There is truly only one shortcut to reaching your goals that is guaranteed to work and backed by research.
Fasting. Just kidding. It’s not fasting or macros or keto or lifting or walking or anything else that you’re probably thinking.
It doesn’t come in a pill form or a shot form or a meal delivered at your door form.
I always say that the process is the shortcut. Which is true. Because most people put all of their energy and attention on the outcome and then get frustrated when it doesn’t happen exactly as they want so they sabotage and start over which makes it take even longer.
But I’m not even talking about being process focused right now. Yes, that part is necessary. Even still … there is a shortcut to reaching your goals … even if you’re already process focused.
So what IS the shortcut to reaching your goals?
You know I can’t just tell you without providing some context.
Have you ever gone fishing for compliments?
We’ve all done it. Pretty sure I did it as recently as a couple of days ago.
I’ll tee it up for Mel by saying … ugh, I feel like this shirt makes me look thick.
And then I’ll wait for her to say … not at all, boo, you look muscular and fit!
The validation eases my insecurity and makes me feel better.
We seek external validation all the time. Even in less obvious ways than compliment fishing.
If you need examples, just open Instagram lol.
It’s basically a pool of humans who are crying for validation.
Tell me I’m not alone. Tell me I’m pretty. Tell me I’m funny. Tell me I’m strong.
You may be an overachiever because you learned that you get validation / love / attention from your parents when you accomplish things.
You may have a hard time setting boundaries because you want to receive the admiration of others so you tend to overextend yourself and people please.
There are certainly negative implications to seeking external validation but it’s not all bad.
In fact, it’s wired into us, as humans.
We are social creatures. We evolved in tribes and communities.
We love to fit in.
If you were dropped onto an island and discovered an existing community that lived there … it wouldn’t take long to conform to the norms of the group.
You’d learn their rules, their rituals, their ways of life … and you’d adapt.
It wouldn’t take long until their norms became your norm.
It’s a survival mechanism and we will always operate with survival-first actions.
Many articles have been written about the various ways to stop seeking external validation.
The general consensus in the psychology world is that some external validation is needed, but too much can be unhealthy.
So they suggest that you:
– examine your childhood experiences (did you feel invalidated or unseen?)
– use self-care to self-validate
– practice saying no
– surround yourself with a nourishing support network
– remove invalidating people from your life
Great advice. Easier said than done but worth pursuing.
My perception on all of this is simple (since I’m a pretty simple minded person).
Here’s the shortcut to reaching your goals …
If we upgrade the behaviors that we get validated for by surrounding ourselves with validating people who are doing what we want to do be doing …
Then we can shortcut the goal achievement process.
Consider the actions that you get validated for with your friends and family.
Often times it’s behaviors that don’t really align with what you want to achieve.
Like your friends giving you a hard time if you say no to alcohol. Or giving you shit when you order a salad.
But if you grab a beer and pizza … they validate you.
Or family that validates you for trying every single dessert on the table (like my family does).
Because of our survival instincts, it’s easy to conform and act out of alignment with what we truly want.
So, the only verified shortcut to reaching your goals is simply to upgrade the behaviors that you get validated for by surrounding yourself with other people who are already doing what you want to do.
One of the best things that CrossFit did for the fitness space was validating women for lifting a barbell.
The community aspect of CF is a perfect example of this phenomenon where people get validated for participating in a quality behavior like working out consistently.
Now, we could argue about the actual efficacy of CF as a training modality but that’s a different topic for a different day.
The bottom line is … you can upgrade the behaviors that you get validated for, while simultaneously working on more internal validation than external.
And you will dramatically reduce the time it takes to complete your goal.
Upgrade your behaviors, upgrade your results.
The shortcut to making more money would be to insert yourself into a group of wealthy individuals and meet with them frequently.
The shortcut to a better relationship would be to insert yourself into a group of people who have the type of relationship that you want, and meet with them frequently.
The shortcut to becoming more fit would be to insert yourself into a group of fit individuals who exemplify the behaviors that you’re trying to adopt, and meet with them frequently.
It’s proven and backed by a lot of research.
It’s not the easiest shortcut to reaching your goals but it’s available to anyone who wants to use it.
It’s the reason why I love running challenges and having a community aspect of POP.
In fact, I’d love to take it one step further and have little pods with a handful of POP graduates and then insert a new POP member into that pod where they can learn from the experienced members.
If I can think of a way to make that happen, I will absolutely do it.
In the meantime, think about ways that you can upgrade the behaviors that you are being validated for.
And if you find your current circles are validating behaviors that you’re trying to get rid of, you may want to consider upgrading your social circle.
Not easy. But could be the missing piece to reaching your goals and staying there.
Hope this helps.