Achieving your outrageous goals with MAGIC!

Posted on December 30, 2009

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Magic!  That’s all we need – something that will make achieving our goals effortless, mythical, astonishing.  When guilt and longing (and procrastination and intimidation) fail to make it happen, magic will help you achieve your goals.

Well, okay, I don’t actually have a magic trick to make your goal happen.  But I have some tricks that come pretty darn close.

First  – you have to have a secret ingredient.  That secret ingredient is faith.  Faith in yourself and faith in the process. Are you willing to take the leap?  Great, then here is Magical trick #1 to achieve your outrageous goal:

Write it down

That’s it.  Write it down.  There’s something mysterious that happens when you write down your goal.  You’ve declared yourself – now, consciously and unconsciously, you start looking for ways to make things happen.  Invisible levers and gears inside your brain and your soul go click, click, click!  And something inside your subconscious says, “Got it, we’re working on [YOUR OUTRAGEOUS GOAL].  I’m on the job.”  And suddenly, your eyes are scanning for opportunities, your ears are listening for ideas, your life is heading down paths with your brain and all your senses flung wide open, searching and searching for tools and treasure and helpers that will help you achieve your goal.  Have you ever had your ideas or perception changed so that the whole world looked different?  A friend of mine is bananas over robotics, he coaches robotics teams, he coaches other coaches of robotics teams, robotics is a real passion of his.  And after talking to him about robotics, I’ve suddenly started to notice tiny blurbs in the paper about robotics events or the fact that the local middle school has a robotics team or something on the internet on robotics, things I would never have noticed before our conversation.  That conversation changed the way I perceive the world.  And so, with goals.  When you declare a goal, the way you see the world changes, you start scanning the horizon for what you need to succeed.

So, write it down.  Great start!

Extra credit: What, you want  more?  Ok, to really make this first step stick, pick your goal(s) wisely, don’t pick too many goals, pick goals that you really, really want for YOU.  And, when writing it down:

  • Write it in a way that anyone else reading your goal could understand (1) exactly WHAT your goal is, (2) WHY you want to must achieve it – why is it so important to YOU, (3) WHEN it will be done – what month/day/quarter (4) HOW you will know you are done – what does DONE look like?, and (5) what each major and minor MILESTONE is on the way to DONE.  So, for example, I want to run a 10K in March and finish it faster than I have run it before (which probably means running without stopping to walk), I must do this because I love the way I feel and the way I look when I’m running regularly, it will be done in March 2010, DONE looks like a completed race with a great time – but also looks like smart training 3x per week and milestones include running a shorter, practice race in February and (gulp) running 4-5 miles without stopping sometime in March.

Ok, once you’ve written your goal down – the right way – proceed to Magical trick #2

Post it on the refrigerator (or on the wall in your office – or above your bathroom sink – or wherever you will see it every day)

The idea behind Magical step #2 is that you will see your goal every day, which will make you think about where you are, what you’ve accomplished so far, where you have to go.  It will reinforce the magic of Magical step #1, every single day.  (given the limits of space on the refrigerator, this step also ensures you don’t attempt some crazy number of goals.  If you can’t fit them all the the refrigerator, you’ve got too many goals)

Once you have posted on the refrigerator, proceed to Magical trick #3:

Publicize your goal

Here, the more the merrier.  Tell your family and friends, your roommates, your co-workers, your kids, your teachers.  Post it on your blog.  Make a bumper sticker or a poster and stick it on your car – or on your cubicle or office door at work.  Publicizing does 2 things: (1) It reinforces your commitment to the task (because if you’re not willing to tell other people your goal – are you really committed?  Are you afraid you’ll  fail and don’t want the public embarrassment?)  Take it on!  You will love what happens, which is (2) you will gain allies/cheerleaders/supporters.  The more people know, the more they will ask you about your progress, give you hints and tips or commiserate when things aren’t going as well as you wish.

Those are all the magical tricks you need to succeed.  Have faith!  But if you want even more insurance, here are a couple ideas that will virtually ensure your success:

  1. Recruit an accountability buddy – find someone who is trying to do the same thing or something very similar to what you are doing.  Keep tabs on each other on a daily, weekly or other basis.  Report successes and failures, share hints and resources.  If you can’t find someone doing what you are doing, find someone who’s willing to be your accountability hound/nag.  Give them authority to hound/nag.
  2. Identify the very first thing you need to do to accomplish your outrageous goal – and do it.  Some tiny, little step to get the whole thing started.  Register for the race?  Check.  Doesn’t even require putting on running shoes. But once the first tiny little step is done, things start to roll along, slowly at first, but faster and more easily over time.  Try it!

So – everyone ready for a fantastic year?  Do you have your outrageous goal identified?  Share!  Note: Sharing your goal in the comments counts as both writing it down AND publicizing 🙂 so please comment away!  And have fun.

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