Who Will You Be The Day After Achieving Your Goal?

As my first coach told us, you can have anything you want as long as you're willing to pay the price.

So whether it's saving money to pay off debt or dieting and working out hard to get a six-pack, if you want to put in the work, and persist to the finish line, you'll get where you're going.

But he also said the goal is never about the goal, it's about who you become on your way to achieving the goal.

When he asked me what my goal was, I said, "To get my master's degree in information science."

"No, Mike, that's not the goal, that's a milestone," he said. "The goal is who are you going to be, what are you going to be doing, the day after you get your degree?"

It was a question that brought me up short and that I now deploy on myself whenever I remember to do so.

HIs analogy was of a golfer aiming to sink a putt. The golfer does not aim for the hole -- instead, she aims for just beyond the hole. By aiming for that invisible point, she sinks the putt.

Likewise, my music teacher tells beginning guitar students there are eight strings on the guitar: one invisible string above the six you can see, and one below. So when you strum, you strum all eight strings. That way, you guarantee that the pick has enough speed and momentum to make a pleasing sound from the middle six strings.

Amid the many tiny goals and objectives I have these days -- losing weight, exercising more, starting a side business -- I will forget and then remember my coach's lesson. Particularly the "what will you be doing the day after?" question: after losing all that weight, will I sit down with a cheeseburger and basket of tater tots? Why not start thinking about that now rather than the day after?

I need to shift my gaze from the goal to the life every now and then to make sure I'm going where I want to go.