Has anyone ever told you to make smaller more achievable goals for yourself so you have a shot at reaching them? This sounds like good advice and I am sure the person who said this to you is well meaning, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The most successful people in this world got there because they had an outrageous dream. A dream that sounded so big their parents and closest friends thought they were completely nuts. Their goal was not small.
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Setting a small goal is like setting a ceiling for yourself. It’s like setting a cap on the amount of success you are able to have. When I was in college to become a teacher, one of the things every single one of my professors said to me was, “children will meet whatever expectation you set for them. Set the bar high and they will get there. Set the bar low and that’s as high as they will go.” This proved to be 100% true when I started teaching. If I had high expectations for my students, no matter their academic level to begin with, they would do whatever it took to reach that high bar.
The same is true for us. If you set a small goal out of fear you won’t be able to reach the goal you really want to strive for, you will only get to that small goal. You may then set another small goal to try to attain or you may feel content with where you’re at and stop there.
“Low goals rarely require extraordinary action so they rarely lead to extraordinary results.” The One Thing
Why would you want to set a limit for yourself before you even try to get to the biggest goal you can dream of.
Here’s an example:
If you have always dreamed of running a race, rather than saying, I’m going to run a 5k, set your sights on a half marathon or even a full marathon. Why stop yourself at only a 5k. Of course, if you haven’t been a runner up until this point you will not be able to run 13 miles right off the bat. In fact, you may not even be able to run a mile yet. Just because you can’t do it now doesn’t mean you won’t get there if you want to.
Let’s play this scenario out a little more. If you decide you want to run a 5k and that is as much as you will ever be able to run, you will likely start training and spend a couple months trying to comfortably get yourself to 3.1 miles. The first couple weeks you may try to run a mile most days per week until you are comfortable, then you may spend the next couple weeks trying to get to 2 miles comfortably, and so on until you end up at 3 miles comfortably. Even if you exceed this goal and feel comfortable at 3 miles long before race day, you will most likely not push yourself to run farther.
On the other hand, if you think to yourself, “someday I want to run a marathon (even if this seems like an impossible dream right now), you will likely push yourself harder knowing that each extra mile you attain will only get you closer to your big goal.
So how do you set big goals and how can you reach them?
Think big and then think bigger!
The only way to set a big goal is to think bigger than you have ever thought before. Don’t stop at just what you think you might be able to accomplish, think about what you really want and make that your goal.
Let go of limiting beliefs.
We all have beliefs that limit what we strive for and think we are capable of. In order to reach your biggest goals, you have to let go of those beliefs that are holding you back. Make a list of all the things you believe about yourself and your abilities to do what you really want to do. Be honest with yourself. Write everything down. You might include things like, I’m not smart enough, I don’t know enough to help others, I don’t have enough money, I’m not pretty enough, nobody wants to learn from me, and on and on. Write them down and then start telling yourself the opposite of these phrases until you believe them! I am smart enough, ai am pretty enough, people want to know what I have to share, and on and on. When you change your mindset you will change your potential!
Align your goals with your passions.
If you are reaching for something you are not passionate about, you will never get there. Make sure your goals align with your passions and life desires. God gave you these passions for a reason. Align your goals with the things you truly care about and you will be unstoppable!
Work within your zone of genius.
In the book, The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks explains how if you are operating in your zone of genius (which we all have), you feel strong, energized, and excited. The tasks you complete in this zone you are exceptionally good at and no one else can do it quite like you.
Create one goal for each area of your life.
Write them down. Did you know you are 42% more likely to accomplish your goals if you write them down. Create a list of the most important areas of your life; relationships, financial, business, family, etc. Write down one goal for each main area. Remember to make it the biggest goal you can think of! If you have too many goals you won’t be able to focus and make strides towards completing them so choose just one goal for each area.
Stay insanely focused.
If you have these goals and know exactly what you are reaching for in every area of your life then you can align all your decisions to reach those goals. Stay crazy focused! The way you spend your money and your time should be intentional in meeting the goals you have set.
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If you want to meet your biggest goals, Stop selling yourself short and set huge goals! Get clear on what they are, write them down and tell others. Live intentionally, making everything you do move you towards meeting your goals. Stay insanely focused and change your mindset. If you don’t do everything you can to meet your goals, no one else will!