Why is it that so few people actually reach their goals?
I think if you asked the average person, they might say:
- We just lose motivation over time.
- Life gets busy and in the way.
- It’s easier to just stay the same, and change is hard.
3 Little-Known Secrets to Achieving Your Biggest Goals
While there is a certain truth to all of the above statements, I believe that achieving your goals really comes down to three little-known secrets.
1. Know the Difference Between a Goal and a Project
If you are having a difficult time narrowing down the number of goals you have, I have a pretty simple solution. The number one reason you have too many goals is that you’ve failed to distinguish between a goal and a project.
Once you understand what is a goal and what is just a project, you’ll have deeper clarity and focus.
First, let’s look at a project. A project can be described as:
- Boring. You’re more motivated to finish it than to start it.
- Bland. It doesn’t stretch you, make you nervous, or give you “butterflies.”
- Obligation. It’s not something you want to do but more like something you have to do.
But when we look at a goal, we find that it is the exact opposite:
- Exciting. Just seeing your goal written down gives you a sense of excitement. It will introduce something new into your life.
- Challenging. To reach this goal, it will stretch you, push you, and may even scare you just a little bit. It’s out of your comfort zone, but in a good way.
- Desire. It’s something you want to do, not just something you feel obligated to do.
Action Step: Take a look at your current list of goals and decide which ones are truly goals and which ones are just projects.
This doesn’t mean that you ignore the projects, but it does mean that you treat them differently.
A project is a something you do on Saturday or even a day off of work. A goal is something you review daily, weekly, and quarterly.
2. Use the 3x Achievement Strategy to Catapult Your Success
I want to give credit to this specific strategy to Michael Hyatt. He recently taught this strategy at his Achieve Conference. The strategy is simple but very powerful. It includes the following:
- The Quarterly Big 3
- The Weekly Big 3
- The Daily Big 3
First, at the beginning of every quarter (for me it is January, April, July, and October), look over your goals and decide which three are you going to focus on. Setting 90-day goals can be a game-changer for you, and I’ve written about my strategy extensively on other blog posts.
Most people make the mistake of selecting more than three quarterly goals. It’s easy to rationalize that we want to get more than just three big things done in ninety days. So, we mistakenly select ten goals and end up accomplishing none of them. Instead, try selecting just three quarterly goals. Then, as you complete them, you can always add a new one.
Second, begin each week by selecting your Weekly Big 3. It’s easy to jump right into our work week without much thought. After all, there’s emails, voicemails, and meetings that want to fill up our to-do lists. Instead, be proactive. Start your week strong by selecting the three biggest things you want to accomplish.
Pro Tip: Write your Weekly Big 3 down on a 3×5 card and place it somewhere visual. When you get distracted, this will remind you to get your focus back.
Finally, each morning you should start your workday by selecting your Daily Big 3. Make sure these are tasks and not projects or goals. It must be specific enough to accomplish in one workday. I always try to accomplish my big three tasks before lunch. On days that I do, I find my afternoons are freed up to do other things I enjoy.
3. Do a Roadblocks Brainstorm Before You Start on Your Goal
Once you establish your goals, whether they are annual or 90-day goals, you have one more step to go. Brainstorm on a sheet of paper all the possible roadblocks, challenges, and obstacles standing in your way. This seems counterintuitive, but it is very effective.
All of the latest brain science confirms that the mere act of writing down our roadblocks emboldens us to push forward. By clearly identifying those things that stand in our way, we begin to see a clearer path ahead. Your greatest opportunities for growth are just on the other side of your biggest obstacles.
If you know these three secrets and begin to put them into practice, especially in your planning, you will be so much closer to achieving those goals that you have for yourself.