“You don’t get your goals….”

This floored me when I heard one of my mentors say it.  Being a goal oriented person, my mind shot back with “What a bunch of BS!”.  However, as I settled down and re-examined it a bit more I started to agree.  I mean, there has been some goals, many goals I have not accomplished.

Here is the second part of his statement:  “You don’t get your goals… You get your standards”. These “standards” are you bare minimums, or your minimal effective dose to make you satisfied.  This is the part which made me think a bit more.  I asked myself, “What makes me happy?”.  Then I asked myself, “What at least makes me satisfied?”.  You see, there is a difference.  Happy and satifified are two different feelings if you dig a bit deeper.

Happy is feeling good… satified is feeling good enough.  Take for example your body weight.  Let’s say you were a female around college age (18-22) who used to weigh 120 lbs, or a male which used to weigh 180 lbs.  Twenty years later around your 40thbirthday as a female you might now weigh 140, or in the example of the male weigh you might 200.  At these weights, we’re not necessarily happy, but we’re not unhappy enough to take massive action. Depending on your gender/weight, would it make you “happy” to weigh 120 lbs as a female or 180 as that male?  Absoultely.

The trouble is that you’re not at a weight now which isn’t making you unhappy enough to change.  In other words you are “satisified” at where you are right now.  If you care about your appearance, shooting up to 160 as that female or 220 as that male would send you over the edge.  You might stop eating all together in order to drop that weight. You’d run for miles, calorie count and push away desserts which easily pack on the pounds.

However, at 140 or 200, respectively, you can live with that.  You’re not happy, but not too unhappy. You’re in that dangerous zone I call “no man’s land”.  The same happens with the level of satisfaction our relationships bring, and even the amount of money we make.  We have a standard for everything.  Let’s say your minimal standard for your income if you’re the bread winner is $60,000 per year.  You’re satisified with that.  You’re utilities and rent/mortgage get paid, and you can go out to eat a couple times a week, which you enjoy.  Would you like to make $100k a year?  Sure.  But it is not your standard.  It might even be a goal, but it is not a “must” or necessity.  As a result, you stay right around 60k.

Keeping on the financial topic, the same holds true for debt and savings.  Some of us have amounts which are our “standard”, such as we can live with “x” amount of credit card debt.  Other swear off credit card debt as the plague.  Same with savings. I knew a girl who said that she needs to be able to get her hands on $2,000 anywhere at anytime.  I also know a family, like so many, who the thought of savings has never crossed their mind once.  But for some others, their level of savings might be $20,000 or even $200,000 in liquid cash.

Here is my point.  It is easy to find out what your standards are.  If you want to know what your standard is for the amount of true and trusting friends are, just look at how many you have.  If you want to know the standard you have for your yearly income, just look at your last tax return.  Want to know what is your standard for your credit card debt, average out the last three months, and there you go.  What is your stardard for your body weight… simply step on the scale and it will show you.  Want to know the amount of healthy food you eat or how many times you go to church each month?  Just tally up your current healthy food intake or how much times you went to church for current month you’re in.

You’re goals may paint a different picture.  Your goals may be that you “want” to be making $50,000 more per year, have 6% body fat, and have an outstanding relationship with your spouse which others model themselves after.  You want to be more charitable, but you’re not.  You want to eat healthier, but you don’t.  You want to find that connection with God, but you never get around to it.

Why?  Because they are not your standards.  They are not your musts.  They are not necessities which drive you nuts when you don’t have them. They don’t keep you up at night, and you wouldn’t think about getting up earlier to spend more time to accomplish them.  You don’t carve out time in your busy schedule to dedicate to your “goals”… but you do for your standards.  You make sure you do the bare minimum to make you satisfied.  Satisfied in your relationships, health, wealth… everything. But, next week, I’ll talk about how you can change EVERYTHING!