Part of human nature is we seek growth. As the Tendai monks say, “When you commit to nothing, you become distracted by everything.” One of the best ways we can stay committed to what matters most, is by setting goals.
In this podcast, Travis is going to show you how to be a highly effective goal setter.
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FULL TRANSCRIPT [The following is the full transcript of this episode of “The BE ULTIMATE Podcast.” Please note that this is direct from Travis speaking unscripted and unedited.]Welcome to episode number 47 of the BE ULTIMATE Podcast, “Setting Effective Goals.”
On this week’s podcast, we’re going to be talking about something that I’ve had quite a bit of experience with. I want to share with you my strategies and my experience, in the hope that maybe there are some takeaways for you. Things that you can use in your life to set goals, to achieve goals, and to not be one of these people that just allows another month and another year to go by and you haven’t grown.
It’s not good for you. It’s not good for the people you’re in relationships with. It’s not good for your community. And it’s not good for the world. So I want to help set you up for success!
Whether it’s New Year’s or the beginning of some new chapter for you– maybe you moved. Maybe it’s the beginning of a new season. I don’t know. But the beginning of something. These are strategies for helping you to set and to execute your goals.
You might want to grab a notebook for this one. I know a lot of people when they listen to podcasts they are driving or whatever, but you can always go back and you can listen to this again or you can come watch the video on YouTube. Get a notebook out. Take notes. Write down the things that are helpful for you to take action. This was a lot of fun to prepare this podcast. I’m excited to share this with you. And it kind of is a little bit more of a workshop-style podcast so I’m going to be asking you to write things down.
It is amazing, it’s phenomenal what you can achieve when you get clear and you set your mind on an intention or a goal or a dream. Where you can be 3 months or 6 months or 12 months from now.
In fact, just the other day, I was on a hike with my wife and we were talking about where we were 10 years ago and all the things that didn’t exist in the world. You didn’t have Uber. And you didn’t have Lyft. And you didn’t have the Bird electric scooters. You didn’t have The Ultimate Yogi program. You didn’t have a lot of things, right?
So little steps that are executed on a daily basis over the course of time add up to significant changes.
Let’s reflect upon where you would be one year from now if you really, really fulfill your fullest potential.
Think about if you did everything that you needed to do to be your most healthy self. How would you feel? How would you look? How would you carry yourself as you’re moving through your day, as you’re going to work, as your running errands, as you’re going to the gym, as you’re leaving the gym, as you’re getting on to your yoga mat? How would it feel to just be the healthiest, strongest, most supple, most energetic person that you’ve ever been in your entire life?
And what about relationships? Think about if you brought energy and you brought clarity to your relationships. If you fed your relationships and you gave them your all. Your kids, your significant others, your family, your friends. And you had just these amazing, high-quality, supportive, loving, nurturing relationships. And you were always surrounded by this. You came home from work and it was there. You woke up in the morning and it’s just a vibe that pervades throughout your entire home. And your relationships are just thriving.
What about your career or your job? What if you were rocking and jamming in your career, you were making leaps, and you were climbing the ladder, you were functioning at your highest, best possible level? How would it feel to be in a career and in a job you were excited to wake up in the morning to go to, to be making money? And then financially. How would it be 12 months from now if you had money in the bank, money saved up, money set aside to go on a retreat with Travis Eliot or to go on the vacation of your dreams or to just be financially free, to be in abundance? How would that feel?
What about personal development? What if you did things over the next 12 months, things that you can’t even imagine doing right now? Learning new skills, refining old skills. Things right now you might be saying, “I can never do that. I can never learn how to play the guitar. I can never learn how to do a podcast. I can never write a book. I’ve no idea where to start a book.” But what if you got out of the way of yourself and you worked on yourself? Who would you be 12 months from now?
Lastly, what if you devoted yourself to your spiritual path, whether that’s going to church or temple or getting out to nature? What if you fed your spirituality and you felt a deeper, greater, more meaningful connection to your highest power and you were lit up by that, you felt a strength and a power and an energy that is unlimited and eternal and unstoppable and unshakable, and you had that energy coursing through your body, through your muscles, your cells, your bones, gleaming out through your eyes, coming out through your words, pervading your mind and your thoughts, just spiritually lit up? What would that feel like? It would feel pretty amazing, right?!
This is what’s possible!!!
And this, by the way, is why we are here on this planet, in this body, as human beings. We were all sent here for a special divine mission. And this mission isn’t meant to be mundane. It’s not meant to be dull and ordinary.
You’re meant to live a magnificent life. But very often, we forget and we get sidetracked. We get swept away within these rivers of things of distraction that just do not matter.
Right now, at the filming of this podcast, it’s the beginning of 2020. It’s the beginning of a new year. So this is a time where everybody is talking and everybody is thinking about New Year’s intentions, resolutions, goals for the year. It’s in the air. And whether you’re listening to this at the beginning of a year or, again, later on, it doesn’t matter.
But the data shows that 60% of people make a New Year’s resolution. 60% of people out there, at least in America, are feeling a desire to change things, right? Now, listen to this.
Less than half, after six months has passed, are following through on those resolutions. Less than 50%.
And then in the end, after a year’s gone by, less than 10% are actually successful.
So the data and the research shows that the way people are setting goals, the way they’re setting New Year’s resolutions is clearly not working. It’s not sticking.
I want to unpack this with you. I want to dig into why that’s the case.
Hopefully, by the end of this podcast, if you do these exercises, you’ll be in that elite 10% where, again, 12 months from now you’re jamming within your health, your finances, your spirituality, your career, and your personal developments.
Now, I went back and I looked at my goals I had set a year ago for 2019. It was awesome to go and see where I nailed it and also places where I fell a little bit short.
But, at the beginning of last year, I didn’t have this podcast. BE ULTIMATE Podcast didn’t exist. It was just an idea in my head. And it was intimidating. I was like, “Where do you start? How do you even do a podcast? And what about the tools that you need to do this?” So I went out and researched and started buying equipment. Some of the equipment worked. Some of the equipment didn’t work. And it was not easy, but I stuck with it. We’re about to come on our one year anniversary here at the BE ULTIMATE Podcast.
Thank you, guys, again for supporting the podcast. So the podcast was a goal that I achieved. It took a lot of work. It took a lot of action. But it happened.
Another one of my goals was to make a Yin Yoga program. And that happened as well. I made Flexibility and Beyond. It was a smash hit.
Another goal was to make the Level Up 108 program, which you probably heard about. We just launched it for download purchase. It’s going to be on Inner DimensionTV Monday, January 6. People are loving it!
These programs were just an idea in my head. And it’s scary. It’s like, “How am I going to create something for you, guys? because I know that you are used to really high-quality stuff from me. And how am I going to meet or exceed your expectations?”
Well, it takes a lot of deep thinking. It takes a lot of work. But you do it. And then, you bring these things that are in your head out to the world and the goal gets achieved.
Also, I wanted to grow our online platform, Inner Dimension TV. That grew significantly this past year.
I also had the goal of running a 50K. I wrote that down in my journal this time last year. And sure enough, a few weeks ago in December, I did it.
I also wanted to work on my gratitude. There was a part of me I recognized was missing out on all the blessings that existed in my life, I was one of these people that would achieve a goal and – as soon as I achieved it – I was moving on to the next thing. And so, I felt like I needed to really spend more time appreciating and recognizing my wins and my achievements. I want you to do that as well.
I also wanted to save money for a down payment to get a home. That’s one of my biggest goals every year. But it’s a challenging goal because, as you probably know, the real estate market in Los Angeles is so incredibly high. But I’m going to get there. And we were able to save money for that down payment on getting a home, able to save and put money away for my kids to go to college.
I also wanted to learn new skills within fitness. And for me, this past year that was boxing and muay thai. And again, I didn’t know how to do these skills. And it was intimidating. And it still is intimidating. I’m still learning. I’m still a student. But that was a goal and, because I had the goal and I followed through, I was able to achieve it.
So I share this with you to just let you know I walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
Let’s talk now about what your biggest obstacle is to achieving your goal.
Well, it doesn’t exist outside of you. It’s not about being a victim. It’s not about blaming it on anything outside of you. Your biggest obstacle to achieving your goals is simply yourself.
If you’re not achieving your goals, as much as you want to blame it on other things, you have to accept responsibility that you are where you are because of choices and decisions that you’ve made.
Now, yes, I know that some of us are born with the cards stacked against us. I know that some of us are incredibly privileged, that there is privilege in this world. But I also know that there are thousands and thousands of examples of people who did have the cards stacked against them and they were able to persevere and they were able to spin that into a positive opportunity to awaken and to grow.
In fact, in many of the great wisdom cultures, they say the bigger the challenges, the bigger the trauma, the bigger the hurt, the greater the opportunity there is to awaken, that our strength and our power exists within our greatest hurts and vulnerabilities.
And then, there’s people that are born with everything handed to them. And they can’t achieve their goals. They haven’t been battle-tested. And they haven’t been challenged. And they’re not happy.
So, I want to just say the only thing stopping you is yourself. It would be your own limiting beliefs.
I’ve been there. I’ve been through these exercises where I had to do a deep dive. And I had to get honest. I had to get truthful. And I had to get accountable where I am.
The moment you take responsibility for your place in life, is the moment you recognize you have the agency to change anything you desire.
You see, if you don’t take responsibility for where you’re at, then you’re not recognizing that agency and that power that you have within you to start to steer yourself down a different path and a different trajectory.
Without addressing these limiting beliefs, you’re going to be unsuccessful with your goal setting and your resolution setting because there’s going to be this background, unconscious conflict that’s going on. There’s a part of you that wants the goal to happen but there’s also a part of you that is getting in the way of that process. And you might not be even aware of it.
So, in a journal, in a notebook, I want you to write down all of your limiting beliefs. I want you to write down all your limiting stories. These may be phrases like, “I’m not good enough.” Or, “I don’t belong.” Or, “I’m not worthy to receive love.” Or, “That’ll never happen. It’s impossible.” You see, these are all limiting beliefs. And if you have this commentary playing itself over and over through your mind, especially if you’re not even aware of it, then you’re never going to become successful within achieving goals.
You see, those limiting beliefs and those limiting stories, this is all language from your inner critic. It’s a language being spoken from the pain body of your past where maybe in the past you did have a goal and you didn’t succeed.
In fact, the older that you get, the more likely you are to not be flexible within your thinking of what’s possible. We get rigid within our minds. We get rigid within our perspective.
There’s a way they train elephants in Asia. When the elephant is a baby, they tie a big large rope to a big wooden stump. This restricts the baby elephant from traveling very far away from the stump. They’re limited within their movement. After some time, as the baby elephant grows to be a little bit older, the trainers of the elephant, they remove the rope from the baby elephant’s leg, but it still continues to stay close to the stump in the limited space.
This is how many of us are living our life. We don’t even know the rope is no longer tied to our leg and yet, we still function within this limited, small, disempowered part of who we are when we’re capable of going far away from the stump. We’re capable of so much more. So it’s about reclaiming your power. It’s about remembering your power.
“Impossible is not a fact, it’s an opinion.”
See, you’ll want to do what Muhammad Ali did and that’s to trade your limiting beliefs for empowering truths. I’m going to say that one more time because this is very important. You got to trade your limiting beliefs for empowering truths.
So now, what you’re going to do is you’re going to write down your empowering truths. Remember those phrases you wrote down, the limiting beliefs? I want you to take that. And I want you to spin that and reshape it, repurpose it into those empowering truths.
Now, if “I’m not good enough” is my phrase, I may change that to “I am capable of learning any new skill.” Not good enough? Oh, no. I am capable of learning anything. This is the level up mindset!
If the phrase was “I don’t belong,” then my new phrase may be “I have so much to offer and contribute to the world or to humanity”.
You see? Think about, if you have one belief and that’s a limiting belief, how’s that gonna affect your life?
And then, if you have one of these empowering truths, that’s a game-changer. Everything is going to begin to shift because of it. This is why you got to get into really being aware of those thoughts and those beliefs that you have inside of you.
What about the phrase “I’m not worthy to receive love”? Well, I’m going to trade that out for the empowering truth “I deserve to receive and to give unconditional love.”
You see? You’re starting to get the hang of it.
Last phrase. “That’ll never happen. It’s impossible.” How about “All things are possible”? All things are possible. All things are possible. Anything is possible.
Make sure you do the exercise.
It’s all about your perspective.
What you see in life depends on what you’re looking for.
If you want to see negativity in the world, you’ll turn on the news. You’ll find plenty of negativity. If you want to hear negativity, you’ll find somebody at work or you’ll find a friend and they’re negative. And you’ll get that.
But adversely, if you want to see positivity and inspiration in the world, then you’ll find that. You’ll find it here on the BE ULTIMATE Podcast. You’ll find it in an inspiring documentary or a book.
What you see depends on what you’re looking for, what you’re searching for. So, what are you looking for? What are you searching for? And then, you start to tap into that reticular activating network in the brain that starts searching for that within your life. It starts searching out positive people. It starts searching out positive books. Starts searching out positive podcasts. And, before you know it, you’re somehow in this state of divine synchronicity where you’re attracting these things, is because that’s what you’re searching for, that’s what you’re looking for.
Now, I want you to write down these six categories because, when you set goals, I want you to think about setting goals within the framework of these six different topics.
Now, I want you to set at least one goal per category.
Now, as you go back and you look at these six goals, I want you to think about these tips and these strategies for setting the goal because the reason why only 10% of people fulfill their New Year’s resolution is because they’re not so mindful and they’re not so knowledgeable about the way that they set goals.
1) Be Specific
Be specific. Never vague. When you set goals, you want to set goals that are trackable. For example, if your goal is “I want to lose weight,” that’s not specific enough. You need to get more clear with a specific quantifiable number. How much weight do you want to lose? Do you want to lose 5 pounds or 50 pounds?
By the way, I’m not even a big fan of this idea of losing weight. Weight loss I would trade out for fat loss. So I would think more about building good quality muscular tissue, which is actually going to add weight. And thinking about lowering your body fat percentage. Get specific. What is the number?
2) Know Your Why
Know your why.
You lose your way, when you lose your why.
A lot of us when we set goals, we don’t understand the why. And that’s why we don’t succeed at fulfilling the goals because we don’t know why we want it. We want things because we think society will give us greater significance. We want things because that’s what other people want. And when you start examining your why, you start thinking not about others, you’re not giving your power over to other people, you are thinking about yourself.
So this requires deep thinking. But through that deep thinking comes deep transformation and deep awakening.
Any goal you set, it’s inevitable obstacles will arise on your path. When you make your why incredibly big, no obstacle can get in the way. But if your why is small and the obstacle is big, then you’re going to lose that battle. So your why has to be huge so that it can overcome any potential challenge or phases of adversity.
Let me go through an example here.
So, you may have the resolution or the goal “In 2020, I’m going to exercise more. I want to exercise more”. Now, one of the issues with that– and this is what a lot of people have “In 2020, I’m going to exercise more”. It’s not specific enough. It’s not clear enough. It’s too vague. It’s only the very beginning of a goal. Chances are you’re not going to make it to the end of January. You have to be more specific.
What are you going to do for the exercise exactly? Is it “I’m going to do Travis’s Level Up 108-day program”?
Now we’re getting more specific.
Or is it “I’m going to sign up for a 10K. And I’m going to run five times a week, a minimum of three miles per session”?
Now we’re starting to get specific.
Or is it “I’m going to hire a trainer at this specific gym. And I’m going to see that trainer three times a week. And I’m going to pay them for three months in advance so there’s no out”?
See, this is how specific that you have to get.
Now, step two to crafting and creating an effective goal would be to add your why.
So, if we take that example, “All right. So, I’m going to sign up for the 10K. I’m going to run five times a week,” or “I’m going to do Travis’s Level Up 108-day program.”
Now I’m going to add the why. Why am I going to do this?
Well, maybe you’re a parent and maybe you’ve been a little disappointed with the way you react to your kids, the way that you haven’t really been present to your kids all the time. And you just know deep within your heart you are capable of being a much better parent.
So now, your why could be “I’m going to do Travis’s Level Up 108 program so I can be a more loving parent and embody the important qualities I want my kids to understand.”
You see the importance of the why? You lose your way when you lose your why. If you don’t know why you’re doing something, you’re going to get lost in the woods. But if you know you’re going to that gym, you’re hiring that trainer so that you can be a better parent so that your kids can grow up and be incredible human beings, then chances are this resolution is going to stick in a whole other kind of a way than it typically does for the other people.
Maybe your why is you want to run a 10K so you can travel the world and you can give back through charitable causes. And you’re going to go to Africa. And you’re going to go to Asia. And you’re going to go to Latin America. And you’re going to go to even places in your community. And you’re gonna give back. And you know if you go and run a 10K, your energy’s going to be good. You’re going to be fit. Your self-confidence is gonna be feeling good. And you’re going to be able to walk into these situations and give more to others.
Now your why isn’t even about you. It’s about other people. It’s about being of service to other people. And that’s what I mean when I say make your why so big no obstacle can get in the way.
There’s people that sign up for ultra-marathon events to give back to veterans in the Army or to raise money for cancer because they lost a parent to a certain type of cancer. And, you know what? They will not give up on the training for that race. And when they go do the race, they will move through suffering, they will move through hell, they will embrace the suck because it ain’t about them. It’s about other people. It’s for a greater cause.
Know your why.
Now, lastly, what’s at stake? This is really powerful because– you see, this science and this knowledge, the news understands it, government and politicians understand it, advertisers understand it. But do you understand it?
What they understand is they know how to manipulate massive amounts of people through fear, through triggering the amygdala in the brain which is the alarm response, it’s the survival response. If people activate it, they take notice. They’re engaged. So this is how the news survives. This is how they run their business. They want to scare you. Politicians want you to vote for them, so they will scare the shit out of you so you go and vote for them. You’ll be running to the polls, voting for so-and-so.
What I want you to do is, I want you to use this knowledge and I want you to use it to your advantage. It’s primal. It’s powerful. And you’re going to use this for your greater benefit.
Now, I did this work about two and a half years ago when I wanted to stop drinking alcohol. I was a big lover of beer. I loved the taste of beer. I loved going out for beer. I loved hanging out with people and drinking beer. And it was just a part of my life for many years. But I got to the point where I realized I was waking up the next day, I wasn’t clear, my mind was foggy, my body didn’t feel good. I was starting to notice things within my body where I was gaining weight, getting bloated, getting puffy in the face.
I started to reflect upon, “You know what, Travis? This was fun to drink for all those years. And you had a lot of good times. But the reality is, if you listen to your body, it’s saying no. You’re no longer able to deal with this if you want to be your best self, if you want to achieve greatness.”
I started to meditate on what would happen if I continued down the path. And I started thinking about I wouldn’t be able to be of service to you guys, to my students, to listeners. I wouldn’t be able to spread the teachings of yoga and meditation and wisdom and personal development.
Also, I would be a fraud, right? If I’m a mess behind the scenes and I was going out and preaching a different kind of a message, then that’s not really congruent. And that’s not cool.
I also was thinking about my kids. And I don’t want to get older and die prematurely. I want to have lots of energy and vitality. So I can go to the park and can play and run around my kids. I can go for a jog or a trail run with my daughter. And I started thinking about all these things, what’s at stake if I continue down the path. And it wasn’t pretty. And when you get truthful and you take a good, clear, honest look, it shouldn’t be pretty.
So, I want you to now write down what’s at stake if you don’t achieve the goal within each of those six categories.
Imagine if you didn’t take care of your health and you were a slob. And imagine if you didn’t do any development on yourself. You wouldn’t grow. And imagine if you didn’t feed your relationships. You would feel miserable and you’d be walking into your home at night and your relationships would suck and it would become a living hell. So you start thinking about what’s at stake. And then that becomes motivation. That becomes like spiritual manure. It becomes the manure for great things to grow out of.
It can be a challenging meditation and reflection to do, but write it down.
Once you’ve written that down now you’re going to go to each goal in those six categories and you’re going to write down at least three action items for how you can achieve the goal.
So for example, if you want to write a book this year and you have no idea where to begin, your three action items might be to do research for two hours online, reading blogs about how to write your first book. Number two action item might be to reach out to somebody that’s written a book and to ask them for a meeting or an email. Number three, probably the best one yet, get out your computer and just start writing. Say, “For three hours, I’m going to put my phone away, I’m going to isolate myself, and I’m just gonna write.” Sometimes the hardest part of achieving a goal is that first step.
Now, not only do I want you to write down the three action items, but I also want you to write down when you’re going to do it.
If you’re going to run a 10K, your action item might be “Researching 10Ks, interviewing somebody that runs 10Ks, and then – number three – selecting a 10K.” So those are your action items and then you’re going to write down when you’re going to do it. I’m going to do the first one now. There’s no time like now, right? Don’t put it off. And then, write it down in the calendar. Write this down. The more you write it down, the more real it gets.
Once you’ve done this work, go tell a good supporter in your life. You want to find somebody who isn’t going to enable you to not follow through on the goal, that isn’t going to sugarcoat the truth to you.
At the same time, you don’t want to go to somebody that’s going to shame you or where there’s any toxic energy. You want to find somebody that’s truthful, but they’re also kind and compassionate.
You’re going to tell them what your six goals are. You can also share how you’re going to do it, what the action items are, and when you’re going to do them.
This is another example of making it real.
Another great thing you can do is to get other people to join you.
We just launched the Level Up 108 program. 108 days. It’s the most intense transformative power yoga program on the planet. And we have a private Facebook group. And people are in there. And they’re supporting each other. And people are like, “I didn’t want to do the practice today, but I did it.” And it’s just good to have a community to be there to help you out.
At the end of the day, I want you to write down your daily wins.
So, you’re going to have a little journal next to your bed. And you’re gonna write down the things you achieved that day. This is very, very important because we are wired to focus on the negative and this brings us out of that old conditioned program and then allows us to recognize all the good things and progress we’re making. That continues to feed and create momentum.
Also, I want you to review your goals on a weekly basis so you’re going back and you’re looking at your progress, you’re looking at the goals you set. This is very important. I want you to do this on a monthly basis, a quarterly basis, and an annual basis.
This is what I do. I go back and I look. If something’s off and I need to make a course correction, then I can do that.
But if you’re not monitoring and tracking the progress or the lack of progress, then again you have a high probability you’re not going to end up where you want to be.
The last thing to reinforce your success within your goals is to support them with daily affirmation. So – in addition to the weekly, the monthly, the quarterly, and the annual – I want you to have your affirmations, your goals running through your mind on a daily basis. You may write these down. You could say them out loud.
It’s like a seed you have to nurture and to water and to feed. You have to do it on a daily basis. If you don’t, then the seed’s going to die. The plant is going to die. It’s never going to grow into this magnificent tree that bears fruit. You have to affirm it daily.
All right, you guys. That was a lot of information, a lot to put in there. But I am super pumped about this topic. I’m passionate about this project. And I can’t wait for you to do the work. And I can’t wait for you to have the best new chapter, new beginning, new year of your entire life.
Who you’re going to be 12 months from now is just a whole other person!!!
Not that anything’s wrong with you. You’re perfect just the way you are and yet there’s still room for improvement. You’re just gonna be even more magnificent, even more amazing, more healthy, more abundant, more wise, more knowledgeable, more skillful, more loving, more compassionate than you are right now by doing this work!!!
Let’s finish now with the ultimate prayer.
“May we bring strength where there is weakness.
May we bring courage where there’s fear.
May we bring compassion where there’s suffering.
And may we bring light where there is darkness.
May we be ultimate.”