Why Are Goals So Scary?

Updated: Jun 17, 2019

This week I had a revelation regarding goals. I was talking to some of my people about what they wanted to be when they grew up and BOOM! It hit me like a brick - right in the face. Today’s Blog is about what I learned.

First , I spoke with was a recent college graduate, with a degree in Biology who has a job and a direction in life. He also has a financial plan about how he is going to save his money. Smart kid.

The second person is not a college graduate, but they are working full time in the restaurant business. This person has just passed their Bar Smarts Exam and is trying very hard to improve and grow.

In both cases these kids have NO WRITTEN GOALS. And that is where I find most people to be when it comes to setting and achieving goals. Here’s todays point. Most people do not have WRITTEN goals. They have a loose idea, but NOTHING in writing.

Most people are AFRAID to forecast what they really want to do with their life - AND - The process of setting goals just seems too daunting and too hard, so they are leaving their options open. This sounds ok when you are in your early 20’s – but what about when you hit 30,40, 50 or even 60? What about when you have kids and a family? What about when you become a business owner? At what point should you have written goals for yourself?

DO YOU have written goals?

Seriously. Do you have written goals?

Or are you just going with the flow, leaving your options open?

If you have written goals you are in the top 5% of Americans. If you do not, that’s ok, because 95% of Americans are in the same boat. No Plan, no hurry.

If you want to make it into the top 5% of income earners in America – YOU NEED WRITTEN GOALS.

If the top 5% of successful people have goals and you don’t – What does that mean? What does that say about you?

Well, question #1 is - how well are you doing? Are you making the amount of money that you want to earn, or do you just want - MORE? Are you headed in the right direction? Do you know where the right direction is? If you don’t’ know where you are going, how will you ever get there? Do you know why most people don’t know what they want or have written goals…

It comes down to ONE WORD – FEAR!

That’s right, most people are scared shitless about setting goals for many reasons. Here are a few that just came to my mind as I wrote this Pep Talk, feel free to add your own reasons, I’m sure you have plenty of them. Most People are afraid to set goals out of FEAR OF FAILURE.

Fear that they will NOT hit the target and they will fail – AGAIN.

Fear that someone else will think their goals are - STUPID.

Fear that they are not WORTHY of such a rich reward.

Fear that they are not SMART ENOUGH.

Fear that they do not have the SKILLS to achieve them.

Some people have the Fear of, SUCCESS.

Fear of, BEING RICH.



Fear of, MAINTENANCE, that’s having to perform at a high level again tomorrow and then again the day after that. They Fear the EFFORT success will require.

Fear of the TIME that it will take to get there.

Fear that it is TOO HARD!

What are YOU afraid of?

Ladies and gentlemen - Here’s the point.

You need to be BRAVE and have the guts to make a commitment to yourself.

Today there is an epidemic starting in America. It is the epidemic of quitting. Giving up before we even start. This is because most people DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY WANT…

Here’s what happens. Someone wakes up one morning and realizes that they are not making $100,000 a year and become very dis-illusioned. So, what do they do? They quit their job! They just resign – boom. They do it because all they see is what is directly in front of them. They see a dead end. The reason they see a dead end is, they haven’t taken the time to color in the next step of the story, the next step of their journey and their life. And, they don’t that, because it’s too hard, so, they take the easy way out – they quit!

YOU CAN’T JUMP FROM A – Z in one move. Most people are too impatient to wait or too weak to persevere. Today, we live in the computer age, most people expect to get everything they want with ONE click of the mouse. Unfortunately, success does not happen as quickly as a shipment from Amazon. I’m sorry to be the first to inform you that life just doesn’t work that way. But, don’t give up, there is still hope.

If you want something, you need to set a goal and then break that goal into small bites or baby steps that will help you get there.

I’m going to use two very different ideas to illustrate my point. The first is about weight loss and the second is about achieving 100% attendance for every shift. Let’s dissect both of these opportunities.

Opportunity #1 – Lose 20 Pounds:

The first is very familiar to most of us – losing weight. Let’s imagine you want to lose 20 pounds. Doesn’t this sound like a daunting task? Wow - I gotta lose 20 Pounds. The first thing that comes to my mind is DAMN! That’s a whole lot of weight. Then, I think, this is gonna take forever. Then, I think, this is really going to suck.

This is where most people give up. They say screw it and grab another cronut. They say, I’ll think about that tomorrow. They are simply just not willing to make the commitment.

The reason why you can’t lose 20 pounds is - Because YOU are in FAT mode. It’s true, you are thinking and acting like a person who is 20 pounds overweight and you are doing that because you ARE 20 pounds over-weight. You have the HABITS of an over-weight person.

You must change your HABITS!

The goal is to out think the fat person inside your body and your brain. You don’t have to lose it all in one day. You just have to start. The first step is the hardest. The first day is the hardest.

If you want to, or need to lose 20 pounds, start with one simple step - EAT ONE APPLE.

Start with one apple today. The apple will do several things. It will fill you up. Add fiber to your diet. Taste pretty damn good, and most importantly – it will begin the process.

Then, eat another apple tomorrow. Then, eat an apple every day for one week. Then forever. You can even try different types of apples. Eating different types of apples will have an educational effect, you will learn the difference between many varieties of apples; Fuji, red delicious, honey crisp, Granny Smith and so on. Hey, you’re in the restaurant business, you should know these things.

When you have gotten one week of apple eating under your belt – Then, you can ADD - 2 QUARTS of WATER a day. Try to drink 2 quarts of water every day for one week. Baby steps.

Who knows, maybe in week three, you can ADD walking, don’t do anything crazy, just walk around the block or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Remember, the journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step.

Now, let’s look at Opportunity #2 - 100% Attendance:

Let’s say your staff schedule is out of control. You post the restaurant schedule on Thursday for the following week. Then, next week you have 10 missed shifts. A missed shift is when we schedule someone and they don’t show up for any reason. They were sick, they had a party to go to, their boyfriend ate their car keys or what-ever. Missed shifts screw up performance and make us mental.

The goal is to write the schedule and have 100% of the scheduled shifts filled with people who are trained to do the work. Now, on the surface this sounds IMPOSSIBLE because in 95% of the restaurants in America – 100% Attendance is impossible in the mind of the people who work there. This is one big reason why many restaurant owners hate their lives and the people who work for them.

So, what do we do? We start by setting the goal of 100% attendance for ONE DAY.

It’s really quite simple, we have a meeting, or we stuff a message in everybody’s paycheck that announces that we are going to try a new thing. 100% Attendance for ONE DAY!

Here’s the Goal: On June first, it is our goal for everybody to show up on time for work. That’s all we have to do, we just start with a simple step. 100% attendance for ONE DAY. If someone calls off or doesn’t show up, we move the goal to the next day. And then, we keep trying until we can make it to ONE day in a row. Hey, don’t laugh, for a lot of restaurants this would be a major accomplishment…

When you have ONE day in a row, you get real crazy and go for TWO! If you can do two 100% attendance for two days in a row, you can get even crazy-er and shoot for one week. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Just start with one day.

The point is to have written goals. The way to achieve a goal is to build a HABIT. Most people who try to change - go ape shit right out of the gate. They try to run 10 miles or go on a 7 day cleansing fast. That’s ridiculous.

The reason that most people miss their goals is because they set them too high at the beginning.

The best way that I have found to achieve any goal is to start with the first step and do it day after day after day after day. The important thing is to develop the HABIT. 1% Better Every Day, that’s all we need to do…

Remember this… Your goal must be one step beyond where you are today. If you want to lose 20 pounds, you must start with ONE pound. If you are a 5 on a scale of 1-10, you must aim to become a 6, before you can become a 7 or 8. That’s all you have to do… Baby Steps. One pound at a time. One day at a time. 1% Better Every day.

My Name is Peter Harman. My goal is to help you build a better restaurant and a better life.

If you like this podcast please share it with your friends. If you have a question or a topic that you would like me to cover, please send me an email at

Now, I want you to get out there and Take One Baby Step toward that really important goal that has been eluding you…

Thanks for Listening…

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