Tag Archives: achievement

How To Stop Failing At Your Goals

Reaching our goals is tough. It’s so incredibly tough that most of us never actually reach them.

But there are some ways to actually making your goals much more of a reality and they’re not as complicated as you might think.


Let’s start with the big one. The number one reason people fail at achieving their goals is actually the elephant in the room. It’s not some surprise thing that their not doing or some off the wall trick that they just haven’t figured out yet. The main reason people fail at their goals…. is because they quit.

There I said it.

And it’s the big truth in anything I’ve ever seen people try to achieve or I’ve ever tried to achieve myself. Most people tend to have no problem starting a goal, it’s sustaining the goal that they fail at. It’s the waking up and showing up everyday part that most people can’t seem to get down. And here’s why.

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Most people expect to come at their goals at 100% every day. They expect that they are going to be highly motivated like they are when they first start their goal. They think they are going to come out and show up to their goal at 110% and crush it every day.

Then life comes in and punches them right in the mouth. A bad day comes along, they have a bad nights sleep, a shitty day at work, or something completely unforeseen happens, like getting into a car accident. And as soon as this bad day comes along, people quit. They say, “ya know I’ve had a rough day, I’m not feeling it today, so I’m going to skip.” Just like that, they’ve lost their goal.

photo cred: Dan Burton

What we can do though, is recognize that this is how life works. We can understand that life is going to purposefully try to throw us off, that life is going to come to us and say, “How bad do you really want it?” and when that happens, we have to be ready to answer.

There are two ways I’ve found to answer this question that life asks of us. The first is about getting back up. It’s about simply knowing that life is going to knock you down and it’s about getting back up anyways and trying again. Notice that I didn’t say it’s about getting up and getting it all done, no I said it’s about getting back up and trying again. It’s about not quitting, remember?

The second piece of advice is once you’ve gotten back up. Once you’ve mentally made the decision to try again understand that it doesn’t have to be all out. It’s better to have showed up and lost the fight than it is to have never shown up at all. What that means is that it’s better to show up to your goal and half ass it, than it is to never try at all.

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So if your goal is weight loss, it’s better to have done good on half your diet than none at all. If your goal is writing a book, it’s better to have written one sentence than none at all. If your goal is to quit smoking, it’s better to have reached have of your goal than it is to have completely abandoned the goal all together.

Remember, the number one reason people fail at their goals is because they quit. Because they think they have to do it at 110% everyday or it’s not worth anything. That perfectionist mindset is poison towards your goals. Don’t let yourself think that way.

Get up and give it 1% every single day.

Good or bad .

and never…

ever…

quit.

The Next Level

How do you get to the Next Level?

How do you take yourself, your life, your goals… how do you take them and move them to the Next Level?

It’s a question I had been asking myself over-and-over-and-over… how do I do more? How do I find more success? How do I find more happiness? How do I get more out of life in general? I just couldn’t figure it out.

I literally went round-and-round trying to figure out how to reach the Next Level. And there have been times in my life where I actually went to the Next Level. Where I earned a promotion, or where I landed a new job, where I met a milestone, or managed to achieve some goal.

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The thing was though… the thing that I learned… was that none of those were actually getting to the Next Level. They were the consequences of already being at the Next Level. Take minute to re-read that. The promotions, the milestones, the achievements. Those were all just the consequences of already being at the Next Level.

That’s the thing about The Next Level. It isn’t a goal. It’s not an endpoint. It’s not somewhere you get to and then you hang your hat up because you’re done. The Next Level is in the choices you make on a daily basis. The Next Level is how you live every hour of every day.

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Want to get to the Next Level in your career? Start practicing, reading, and learning the skills for that career, everyday.

Want to get to the Next Level in your fitness and diet? Start eating one more healthy thing than you did the day before. Workout for one more rep than you did the day before.

Want to get to the Next Level in your relationships? Start doing one more selfless thing for another person than you did the day before.

Want to get to the Next Level in your business? Start working one minute longer than you did the day before.

Often times we want the rewards of being at the Next Level but we don’t want to actually do the work required at the Next Level. Then we get upset, and we get down about ourselves because we didn’t get the reward we wanted.

photo cred: Greyson Joralemon

When really, this is fair. Life is giving you the exact reward that matches the level you are on. If you want a Next Level reward you have to put in the Next Level of work.

And it doesn’t happen in a day.

Life doesn’t reward you with a multi-million dollar business because you went to the Next Level for a few days.

Life doesn’t reward you with a better marriage or relationship with your kids because you tried harder for a week.

Life doesn’t reward you with a better body and longer life because you went to the gym a couple of days.

Life doesn’t reward you with more money because you went above and beyond that one time at work.

Life rewards you with what you deserve.

photo cred: Martin Sanchez

My advice would be to stop worrying about the next reward. Instead, start focusing on how you’re getting to the Next Level every, single, day.

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

My mom used to ask me this all the time. “What do you want to be when you grow up?

Of course at a young age, you always wanted to be something cool right? A Police Officer, a Ninja, a Transformer… I can remember drawing pictures for school assignments that asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up.

And there were no boundaries… no limitations… if you wanted to be a Transformer when you grew up, you sure as shit could put it on the assignment and be good to go. In fact, teachers and parents encouraged children to dream big.

photo cred: Steve Libralon
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It’s interesting how while we are young and naïve and were asked this question we didn’t put any limitations on what we could be. We would dream up and imagine the greatest thing our young minds could think of. There was no limit.

And then we grow up and we realize we can’t be a Transformer… More than that though, we grow up and we stop dreaming. We recognize the foolishness of the idea of trying to be something that isn’t real but we take it a step farther and we start doing this in all parts of our lives.

We start believing that dreams are just that. Dreams… fiction… unobtainable. And so we stop dreaming. And what this does is it puts a cap on everything else that we do in life. Instead of shooting for the highest achievement we can, we start shooting for just good enough. We aim for comfortable and easily obtainable. We try to do things that are “realistic” in our lives.

We fill our time with movies and games, shopping and home remodels, chores and yard work. We start to settle into life, we get comfortable, and we stop dreaming.

photo cred: Johannes Plenio
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But no one whoever did anything great, did it without a dream. Martin Luther King Jr. literally spoke of how valuable having a dream was. For him, the dream was the driving force of where things could one day be. And at the time, thousands of people believed that his dream was just that, a dream. But these were those same people who had forgotten how to dream big.

But if not for his dream, what would he have accomplished?

So don’t get caught up in the day-to-day of life. Don’t get so comfortable with taking things easy, that you forget to dream. So many people have so much unfulfilled potential in the world. So much more that they could give back. So much more that they could accomplish. So much more that they could do.

So dream big, dream bigger than you ever did as a child. Aim so fucking high that when you talk about your dreams to other people, they think it’s unrealistic. And then ask yourself, “What do I have to do to achieve this dream? What work do I have to put in today, to make this dream a reality?”

Then go out there and do it!

And if you’re a parent, you should continue this tradition and ask your kids the very same question. “What do you want to be when you grow up?

Don’t Manage Expectations

When I started on this journey to push to the next level of my life I knew where I wanted to go. I knew what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to get healthier. I knew I wanted to get stronger. I knew I wanted to write. I knew I wanted to read more. I knew I wanted to work harder. I knew I wanted to achieve more.

I knew I wanted to push more and more and more and more, not just to live a good life, but a great life. It wasn’t enough for me to be comfortable. It wasn’t enough for me to be just marginally successful. I felt that I need to maximize my own potential. So I hungered up.

I set out to figure out how other great people were living their lives and started taking bits and pieces from them and putting it into my life. This research and the subsequent changes in my life are where most of my blog posts have come from.

And I knew that I wanted to share these experiences because if I just did this quietly, to myself, I wouldn’t stay motivated. If my reasons were selfish, then I’d be Missing the Point. But if I could make it bigger than myself. If I could be honest and open about the work and open myself up for criticism, I could push farther.

And so far it’s worked. I’ve quit smoking, I just put in a 4 mile run. I was up at 4 am, I’ve made breakfast, I’m writing this post, and I’ll go hit the weights before I take my kids to school and clock into work.

At first glance that sounds insane. Three or four weeks ago I would have looked at that list and said, “there’s no way I can do that” OR, “oh maybe I could do that over the next couple of months I could slowly ease into this new lifestyleAnd that attitude, that mindset, is exactly why I’d never done any of those things before. The biggest killer I’ve had in working towards any of my goals was that I was managing my expectations.

It’s also one of the first things a lot of people said to me when I shared this with them.

  • “Don’t burn yourself out”
  • “Don’t expect that you can be like some of those other people”
  • “Some people just have a better advantage”

Whether it was myself or someone else, there was always a voice putting a cap on my potential. I’ve been just as guilty of it as well. I’ve told myself, “today I’ll just do this little bit” and “tomorrow I’ll do that part, today I’m just going to do this” and “okay I did enough, I can take a break now.”

photo cred: Isabella and Louisa Fischer

I was always trying to tell myself that by just doing a little tiny bit, that it was going to be good enough. Not great, but good enough. And the truth is… it was never good enough. Complacency and being comfortable is not how we’re meant to live. It’s very much in our nature to push and push to the next level.

The greatest human beings in our lives are those who came from terrible backgrounds but had the drive to say, “I am going to do the most.” Our most successful athletes, actors and actresses, politicians, scientists, business owners, and community servants never put a cap on what they could achieve. None of them managed expectations.

Martin Luther King Jr didn’t just say, “oh I did some good this week in my neighborhood so I’m gonna kick back and have a few beers.”

Steve Jobs didn’t say, “great we made an iPod, let’s go on vacation and plan retirement.”

Tom Brady didn’t win just one Super Bowl and then retire from the game.

Michael Jordan didn’t get MVP one time and then coast the rest of his career.

Great people don’t manage expectations and you shouldn’t either. Don’t set your goals and put a limit on what you want to achieve. If you want to get in better shape, set your ultimate goal, and then plan your routine around what you need to do to reach that goal.

If you have a goal to make a $1,000 dollars in sales what’s your work ethic going to look like compared to if you have a goal to get $10,000 dollars in sales? Ask yourself that question. What’s your work ethic have to be like if you HAVE to achieve greatness?

photo cred: Randy Tarampi

Don’t Manage Expectations. Don’t put a limit on what you can do in a single day. The Pursuit of Happiness doesn’t have a great moment because Chris Gardner’s character tells his son not to waste his time with basketball. It has a great moment because he tells his son he can do anything, no matter how big the dream. That is how you achieve.

Compete

For a long time I’ve personally struggled with motivation and reaching the goals I really wanted in life. I never had a hard time picking something up and getting started though. I could design the best strategy, come up with the best plan, and get a huge start on achieving my goal… for a day or two…

And then I would fail… I would fall off, make an excuse, or life would throw a challenge my way and it would be enough for me to allow myself to sit back down and take a break. Any real progress I was making in life was a result of these short bursts, these small sprints of effort. And while these sprints were getting me places, they weren’t getting me anywhere for long.

Sure I could give up soda for a day or two, but then I’d cave on a weekend. I could get my workout in once or twice a week, but I couldn’t do it every day. I could work on my side project, until I hit a difficult bug that I couldn’t figure out. I could accomplish things, it was just taking me a lifetime to make it happen.

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So I’ve been on this journey to figure out why I can’t reach my goals faster. I’ve been trying to figure out why I can get started, get all fired up, and then let my flame burnout. So I looked a lot of places, read a lot of books, and did a tonne of research, but I still couldn’t find the right answer. Until I started looking in the right places.

You see, the question I was asking was, “How do you achieve your goals?” and I was asking this question openly to the world (aka I was Googling shit). What I was finding was the next new productivity fad, the next “Top 10 Things Successful People Do” list and “3 Traits of High Achievers.” These quick fix articles and bullet list posts, that are quick to read and make it seem so easy if I just do these 10 things, weren’t getting the job done.

I realized that I needed to change the question I was asking, or better yet, who I was asking. I shifted my target so instead of asking others how to achieve my goals, I started looking for others who had already achieved great things and I started asking, “What did they do?

This profoundly changed my approach to my daily life. When I started looking into what highly successful people were really doing I found one dominant trait that was leading them to success. That one trait was Competitiveness.

The top achievers of the world are all living their lives as if the next person is coming along to take their next meal out from under them. And for some, this reality is actually true. Professional Athletes, CEO’s, and Community Leaders are all living this way because it is their reality. But it’s also what is giving them an incredible boost to their drive and motivation. When you wake up, knowing you have to Outwork your Competition if your going to keep living the life you have, you see things differently.

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So how can we take this level of competition and apply it to our own lives? Is there really someone out there trying to take our spot? Are we really sitting at 1st string and the 2nd stringer is coming up right behind us? Are we really in a race but hearing the footsteps of our competition right behind us? Fuck yes we are!

This is the reason we aren’t achieving at our highest potential. It’s the reason we’re so often unsatisfied and bored, with life. It’s the reason we’re living for the weekend and dreading the week. We’ve become satisfied and lazy and just because we don’t have someone right in our face challenging us, reminding us that they are coming for us, doesn’t mean we can’t work that way.

What we need to do is really see who our competition is. Whose out there that’s already better than us at something we want to accomplish? If you want to lose weight, who do you already know or see that’s getting it done? Is it a friend? Is it someone you see on Social Media? Is it Tony on P90X showing you what’s up? Who out there is kicking your ass right now?

Find this person, and compete with them! Let them be the one that’s showing you how to get it done and then go after them! Don’t think about if you can do it or how you’ll do it. Don’t make excuses that they had a head start or that they had a better starting position in the race. The point isn’t to finish the race, it’s to Compete in the race.

If you think, that once you reach your goal, once you lose the weight and get in shape that you’re going to be done. That you can then stop working out and not end right back up where you started. That the race is over and you’ve crossed the finish line, you’re wrong. If you’re only focused on the finish line and once you reach it you stop, your fat ass is going to relapse. It’s not about the finish line, it’s not about winning, it’s about Competing.

Go out and get you some!

Outwork your Competition.