Say goodbye to aimless wandering and drifting off of your path to success and hello to inspired action towards your goals!
In the previous solo episode, we delved into the first step of achieving success: crafting a crystal-clear vision for your life. Now, it’s time to establish goals— the RIGHT goals– that reflect your chosen vision and values.
Tapping into my journey as a Division I All American athlete and then entrepreneur, I’ll walk you through a process of setting goals that align with your vision of success and your core values— similar to the framework that became the pillar of my athletic endeavors and now my coaching program, Reveal Your Path (RYP).
This time around, I’ll share the essentials for reaching your goals— from building resilience, discipline, and consistency to finding the perfect balance and support system that steers you toward success.
I’m also giving away an RYP-exclusive goal-setting tool, along with the actionable advice you need to crush your goals and unleash your full potential.
By the end of this episode, you’ll have the tools to elevate every aspect of your life— relationships, self, health, and wealth. So, tune in now!
If you don’t have time to listen to the entire episode or if you hear something that you like but don’t have time to write it down, be sure to grab your free copy of the Action Plan from this episode— as well as get access to action plans from EVERY episode— at JimHarshawJr.com/Action.
[00:00] Jim Harshaw Jr.: I had a single-minded focus, just like I did when I was wrestling. That does not work in the real world. You have multiple stakeholders, if you want to call them that, right? Wife, kids, community, your own health and wellness. Like, you're taking care of your physical health. You have to have this balance. So the way we do that is we help our clients set goals in four areas.
[00:23] Welcome to another episode of Success for the Athletic Minded Man. Real talk on harnessing your athletic drive for clarity, consistency, and focus in business and life. This is your host, Jim Harshaw Jr., and today we're jumping into part three of five. This is a five-part series about Reveal Your Path, which is the name of my coaching framework and the coaching program. But I'm giving it, all of it away to you here right now so you can understand it, you can understand where it came from, why it works, and how it can work in your life, whether you work with us or not. Just giving it away.
[01:00] And I'm even giving you a tool that we've spent hours upon hours developing. We launched this over a year ago and have been revising and updating it ever since. And it is a really cool, powerful goal setting and tracking tool. Everything gets color coded as you start scoring it month to month. You get grades. You can look by goal or by goal category. You can look at overall by month. Like, how am I doing in all of my goals by month? They're just all kind of cool bells and whistles on there, so you can check that out. Just grab the action plan, go to jimharshawjr.com/action. You can grab that, but I'm giving that away to accompany this. So you have a tool, something you can use and implement to take action and put this into work in your life.
[01:51] And of course, you can sign up for a free one-time clarity call with me. Go to jimharshawjr.com/apply, and you can apply for your one-time coaching call there. And I can share this framework and how this framework will actually work in your life, given your unique circumstances.
[02:08] So the reason this is a five-part series is because the first part was an overview. That was Episode #439, so go back and check that out. That was published on January 15th. That was the overview and I'm going more deeply into each of the four steps, the four modules, the four pieces of the framework in the four subsequent solo episodes. Now, if you're a longtime listener, you know that I do pretty much alternate interview episodes with solo episodes. So every other episode is an interview. So 439 was part one of this. 441 was part two. This is episode 443. This is part three of this five-part series. And in the action plan, we'll have the link to all of the prior episodes. So whenever you download this action plan, you can you can get the links and the numbers to all of the prior episodes. And we'll have the ones for in the future as well.
[03:06] All right, so the first part, the framework was covered in episode 439. Part two of the series covered the first module, and that was creating a clear vision for your life in discovering your core values. Now, here's the deal. When you were an athlete, whether it was high school or college, or maybe you like to run marathons or maybe you want to; it's very clear. Like, success is very clear in sports. We know. I mean, I'm recording this, right around the playoffs, and the Superbowl is right around the corner for the NFL. Like, we all know what the end is, right? We start with the end in mind, it's getting to and winning the Superbowl if you're in the NFL. Period, right? It's very clear what the goals are.
[03:47] You get into the real world, it's not the same way. You actually have to put effort and focus into this. Otherwise, you have these vague ideas of where I want to go. I think I might want this, but that's in the way, this obstacle, and maybe I want that. And it might change from day to day, depending on the latest social media posts that you read, or the latest conversation you had with a friend. Wow, that sounds really awesome. Or this person's doing something really cool. What is the vision for you? In athletics, in sports, very clear. In the real world, it's not. We cover that in episode 441. That was part two, creating the vision and for your life and discovering your core values.
[04:26] Today, we're talking about the second piece, which is aligning your goals with those values, and aligning your goals with that vision, right? We're going from broad to narrow here, right? Broad. What's the vision for my life? How do I want my life to look and feel? Then we moved into identification of your core values, and now we're narrowing it further and saying, okay, let me tether my goals to my vision and my values.
[04:53] And where did I come up with this idea? Whenever you were competing as an athlete, you had that, right? If you achieved at a high level, if you achieved any of your goals, if you felt like you had a good experience. Now listen, some people didn't have a good experience. And maybe you're listening to this and going, boy, I never experienced that, but I can see how elite athletes, high performing athletes, people who maybe did achieve some of their goals in sports, you can see how this framework plays out in the lives of elite performers.
[05:21] But I know that whenever I was competing, I had goals that aligned with my values. I didn't know that back then. Nobody told me this. I discovered or rediscovered this framework much later in life. But when I was competing, I could do ridiculously hard things. I was a wrestler. I was a college wrestler. I was able to be resilient. I was able to bounce back from lots of injuries. I had some nasty neck injuries. I landed on my head once when I was in high school. Actually, it was right before my senior year. And me and this guy were tied up, it was early, it was a preseason tournament before the season even started. And man, I was tied up with this guy upper body and we both went out of bounds, neither one of us wanted to give up position on our way out of bounds, and literally I landed straight vertically on my head with my body weight in his body weight. And I finished the match and won, but I couldn't move my head for about a week, my neck for about a week. And I still have a compression fracture in my spine because of it.
[06:18] But you do hard things, right? You go — that led to lots of other pain down the road. You're able to be consistent when you're competing at a high level. You see these Olympic level athletes and their goals are aligned with the vision for success in their life. And it's the same, whether it's Navy SEALs or CEOs or astronauts, there's a consistency there. There's a resilience there. And I had that when I was competing at the highest level.
[06:44] Actually, I'll tell you a story. here's a perfect example of how this plays out in sports and how you want this to play out in the real world. So when I was competing, it was my junior year. I was really struggling to make weight. I was wrestling 150 pounds in college, and it was my third year competing in that weight class, and I was still growing. I was putting on muscle, still growing. I was a late bloomer. I talked about this neck injury that I've had and I actually had to sit out a tournament, but I traveled with the team to this tournament called the Midlands Championships in Northwestern University in Chicago — Evanston, to be exact, Illinois — and traveled with the team, knew I wasn't going to compete there, but we were flying to Dallas immediately after that. So my hope was that I would feel good enough after not competing in this tournament, feel good enough to compete in Dallas.
[07:36] And so again, struggling to make weight 150 pounds that year. It was consistently 15 pounds or so overweight and would have to lose that weight on any given week. And so, while my teammates were competing in this two-day day tournament, I was just doing any training that I could. I was eating healthy, doing some training, just keeping my weight in check, staying in shape. Couldn't fully live wrestle, but I was doing as much as I could. And I didn't want to check my weight. I'm like, I don't want to be obsessing and thinking about my weight. So I'm just going to eat right and do things right.
[08:09] And checked my weight after the term was over. So end of the tournament finals were over. This is end of day two. It's now seven or eight o'clock at night. And everybody on the team wants to check their weight because we're heading back to the hotel and we're the next morning we're flying to Dallas. And then the day after that, we're going to weigh in.
[08:26] So I stepped on the scale and I weighed 172 pounds. Do the math. It's 22 freaking pounds. I was 22 pounds, 22 pounds overweight! And I wasn't — it's not like I had a — I didn't have a full belly of food. I was not fully hydrated. It's not like I've been packing up drinking tons of water or anything like that. I was 22 pounds overweight. And my heart just sunk. I didn't even want to tell anybody. I certainly didn't want to tell my coaches.
[08:56] We went back to the hotel. I got a workout in that night, lost about five pounds. That's pretty easy when you're when fully — for the most part, fully hydrated, generally speaking. You haven't been cutting weight yet. Lost five pounds pretty easily in a workout. Just put on a soft suit, went for a run and jumped on the stationary bike. Shed five pounds, maybe another couple of pounds overnight. You drift a little bit of weight every night you do. Everybody does. If you ever go to bed, weigh yourself right before bed, wake up, take a leak, and weigh yourself again. You're going to be probably two pounds less, maybe more depending on the person, depending on your size. Drifted a couple of pounds overnight, but I still had a long way to go.
[09:33] And the more weight you lose, the harder it gets to lose the next pound. But it was absolute hell. It was absolute hell. I remember waking up the day of weigh-ins just a shell, just a skeleton, just empty. Like, my soul felt empty. Just dehydrated, hunger — not even — you're not even hungry when you're that thirsty. You can't even really think about food. You're just thinking about liquid. And my eye sockets felt dry, I don't know that they were. I don't know if your eyes actually dry out but man, they — felt everything, everything felt dry. And I was still several pounds over.
[10:09] Had to put the plastics on. Plastic suit, sweatshirt, sweatpants, hat — everything, and went for a run around the building outside just to get a little bit of a sweat going. Came inside with a stationary bike in the sauna, jumped on that thing, and just rode and rode and kept myself going as long as I could. Takes a long time to get your sweat going when you're out of water in your body. And it was hell. It was absolute hell. I made weight and we didn't compete until the next day, thankfully. I competed terribly, as you might expect. I won a couple of matches, but lost at least one. I think I went two and one on the day. I injured my thumb looking down. I got a scar on my thumb actually from the match against Donnie Pritzlaff. So anybody, any wrestlers listening, Donnie Pritzlaff went on to be a — I think a world silver medalist if I'm not mistaken, but a total stud. Lost to him that day. And it was just a horrible experience.
[11:01] Quick interruption. If you like what you're hearing here and you want to learn how you can implement this into your life, just go to jimharshawjr.com/apply to see how you can get a free one-on-one coaching session with me. That's jimharshawjr.com/apply. Now, back to the show.
[11:19] When you have a vision for what success looks like, you're willing to do the hard things. Like, that sucked. I wouldn't recommend it for anybody. But that was part of the journey. That was part of my path. I eventually won three ACC championships, became an All-American. This was part of my journey. And I did it because this was aligned with my vision for success, my core values — which I couldn't have stated my core values then like I can today, but are you able to do the hard things?
[11:46] And for me in my life, like, I had a great job working at the University of Virginia years ago, started there in 2012 as a fundraiser. This is after my wrestling coaching career and loved the job, but I really had this other vision for my life and it was to do what I'm doing now. It took me years, almost five years of doing this on the side. We're hosting this podcast. It was called — it actually started out called Wrestling with Success, transition to Success Through Failure. And now then, what it is now Success for the Athletic Minded Man. But I was running a podcast on the side when I had a full-time job working nights and weekends, three kids, eventually four kids, and coaching, and just getting this thing off the ground. It was freaking hard.
[12:29] And I did it for years. Sure, there were moments of doubt, moments of can I do this? Is this thing ever going to work? Am I ever going to get this business to the point where I can quit my job, support my family? And I wasn't about to jump and let the parachute appear, hope that the parachute was going to appear. I was going to — I wanted to make sure that my family was stable. I wasn't about to take a huge risk.
[12:49] And I did. I stuck it out. I stuck it out because I had a very clear vision for success. I knew what I valued. I'd surrounded myself with the right people and had the right coaches in my life. And I got there. I got there. I get to do this. I get to sit here in front of a microphone talking to you right now. I get to lead and coach all these amazing people in my community because I went through the — you can call it hard work. I don't like calling it hard work. I call it inspired action. Right? There's hard work.
[13:22] If somebody told me to dig a ditch everyday just because, I don't think I would be inspired to do that. But if they told me to dig that ditch and it was going to help me lead this life of purpose and impact that I'm leading now, then maybe I could. But that digging the ditch was me waking up early, recording the podcast, every single moment I had where I could work on my business that was not doing my job, not spending time with my wife and kids, I would put everything else into this business. And it got me there. It got me there because I had a clear vision. What is your — do you have that clear vision?
[13:56] Like for me, losing 22 pounds in two and a half days, it was hell. But I did it because it was who I was. It was where I was going. It aligned with my vision for my life. If you're finding yourself not consistent, not disciplined, not inspired, you're missing an ingredient. It's simple. It's I'm not saying it's easy. Like, we make it easy through my coaching process, how we help people, but it's simple. It's simple. It's a process that you can replicate and follow. We've replicated it hundreds of times with our clients over the years, but you have to understand what is your vision before you can get to this point where you can create goals that align with that. When you create those goals, you can be resilient. You can do the equivalent of losing 22 pounds in two and a half days in your life, right? The equivalent for you, whatever it is for you. Not for me, not yours. And your vision's not mine, right? Whatever that equivalent for you of building your side hustle to the point where you can do it full-time, you've got to figure out what that is for you. Because once you do, and then you create very clear goals that align with that, the sky's the limit.
[14:57] But here's the catch. When I was wrestling, I really just had one goal. I mean, I had these sort of sub-goals. I wanted to graduate from college and do well. And I ended up getting two degrees, including a master's degree from the number one public university in the country, University of Virginia. and I got good grades. I got a 4.0 in grad school. Listen, I had those goals. They were sub-goals. But really, I had a single-minded focus. And it was wrestling. And that doesn't work in the real world. A single-minded focus does not work in the real world. Here's proof.
[15:29] Years ago, before I started working back at the University of Virginia, I had another business and that business failed. It was a sports marketing company. We were doing consulting, sports marketing, consulting, but really. the crux of the business was a software. It was called Riot Sports Marketing. And I'd raised angel capital and built this software. And we had revenue, we had clients, but just not enough to keep the lights on with a growing family. So I had to shut it down. But what I realized at that point is I had let everything slip in my life. I had a single-minded focus, just like I did when I was wrestling. That does not work in the real world. You have multiple stakeholders, if you want to call them that. Wife, kids, community, your own health and wellness. Like, you're taking care of your physical health. You have to have this balance. So the way we do that is we help our clients set goals in four areas. And in this order of priority, by the way.
[16:19] Listen, everybody wants to start with money, career, business, and we're going to get there. But number one, relationships. Number two, self-goals. This is growth or impact or fun goals, right? These are goals that are about me and making myself the best version of myself, continuing my own growth, et cetera, impacting on the world. So relationships, number one. Self, number two. Number three is health goals — health and wellbeing. And number four is wealth goals, okay? Relationships, self, health, and wealth. That order. We work on all of these, but listen, if you're making a boatload of money and you can run ultra marathons, but your relationships are a mess? You're not going to be happy. This is about happiness, fulfillment, maximizing our potential in the world.
[17:05] So we work on all of these areas. And when we set those goals — and you'll see this on the worksheet if you download it — there are a handful of things that we include when you set the goal. Okay, so you have to set the goal, very clearly smart goals, which means specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound. We've all heard that. Very clear about the goals. And I shouldn't assume everybody's heard that, but that is a popular acronym. I did not create that. But it's a popular acronym for setting goals. Or here are these subcategories, the things you have to also fill out whenever you create your goals.
[17:35] And listen, this is easy. This part's easy to do. It's also easy not to do. Skip it, and you're not going to be resilient. You're not going to be consistent. You're not going to be disciplined. You've got to include what are the relevant core values to this goal. Am I setting this goal because I saw it on social media or it sounds cool, or is it actually something that lines with who I am in my legacy, how I want my life to be?
[17:57] Okay, so we tether our core values to the goal. We also ask ourselves who, what, when, why, and how. Who means who are the people or groups that can help me achieve this goal, right? Who do I know who's been there done that with the groups or organizations that I can join, associate myself with, that will help me get there. This is part of why we have mastermind groups and mastermind calls. I have a community of like-minded high performers who all challenge themselves. There's a lot of wisdom in this group. So who are the people or groups that can help you, right? Do you have a coach in your corner?
[18:31] What obstacles, are you going to face along the way? You will face obstacles, guarantee it. When I was coaching wrestling, when I was a college wrestling coach, one of the things I would ask my guys was — individually — in our individual goal setting meetings, was what obstacles could you face throughout the year? What if? What if something goes wrong? What if some things that could go wrong? I could lose a match that I'm not expected to lose. Sure. Good. What else? I could get injured. Yup, that would suck. Okay, what else? My girlfriend could break up with me, or whatever else it might be. I might have a big test on the same day as a match. Sure, all of these obstacles could show up. So if and when they show up, I can say, hey, wait a second. No need to be down, right? No need to beat yourself up or no need to feel sorry for yourself. 'Cause we actually identified the fact that these things could potentially happen. So this is part of the journey. We knew this coming into it.
[19:21] So I said, who, what, when is the deadline? Not three months from now, but you might say June 30th, or whatever the date is. I always tell my clients, we're setting goals for at least six months. If it's like, hey, I can achieve the goal next week if it's like, I joined a gym membership. That's not a goal. That's an action item, right? You can sign up for the gym membership tomorrow. It's like, if you achieve it today, if you set the goal today and you achieve it tomorrow, that's not a goal. It's a to-do list item, right? There's the larger goal. Might be, I want to lose 20 pounds. I want to work out three to five days a week or whatever it might be. When is the actual date? A date on the calendar.
[20:01] Who, what, when. The next one is, why? Like, why am I — why is this even important? It can be a sentence or two. Like, why is this goal even important to me? Is there a reason behind it, or do you just think it's sounds like a good idea. When you actually have to type this out, think it out, it solidifies the goal, helps you be more consistent, more resilient.
[20:21] The next one is how. What's the action plan? Oh, just high-level. If I want to make a million dollars this year, what do you got to do? You got to do A, you got to do B, you got to do C, you got to do D. Just like three, four, maybe five sort of benchmarks along the way. Just high level things that you've got to do to achieve that goal. I want to get the promotion. Okay. You've got to go, okay, in order to get the promotion, I got to get this certification. I got to volunteer to lead some things at work. I've got to hit my own benchmarks at work, my goals there. Right? What are the sort of high-level action items, high-level benchmarks you've got to have in your action plan?
[21:02] Now here's where the rubber meets the road. Follow me here. This is really important. If you miss this, you miss the whole thing. Micro goals. I call these micro goals because these are the smaller goals that are going to help you get there. If you want to make a million dollars this year, what's the thing that — what do you have to do in the month of February to get to one seven figures? 1 million dollars. Okay, you do that in February. At the end of February, we score that goal, color code it, give it a score. And then we set the goal for March. What specifically do I have to do in March to get there? Okay. I got to do this. I got to make this phone call. I got to sign up for this. I got to make this commitment. Great. You execute in March. We get to the end of March. How did you do? We score it. It gets color coded automatically. And then you go to the next month, April. You do this every single month. This is the habit. You have to have the micro goals in every area. You do this month by month.
[22:04] When I was competing, I didn't write these down. I had some goals written down, but like, the more you track this, the better. I didn't really have this framework this clearly. Like, I do now, but man, I wish I did. 'Cause I was doing a lot of this stuff sporadically. But when you get very clear on what is the micro goal for this month, you start to execute this vision that seems so far off. Becomes actionable, becomes a to-do list item, becomes something I can do today, this week, this month. Otherwise, you're going to drift. I promise you, you're going to drift.
[22:38] I just got an email from one of my clients, a pathfinder. This guy's a total stud. He's done a bunch of Iron Mans, crushes it in his job at work, makes boatloads of money, and he's really good at what he does. This guy, he's like, man, I was on the road for a couple of weeks. I'm off the path. He was on the road. He was on the road for work. Even guys like that get thrown off the path. That's why we work with them. That's why they invest in a coach.
[23:01] That's why they invest in being part of this community, because they know they're the best version of themselves when they get clear. Because they know they can drift. We've got to bring them back onto the path and play them in the right direction and keep them going. And he will. That's — he's having a conversation today with his one-on-one coach, and he's going to be crushing it again before you know it. You have to do this Productive Pause. You have to pause, set the goal, work with the coach, be part of a community, get clear, and then jump back into the fray. If you don't, you won't maximize your potential. It's that simple. It's that simple.
[23:39] So what do you do now? You download the tool, you get the goal setting tool, you fill it out, you jump on a call with me, and so you can take action and make this stuff really stick. This is a simple system. It works. It works for hundreds of others who I've walked through this. It will work for you. If you want to maximize your potential, follow the plan, follow the blueprint, follow the system. Take action, jump on a clarity call with me, jimharshawjr.com/apply, and that's your first step. Good luck.
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