Get S.M.A.R.T. – Becoming Superhuman

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So this is starting a new initiative to roll alongside our usual general-purpose and game character posts!  The Becoming Superhuman series is going to be covering specific methods and techniques that I personally have tested and am currently using (or have used,) to elevate myself above and beyond anything that I’ve done or been before.  I’ve spoken about this before, and my turning point back in August.  Without building the hype too much, I can confidently say that I’m currently functioning on a level well above anything I was at before that “rock bottom” moment, and I continue to improve every single day.  Part of my reason for restarting the blog was to bring these lessons to you, and that is the inspiration for this series.

When I say superhuman, by the way, I really do mean it.  We emulate video game characters here, and most of them are superhuman in some way.  Even the relatively “mortal” ones, like Ezio and Batman, are still above and beyond what any “average” person can be or do.  That is our goal, and together, we will reach it.  Some older posts that I’ve made can definitely fit into the category of this series, as well, and I will be linking them as we go through, so keep an eye out for that as well.

So, let’s talk about goals.  Goals are the signposts that we are going to set up to guide ourselves, on the path to becoming superhuman versions of ourselves.  They are the most important part of the process because if we don’t know where we want to end up, we’ll never be able to get there.  It’s important, however, to set the right kind of goals.  “Becoming Superhuman” is an awesome concept, but it’s not a great goal, necessarily, outside of an overarching mindset.  Why?  Well, it’s not very S.M.A.R.T.

S.M.A.R.T Goals

So, as you may have guessed from the periods punctuating that word, S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym!  We’re going to break down that acronym now, and then look at how you can use it to develop your own goals.

S – Specific

First, a goal should be specific.  “Becoming Superhuman” is not very specific, because superhuman isn’t particularly well defined.  It’s entirely too broad.  A good specific goal is “I will run a 5k,” or “I will raise my income to $6,000 a month,” or “I will read one book, every week.”  If a goal is not specific, you will never be able to act upon it properly as you don’t have a real, defined victory to achieve in your quest!

M – Measurable

This goes hand-in-hand with specific.  A goal should be measurable, both the end result, as well as your progress leading up to it.  For the 5K goal, you can measure the distance you’re capable of running, and then watch it increase as you train.  For the money goal, you can chart your monthly income as it rises.  For the book, you can count the number of pages you read every day.  For each one, you have little goal markers rewarding you for every single day you progress towards your final goal.  This helps you build habits and self discipline, which we talked about last week.

A – Attainable

The goal must be an attainable one.  If you say “I want to fly at 20 MPH under my own power,” that definitely fits the specific and measurable qualifiers, but unless you are actually a kryptonian or something, it’s probably not going to happen in our lifetime.  Now, if you had a hang glider or a jetpack…  For a more realistic example, a lot of people set very unrealistic weight loss goals, instead of sticking with the tried-and-true 1-2% of your weight metric, which sets them up for failure.  Make sure you make your goal one you can attain relatively easily, so you don’t get discouraged on your path.

R – Relevant

You need a reason for what you’re doing.  We talked about this a little bit with The Top Three Reasons People Fail at Getting In Shape.  Your goal, in addition to being specific, measurable, and attainable, needs to be relevant in a personal way to your daily life.  You want to run a 5K because it’s something you’ve never done before, and your friends have put a team together.  You want to make $6,000 a month so you can finally afford that dream house where you can raise a family.  You want to read one book every week because your intellectual growth has stalled out and you find yourself being surpassed by the people around you.  Make sure that your reasons for your goal are ingrained into your daily life.

T – Time Bound

Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”  To put it another way, the amount of time you give yourself to accomplish something is the amount of time it will take.  It sounds kind of silly, but it’s also incredibly true.  When you set your goal, you need to make sure you set an “end time,” or you will constantly put off working on that goal.  Now, keep in mind the Attainable portion as well – no one’s losing 50 lbs in a month, or adding 100 lbs to their deadlift in three weeks.  However, you definitely need to set a specific time for things.

Putting It Into Practice

So, something important now: work on one goal at a time.  Remember how we talked about adding one habit to your life at a time last week?  Achieving a goal is, essentially, just the process of building new habits, so if we try to accomplish more than one at once, we’re setting ourselves up for failure.

“The man that chases two rabbits catches neither one.”

So, you need to pick your first goal.  Ideally, pick one that you can accomplish in thirty days, to start.  Longer term goals are fine, but they should be broken down into thirty day chunks, at least to start, to make them manageable, and so that you can see progress in a relatively short, painless amount of time.  If you’re having a hard time breaking down a large goal into thirty day chunks, then please do not hesitate to ask for assistance, as I am MORE than happy to help you out.

I would definitely advise you to get some writing involved here, as well.  Write down your goal, your steps to take it, and how you’re going to measure your progress.  Keeping a proper journal is something we’re going to address in the near future, but for now, think about grabbing a notebook and writing down your overall goals, and your smaller S.M.A.R.T chunks.  Getting into the habit of writing a bit now will be a big help when we get to the journal post, as well.

Once you’ve gotten your goal written down and laid out, then you’re on your way!  You should be able to break your goal down into daily action steps, and work on building those into your daily habits.  IF YOU NEED ANY ASSISTANCE WITH ANY OF THESE STEPS, PLEASE, PLEASE ASK FOR SOME HELP!  As I mentioned already, I would be delighted to assist you with building your own superhuman plan.  Stop by in the Guild Hall and we can get started!

That’s it for our first post in the Becoming Superhuman series!  I hope you enjoyed it, and I look forward to hearing about your goals and your progress.  As always, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!

Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace

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