The 3 Key First Steps to Accomplishing Any Goal

Accomplishing our goals is tricky business. It’s actually really tricky business. So tricky that it’s eluded me for years. I’ve spent a good solid chunk of my lifetime trying to figure out the best ways to accomplish my goals. And I always had all kinds of goals. I wanted to do something with my health or tackle this with my fitness. I wanted to start some business or do this project. I wanted to pickup this hobby or try out this new thing. I wanted to be this type of father to my kids or this type of husband to my wife.

But to accomplish all of these things I knew I needed a good game plan. I knew I needed a solid strategy to get there. And so I read, and read, and read. Book after book, online article after online article, trying to figure out what the secret sauce was.

And O…M…G… was it a pain in the ass… I could not find the right answers on anything I wanted to accomplish. I would read one piece of material that would offer suggestions on how to accomplish your goals. I’d try it, it would work for a little while. While my motivation was really high. And then as soon as I had a rough day or something threw me off track. It was game over…

photo cred: Sigmund
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And every piece of advice or material I read was the same. The system would be different, the tricks would be new, but as soon as I hit a little bit of adversity. As soon as I got punched in the mouth by life. I would be right back where I started. It was such a sickening cycle…

So I set out to do some research of my own. Instead of reading about research someone else had done, I went out and did my own. I found other highly successful people who were already doing the things I wanted to do and I nailed down what it was they were doing. And I figured out a pattern…

These other highly successful people were doing two things that were setting them apart from the rest of the world.

  1. They had Powerful Why’s
  2. They felt they HAD To Do It

Each one of the highly successful people I looked at, whether it was success in fitness… comedy… politics… money… was using these two techniques to get it done. Even if they didn’t realize they were doing it, which in most cases was true. For a lot of these highly successful people I found that they were doing these things without even realizing it.

Life had forced these habits on them. Because of their circumstances growing up, or where life had taken them, most of them were being driven by Powerful Why’s that life handed them and the other half were being driven by things they felt the HAD TO DO. Sometimes it was poverty, sometimes it was hardship, and sometimes it was for their families.

So how can you take these same drivers and apply them to your own life?

What’s the secret sauce?

This is the third key to the first two and it’s probably the most critical for you.

Write… It… Down…

WRITE IT DOWN!

photo cred: Aaron Burden
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I mean it. Sit down, pull out a piece of paper and write down your goals. Then for each of your goals, write down your Powerful Why’s. Try to think of why’s that are both selfish and selfless. Think of things that motivated you when you first thought of your goal. Maybe when you first started wanting to get in shape it was because someone made you feel bad. Write that down. Maybe you wanted to start that new business because you were inspired seeing someone else had done it. Write that down.

And once you’ve put together a nice long list of Why’s, set that piece of paper aside and grab a second. Now start writing out your HAVE TO List. Write down the things that you HAVE TO DO if you’re going to accomplish your goals on the other piece of paper. Write down not what you should do…. but what you HAVE TO DO, TODAY, to accomplish your goals. Write it down. And everyday you wake up, sit back down, and write down your HAVE TO DO List. Everyday. Write it down.

The reason this key is so important is because we tend to forget about the mission we’re on. We lose our motivation, we lose sight of our goal, the day-to-day distractions of life get in our way. By writing it down you give yourself two advantages. First, writing will help it stick in your mind better. Second, if you forget, you’ve already got it written down so that you can go back to it. So when I tell you this part is key, I mean it!

Write shit down!

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