I recently received a question from a DarrenHardy.com reader asking about strategies for achieving a big goal.
The email came in from Nichol who wrote: “Hi Darren, I really struggle with goal setting. I get really frustrated and discouraged when I don’t accomplish what I wanted to. I don’t know if the goal is too lofty to be realized or if I need to figure out new strategies for achieving it. Is there any advice on formulating a goal? And how to handle it when you don’t succeed?”
I love this question, and since it took me over 15 minutes to respond, I thought you would also benefit from my answer if you’ve got big goals. (Note: I modified my original answer slightly for the blog, adding some headings and links for better user experience)
“Hi Nichol, well, besides referring you to the Living Your Best Year Ever program where I outline my entire goal designing and goal achieving system… let me just focus on the frustration and discouragement you are experiencing and see if I can give you a couple of those strategies you desire. Start off with this, once you have set those Big, Hairy and Audacious Goals that you want to achieve… forget them.
Yeah, stop focusing on them. Instead, do these three things. You ready? You’re going to want to write these down:
One, focus on the PROCESS, not the result. Set PROCESS goals. A process goal is what you will actually have to DO, step-by-step to achieve a larger goal. For instance, if you are trying to lose 15 lbs… the process goal could be to eat and drink no more than 1500 calories per day. If you are trying to become the number one salesperson in your office by increasing your sales by 50%, then your process goal can be to call 5 potential clients before lunch every day. If your goal is to write a book, then your process goal can be to write 1,000 words a week or only 200 a day.
Track and monitor your process achievements. Make a game of it. Compete with yourself by trying best your process goals each day, each week. Okay, got that one?
Free Resource: Want to learn more specific examples of how to include “gamification” in your big goals? In “The Almighty Encounter,” I interviewed an extraordinarily successful centenarian, asking him his top 3 keys to success. Making life a game was one of them. You’ll enjoy his examples. Click here to request an invitation.
Next, number Two, focus on a SYSTEM versus your goals. Losing 15 pounds is a goal, learning to eat right is a system. Get the system right, eating right is easy, thus so is the outcome of losing 15 pounds. Doubling your productivity and income is a goal. Learning to prevent distraction and stay focused on vital work requires a system. Increasing the intimacy in your marriage is a goal. Calendaring time and experiences to do so is a system. Systems ALWAYS trump goals. Whatever your goals, be sure you have a system to achieve those goals. And then focus on the system from that point forward, not the goals. Process, not end goals. System to implement and keep you sticking to that process… Free Resource: One of the ways to accomplish your System goals is to master productivity. In this free online workshop, I reveal 3 insider secrets to stay focused and accomplish more. Click here to request an invite.
And number three, focus on GROWTH, not goals. When I asked Pete Cashmore, Founder, and CEO of Mashable, who started with a blog written from the basement of his mom’s house in Scotland… and went on to then become worth more than $100 million in his twenties how he did it, he said, “I just want to be better today, than I was yesterday, and better tomorrow, than I am today. Every day I want to grow.” When asking Richard Branson what his initial goal was when he started he said, “When my friends and I started the first Virgin business 40 years ago, we had no master plan—especially not one for a group of companies that by 2011 would number more than 400 businesses around the world and employ 50,000 people. Had we tried to set a goal for such a future, we would certainly have messed it up. Luckily we just focused on how to grow and get better every day.” That should be your main goal as well.
Worry less about your big, hairy and audacious goal and just focus on learning and growing every day.
And by the way, that is why we produce Darren Daily for you every morning… that is our process goal. We are here to help you be #BetterEveryDay. So, I’m glad you found us. Every day should be an adventure in learning, growth and mental and emotional progress. As Abraham Lincoln said, “I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” So Nichol… and everyone else… because you showed up here today, you are now wiser today than you were yesterday. But be sure to get back here tomorrow so you can be wiser tomorrow than you are today.”
Free Resource: One of the ways we help you get better every day and achieve your goals is by offering Darren Daily. If you haven’t signed up for FREE daily mentoring with me, join me and 350,000+ other high achievers who kickstart their day with Darren Daily. Click here to sign up here for free.
If you’re looking for the ultimate shortcut to success, then your #1 priority should be to learn how to find a mentor or a great leader to emulate. This one