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STOP working for your goals, make your goals work for YOU

What if I told you that for just a small amount of preparation time, you could stop working on goals and start having fun achieving them?

In these lessons we’ll get started on teaching:

The goal that will transform your life

Having a dream is such a fantastic feeling. But that great feeling makes it all the more painful when the dream fails. People cope by blaming themselves for having low motivation, for procrastinating, for being lazy. Some people strive to break their goal down into smaller, more manageable steps. Not many succeed reaching even those.

Is it really your fault? I’m here to tell you that it’s not.

Too many times I see people give up on their dream. I see them blame themselves for failing to put in the effort. I want to tell them, “Stop trying to work for your goals and start making your goals work for you.”

People look at their dream goals, and then at themselves, and they feel like they just don’t measure up. It’s not you that’s the problem, it’s the goals.

What I’m going to share with you isn’t a new discovery, or some sort of motivational message. It’s just simple knowledge. Yes, it was “discovered” rather recently by social scientists, but the problem and the solution have been around a long time. At least a thousand years or so:

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.

~Confucius

Confucius is telling you the same thing I’m about to. Stop adjusting your dreams. Stop striving so hard to find the motivation inside you. Instead, look at the small actions you take every day to accomplish your dream. I’m going to teach you to turn those actions into goals that will transform your life.

Before I can teach you the simple solution to reaching your dream goals, we need to talk about the three different kinds of goals.

So I’m going to walk you through a little activity designed to break down dream goals into smaller steps. It’ll also show us the three kinds of goals. Feel free to follow along on the worksheet I provide or just read the examples.

The dream goal

First we need to write your dream goal. The cliché question they always ask in job interviews, except this time lets take it seriously. Where are you going? What is it you want to attain? In 2 years? 5? 10? Is there something you want badly enough to know that you want it?

If you can’t answer this question, you’ll have to work with me a bit on the next steps.

In fact I’d almost recommend that you take a few days and do some serious reflection if you can’t answer that question.

Most likely you have desires that are driving you, but you haven’t put them in words before. You won’t get success that way. Awareness of your destination is the biggest shortcut during the journey.

To reach a port, we must sail—Sail,

not tie at anchor—Sail,

not drift.

~Franklin Roosevelt

The step goal

Ok so you wrote your dream goal down on that piece of paper.

Next we break it down to a year. Exactly 365 days from today, where do you need to be in order to accomplish your dream goal? What goal do you set for a year that will get you there? It can be something you achieve, or any other sort of progress.

You can probably guess where we are going next. Let’s break it down to a month. So 30 days from today, what do you need to have finished in order to accomplish your yearly goal? This can be step 1 of a 12 step process, or it could be something you repeat twelve times and it adds up to your year goal.

Next is the weekly goal. So look at the day 7 days from now on the calendar. You have probably 1 weekend and a handful of weekdays between now and then. What goal do you need to complete in the next 7 days, so that after a month you will be at your month goal?

Finally we have today’s goal. Take a look at your weekly goal again. In 7 days you need to have that done. What do you have to do, today, to make that happen? Just like the last time, this daily goal should be something you repeat 7 times and then, like magic, you have your weekly goal done.

This is your future workhorse goal. It might not look like it yet, but this is the goal that will transform your life.

It is not enough to take steps which may some day lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise.

~Goethe

Finding the motivation

Let’s take another look at our list. I’ll use an example typical to athletes that I train. If you are not a support player, bear with me.

  1. Dream goal. Become a professional league of legends athlete
  2. Year goal. Be on an organized team trying for the LCS
  3. Month goal. Hit or Maintain Diamond 1 or Challenger
  4. Weekly goal. Improve at league of legends every day
  5. Daily goal. Play league today. Get better.

There are two kinds of goals in my list. Dream goals and step goals. These are very different kinds of goals.

DREAM GOAL
+ Motivating
+ Exciting
+ Big
– Uncontrollable
– Distant
– Hard to reach & can seem impossible

STEP GOAL
+ Controllable
+ Close
+ Easier to reach
– Not motivating
– Not exciting
– Small step forward

Dream goals, not enough

Some people just stick with their dream goals. Dream goals are not bad; the problem is dream goals are not enough.

People who stick with dream goals end up giving up on the as impossible. People who stick with dream goals tend to move their dream goals closer, so they are less scary and more realistic. This ruins it as a dream goal! Don’t touch your dream goals!

In fact, it may be that you have already done this. In which case you might need to fix your dream goal now before going on to the next step.

Here’s an example:

Jerry wants to make it into the League of Legends Championship Series. He thinks that’s his dream goal. He strives and fails. For some reason all the attempts he makes fall short.

Eventually Jerry has some moderate success streaming, and then he does some minor coaching through a website. He also starts making video blogs.

After attending a 1-year business course at a local community college Jerry ends up launching a small team based on his streaming brand, which has a few followers. He realizes he is happy.

Let’s take a step back and reflect:

Was Jerry’s DREAM goal to make it into the LCS? I’m sorry to say this but “no.” Jerry, in fact, didn’t know what his dream goal was. His dream goal was actually to make a living while working in eSport, and to have a job where he could decide his own fate instead of bowing to the corporate cubicle. THAT was his dream goal.

Jerry was distracted by his complete focus on a STEP goal. Make it into the LCS. That was the first step to making a living in eSport while being in control of his destiny. He didn’t realize at the time, but it was swappable step goal. One that could have been replaced with another step, and he still could achieve his ultimate dream.

Know thyself. Know what you want. Envision your future: In 20 years, looking back, what were the essential step goals to achieve the state in life you want? What were maybe swappable steps?

Aim at the sun, and you may not reach it;

but your arrow will fly far higher than if aimed at an object on a level with yourself.

~Howes

Step goals, not motivating

Now we have to talk about the problem with these step goals. Yes, people who set step goals sometimes succeed. Especially those who can stick to their guns. But more often then not, people set step goals and fail them.

Because people sometimes reach these goals, when you fail you blame yourself. You say, “I am just not motivated enough.” “I can’t focus all the time.” “I’ve ADHD, I’ve got poor family support, I’m too scared.” “I don’t want to sacrifice enough.”

Fail a goal a few times and doubt starts to creep in.

The problem is not with you. It’s not with the man, or woman, the human with the goal. The problem is the goal.

Let’s take a look at workhorse goals. Improved, smart versions of the step goal. Designed for human consumption instead of killing the human spirit.

WORKHORSE GOAL
+ Controllable
+ Motivating
+ Close
+ Exciting
+ Measurable step forward
– Must be well crafted, which takes time

The coaching goal

What if I told you that for just sacrificing a little training time towards goal setting, you could stop working on goals and start having fun achieving them? That you could attain your step goals and achieve your dream goals?

It’s not complicated, it’s just hard to discover by yourself. Successful athletes who did it on their own go through a long and painful process of trial and error.

In sport psychology we’ve researched exactly what should be contained in the most motivating and beneficial goals.

With this formula there is no time wasted on extra stuff. Everything is based on the science of goal setting and human motivation. I’m talking about smart goals.

Take your daily and weekly goals and make them smart, and you have your workhorse goal.

S.M.A.R.T.

Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-frame

Four kinds of goal-setters

There are four kinds of people setting goals.

We’ve already gone over the first kind. They stick with dream goals and never make it anywhere.

Then there are successful people who have step goals. It’s a long, hard road. They fail a lot, but they keep plugging away and they look back and blame their success on their never-give-up-in-the-face-of-adversity attitude. (In fact, that’s correct.)

The third kind have figured out workhorse goals on their own through trial and error. But they don’t know how to do them very well, and they don’t understand what they discovered. They are much better at setting goals, they seem like very dedicated people who quickly achieve amazing results. But sometimes they fail super-hard. Venture capitalists often fall into this category. (Make a million dollars, lose two million the next week.)

After this course, you’ll be the fourth kind of person. You’ll know how to set SMART goals, what are the pitfalls, what are the most crucial parts. You’ll also know what science has discovered about why they work so darn well.

You’ll find with just a little investment, these are not hard to make. Nor are they hard to do. In fact, a lot of times they are more fun than whatever else you’d be doing.

When you finally master this, you won’t have to work for your goal. The goal will make you want to put in the effort. You will be on the path to achieving your dreams.

 

TASK

Post your goal sheet in your portfolio on the Portfolio Forum. If you missed the instructions for that, they were in one of my first emails. Simply create a post on the Portfolio Forum that will be your home for all your content as you progress through the course. Edit the main topic to include additional materials.

Also answer the following questions there:

  1. What kind of goal-setter have you been?
  2. What is your dream goal?
  3. And what challenges have you faced pursuing it?

 

 

Onward!

Lesson2: Professional S.M.A.R.T. goals: The secret to Michael Jordan’s work ethic »