Reverse Engineer Your Goals
Start with the end and move backwards to the beginning.
At Eat2Live2Love we are goal oriented, focused on the step by step process of getting you to your goals. But we like to do it backwards.
The “Then” Mentality
“Once I lose this weight, then I’ll be happy.”
“After I get this promotion, then I’ll start saving money.”
The “if this, then that” mentality has become a way of life, from our To Do List’s to the AI built into our phones. It’s simple, it helps us stay on track and “keeps us moving forward”. But if that’s true, then why the hell do none of us know what’s going on? We have our big shiny goals just staring us in the face, we know we wanna get there- but how? So we say to ourselves “Okay, Step 1., I need to do this and then Step 2. I need to do that.” and so on. All we can see is the end goal in the distance and 2 feet in front of us, but nothing in between and no road map.
What if I told you to meet me on Mt. Fuku (ya that’s a real mountain), and told you to make a left out of the airport and a right at the stop sign? What would you say? “Uh, I kinda need the rest of the directions to get to the Fuku mountain in China.” Right? You’d want the rest of the directions, or at least a map. The “then” mentality is exactly like that. You know you need to get to your goal, but can’t see the path forward.
Start At The Mountain & Go Backwards
Instead of starting at Step 1 and moving forward, let’s start at the Goal and move backwards. Let’s say I’m super stoked about going hiking to Mt. Fuku, but can’t afford it. The “then” mentality says, “I need to save up money and then….” But let’s use reverse engineering to get me there instead. Let’s start at the mountain and go backwards together to figure my fool proof way to get there.
Step 10. Be at the top of Mt. Fuku
Great. That was easy.
Step 9. Hike up the mountain.
Step 8. Find a Chinese/English Guide
Do you see what we’re doing here? First, we are living in our dreams, not in our fears, by envisioning ourselves at our goal. Secondly, you are having to be creative by reversing your goal setting behaviors. Let’s keep going.
Step 7. Take a Taxi from the airport to the city to find a guide.
Step 6. Get a Taxi from the Airport.
Step 5. Fly to China
Step 4. Book tickets to China
See where this is going? We are no longer dependent on our next two steps, but instead building a road map to our goals.
Step 3. Win the lotto
Step 2. Play the lotto
Step 1. Decide to fund a my Fuku trip with the lottery.
Now let’s read it forwards.
Step 1. Decide to fund my Fuku trip with the lottery.
Step 2. Play the lotto
Step 3. Win the lotto
Step 4. Book tickets to China
Step 5. Fly to China
Step 6. Get a Taxi from airport
Step 7. Take Taxi to city to find a guide.
Step 8. Find a Chinese/English guide
Step 9. Hike up the mountain
Step 10. Be at the top of Mt. Fuku
Dream forward, Plan Backwards
Reverse engineering your goals puts you in the power seat. It allows you to think about being at the top and how to get there, versus being at the bottom and having no idea what the next step is to the top. It forces you to see yourself succeeding, and imagining how you got there. That’s living in your dreams friends; and reverse engineering is how we make it into a reality.
Today, reverse engineer one small goal in your life. Start at the end, and work your way back to the beginning. You’ll be planning in the forward. You’ll lose the “then” mentality, and when put into practice- is a road map for your success; or a road map to Mt. Fuku- either way, you’ll get there.
What If You Did Nothing?
We are more connected than ever. We no longer have to drive to the store to buy things. There’s no need for printed road maps. Information can move at the speed of light across the globe. And yet.
And yet we are overburdened with more tasks, more reminders, and more pressure to move even faster; to deliver instantly. The pressure mounts for our perfection, rather than the pursuit thereof, and we find ourselves endlessly busy yet accomplishing nothing.
So what if you did nothing?
The beauty of humankind is it’s imagination, it’s creativity, it’s ability to create an idea and translate it into reality. But in the age of technology, we are losing our imagination, our creativity, and the ability to dream. This is, of course, under the guise that we are being more productive, that we are accomplishing more with every swipe of an email; but you can feel it, can’t you?
The beat of your soul underneath it all. The desire to be free from the shackles that are your routine. You day dream about packing your bags and heading off to the great unknown in an adventure with far more feeling than Bob demanding today’s reports on his desk.
You’re busy at work, you have never-ending tasks at home, holidays to plan for, school work to keep up with, and shopping to do. You never get the opportunity to turn off. You never just S.T.O.P and do nothing. You are endlessly chasing, endlessly running, on the treadmill of life; running miles, but never getting anywhere. But is doing more the answer? Would creating 2 of you reallygive you more time, or would it just give you more to do?
Fiona works M-F from 9am-6pm. When her work day is done, she picks up both of her school age children from daycare and heads home to conquer dinner, dishes, homework, and cleaning… a lot of cleaning. However before she leaves work, she sends one last email, texts her son that she’s on her way and gets in the car. While driving and listening to Coldplay, she gets a text from her boyfriend, and another from her son, asking where she is.
By the time she’s knee deep in hamburger helper and dishes, she’s racked up about 5 emails from work.
Just two hours after she has left work, she feels exhausted and overworked. She puts on the news while her son does math on the floor, and her daughter is in her room on the phone. Through the clanging of dishes, she hears there’s been more unrest in the Middle East, with two talking heads arguing over war funding for several minutes before blaring commercials come on. Fiona moves back to stirring the sizzling pan of hamburger helper, checking the clock, and yelling for the kids to set the table. Another text pings, and this time, after serving the kids their food, she decides that she “needs a break." So, she grabs her phone off the counter and retreats to the bathroom, swiftly locking the door behind her.
Fiona, like many mothers, quickly learned that the bathroom is the only safe place in the house for a mother of two.
Sitting on the cold plastic toilet lid, she inhales deeply and opens her phone. She responds to her boyfriend, checks instagram and Facebook, then reads emails. She happily swipes and kills 4 out of the 5 emails. But Justin in development needs a report rewritten to exclude taxes, and needs it by noon for accounting. Another deep sigh; Fiona begins to review the previous report on her phone when her boyfriend texts back to say he’s on his way and headed to the store. "Do you need anything?," he texts.
Racking her brain for what’s in the fridge, not in the fridge, or almost low, Fiona replies from the now warm seat of the toilet, and just as she presses SEND, she hears wailing in the other room, followed by the all too familiar, “mooooooom!!!!”.
7 minutes. She had 7 minutes. Last deep sigh and she’s back out in the kitchen playing referee, while simultaneously noticing no one ate their dinner. She’s exhausted and stressed when another text rolls in asking her what type of cereal the kids like best. The news is still blaring, dishes undone, and the kids are sheepishly picking at their food, as if dinner was cold army grits.
Fiona can tell herself that she will get up earlier, that she will do more tomorrow, that, that, that… But, it’s the same promises she has always made, and kept, yet always felt defeated by. “No matter WHAT I do I can’t get everything done!”
Perhaps Fiona isn’t doing too little, perhaps, she’s doing too much.
The entire day, Fiona’s mind is being asked to be on alert and to focus on X factors. When she’s driving home, her mind feels as if it’s wandering while driving; but it isn’t- her brain is still actively engaged, in driving, in the music, and her own unconscious thoughts. She then is pinged to pay attention to her phone.
At home her brain is working overtime, attempting to decompress what was, focus on what is, and plan for what is to come.
Even mere moments before she falls asleep, you can imagine she's in bed reading her phone, finishing out the day’s Facebook comments, and checking her email again.
And if one had to wonder, Fiona probably turns her phone off only minutes before closing her eyes for the night. Meaning, the only time her mind is truly free is those short moments before sleep.
Humanity’s greatest quality is our ability to be able to dream, love, and create. But if we are “on” every waking moment, we can never become creators.. we are followers. Followers of texts, of emails, of demands, requests that we all feel obligedto respond immediately, because so much is presented to us at one time. It's only natural then to assume that we need to do more to accomplish more.
The human brain can only remain at peak focus and intensity for 90 minutes. After that, it’s abilities diminish greatly, and we feel the symptoms…burnout.
You know the feeling, the “I did too much yesterday” feeling, or the “My brain hurts!” feeling from over-studying. We’ve pushed ourselves too far, become too scattered, and left ourselves feeling empty, while not pursuing perfection, but trying to mimic it.
When Fiona took her “break”, her mind didn’t get a break. She put it right back to work on emails and Facebook. Imagine being in one room and having basketballs hurled at you by the dozens, then running into another room and having whiffle balls thrown at you. That’s what she is doing, and, more than likely, you are, too!
Doing nothing is what what creates the environment for our minds to wander; for our imaginations to be used, for us to day dream. Without that, what makes us any different from a machine?
It was dreaming that gave us Plato. It was imagination that gave us Disney. It is the free mind that gave us Siddathra, Ghandi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. But none of those men, all dreamers, would have ever dreamt a dream, or envisioned a future, had they kept themselves and their minds busy.
If we busy the people, we enslave the people. If we busy the people, they will never have time to pursue their own purpose. It’s as if you are busy moving grains of sand with tweezers; you are busy, but enslaved. You’ll never move every grain, it serves no purpose, but you are busy.
At our core we want to get things done. It’s why our creative minds came up with every invention you see before you. We love accomplishing things because we feel good about ourselves. And who doesn’t like to feel good about themselves? What’s more pleasurable than an inbox at Zero? What’s more gratifying that swiping “delete” on 20 emails? Right?
Wrong. What did you actually accomplish? Checking email all throughout the day, all day, is like moving those grains of sand with tweezers. You feel like you are getting stuff done because you're replying to emails or texts. You feel engaged and social on instagram, snapchat, and Facebook; but are you?
All of these activities are fine, but think about how often you check. Plus, what’s more exciting that getting a good email? Sure, most are healthcare scams or annoying emails from places you’ve shopped, but there’s that chance it could be the one so you check. A lot.
You just pick the tweezers up and start moving sand grains while complaining how busy you are. Put the tweezers down. Take a break. A real break.
If your brain can only perform at peak for 90 minutes, then you need to learn that limitation can actually fuel creativity and, shocker, eliminate burnout. Allowing your brain to rest every 90 minutes, or at a minimum giving it a change of focus, will allow you to refuel instead of draining.
Try The 90/30 Rule
For every 90 minutes that you are highly focused, take a 30 minute break. Walk around, move your body, dream about that Hawaiian vacation, but allow silence. It may feel uncomfortable. You may even feel a rush of thoughts and to-do’s pop into your head… that’s okay. Let them come, and let them leave. Remember, this is your mental break, your time off.
Try Doing Nothing
Waiting for the bus? On the toilet? Taking a smoke break? Put your phone down. Do nothing. See how long you can make it before needing to grab technology. The longer you can go, the better. You’ll be shocked at how much happier you are after only 1 day. We all want to be happier people, and we can be, if we aren’t feeding our brains a constant stream of stressful situations, like numerous emails, bad global news, or arguing on social media about nothing.
Set your alarm and do your social media sign off as you get into bed, not as you decide to fall asleep. Got ya there, didn’t we? You may be in bed, but you and I both know you play on your phone, or watch AHS/Game of Thrones/Football for an hour or two.
So as soon as your butt hits that mattress, get your alarms and routines done, and don’t play on your phone!Lay there like a slug and allow your mind to be free instead of processing more info like pixels, Justin’s stupid report, or candy crush. Allowing your mind to wind down on it’s own is the healthiest thing you can do.
Once you allow yourself more mental freedom, you will start conceiving new and creative thoughts. You'll remember more items, and lastly, you’ll see how ridiculous everyone else looks with their chins to their chests.
Once this is a habit, you can start adapting your schedule, by writing down everything you do in a day and reviewing where you can do more. If you aren’t watching True Blood every night, then that means you could spend a full 60 minutes on emails… instead of 3 minutes every hour. You’d get more done and have more time.
All by doing nothing.
Why You’ll Never Reach Your Goals
If you are reading this, then you already have a goal in mind, and, more than likely are still trying to achieve it; wondering what is holding you back from attaining it.
As if our lives were some storybook fairy tale, we are always looking for the happy endings.
But there never should be an end. We are more than that. Our ideas, dreams and goals can be put into action to create a legacy longer than the years you spend on this earth.
But we are told if we buy a pill we will be well, if we buy the clothes we will be happy, and that what they want is what we want. It’s what the corporations tell us. It’s what you are sold. And most Americans are dead asleep and doing just as their told while they are pouring their money, hearts, and lives down the drain. It is the lie that success comes easy, that suffering has no place, that there are easy ways to attain greatness; or that even perfection is possible and to be sought after.
Most people I talk to about their lives, are in a state of inner discontent, beneath the layers of financial success, career’s, illnesses and life’s battles. Yes, underneath all of that, there is a deep lack in their soul, and they know it. They can feel it in their very beings. Perhaps that’s why we quiet our minds with the sounds of tv’s, radios, podcasts, music; all blaring in the background, not loudly enough to get in your way, but just loud enough to disrupt you from thinking and feeling. To be so busy with everything, that you become nothing in the process, and it’s easier to turn the volume up, or put on another movie, show, or read another book. That’s easier by far, then dealing with the heart of the matter.
You will never attain your goals because you don’t actually have any. You have goals that were given to you, not created by you. You were given an expectation, a lie, sold a belief system without your own authorship and gobbled it right up. Because in truth, it’s easier isn’t it? It’s easier to put your faith in something other than yourself because you see yourself as a failure. You put more trust in others than you do yourself. You would rather believe a lie, than believe the truth because the truth is ugly. The truth requires work, effort, and facing your own fears. The truth requires you turn off the tv, it requires you to remember things that you don’t want to remember and when your pain is already so great, you think you can’t handle the pain of your own life on top of it- but that is what’s required.
So we lull ourselves to sleep in OITNB or Game of Thrones, we consume the news like starving masses and lose the ability to hear our own opinions.
I’ve heard it said that it’s easier to do nothing. But again, I believe that to be a lie. Is it easier to live with yourself knowing you could be more? Is it easier to live with hating your body? Is it easier to watch yourself slowly die? Is it easier to watch life passing you by? Is it easier to live in your regrets and in your fears of the future?
No. I don’t think it is, and take it from someone who’s been there; in the trenches- it’s not easier to do nothing. It’s a perpetual state of purgatory; heaven just out of reach, and hell close enough to feel burning at your toes.
Rather than clawing ourselves out, rather than deciding; we lull ourselves to sleep and believe that where we are now, is where we will always be. But if I impart nothing else on you, let me remind you that the only thing permanent in life is change.
What that change is, depends solely on you.
They say you can you can lead people to water, but that also isn’t true. People only follow what they allow to lead them. No one can force you to water, you have to decide to follow them there. Then you have to decide to act and drink.
They are and were your choices all along. But society, will have you believe that it was them that gave you those choices. No, it was you. You decide to believe college is the only way to a career. You decide that the only path to healing is through doctors. You decide that you aren’t strong enough to be on your own. It’s your choice to follow and it can be your choice to lead.
You must believe that you are capable of achieving your dreams, and must make sure they are your dreams, and not that of your mothers, not your husbands or anyone else besides your own. When you are working for something, it pushes you towards it. But when you living for something, when you want it so bad you dream about it at night, you talk yourself into by day, and your mind drifts off to it in the quiet moments- then it is pulling you. Your life’s mission will be your passion, it will be what wakes you up and gets you up. Your desire to reach your goal has to be your obsession, but it must first- it be yours.
Don’t believe the lie that you aren’t smart enough, rich enough, you aren’t young enough, or you aren’t capable enough. Because those are lies. The truth is, it’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be the hardest fight of your life, but when you have your purpose, it will be your rod and staff to comfort you, to pick yourself up with. When the tough times come, and they will, you to have something to hold onto; not a corporate slogan, or what your friends think of you. You have to have that goal, that life dream, planted so firmly in your fist that you never let go, no matter what tries to pull it from you.
Achieving your dreams doesn't come easy. It doesn't come in a pill, shake, or a box and if you still believe that, then you’re a coward and deserve the the purgatory you put yourself in- because that is the cowards way out. A coward knows what they should do, but allows fear to stop them; a coward rather believe a lie that suffer with the truth. Eat2Live2Love has no cowards in our program because no coward would ever join our program. It isn’t for the weak and we help produce strength and independence through hard work, effort and passion.
Ever heard the slogan, “We build leaders!”?
Another lie. If “they” build it, they own it. They are the creators of it. Who then is the leader?
If I said, “We build bread!” Would you go there to be bread or would you go to learn to build bread?
Your goals and your dreams need to be your own through finding your why in life, self exploration and the belief and knowledge that it is possible for you to have your dream, that you are capable and you are worthy of it. Because the painful truth is, it’s not easy. Reaching for your goals in life is beautifully, unexplainably terrifying. It may be the closest we ever come to becoming a bird in flight, like when you were a child and dreamt of flying; terrifyingly beautiful. You were free then, you can be free again. Be the bird you were meant to be, don’t be afraid- your heart will guide you and the wind will hold your outstretched wings.
If you’re ready to learn to fly- become a Member. It’s cheaper than Netflix and will change your life, not waste it. This isn’t “The End”- it’s only the beginning… Make your goals a reality.