Hi there, it's Jim Dodson, the Florida Bike Guy.
So what is the secret to having your dreams come true in 2019? You know, I think we all talk about it, we all want it to happen, but I think there's a real fall-off in actually following through and making it happen. And a lotta this seems sorta tried and true. You hear people talk about what you can do, and actually what I'm gonna talk to you about today isn't something that's new and revolutionary, but it's something that only 3% of the population actually does. You know, I think that we're actually programed for greatness. We're actually programed to do fantastic things in our lives, and I think too often we settle for mediocrity simply by failing to plan to excel.
So I wanna talk to you and tell you that I think the secret, or one of the secrets, to becoming, to have your dreams fulfilled in 2019 is to create the habit of becoming a goal-achieving person. Creating the habit, doing it, making sure that you have actually sat down and identified what you want your goals to be for this next month, this next year, the next three years. What do you want your life really to be? And there's a process to doing that.
One of the key ingredients for goal-achieving behavior, and quite frankly, I would throw away your New Year's resolutions, because most of those may have even fallen off the table by now. I'm talking about a system to actually help you achieve what you really want to achieve, whether it's in cycling, whether it's in life, it doesn't matter. But if you follow this system, it is a proven system that's been used for, really forever, in terms of high-achieving people reaching their goals.
And I think one of the things that, when you consider what your goals will be, I think that you need to have goals that really excite you. Ho-hum things that'll be, well, that'd be nice, you know, we can get that done. I don't care whether it's some achievement you want riding your bike or whether it's financial, or relationships, or whatever it might be, give yourself permission to dream big. Give yourself permission to create a goal, which if you really achieved that goal, you'd be so excited, it would change your life. It would be so magnificent to help somebody, or do something for you, or do something for others. That's the kinda goal you really wanna strive for, you wanna reach for, you wanna work for, to try to achieve. And there's a power, quite frankly, in not just arriving at that goal, but writing it down, and I'm gonna talk to you about why that is so critical. And developing the routine of reviewing your goals daily, then committing to what you're going to do about taking action for them.
There's a person that I've written about, most of you don't know 'cause you're on my newsletter, if many of you, I think, listening to this, get my cycling newsletter, but I actually do a second newsletter for people that I was doing long before I started doing my cycling newsletter, for my quote, other list of clients, automobile people and all the other people who I represented. So there's several thousand people on that newsletter and one of the things I've done in that newsletter is write articles about life, about imagination, vision, and this very thing. And several years ago, I wrote a story about a guy named John Goddard.
John Goddard is considered to be one of the greatest goal-achievers ever. He's a fascinating guy. He died within the last couple of years at age 88, but when he was 15 years old, he sat down and created a list of 127 things, goals, that he wanted to achieve in his life. Now, John didn't just think about it and say, well, maybe this will happen and I'll work to make that happen. He actually devised this list, 127 things, but he wrote it down, and then he set about to create a life that made it possible for him to achieve those goals. And if you listen to his goal sheet, it's unbelievable, quite frankly, and you can imagine why he's considered such a great goal-achiever.
He wanted to explore, and bear in mind, between the age of 15, when he wrote this list of 127 things, he completed 120 of them by the time he was 88 years old. And this list includes things like exploring the eight major river systems around the world, exploring 20 primitive cultures from the Congo to Alaska, climbing 15 major mountains in the U.S. and abroad, visiting every country in the world, studying medicines, photographing every major waterfall in the world, learning to fly an airplane. He actually learned to fly an airplane, and one of his goals was to land an airplane on an aircraft carrier, which he did.
He wanted to retrace the travels of Marco Polo and Alexander the Great, and explore every major coral reef in the world. It goes on and on. One of the things he wanted to do was run a five-minute mile, weigh 175 pounds, read every great work in literature, understand music, play two musical instruments. I mean this list is, if you completed this list, you have lived an unimaginably productive and achieving life, and that's what John did. And he is really, by far, the greatest testimony to creating, and adhering to, and reviewing, and working on achieving your written goals.
You know, I was on Facebook the other day and we've interviewed Tracy, I'm drawing a mental blank, but Tracy who is a coaching, Tracy Draper. Sorry about that, Tracy. So I interviewed Tracy several weeks ago and I was on Facebook and I saw that she had actually created, and this was just a passing observation, I haven't even talked to her about it, but she made an observation that she had ridden her mileage, which I think was 8,000 miles for the year. But in addition to that, she had climbed 400,000 feet and she was on target, this was like just before the end of the year, to complete that list, that achievement, that goal for her for the year, which is quite amazing.
So I think that what we want to do is observe the lives of goal-achieving people. Observe the lives of those around us who are really achieving at a high level. A lot of statistics say that about 3% of the population actually has written goals, and only 1% actually review them daily, yet a high percentage of the people who have written goals will achieve them. So it's this big disparity between goal-setters and the rest of the population, and that's why you see such disparity in achievement in people's lives for those who actually set, follow, and attain their written goals.
There's a wonderful quote that I refer to frequently by a guy named Robert Hendren. It says, “in the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia, until ultimately we become enslaved by it.” And I think what he's saying there is that we fall into patterns, into routines, into habits, of doing things, maybe things driven by other people, maybe things driven by default, because they're comfortable, we feel comfortable where we are, and we don't strive, we don't dream, we don't grow, we don't try to achieve beyond what we've known we can do in the past.
I think people, who have sometimes, I think, failed in the past with goal-setting, is one of the things you have to do is write it down, and we're encouraged to write them down by hand. I study neuroscience as much as I can and there's a great deal of evidence in neurosciences that it's the actual writing down, the physical act of writing a list, writing your goals down, because that process encodes it into our brain. And that puts that whole list at a totally different place in our lives than something that we don't write down. Otherwise, and the other thing about writing goals down is that you've got to think about it. You've got to commit yourself to exactly what you want to do. It becomes very specific when you write it down. It's not just a thought, it's not something that you might imagine, it's very specifically written out, and you can change them as the days go by.
I think that one of the things, I've taken a number of courses on success, and success training, and growth, and what have you, and I think what I've learned is that so many of us do not give ourselves permission to dream. You know, children have this imagination that they have as young kids, and unfortunately, we sort of force that out of their lives when we send 'em to school, and they're really constricted, and we become constricted to doing the things that we have to do, the rote things that we do that don't rely on our vision, and our visualization, and our dreaming of what we wanna do with our lives. We need to give ourselves permission to get back to that.
So think about the areas of your life that you really want to change, or you really want to achieve something, whether it's travel, whether it's the cycling side of your world, whether it's a financial issue, or a relationship issue, or faith issue, and give yourself permission to dream and to create what would be like the ideal situation for me, and then how do I go about achieving that goal. These things have the power to change our lives.
You know, we don't have to get off the chart to do it. I mean Tracy set up specific cycling goals she wanted for the year. I would suspect that, if I talked to Tracy about this, I'm gonna find that she has other specific written goals in other areas of her life as well. I'd be surprised that her goal-setting is restricted only to cycling. But even that is a great thing to do.
You know, I think goals need to be exciting. They need to motivate us. They need to stretch our imagination, stretch our excitement level. You know, because it also has us sit down and look at what we want our life to be at the end of the year. 2019 is starting, what do I want my cycling life to be at the end of 2019, or my financial life, or my travel, or my relationship life? Where do I want that to go? Where can I imagine that it would be if I simply consistently applied myself to achieving what I want to do? So we want to imagine it. We want to write it down. We want detailed, visual images of what our goal is going to mean in our lives. Details, details, details. Bring imagination, bring life, bring vigor to what we're trying to do. Wanna write it down, and you wanna review it daily, and then, I wanna introduce you to a book I talk about quite a bit. It's a book called The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. This is a life-changing book. It could be life-changing for yourself, it could be life-changing for those around you.
Olson's book is premised on a very simple premise and that is that there are things in our lives, little steps, that, if we do them every day on a consistent basis over the course of time, will absolutely radically change everything that we're doing. The steps are small. Your life won't change if you do the step today. It won't change if you don't do the step today, but if you do it day after day, after day, after day, suddenly your life has become dramatically different. It's the example, he used the example of looking at a pond that has a hyacinth in it. You look at that hyacinth, you know they reproduce rapidly, and you go by, and after the first couple days, there's a few of those in the middle of the pond, and a week later, there's a few more. Two weeks later, there's more. Every day, the hyacinth is adding, doubling in size, doubling in size, doubling in size, and suddenly you walk by, and the pond is full of hyacinths, and you can't see water anywhere.
It's the same principle with saving consistently. Kind of puts us in our practical message on him. He talks about when his daughter, who actually went to the University of Florida, was going off to college and she was concerned about, "Dad, how am I gonna achieve what I want to do in college?" He said, "I'm gonna give you exactly what you need to do. "Go to class every day, do not miss class, "and study two hours a day, "that's all you need to do." She did that and she graduated from Florida with honors. It's the consistent application of those principles every day. And that's what we need to do in terms of taking action to achieve our goals. What are The Slight Edge steps that you need, that I need, to take every day, every week, every month, every year to achieve these goals that I want to set for myself, that I'm going to set, that I'm going to achieve in my life? Determine what those are, write those steps down, and do them, just do them every day. Make it your routine, your habit.
Every time I go to the airport, I park at the same place, and it's in the Earhart elevators. I go from the parking garage down to catch a flight using the Earhart elevators. If those of you who'd fly out of Tampa, you'll know what I'm talking about. So, in this elevator, there's this amazing quote I love from Amelia Earhart. It says that, "The most difficult thing "is the decision to act, the rest is just tenacity." And that is so true. I think, when you look at goal-setting behavior, it's like what are the things that holds people back? Why are not more people doing it? One of the things is, I think, that we don't take it seriously. It seems so simple, we've heard it countless times. Nothing I'm telling you here today is particularly rocket science, but it is, in terms of its application, but many times, we feel like we know that. I know that. But we're not doing that and that's the key.
I think people have not ever understood the significance of it, how drastically important it is to have written goals in our life, for yourself, for your children, for your grandchildren. And there's also this fear of failure. What if I set a goal that I don't achieve? I think that fear, number one, you know, if you don't set any goals in life, you'll never fail so, but you also never achieve anything. So I think that we have to have enough courage to set goals, to stretch ourselves, and you know, the bigger the goal, the bigger the reward. So I think we need to overcome.
There's an amazing little book that I read recently called Being Wrong, and this is the Adventures in the Margin of Error. This is a book about all the things that people did that turned out to be wrong. They made mistakes, they failed in terms of what they were attempting to do, and yet, all the good that came from them, like that wasn't life-destroying, and how people moved on after they were wrong. So I think that's a great little book to look at in terms of overcoming our resistance or concern about fear of failure and setting goals, or really, it's more importantly us setting goals to achieve what we want to achieve in our lives.
Something else I would suggest to you, and I'm gonna do a separate program on this sometime, the power of habit. You know, a habit is a routine or practice performed regularly, or an automatic response that we have to a situation. Our lives are governed by our habits. If you look at your life, what you do in the morning, from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed, if you examine what you do, virtually every step is done by habit. Many of those habits are good and positive, but some of them are not, and we get just as locked in to routine negative habits as we do to positive habits. So we can create, and I'm suggesting to you that we can create the habit for achieving our dreams, achieving our goals, through the application of becoming a goal-achieving person by writing them down, committing a decision to act, studying them daily, and looking at The Slight Edge steps we need to take each day to accomplish each goal.
There's a book that I'm gonna talk about on a subsequent program called Atomic Habits, by James Clear. It's just an amazing book and we'll devote kind of a program to that sometime when we have a few minutes.
I also wanted to talk to you a minute about the power of a decision. You know, a lotta times people will tell you, well, I made a decision to do A, B, C, but they never really did it. And that's because there's a definite difference in our lives between a decision and a committed decision. We talk about something you want to do versus something you will do regardless of the obstacles. That is a committed decision.
And there's a great, one of the things I wrote about in my other newsletter was The Power of Decision by a guy named Mike Long, and Mike, excuse me, Matt Long. Matt was a cyclist in Manhattan. 2005, he was riding his bike in the city and a bus turned across him. Shattered every bone in his left leg and gave him a devastating buttock injury. I think he required like 40 units of blood in the hospital. He was in the hospital for five months, he had five, or excuse me, 40 surgeries to come back from the devastating injuries he received, and he talked about how he had to overcome the fear of getting back on the bike, but he also wanted to compete. He was a competitive athlete before he was injured. He wanted to return to competitive athletics despite the devastating injury that he'd received.
The turning point in his life, and this is what's so fascinating, is that he made a committed decision to do. I will do the following things. I will accomplish my goals. His were related to athletics and competition. He went on, by 2009, so four years after his devastating injury, Mike competed the Iron Man in Hawaii. He was the Men's Fitness 2010, named him one of the top 25 male athletes in the world, and Men's Health magazine named him one of their top 10 male athletes that year. So, there's a guy who has this dramatic, devastating injury but the difference in his life, and I think the difference that we can all apply in our own lives, is I will recover, I will overcome, I will not only overcome, I'm gonna be a determined, fantastic, great athlete. And that's a great story and I think very inspiring for me.
Also, I've heard this guy interviewed on TV not long ago, a guy named David Goggins. I'm not sure if you've heard this story. David Goggins wrote a book called You Can't Hurt Me. Now, his story is that he was a African-American kid, grew up with a very, very abusive father, very, very abusive, destructive household. Talked about how everything he did, his father put him down, beat him, I mean it was horrible.
He and his mother escaped that. He was like this 297-pound guy at kind of a dead-end job at age 18, and decided, I'm gonna be a Navy SEAL. He lost 100 pounds in like 90 days, in order to make the minimum qualifications to get into the SEAL training program, but he went on to become a SEAL, but it was a very, very rocky road for him, because SEAL training, we recognize the SEALs at the end of the training, but they wash out vastly more people than make it through.
And Goggins actually got injured his first time going through SEAL training, recovered from the injury, went back, went through the training a second time. A second time washed out because of a physical issue, and actually went through SEAL training a third time before he even became a SEAL. He's the only member of the military to complete SEAL training, the Army Ranger School, and the Air Force equivalent of that.
The thing that's so unique about him, and one thing I'll tell you about this book, it is filled with profanity unfortunately, particularly the F-word, and I think that if, in my view, I'd recommend it to a lot more people but for that one issue. He definitely is coming at it from a SEAL perspective, from my looking at it, but he made a decision that no physical limitation was going to stop him from achieving whatever it was it he set himself to do. One time he decided he was gonna run in a hundred-mile race, if you can imagine. No training, very little equipment, and he really wasn't prepared for it, but he completed it. You know, he was like, and he had all kinds of, you can imagine, physical issues trying to do a hundred-mile run in, like in 30 hours. Around the clock, didn't have the right hydration, the right equipment, but he did it.
He is like the embodiment of nothing will stop me. It's the mind over the body. It's not allowing the body to tell me I can't do it. I'm gonna run through every pain, I gonna run through every obstacle, and I'm gonna complete the task at hand. He went on to become an ultra-marathoner. He talks about all the ups and downs, the physical issues. It's a fascinating book, but I think that most of us aren't gonna do the things he did, and I'm not suggesting we are, but he is the guy who's gonna say, I'm gonna make a decision and nothing is gonna hold me back from completing that task, and I'm gonna overcome every obstacle in my mind, every obstacle in my body that holds me back. So I think it's a fascinating read, Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins.
So I think, as I've mentioned, I think each of us have the capacity for greatness. Each of us have the capacity to live extraordinary lives, and extraordinary is gonna be defined for you in your situation. It'll be different than what I would want, but I think that we don't prepare ourselves, we don't take the necessary steps, we don't do the little things that create the habit of goal-achieving behavior in order to reach those extraordinary goals that would actually change our lives and give us such a feeling of accomplishment.
So my wish for you and for each of us is that we undertake, you know, our written goals for the year, for the month, for the next three years, for the next 10 years, and set about identifying those Slight Edge steps that we need to take every day to make sure those goals come true and you'll be shocked and amazed, I predict, at the end of the year, exactly what you're capable of producing. And I look forward to hearing from you about that.
So I'm Jim Dodson, I'm the Florida Bike Guy. You know, my passion is to represent cyclists throughout the state. I represent them in cycling crashes and any other personal injury as well. If you need me, I will come to you. You know, we represent people regardless of where you are.
You know, I get a lot of calls from people and people are concerned when they think about hiring a lawyer, so what is it gonna cost to hire a lawyer? I always put it very clearly. You'll never write me a check. You'll only get a check. If we're successful in settling your case, you get a settlement check, and our fee comes outta that check. No one ever has to write a check to us, so if I can help you, you have a situation you're concerned about, you know somebody that's been injured in any type of an injury where they're cycling or an automobile, call. I'll be happy to talk to you about it. I'll tell you what we can do. I'll tell you what can't be done. But I'll be honest with you.
All right, everybody, that's Jim Dodson, the Florida Bike Guy, that's our motivation for the day. Go out and have a great life. Take care, bye.