on school. And I get a sense from him that he just can’t wait to get to that point where he wins a pro tournament, right?
And I get that. I want that for him so much. And I want for all my clients who have personal goals in their life, they want to lose weight or they want to create a business and have it make money. I get that. But that energy that you have, that I had before I made my first 100K in business was the best energy I think I’ve ever had.
And the energy that I had to get to a 100K still had a lot more fear in it. And then the energy that it took for me to get to a million was less fear, I think, and more excitement of really understanding and believing that I could do that.
And so I was telling him, I’m like, hey, you want to make sure that as you enjoy this first part of your life and your goal, and it’s kind of like that first part of that 20 years for me, that you don’t miss out on the fact that this could be the best part.
I think when we’re starting out, we think the best part of the goal is going to be achieving it, is going to be landing there. And you all have heard me say so many times, it’s not better there than here. And in so many ways it’s true, right? Your life is still 50/50.
Now, it’s better in the ways that you’ve achieved the goal, which is super exciting, amazing, and awesome. But there are some benefits to not having achieved it yet. The promise, the hope, the ambition, the energy, the desire, being naive, not knowing what you don’t know, I think is a magical time in goal creation.
And I’m really looking forward to, in my life, having more of those starts, right? Having more brand new goals where you have no idea if you can achieve it. And setting that goal and seeing what could happen if you set out to do something brand new that you have no experience in and no confidence around yet.
And so when I was first starting, when I first made a million dollars, I think I brushed over it way too fast when I look back on it. And I didn’t appreciate that moment, I was already on 10 million. I set a goal for 10 million. And making 10 million, I think it just came a few years later that I made $10 million after making a million dollars, which is such an extraordinary achievement to be able to have done.
And I accomplished that goal with such a small team and a pretty small student body and I would say less effort than was expected to make $10 million because I had had that on my goal list. And I did not believe when I put it on my goal list, with my heart, that I could achieve $10 million in a year. I thought maybe $10 million in assets, but shoot for the moon and then see what happens.
And so I think for me when I got to 10 million, because it wasn’t even a $10 million a year, it was a $17 million a year, I went from 5 million to 17 million, I think it was like a no brainer that I needed to have a bigger goal. And I just set this amazing, like, why not $100 million? And the process of who I have become and what I’ve been able to do in my own life and my own personal brain to be able to do that is, for sure, the most amazing thing and the most amazing experience that I’ve had in terms of business.
And I see the same thing with my son, Christian. With him embodying the present and the state of mind and the skillset and the practice and the focus of a pro tour player now, even though he’s not there yet, right? He is still in college and still playing in college, but he is so determined and so excited about this goal for himself. And the promise of the goal is so delicious, it’s so fun, it’s so exciting.
And for any of you who are kind of in that process, maybe the earlier stages of having cultivated a goal for yourself and you’re thinking about what could happen, what you could accomplish and getting tastes of that, it’s just, it’s so great. And it’s very different from actually achieving it.
And I think for me, like when you look at the beginning parts of my career, what I thought I would experience in the achieving of the goal, I actually experienced beforehand. Achieving the goal was cool and exciting, but nothing like the anticipation of it.
I think I talked about this on the podcast before. For me, it’s always like the anticipation of Christmas morning when I was a little kid. It was the most exciting thing, even more exciting than getting the presents and having them, right? It was the anticipation of what’s in the present? What is it going to be like?
And so one of the things that I really want to encourage all of you to do is to celebrate your progress, to celebrate your accomplishment, to celebrate how far you’ve come. And for some of you, you may not have won a golf tournament yet. For some of you, you may not have made the amount of money you want to make yet. But you have grown and you have achieved something and you have made progress if you’ve been working towards your goal. And it’s really important to acknowledge all of that.
Who have you become just from having set the goal? Not from achieving it, but from having set the goal, who have you become? I think that’s where the magic of the human brain can come in because it’s like when you set a new possibility for your life, it can alter you. It can alter your thought patterns, your feeling patterns and your actions so well.
So once you have achieved that goal, even if you’ve already set a new one, take at least 10 minutes, and for some of you this will be a long time, and celebrate and list those accomplishments. What have you done? How have you done it? What was hard? How can you celebrate and be proud of yourself in the achievement of that goal, right?
Then the second thing I think is an important thing to do is to also evaluate where did things go wrong? Where were the unexpected things? Where were the challenges that you can learn from, that you can put in your toolbox that you can take with you, that you can use as kind of a map of things to avoid, things to not do again?
I know for sure when I made $52 million one year, that even though we had accomplished a huge milestone in that way, it was such a learning year. I did so many things wrong that year. I did so much hard hustle work. Like I wore myself out that year. I really burnt myself out. And so I had to sit back and be like, okay, this is not sustainable. This is not something that I want to continue to do and sit back and really evaluate that.
Yes, celebrate it and be excited and enjoy that space of accomplishment. And also look at what worked and what didn’t, for sure. And then and only then create the new goal. And really think about what is a goal that will help you become the person you most want to be? I think that’s such a great question.
And, for me, it’s the goal that has the most challenges, the most tests, the most obstacles to my human evolution, I guess, is how I like to set goals. And that’s why I’d like to set these huge, impossible goals. And I think I’ve told most of you that I read this book, The Last Word on Power, and it’s all about doing the impossible. It’s about doing impossible things.
And that book really changed my life and it made me understand that my relationship with my goal is so important. Not just setting goals, but my relationship with it and with myself past, present, and future to create and manifest the things that I want to create in this world.
And so when I set that goal for 100 million, in that moment I was changed. I was a person that had a 100 million dollar goal. It was crazy to even think about. And I didn’t just have this goal inside. I said this goal out loud, which I knew would ruffle a lot of feathers, would create a lot of challenges for me, but would also inspire a lot of people. And so I was ready for that, like really excited about that.
And I watched this happen also with Christian. I said to him the other day, I said, “Where you are now was once your dream, right? Where you are in this moment, playing D1 golf in a tournament, shooting a 65, going around this course with really straight putts and really straight drives. This was your dream three years ago, what you’re doing right now. And you’re mad that you’re not further along. You’re mad that you’re not winning at a different level.
And I get that, but I just don’t think that’s going to serve you as well as really appreciating what you have been capable of and what you have created so far. And if you knew for sure that you were going to get to that goal of being a pro golfer and winning a pro golf tournament, how would you be behaving differently than you’re behaving now?
Would you be so upset about each shot that isn’t perfect? Or would you just know that this is part of the process of getting to where I know that I’m going?” Because if we don’t understand that the process is really the point, and not getting there, then we miss the opportunity to live within our goal every day.
And I see a lot of people, especially in the work that I do, giving up on their goals because they’re not arriving at the destination fast enough. And the whole point is just to be at the destination and not to necessarily be the person who they will be when they arrive at the destination.
When I set my 100 million dollar goal, I thought it was insane, right? It was crazy and unrealistic, for sure. But I didn’t care. I still went about really believing in the possibility of myself as a person and the possibility of creation in the world at that level.
I think it’s like 0.0000001% of business owners are in business over 20 years and making over $10 million. And I was already there and I wanted to see if I could utilize what I knew, utilize the Model, my mind, belief, to be able to create something that was extraordinary.
And so recently I got an offer to purchase The Life Coach School. And it was a venture capital firm and the way that they’re set up is they like to get their money into the market and make investments in companies that they believe in and like the brand and basically take over the company. It’s not like a partnership or anything like that, it was like a full purchase.
And when they first approached me, I was like, yeah, this sounds too good to be true. Like what is this? Whatever. And then as I had more meetings with them, the way that they presented the deal to me was it’ll be all cash up front. It was well over a hundred million dollars. It was more than twice that amount of money that I would receive in one year.
And as we went through and I really wanted to understand the deal and what would be the fate of my company? What would be the fate of me? Like how would that all work out? As we were going through that whole process it was such an amazing learning process for me to learn how businesses are bought and sold.
And I also have really good friends that do this for a living. And so I was able to talk through a lot of the aspects of this deal. And I have to tell you that after they made this offer for the company, I literally could not stop crying because I couldn’t believe that a hundred million dollar goal wasn’t big enough to have had. And what I thought was completely impossible in my mind, what I thought was the most outrageous thing that a girl with a laptop could imagine for herself was actually not even big enough was craziness.
And in that moment I felt that celebration. I felt that accomplishment. I felt that belief in myself in a way that truly changed me, I think. It made me really be in awe of what is possible, like truly possible. But the other thing that was interesting is after the software was made on the business and I was considering whether I was going to take it or not, considering what my future was going to look like, I remember talking to my friend Alex and he was like, Dude, if you take this offer, like, what are you going to do every day? Like I can’t even imagine.”
And then I had other friends that were like, we’ll help you think of some things to do. Don’t worry. It’s really funny. But I really was considering what it meant to my identity. And also what would that next thing be? Because for me it’s always been onto the next, onto the next, onto the next.
And it was very strange. And I don’t know if it was because I had just turned 50, or that it was the second half of my life, or that I had been burnt out working so hard or just the love that I have for the work that I do, just all kind of came to this point and I just felt – I don’t even know how to explain it. Like this amazing sense of completion when that happened. It was crazy.
And it was like a sense of arrival that I did not expect. And so I think a lot of times when I’ve set goals and achieved them, I didn’t feel that sense of arrival. I felt like onto the next, onto the next, onto the next. And in this sense I really felt, wow.
And I want to be clear. I was talking to a friend about this, this wasn’t for me about money. I already have enough money. It wasn’t about that at all. And it wasn’t like, oh, people are like, oh, you’re set for life. I’m like, I’m already set for life. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with blowing my own mind completely and giving myself a chance to do that and then actually doing that.
So I was telling this to Christian. I was saying when you actually win a pro tournament, it will be this sense of full excitement and accomplishment. But I don’t think that it will be like I’ve arrived and I’m done, for him, right? Until maybe he’s won, I don’t know, 20, 25, whatever the ultimate goal is.
And so I told him, “Hey, it’s really important for you to understand that you have the long journey, the long 20 years of goals in front of you and to make sure that you enjoy the ride and you make sure you pause to celebrate those accomplishments.”
And so ever since that time, I have been so full of true abundance. And it’s changed the way I think about myself. It’s changed the way I think about money in so many amazing, profound ways. And that’s one of the things that I’m going to be talking about in this class, Money Is Your Friend, where I’m going to be talking about wealth and talking about how it manifested in my life and how I utilize it in my life in a way that is like, I don’t know, so incredibly exciting that I want to share, especially with women. Especially with women.
So, obviously, I did not take the deal. I did not take the offer. There were a couple of main reasons I didn’t do that. One of which is that I love my company. I love the work that I do. And I didn’t feel that the people that were buying the company were aligned with the mission that I’m aligned with.
And so it’s funny because everyone who thinks I’m obsessed with money is like, of course she will take that deal. Of course she’ll take that money and run. That’s all she cares about. But that’s actually not even close to being true.
I care about who I’ve become in the process of setting super big, huge achievable goals. And I have a lot of friends, this happens too. It’s like, oh, I got an offer for this much money. Maybe I should try to go get more. Maybe I should try to make more than 400, 500, a billion dollars. That did not happen for me at all. I did not feel that sense of I need to make bigger financial goals at all, which is so fascinating to me to watch where I am in terms of my identity now.
Now, the other piece of this that I want to talk about for me, like for me, it was a super amazing experience to feel like I had that level of goal achievement. But I think for some people, when they get to that level, I know for many people that I’ve read about, like public figures in business and for people that I work with all the time, there can be a huge letdown when there’s goal achievement. There can be a huge disappointment in what it actually delivered.
With weight loss clients. I see it all the time because when I was trying to lose weight, it was always like, well, as soon as I get thin, then everything will be rainbows and daisies. And I’ll be happy. And everyone will love me and I’ll never have to struggle again. I mean, I know it sounds insane, but it’s almost like the projection of perfection onto thinner people was a promise to not have to be who I was.
And I’ve watched this happen with a lot of my clients who have lost a significant amount of weight and then they get anxious or they get depressed because the promise of a better life was out there in thinness. And now that they have it, they feel like they lose some sense of that promise of the better life.
The truth is, being thinner than you are now only changes your body size, period. It doesn’t change your brain. You don’t lose fat in your brain. You don’t lose the nonsense in your brain unless you do the work of cleaning that out. And the work doesn’t end when you’ve lost all the weight, that’s where a lot of the work begins, especially for my clients who’ve lost over a hundred pounds. There’s a huge identity shift that happens and work that needs to happen along the way.
I’ve read about a lot of people who have venture capitaled their business and then sold them who have a huge sense of kind of purposelessness once they’ve sold the business. It’s like they have this huge pile of cash for their bank account and they’ve achieved that thing that they thought they always wanted to achieve, which was to sell their business for many multiples and put their thing out in the world and have it funded and now they’re rich.
And maybe they take some time off and they enjoy that money and relax. But then many of them get frustrated and depressed. They wish they wouldn’t have given their business up to someone else or have someone else run it. I’ve read a lot of articles of people, founders that get funding for their business and they get ousted from their own business because the board of directors doesn’t want them in there anymore.
And it can cause a lot of, I think, unnecessary pain because you got what you wanted, right? You achieved your goal. And so I don’t think a lot of times we talk about the downsides. And for many of us, it’s not as dramatic as that. It’s just that when we get to this certain place of achievement, there are by-products that may not be great.
I talked to a client the other day who had quit drinking and was living their best life and feeling amazing about it, but had lost a lot of friends and it was really painful and hard. And she was really struggling with that. And even though she achieved the goal that she wanted, there are sometimes things that come along with that achievement that need to be kind of digested and processed and considered.
I really recommend that we try to anticipate those ahead of time as obstacles because we don’t want to use those as reasons not to achieve our goals if our goals are very important to us.
And then the last part, I think of all of this is to make sure that if you are continuously setting goals, trying to find a happier life, trying to find a happier space, trying to finally arrive at a place where you won’t hate yourself or feel like you’re worthy or whatever, there’ll never be enough. There’s never going to be enough accomplishment for you to do that work.
And so it’s really important to understand that and do that work while you’re along the way. The belief in yourself has to come before you, but thinking that you will somehow be a better or more worthy human being when you accomplish your goal is not true. I promise you that.
You look at all of the Olympic athletes and you look at the documentaries that are done about their lives. And many of them, once they get that gold medal, have to really struggle with the letdown from that. Many people that their goal is to get married, after the wedding have a huge letdown. Vacations people want to go on, they go on the vacation and then afterwards there’s a huge letdown.
And so I think knowing that we’re creating goals and the purpose that we’re creating them for is to constantly evolve, to constantly see what we’re made of, to see what our capacity is, to increase our ability and to just make life interesting and full of variety will help you stay in the process and understand that achieving the goal is a moment to celebrate. And setting the next one, we want to make sure it comes from a place of abundance and excitement.
And maybe you’re like me, maybe your new goal will be something completely different. Something in the other realm of your life where you can explore that new found interest or that new found excitement that comes from not knowing what the heck you’re doing.
And that’s something I want to say to all of you who are especially starting as entrepreneurs. It feels so discombobulating to not know what you’re doing and to just have that promise and that hope that you’ll be able to help people with your product or your service. That seems awful, but it’s also, I think, the best part.
So when you get there, when you set that new goal, when you get to that place where you’ve achieved one and you’re setting the next one, be willing to face that discomfort again. It is so worth it.
All right, my friends, that’s what I have for you today. Make sure that you set your goals for yourself, that they’re based on what you want. And when you get there, make sure you celebrate, you evaluate, and then you create a new one based on a place of abundance. Have a beautiful week, everyone. See you later, bye bye.
Hey, if you’ve ever wanted to work with me as your coach, now is the time to do it. You can join me in Get Coached in Scholars by going to thelifecoachschool.com/join. This is going to be the best year ever. It’s your turn to change your life. Let’s go.