Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about setting goals and getting motivated. I’ve been asking myself why some people are able to achieve the things they want, while others sit idle waiting for the “right time” to take action or make a list of endless excuses.
Many of us all want to achieve something, but only some of us seem to lose the weight, get out of debt, start a profitable business, or accomplish their chosen goal.
Do these goal-achievers really want it MORE than you?
I think it comes down to how focused you are on achieving your goal.
You could want something SO bad that you could feel that drive to achieve your goal in every fiber of your being. You’re ready to do anything to make your goal a reality and you don’t need anyone else to push you. It’s that feeling when you believe that anything is possible and you’re not going to take “no” for an answer.
But this is just the start of your journey.
In order to sustain that motivation and hunger, you need to develop laser-like focus on how you’re going to achieve your goal. Determine the action steps that are both necessary and sufficient to make your dreams a reality.
When I started this blog, Mint Notion, it was just a part-time hobby for the first couple of years while I was attending Business School. Then once I finished graduate school, I wanted to start taking this hobby more seriously and turn it into a profitable blog.
However at the time, I was ready to quit blogging. I had been blogging for almost two years without seeing much return. Despite trying to grow my blog on a part-time basis while in school, my page views were low and I was making no money from blogging.
But then in the spring of 2016, I set a goal to grow my blog and make it profitable by the end of the year. I told myself that if I wasn’t earning at least $2,000 per month from blogging by Christmas, then it was time to officially quit my website.
I believed in myself and wanted to reach this goal SO bad, but I was completely unfocused for the first few months. Despite wanting my blog to succeed more than anything, I made A LOT of mistakes and didn’t know the first thing about growing my readership or making money from blogging.
The single biggest mistake I made was using several strategies that gave me very little return. It took me months to realize that it was time to ditch these bad strategies and focus on being more productive. But once I recognized what I needed to do, I began to develop more focus and cut out silly distractions.
In the spring of 2016, I was earning around $25 per month from my blog. In the summer of 2016, my earnings were around $100 per month from blogging. Then starting in September 2016, I was consistently earning over $1,000 per month from my blog. This is what my earnings looked like since September:
These numbers represent money earned but not received in that given month. Payouts range from 30-45 days after being earned.
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I reached my goal and actually beat it! I made more than I thought I would by Christmas, which is an amazing feeling.
This is not where the story ends though.
Eventually, my big dream is to earn enough money from my blog so my fiancé can quit his job and join my online business. I would also love to use the profits to start an animal sanctuary. I have a huge heart and want to help those who don’t have a voice.
Alright my friend, whether you want to start a profitable blog, pay off debt, save enough money for a down payment, or another awesome goal, you might think that just setting little goals is the way to go.
Well, I got news for you, this thinking isn’t helpful.
Setting little goals alone won’t get you very far. You need to think BIG, my friend. You DESERVE to set big goals for yourself.
I am going to repeat that: you DESERVE to set big goals for yourself.
Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
I know it sounds cliché, but if your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough. Your goals need to set your soul on fire. This is what will ultimately motivate you, inspire action and develop the focus you need in order to crush your goals.
The importance of developing focus
Something I learned from my undergrad Psychology professor and in Business School is that goals need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-Bound).
While it’s important to set a stretch goal, it only works if you can also set realistic and tractable challenges that produce results. This series of maintained small wins can help you hit the target to reach your big stretch goal.
Let’s say your goal is to lose 20 pounds in the next few months (this is your stretch goal). In order to develop focus, it’s important to make this goal S.M.A.R.T. and to set tractable challenges to help keep you motivated and on track to achieving your ultimate goal.
This could be to eat healthy, work out five times per week and aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week. With these small wins, you can expect to reach your stretch goal in approximately three months.
While this is a very simplified version, you can see that developing focus on the right tractable challenges is the key to achieving your stretch goal.
Why small wins are necessary by not sufficient for reaching your stretch goal
It comes down to is this: each tractable challenge is necessary but not sufficient to reaching your big stretch goal.
I remember being confused the first time my Psychology Professor taught me this concept in class, so let me explain.
You see, a necessary condition for losing 20 pounds is that you must eat a healthy diet. This means that if you don’t eat a healthy diet, it’s going to be hard to lose 20 pounds.
However, eating a healthy diet alone is not really a sufficient condition for losing 20 pounds. It is possible to eat a healthy diet and not lose 20 pounds.
In fact, there are many conditions that are necessary to help you lose weight, such as regular exercise.
It’s important to understand the necessary conditions for achieving each tractable challenge and making sure that these small wins are ALIGNED with your big stretch goal.
This alignment of small wins with your major goal is the key to crushing your goals and achieving success.
Overcoming your fears
One of the things that holds us back from setting these big goals is the fear of failure or believing that we are not good enough.
For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds, you might have self-doubt about achieving this goal. Common excuses might include:
My schedule is too busy, I’ll never find time to exercise
Healthy eating is too expensive, I’ll never be able to eat a better diet.
Why bother losing the weight when I’ll just gain it back anyway!
These fears and limiting beliefs may cause you to play it safe and playing it safe doesn’t get you very far. In ten years from now, there will be people who are just as capable as you, who have accomplished incredible things.
What makes these people different?
They refused to be held back by limiting beliefs and fear of failure. They didn’t play it safe and make endless excuses. Instead, they weren’t afraid to take calculated risks and step outside of their comfort zone.
To be honest, everyone makes mistakes. Even successful people have failed on their way to success. Oprah Winfrey, who is a billionaire with her own TV channel, was fired from her first TV job as an anchor in Baltimore.
One of my favorite quotations from Oprah is when she was reflecting on her experiences and said this:
“You will at some point fall, and when you do, I want you to remember this—There is no such thing as failure; failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”
It’s just a part of life, and instead of beating myself up for the mistakes I’ve made, I like to focus on things that are going well. This helps me to stay focused on what’s relevant and continue to think big.
My question for you today is this: What is your goal for this year? Are you ready to develop the focus you need to achieve this goal? If not, why?
Once you find the goal that sets your soul on fire, you’ll know that you’re on the right path. Create a vision board and note the tractable challenges necessary to make small wins which align with your big goal.
Don’t be afraid to dream big, my friend. You’ve got this!How to actually crush your goals (every single time) #successClick To Tweet
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