The problem with goals is not achieving them.
What if you could change that? What if you could achieve more of the goals you set, and at the same time expand your ability to achieve tougher ones in the future?
Here's the secret: set goals at every level.
The problem with the way most of us set goals is reset too darn few of them, and they're all too big.
If the only goals you have our three enormous ones (“lose 75 pounds”, “make $1 million dollars”, “win the PowerBall”), we are working against ourselves in more than one way.
First of all, there's a high degree of likelihood we will miss the mark on all of these goals because they are unrealistic. Please don't argue with me about “realistic goals”. That debate is for another blog post.
Secondly, if we are counting on our gigantic goals for our fulfillment, we open ourselves up to a habit of disappointment. That is dangerous psychological territory.
The better approach is having goals at every level.
Small goals, goals that you are certain to achieve even if you don't try very hard.
Medium-size goals, goals that will require you to work and perhaps even be a bit of a stretch, but you have confidence that there within your grasp.
Outrageous goals. These are goals that you might even feel are beyond your reach, but there is the faintest possibility that you could achieve them.
And finally, “impossible” goals. Goals that simply won't be achieved without some sort of divine intervention.
Here's what's interesting: setting those smaller goals, and celebrating your victories at the small and medium-size goal levels, somehow seems to increase the likelihood of achieving the outrageous goals.
Is it because our level of belief is stirred up by celebrating victories we didn't previously notice? Is it because of some kind of increased focus we wouldn't have if we weren't setting the smaller goals to begin with? I don't know.
What I do know is setting goals at every level increases the number of victories available to celebrate in your life. That alone is a good thing.
But I also know that occasionally, seemingly as if by magic, those “impossible” goals somehow seem to achieve themselves.
I don't have any scientific data to back up this theory of goalsetting.
But I strongly suggest you give my method a try, and I predict your experience will be the same as mine. What if I'm right?