Reaching Your Goals Starts By Taking Action Steps With Michael Goff

by Ryan Goulart

When we evaluated 85,000 Values Card exercises in our State of the Values report, the second-ranking value was “health.” And there’s perhaps no better person to talk to about the combination of health, values and goals than Michael Goff, vice president at think2perform. 

Michael has been a business coach and a personal trainer. He’s run businesses and served in leadership positions, helping people achieve their potential professionally and personally. He understands why forming new habits or pursuing goals can be so difficult — and why the solution starts by creating momentum.

“What is the one action step that you can take that you know without a shadow of a doubt is going to push you in that positive or that correct direction?” Goff says. “Because what I’ve found in life and with clients over the years is if you take a step, oddly enough, you’re going to see or come up with the next idea or the next step.”

On this episode of Making the Ideal Real, I sat down with Michael to talk about the dangers of overthinking, the importance of habit change and why great coaches don’t do the hard work for their clients.

How to Overcome Overthinking

If we want to create change in our lives, we almost certainly need to change our habits. This quest can be daunting, especially if we’re trying to overcome long-standing habits and develop new ones to replace them. We can easily find ourselves overthinking and overcomplicating the matter, which keeps us from making progress, which gets us overthinking — and the cycle continues. 

Michael reminds us that even coaches experience this challenge.

“I feel like I’m in this season of life where I’m overthinking everything,” he says. “And that comes with having a little bit of wisdom, because you know enough about the world that you want to see through things. But sometimes, it can hold you back because then you can’t take steps forward.”

At the heart of it, “overthinking is the typical paralysis by analysis,” Michael says. The remedy is twofold: take in the wisdom of others who have been in your shoes but also take action. As an outdoorsman, Michael uses the example of hunting on unfamiliar public land. When he asked for advice, fellow hunters simply said, “Just get in there and get after it.” Sometimes, making progress is as simple as getting boots on the ground.

Once you take that first step, you create the momentum to keep moving toward your goal. “It’s not like it’s going to just be perfectly clear, and your life’s going to be easy and wonderful, and you’re going to build the billion-dollar business. But if you just take an action step, the next step will be more clear when you get there,” he says.

Why Habit Change Is Essential for Success

As a personal trainer, Michael realized that while the workout was important, it was only a small part of a client’s day. What was that person doing in the other 23 hours? Over time, he began noticing that the clients who succeeded in business tended to achieve their fitness goals, too. They were goal-oriented — and undaunted by doing new things.

“What I noticed is those people tended to make habit change as easy as possible. They didn’t say, ‘Oh my goodness, I’ve never ran a mile in my life or built a business to a million dollars,’” Michael says. “They said, ‘Well, if I’ve never run a mile, can I start by walking a half a mile today?’ Not running. Just walking … taking that literal first step towards the goal.”

In business, the same principle applies. How can you get started in a small way toward habit change — altering your life without creating complete upheaval? If a habit change is too disruptive, you’re less likely to stick with it. “You would never try to run 26 miles if you have never even ran a mile,” Goff says. “You would break your body down, and you would get injured.”

The same applies to business. When you want to learn new skills or develop new habits, set your goals, write them down, but recognize that you can’t complete them in one fell swoop. 

“Once you write down your goals, actually look at them and go, ‘Am I willing and able to sacrifice either the time, energy or resources to make this goal actually come to reality?’” he says.

Lessons Learned From Coaching

Coaches tend to be empathetic people who invest in helping their clients succeed. But you can’t do the work for them — as a business coach or a personal trainer, as Michael has learned. 

Early in his career, Michael would fight hard for his clients’ goals and dreams — often caring more about the outcome than those people did. “I realized I got a lot of gray hairs to show for it; a lot of wrinkles; and a lot of stressful, not-great nights of sleep,” he says.

Now, he gives coaching clients simple tasks to do right away. This isn’t a pass/fail but rather a way to see whether they are in the right space and time to commit to the work. 

“You have to protect your energy and your space, too. Because it’s like when you’re on the plane, and they always say you got to put your oxygen mask on before you try to save anyone else,” Michael says. “It’s really true when it comes to business, when it comes to coaching, when it comes to everything.”

People in This Episode

Michael Goff: LinkedIn

Transcript

Michael Goff:

What is the one action step that you can take that you know without a shadow of a doubt is going to push you in that positive or that correct direction? Because what I’ve found in life and with clients over the years is if you take a step, oddly enough, you’re going to see or come up with the next idea or the next step, and it’s just constantly taking steps, and you will have to redirect. 

It’s not like it’s going to just be perfectly clear, and your life’s going to be easy and wonderful, and you’re going to build the billion-dollar business. But if you just take an action step, the next step will be more clear when you get there.

Ryan Goulart:

That’s Michael Goff, vice president at think2perform. We’re talking about how coaching keeps your commitment to your goals. I’m Ryan Goulart, and you are Making the Ideal Real.

I have with me today Michael Goff. He is a think2perform-er through and through, and he learned about it when he came here. He’s been with us for almost a year now. Michael, welcome to Making the Ideal Real.

Michael Goff:

Thank you, Ryan. It’s always a pleasure to be at world headquarters, as we call it.

Ryan Goulart:

Yeah. Well, and today I think is a perfect time to have the conversation that you and I are about to have because we’re going to touch on a lot of different areas that a lot of listeners here at think2perform out in the world deal with every day. And before we touch on that topic, we’re going to do our first question. What does Making the Ideal Real mean to you?

Michael Goff:

Way to start off with the heavy-hitter. Get right out in the open. I think that really depends on what your actual ideal is for the individual. So everyone will be different, but for me, something I’ve been working on the past, let’s say, six months to a year, since I’ve gotten older is, “How do I live my most authentic, genuine life? How do I be my most authentic self?” I’ve always been pretty good at it, but I think with social media and getting older and feeling like you have to keep up with the Joneses-type mentality, it’s easy to get caught up in the noise. So for me, making the ideal real is knowing what are my values, and how do I live those out as close to humanly possible every day.

Ryan Goulart:

Love it. And it’s a perfect way to set the context for our conversation today, because we’re going to touch on a lot of different facets of one’s life. We’re going to talk a little bit about one’s personal life. We’re going to talk a little bit more about one’s professional life, and we’re going to bucket this. You see where I’m going with this, Michael; your mental life. 

So one of the ways in which we’re going to start this off actually has to do with some new statistic that we just learned here at think2perform via our State of the Values, and it’s a perfect time. We’re about to head into the holiday season, and you know what one of the top three values was? It was health.

Michael Goff:

Surprising.

Ryan Goulart:

It was surprising. Oh my gosh. And for those of you that haven’t had a chance to meet Michael, and this might be your first introduction to him, he is a business coach, he is a personal coach, and he has been in the advice business his entire life, running businesses, helping people achieve potential through personal fitness and also then on the leadership side, too. So Michael, I’m going to start with going around the circle here. We’re going to start personally first. What have you seen that works for individuals both positively and maybe holds them back a bit when it comes to changing one’s habits?

Michael Goff:

Well, let’s go with negative first because we always have to try to end on a high note, a positive note, right? So from a negative standpoint, one thing that I’ve been working on personally — I always like to tell people just because I’m a coach, I’m not perfect at this — but through working on myself and seeing what has worked and not worked and then implementing that with clients, I do have a vast array or a sample size to pull from. So you read, you absorb knowledge, and then you apply it and see anecdotally plus subjectively what works.

And in my own life and in my client’s life, overthinking and making things complicated tends to lead towards that not-so-great-outcome side of things. I was actually talking to my spouse about this last night. I feel like I’m in this season of life where I’m overthinking everything. And that comes with having a little bit of wisdom because you know enough about the world that you want to see through things. But sometimes it can hold you back because then you can’t take steps forward. So if we can get away from the overthinking and make things a little more simple, especially from the habit standpoint, I think we’re going to head in a positive direction.

Ryan Goulart:

When it comes to overthinking, and you described it really well, that it’s a balance. You know a little bit more, you have experience, but you’re cautious in some manner. There’s apprehension. Talk to me a little bit about times in your life or times in your client’s life that you’ve seen the alternative work where it’s, for lack of a better term, ready, aim, fire type of thing, whatever they that —

Michael Goff:

Ready, fire, aim.

Ryan Goulart:

I think I said it wrong.

Michael Goff:

The outdoors man in me is like, I know what this means. No, it’s so true though because at the end of the day, it seems like successful people — and I use a very broad term success; that could mean financially, it could mean happiness, it means different things to different people — but people who tend to be happier, more successful in their businesses, all of those things, they just take action. And overthinking is the typical paralysis by analysis. So you have to have enough wisdom, and you have to seek wisdom through other people who have either done what you’re trying to do or have already done it, take the wisdom in, but then also you just have to get after it.

I’m an outdoorsman, and one thing I like to do is we hunt for our meat in our family, and I’ve been recently hunting on public land, which is very challenging. And I reached out to this Facebook group, there’s 100,000 people in there, and I said, “Hey guys, here’s the lay of the land: It’s a new area I’m not used to, it’s swampy and flat, and I’m used to Tennessee Hill country,” and I reached out for advice. And same thing: all the guys said, “Just get in there and get after it. You just have to step in the woods, look for a sign, and get your boots on the ground.” And I think that analogy really can apply to everything in life. Some people come to me for fitness advice: “Well, what do I need to do? I saw this fitness influencer say this, and I saw this blogger on men’s health say this, and blah, blah, blah.” And it’s again, paralysis by analysis.

It’s like, hey, what’s the one thing that you can do today that’s going to put you taking a step towards your goal? Is that getting up and doing five minutes of stretching? Is that setting your clothes out so that you will go potentially do your workout, and it’s one less thing that’s going to get in your way? Is it drinking a bottle of water? What is the one action step that you can take that you know without a shadow of a doubt is going to push you in that positive or that correct direction? Because what I’ve found in life and with clients over the years is if you take a step, oddly enough, you’re going to see or come up with the next idea or the next step, and it’s just constantly taking steps. And you will have to redirect. It’s not like it’s going to just be perfectly clear, and your life’s going to be easy and wonderful, and you’re going to build the billion-dollar business. But if you just take an action step, the next step will be more clear when you get there.

Ryan Goulart:

Yeah. Love that. Back to your overthinking connection. And even in the fitness world, you’ve seen individuals grow and do the things that they must be done that we often talk about here through our goal-achievement process, WDYWFY — what do you want for yourself? And what you’re describing here is that first domino, that first thing that really allows for all the other actions to really start to manifest itself. As you’ve seen in the fitness world, what are some actions that people could take that might prepare them to be able to execute the plan more effectively? And then we’ll use a business analogy next just to connect the dots.

Michael Goff:

Yeah. And are you specifically talking about a fitness step if someone’s wanting to lose weight, or are you talking about broader habits overall?

Ryan Goulart:

Broader habits. Like, what are some things — like, you’ve seen successful people that have come into a fitness arena and decide that they’ve committed themselves to it — but what gets them coming back? How do they keep that habit alive?

Michael Goff:

And that’s a good point. So, two things. One, when I started my career as a young personal trainer and gym owner, it was just the typical, “Hey, come to my gym. I’m going to kick your butt. You’re going to leave sweating and feeling good, and yada, yada, yada.” But I realized quickly early on that there’s 23 other hours in the day, and those 23 hours far outweigh that 30 minutes or an hour that I would have with a client. So that’s where I started paying attention and noticing things. One of the things I noticed — this isn’t everyone — but I would say a very high percentage of individuals who were successful in fitness or business, they were congruent. Meaning, if they were really successful in business, they typically were successful in achieving their fitness goals over time. Not always, but most of the time. And that’s what made me start digging in like, OK, there’s this success formula. There’s something going on here that these people get that I want to tap into and I want learn because, at the time, I wanted to be more successful as a young man, but also I wanted to help my clients have success. And what I noticed is those people tended to make habit change as easy as possible. They didn’t say, “Oh my goodness, I’ve never ran a mile in my life or built a business to a million dollars.” They said, “Well, if I’ve never run a mile, can I start by walking a half a mile today?” Not running, just walking, just again, taking that literal first step towards the goal.

Same thing in business. It’s not, “Well, I’ve never done a business, so I’m going to make a million dollars in my first month.” It’s, “OK, what do I need to do? Do I need to just form my LLC? Do I need to reach out to a mentor who can give me three action steps to take?” But it’s just the little, bitty things along the way that just, again, gets you moving. And the key is how do you make the habit as easy as possible so that it doesn’t disrupt your life so you’ll actually do it? And that’s my analogy. 

Again, I think about marathons all the time because the New York City Marathon just happened, and it’s like, you would never go try to run 26 miles — 26.2; I’m sorry for you marathoners listening; I know I’ll get yelled at for that — but you would never try to run 26 miles if you have never even ran a mile. You would break your body down, and you would get injured.

Would you ever invest in a business or bring on an employee to your business, if you’re a financial adviser or someone trying to scale, would you ever bring an employee that has no clue about your business at all? No financial background, no technical abilities whatsoever? Now, I still believe, though, that the personality and those traits matter the most, and you can teach almost anyone anything. But overarching theme, though: don’t hire people that have no clue what they’re doing into your business. You wouldn’t do that. It wouldn’t be a smart move for someone who’s going, “I’m going to be a millionaire this year.”

Ryan Goulart:

Yeah. I mean, difference between ambition and unrealistic expectations. And transferring over, and this is something I’m sure you’ve seen both as a personal trainer and as a business coach, and I’d be curious to see what you think about it: How have you responded to situations where you as the coach might want it more than the person you’re coaching?

Michael Goff:

That’s a great question, because I feel like most of my career has been that because coaches inherently are empathetic, driven people who want to see people succeed. They want to see the best for their clients, their students, their employees, what have you. So there’s been many times, especially early on in my career, where I would go to bat, and I would fight even harder than that individual would fight for their own goals, their own WDYWFY, their own dreams, their own values. I realized I got a lot of gray hairs to show for it; a lot of wrinkles; and a lot of stressful, not-great nights of sleep. 

Eventually what I realized, and I learned this from a mentor, was I started giving individuals little tasks early on because it kind of shows their level of readiness and their level of if they’re all in or not. If someone can’t do a little task within 24 hours of your coaching session or when you’re talking about their goals, then the chances of them sticking and staying or doing the larger task, it shows you where they’re at. 

And with my old sales business, I really learned that the hard way because I ended up leading almost 5,000-plus people in that sales business, and there were people jockeying for my time left and right. And again, because of who I am, I wanted to help everyone, but I quickly realized there’s only 24 hours in a day, and I need to see who’s really going to be coachable, teachable, and who’s going to take action. So it started with that litmus test of, “OK, if you’re saying you want this, Ryan, you really want this goal, well, here’s the first step. We got 24 hours.” And I would literally say, “Text me.” 

And I do this with a lot of my coaching clients now. I’ll have a call to action at the end of the day based on what they say, and I’ll say, “Hey, I want you to text me or call me within 24 hours,” based on whatever their means of communication is that they prefer. And I was like, “Let me know what you came up with.” And again, it lets you know where are they at on the thermostat. Someone who’s all in, I mean within 10 minutes they’re texting you, “I’ve already thought about it. What’s going on? This is where I’m at.” You’re like, “OK. This person’s ready to go.” And then the person that’s not — albeit life circumstances that get in the way — but the person that’s not, they don’t get to you, and you have to reach back out to them. And I always give grace to people, but if I have to reach out two or three times after we have those calls, that’s when I have that conversation with them and say, “Hey, Ryan, I love you. I’m here for you, but right now it seems like I’m wanting this more than you do, and that’s just not acceptable. So when you’re ready to get after this, let me know. Until then, I need to go help Joe Blow over here who’s getting after it.” 

So it’s that balance, again, of loving on them. But you have to protect your energy and your space too. Because it’s like when you’re on the plane, and they always say you got to put your oxygen mask on before you try to save anyone else. It’s really true when it comes to business, when it comes to coaching, when it comes to everything.

Ryan Goulart:

Hey listeners, Ryan here. The five profoundly simple steps of goal achievement are: have a goal, have a plan, implement your plan, control direction, and throw off discouragement. Discouragement has everything to do with the emotions one experiences in goal achievement. If you are looking for help or support on achieving your goals, please contact think2perform. We’re here to help.

I love the idea of giving a task to assess readiness, and I’m imagining just because you’ve had a holistic career in being a sales leader, a business owner, a health professional, personal trainer, I would imagine those tasks were very different in every application. Let’s stay on the sales side for a second. What did a task look like for you when you onboarded someone new and you wanted to assess if they were able to do the job effectively? What did that look like?

Michael Goff:

Yeah. So in that particular business it was nutritional sales, like supplements, and we had a team nationwide and started at zero, and we expanded and grew, and it was wonderful. But one of the simple things I would do is say, “Hey, who do you know that could use supplements? Who do you know that these products could potentially impact their life in a positive way? Who do you know that wants to lose weight, have energy, build muscle?” Just to get their mind spinning. And then I would say, “Who are the top three to five people in your life that you’d want to reach out to about this?” And literally just that. Write them down on a piece of paper and just start with that. Because I used to say, “Well, let’s call them right now.”

And that puts people on the spot, gets them a little nervous, but I’m like, “Can you at least think about who these products could be for and start generating that mindset?” And if they could at least get that down, then it would be like, “OK. It’s just like anything else in life, right? Start here. Let’s add to the staircase,” to eventually where we actually are calling these people when they feel prepared enough and ready to get over the nerves and make the phone calls. Because it was a lot of the outbound calls that people get nervous about, but that’s what it’s about.

Ryan Goulart:

I’m over here thinking about it because I think it is something that is really — and there’s a word that is often associated with personal fitness, but it’s also in the business world, too, so I think it plays all over the place, and the word is accountability. And too often, or maybe I’m going to take a stand here, I don’t know, but we’ll see where this goes, Michael. Here we go. So what are your thoughts on accountability? Is that word seen as a stick? Is it supportive? Is it coaching? I mean, what should accountability be? Because it gets tossed around all the time, and it’s usually taken in a context of, “I’m going to hold you accountable, Michael.” What does that mean?

Michael Goff:

Yeah. I think there’s a fine line. Because the way you just said for me, it would be like, “Are you my dad? What are you doing? Are you trying to tell me what I have to do every day?” But no, I think accountability is important. And one of the things that I’ve learned through actually the behavioral financial advice designation was the verbiage that we use with clients sometimes is, “Hey, if I see you living in alignment with your values, can I call you out on that and say, ‘Great job’?” And everyone’s always like, “Well, yeah, of course.” But then the second part to that is, “Hey, also if I see you living out of alignment with your values, can I call you out on that?”

And I say that because I think that’s that fine line with coaching is, “OK. What are your goals? What are you trying to do here? What are tasks? OK. Can I tell you when you do a good job, Ryan? Like, hey, pat on the back, you wrote your list down. You made some phone calls. You’re doing great. OK, yay. OK. But can I also be your loving coach and mentor and let you know things aren’t up to par? You’re not holding up your end of the bargain based on what you said you wanted.” Because as a coach, it’s not about you. It’s about the individual and where they’re wanting to go and what they tell you they want to need.

So I always reframe it back to them on that from an accountability perspective of, “Hey, again, Ryan, you said you wanted this, and you said you wanted it by X, Y, Z date. So here’s what we have to do to make that a reality. And right now, we’re not doing that. So how can I help you, or can I even help you?” Because it comes down to that individual, but more often than not, I’ll frame it, “How can I help you achieve that goal? How can we do better? What do you need from me?”

And sometimes they’ll come out and say, “You know what? There’s a lot going on in life right now. It’s just not going to happen.” Which is part of our WDYWFY. The acid test, which maybe we touch on in this conversation, maybe we don’t, because I absolutely love the acid test question, but it all comes back to the balance of what do they want, and then how can I give them accountability in a loving way? But you can’t let them off the hook. I don’t even care if you’re the most driven person in the world. You still need to know that people care about your results. That’s my belief.

Ryan Goulart:

Yeah. There’s still expectation, even if someone decides that they no longer want or can have the capacity for where the business is going, there still is. So it is an important part of the conversation, but I like how you framed it because from what you described, that more coaching manner isn’t punishment.

Michael Goff:

Go run laps, you screwed up.

Ryan Goulart:

Yeah, exactly. Like, “Oh man, he’s going to make me do burpees.”

Michael Goff:

Everyone’s favorite exercise, drop down. We actually did that. My buddy and I, years ago, we were trying to do early morning workouts before work. And the early morning thing, anyone that knows me, I get up early in the morning to go hunt or take care of my kid. If it’s not for that, I don’t want any part of it. And this gym was almost 20 minutes away from my house, and it was closer to his. So we made this bet, though, if either one of us was up one minute or more late, we had to do 100 burpees right there on the spot for time.

And I don’t know if you guys have ever done burpees or not, but 100 burpees, depending on how fit you are, is anywhere from four minutes to 10 minutes straight of just getting your sweat on and breathing heavy. It’s not fun. I remember one time I literally had a flat tire that morning. I was late. It wasn’t because lazy. Just stuff happened, and I had to drop down and do 100 burpees. And I was like, “Well, I’m going to start leaving 20 minutes earlier now.” But that was just that little accountability piece that we gave ourselves.

Ryan Goulart:

Yeah. And that sounds fun, comradery. It’s a little like “Got you this time” kind of thing. I mean, those things are successful and helping hold people accountable, help hold ourselves accountable. I mean, would you say that in many ways accountability starts first with you?

Michael Goff:

Yeah, no doubt. I mean, I feel like no matter what, no one’s going to come save you. No one’s going to want it more than you. So everything in life — one of the best books I’ve ever read was “Extreme Ownership” by Jocko Willink, who is a former Navy SEAL, and it all comes down to “it’s on you.” And he talks about times that he was in the military and they were in Afghanistan. And no matter what the situation was, he was like, “You don’t complain.” He is like, “If leadership above you didn’t understand what you were saying, it’s not on them, it’s on you. How could you have explained it better? And if someone below you on your team didn’t understand, it’s because you didn’t explain it well enough.”

I just love that idea, because if you take personal responsibility, even if it’s not your fault, what good is going to come out of complaining? But if you take responsibility, there’s a chance that you can learn something from that and still win, or your team can still win or come out with some type of lesson from it. So I love that accountability, personal responsibility, what Jocko calls extreme ownership. I just think if we all practice that a little bit more nowadays in America, in the entire world, I just think the world will be a little bit better place. 

Ryan Goulart:

This topic is always so fascinating to me, just with the way in which we use our habits to impact change in the future. And it’s always overthinking, getting back to how we started our conversation of overthinking or over-assessing one’s ability to do certain things at a certain date. You mentioned the acid test. I’m curious, why do you love it so much? Why is it something that helps you and your clients achieve their goals?

Michael Goff:

Yeah. Well, again, selfishly, I’ll start with how it impacted me. Early on, when I learned about goal setting, I’d study the neuroscience and the psychology about successful people write down their goals, and the ones who have a 90-plus percent chance at achieving it write down and review their goals daily. And once I started learning about that — because when I was younger, we didn’t have the internet. I was a pre-internet kid; you had to go to a library, or you had to have a mentor, someone that could just teach you these things. And I grew up in the south on a tobacco farm, so libraries weren’t close. Mentors were our family members, and they were great, but I didn’t have a lot of business or psychology coaching, so to speak. So once I got older and started learning about goal setting and how the mind worked, I was like, “Wow. This is amazing. This is powerful stuff.”

So I got so excited just to write down goals. You just get that dopamine rush, and you’re like, “Oh my goodness, I just wrote down 100 goals. I feel amazing. I’m going to accomplish all these.” But what the acid test says is once you write down your goals, actually look at them and go, “Am I willing and able to sacrifice either the time, energy or resources to make this goal actually come to reality?” And I think for myself, plus a lot of the people that I’ve coached over the years, people miss that. Now, why I think that’s impactful: I don’t have studies to back this up, but I think subconsciously when we set goals or we say we’re going to do something and then we don’t accomplish them, or we don’t even take steps towards them, we lose trust with ourselves. And I think that’s a very dangerous game to play consistently.

So to me, the acid test question helps mitigate that. Because again, let’s go back to the New York City Marathon. I want to run a marathon, and let’s say you make it a smart goal. I’m going to run a marathon on Jan. 1, 2025, since we’re almost in 2024, and I’m going to train four days a week, and blah, blah, blah. OK, great. OK. “Well, Ryan, are you willing to run at 4 a.m. every day before your kids get up for an hour, five days a week, or whatever the thing is?” And if you say no, then you need to have that honest conversation with yourself. You’re not willing to sacrifice the time or the energy.

Or, if it’s your business, “We need to spend $10,000 a month on marketing because it’s going to help us hopefully gain $20,000 a month in revenue.” OK. Do you have the $10,000 a month, or are you willing to part with it if it’s going to make you be a little bit lean for six months until you can generate that revenue? And if the answer’s no, then maybe we scratch it. It doesn’t mean no forever, but it just may mean no right now. And when you run that acid test through all your goals, I think it helps you eliminate a bunch of them, and you can focus on the core ones that matter now. And like we talked about in the beginning of the conversation, if you get into action and you start achieving success, well, then the next door opens for you and that “insert goal that you couldn’t pass acid test for before.” But now the answer to that is, yes, I’m willing to sacrifice the time, energy, resources. So now, boom, we’re up in the staircase. We’re doing that goal now.

So I could talk about the acid test all day, but I think it’s one of the most overlooked parts of the WDYWFY, which for you guys listening, a lot of you guys know this; if you don’t, it stands for “What do I want for myself?” So yeah, I could go on and on.

Ryan Goulart:

One of the things that we have talked around but not named, and I think you did this intentionally, is failure. And what’s really cool about that is that, well, I guess you haven’t mentioned it once in anything that you’ve mentioned about your coaching style. How do you empower people? Failure is not even to ourselves if we don’t trust ourselves. You didn’t say we failed ourselves. So very interesting. What’s your commentary, just putting you on the spot?

Michael Goff:

It’s — and power to you for listening and picking up on that — I’m just of the mindset that if you fail something, it means you quit. And I personally don’t ever want to start something that I intend to quit. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen, but you talk to anyone again, you look at the overarching body of work in the world, successful people “fail” a lot. But to me, again, I think failure is the wrong word because unless you actually quit in the stock market, is it failing? If the stock market tanks for a little while? It’s only theoretically failing if you take your money out when it’s at the bottom and you lost everything. But if you ride the wave and go back up to the next bull market, was it a failure? No. You just had to ride the wave out.

So whether it’s your fitness journey, whether it’s your business, whether it’s a personal goal that you have for yourself, failures will happen. But to me, I don’t believe they’re actually failures unless you truly just give up. You say, “I’m done. I’m never doing it again.” Now you have the option to do that. If it’s something you truly, again, if you ask yourself, the acid test question, “I’m done. I’m not willing to do this. It’s not what I thought it was.” OK, great. Have that honest conversation, and move on.

But if we’re talking about real-life businesses, entrepreneurship, relationships, there’s always going to be the ups and downs. And I think it’s inherent in me, you just get back up, and you keep moving. As long as you have another breath in you, you just go. And I know that’s a raw way of looking at it, but I was taught early on, everyone has hardships in life, but I was taught you get 24 hours for a pity party; that’s your max. So no matter what happens to you, no matter what it is, you get up to 24 hours to lock yourself in a room, cry it out, punch the pillows on the bed, eat the Ben & Jerry’s, drink your bourbon, whatever it is that you do safely. And then once your 24 hours is up, what’s the solution? What do we do here? How do we get back after it? How do we readjust our plan, whatever that may be? So I’m glad you caught that, and I’m glad you asked it, but that’s my viewpoint on it. Just don’t quit.

Ryan Goulart:

Nice. Yeah. Well, thank you for coming on.

Michael Goff:

Yeah. Appreciate you having me.

Ryan Goulart:

As we wrap this episode, we’re committed to helping you Make the Ideal Real. If you found this program helpful, share it and help someone else make their ideal real too. Until next time. For think2perform, I’m Ryan Goulart. Take care.

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