Consequences of the goal

I mentioned in an earlier post that knowing the consequences of a goal is important to move a goal forward. All goals have consequences that are rarely thought about. Let’s take two of the most popular goals people tend to work on: losing weight/getting fit and having lots of money.

Benefits and consequences of losing weight and becoming more fit

Benefits:

  • Being attractive
  • Being healthier
  • Being able to eat more (a fit body needs more energy then an unfit one)
  • Able to fit under the sink easier when repairing something
  • More energy
  • Able to chase after kids easier
  • Less stress on joints and body during activities
  • Physical activities are easier (hiking, gardening, rock climbing)
  • Able to do more interesting sexual positions
  • Easier to fit into tighter spots when caving
  • Legs are smaller so less area to shave or if your are a guy, chest (and back) is smaller so there is less area to wax
  • Using less shaving cream
  • Easier and more fun to jump on a big trampoline
  • Easier to fit into booths at restaurants
  • Run faster

Consequences:

  • Being hit on more often
  • People wanting to have sex with a 10
  • If buffing up then people ask for help moving things
  • Being the person who has to repair the sink since no else fits
  • Guys feel the need to pick smaller girls up a lot (my younger cousin picks me up all the time and thinks nothing of it)
  • Can get cold easier
  • Other bodily features (that you might not like) draw more attention
  • More time spent working out
  • More time spent preparing food
  • Spending money on workout clothes, gyms, hiking trips, etc
  • Spending a lot of time at yoga and other classes
  • Random people grabbing your butt (I know for a fact this happens to girls a lot even outside of bars, I bet though it happens to guys as well)
  • Jealousy from friends/lovers when they see other people telling you how hot/sex/handsome/etc you look

Benefits and consequences of having more money

Benefits:

  • More money to spend
  • Don’t have to worry about making car payment/house payment/credit card payment
  • Impulse buying is less of an issue
  • Saving for retirement is easier
  • More travel is possible
  • May be able to stop working
  • Spend more time with your family and friends
  • Be able to give your kids what you did not have as a child
  • Bigger house
  • Better car
  • Power
  • Respect
  • Being able to contribute more to good causes
  • Nice vacations
  • Able to support a bigger family
  • More money to invest
  • Better investment opportunities

Consequences:

  • Work to manage investments
  • People wanting to borrow money
  • Family “borrowing money” but they don’t plan to repay
  • Does someone love you for you or for money?
  • Friends who just want money
  • Meetings with investment planners
  • Hiring accountants
  • Dealing with taxes
  • Finding tax shelters
  • Children can be spoiled
  • Deciphering who is really working for you and who is just taking your money
  • Responsibility for where you put your money (e.g. investing in a business that uses child labor etc)

Of course not all these benefits and consequences apply to everyone. Many people see only the benefits of the goal they are trying to attain. It is not that the consequences are bad, just that they are what they are – accept them. Not dealing with the consequences does not mean you don’t have responsibility for them. In the money example, just because you don’t want to deal with tax accounts and the IRS does not mean that you don’t have to. If you don’t, you probably will wish you had when the IRS comes looking for you or you lose all your money because you did not manage your money.

When planning out a goal, it is important to realize all aspects of it in regards to what you like and what you don’t. Some people rather not have a ton of money and not have to deal with the consequences of such.

Being aware of the consequences s can help you work towards your goal and find reasons why you might be avoiding completing your goal. If I wanted a lot of money but I held the belief that only greedy self serving people had a lot of money, so when I made my list, under consequences I might have written something like the following:

  • Being too selfish
  • Not being able to relate to the poor so I can’t help them as much
  • Being part of the rich snobby upper class
  • Having so much when so many people have so little
  • By having more, I take away from someone who has less

All these consequences stand in the way of you having money. You can accept these and move on, decide your goal is not that important and give it up, or find a way to make those consequences not true for you. I can turn these into benefits like I have the money to help people.

Accepting Consequences

If you suddenly have millions of dollars, you have to deal with everyone (family, friends, IRS, etc) wanting a part of it. If you get into a relationship, it will eventually end either in breakup or death. If you get fit, more people hit on you. If you get a fish, you occasionally have to clean a tank. If you spend 40,000 dollars on a car, that is 40,000 dollars you can not put towards investments.

Consequences are part of life. Most people tend to classify them as good or bad. They are not really good or bad, consequences just are. We tie meaning to them and extrapolate how that effects us, and then say, “That must be bad because it effects me in a way I deem as negative”.

Some people hating managing money. Yes, you can hire someone to lead you financially, do your accounting, and fill out your tax forms. But ultimately, the responsibility is yours. If your financial planner makes bad investment choices for you, you’re the one out of money.

When I have a goal I am having trouble accomplishing, I find that I am often stuck in this rut. I want something, but I have not accepted the consequences of my actions so I am fighting myself which is not very productive. Recently, I have been playing with the idea of becoming a polyphasic sleeper. I would really like to try it, but every time I would begin an action plan on how I would do this, things broke down. I realized it was because was fighting the consequences of being a polyphasic sleeper.

The consequences I saw for being a polyphasic sleeper were:

  • Not as much time to relax
  • I would spend even more time on work
  • Giving up sleeping in with a leisurely morning

Changing the consequences

Once I knew what I was fighting, I could change my perception on it and change how I executed my plan. I was worried that in becoming a polyphasic sleeper I would give up what little time I currently use to relax. I felt that instead of spending 16 to 18 hours a day working, volunteering, writing, etc; I would begin to spend 22 hours a day. The idea of spending 22 hours everyday sitting in front of my computer or volunteering made me run away from wanting to be a polyphasic sleeper.

I decided I want to be a polyphasic sleeper, so I looked at my list of consequences and reworked them. I am doing just fine working 16 hours a day, I really don’t need to work anymore. I can spend time reading (one of my favorite past times), hiking, learning new skills, white water rafting, learning a new language, cooking, exercising, hanging out with friends, rock climbing, watching the stars, playing with my cousins, programming (while technically work, it is fun too), learning a new martial art, writing stories that I have not had time to write, rollerblading, and thinking. Once I saw that I had so many things that I enjoy which would take the place of sleep, the consequences seemed great as supposed to dreary.

Letting Go

There is always the possibility that when a goal is looked at in this light, the goal is no longer very enticing. You might decide that being in a relationship is not worth pain, compromise, and psychiatric bills :D . At that point, you may put the goal on hold or drop it all together and focus on completing other goals.

Once you really see the goal for what it is, you can move towards it. It is much harder to accomplish a goal that you only see one side. Looking at the consequences allows you to truly see the goal as a whole to make a conscious decision of you want to go for it or not, and examine if you hold any ideas that are against you reaching that goal.

Adrienne :)

 

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2 Responses to “Consequences of the goal”

  1. Hi, Adrienne;

    I came here to say hello after Steve’s workshop and found this particular post to be very insightful.

    These consequences you speak of are VERY powerful when they remain unexlplored, and many people have them as fuzzy inner beliefs. This limits their effectiveness and ability to reach their goals and they don’t even know why…by shedding light on all the things that may or will happen as a consequence of a new lifestyle – good and bad – you can be HONEST with yourself, deal with your fears and go for your goal with full power!

    Thanks, Adrienne, and take care,

    Shauna

  2. Adrienne says:

    Thanks Shauna!

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