Today, we are going to be talking about goals because I know you are a productivity powerhouse, or you want to be.
We’re always looking to improve our proficiency at getting more done in less time and preserving our energy, and feeling good about the way that we move along our journey, our path. We have these dreams, these ambitions, and sometimes it can get kind of hectic deciding which one to focus on and what to do. It’s hard to compartmentalize your life. There’s a lot of things going on and your passion that you have in all these areas of life that are important. So let’s talk goals for a minute.
Listen to the podcast:
Why 90-Day Goals
Now I love the idea of 90-days goals. It has worked for me, it works for my clients, and the reason that we like 90 days over any other term when it comes to planning and goal setting, is that anything less you’re really cheating yourself. You’re not giving yourself a chance to really create that momentum, test the water, figure out what works for you, what doesn’t work for you, and make tweaks and adjustments. In 30 days there’s a learning curve, especially if your goal requires the adoption of new habits or a new habit of mind, a new mindset. It takes a minute.
So if you try to do big goals in 30 days, you’re not giving yourself enough time to work through the kinks, and then that can feel really defeating. It will wreak havoc on your self-esteem because you’re like, “I just … I can’t do this.” Then what you’re doing is you’re training your brain not to shoot for the stars, not to set big goals, not to dream big. You’re training yourself to play small, and you call it realism. But really, it’s just that you didn’t give yourself a fair chance. 90 days is really the perfect amount of time. No more than that, you are going to lose your momentum. It’s going to start to get boring. You’re starting to go into four, or five, six months of working on the same goal with no reward. You didn’t hit that end big milestone, the finish line, and you’re like, “How long is this going to take? This is taking forever. I’m bored. I’m over it. Next.”
And then you have squirrel syndrome and you move on to the next thing and it does the same thing, where again, you’re not giving yourself the feeling of accomplishment, of achieving that end goal or making crazy progress, and you’re cheating yourself out of that wonderful feeling and training yourself not to do that. We can start to trick our brain into loving the idea of goal setting by giving it something it can grasp and really work toward. Now speaking of setting that goal, I have a philosophy that’s different than most.
Why I Don’t Believe in Realistic Goals
You’re probably familiar with smart goals, specific realistic, things like that, right? Yeah, on this show, we don’t believe in being realistic because what you believe is real is based on past experience.
If you keep repeating your past, repeating the history, you’re still going to continue to get the same kind of results that you have been getting. So I don’t believe in repeating history. I believe in creating the future that you want. Dream big. Set your goal bigger than what you expect to hit. So when you’re looking at 90-day goals, look ahead and go, “What do I feel like is realistic? What do I want to accomplish and why, and what’s a little bit bigger than that, what would be amazing?” And start to get excited about what that looks like and feels like.
Now, if you set a goal that’s a little bit bigger than what you expect to hit, it also relieves the pressure of needing to hit it. So you’re like, “I’m setting this big goal, I know it’s kind of crazy, but I’ma go for it. But if I don’t hit it, that’s okay, I don’t expect to. It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean that I’m a failure. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t succeed. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s okay. In fact, I don’t expect it. If I hit it, it’s like a bonus. But if I don’t, well, at least I moved toward it. I got close, and I can re-evaluate and set.” And then you can, at that point, look back and go, “Well, how far did I get? Did I get further than I actually expected myself to? Did I come close to the goal? How good does that feel?”
Aim for Progress
The purpose of doing this is to relieve the pressure to perform and to be perfect. A lot of us who are overachievers were really ambitious. We worry about living up to expectations, whether they’re other people’s or our own. So when you relieve the pressure around those expectations, you’re able to focus on growth and progress and in performance along the way, more so than focusing all your energy and intention on the end game. So once you set that goal, the next step then is to break it down into mini milestones. So most people have a tendency when you are setting a big goal in the future, and breaking it down into milestones to reverse engineer by cutting it into equal proportions. Don’t do that. Instead, break it down into momentum gaining proportions.
The First 30 Days
Meaning, you’re going to aim for progress. And that progress is going to be slower in the beginning, and then it’s going to speed up during the 90 days. For instance, if you have a 90-day goal to make $10,000 let’s say, nice easy round number. You’re going to aim to hit around 20% of that goal by 30 days. So your 30-day goal will be $2,000, okay. And the reason for that is you’re going to spend that 30 days figuring things out in planning and tweaking your systems and your ideas and just starting to get the momentum going. It takes a minute to get the momentum going. So then, once you get that momentum going, maybe you’ll hit that $2,000. Maybe you’ll need a little bit more time. Either way that’s okay as long as you get the momentum going in that first 30 days you are on track.
The Second 30 Days
So then the second 30 days, so at the 60-day marker, you’re going to aim to hit somewhere around 50%. So that would be maybe you’re looking to hit the $5,000 milestone. Okay. So now we just bumped it up. So now we’re at another 30%. And the reason for this is now you’ve got a little bit of momentum going. You don’t have quite as much energy and time invested into the planning process. You can get a little bit more done. Well, then in this month you’re still kind of tweaking your processes. You’re still figuring out what works and what doesn’t. You’re facing challenges. You’re learning lessons and you are strengthening your personal strength, the things that you need in order to accomplish this goal.
The Last 30 Days
Once you’ve done that, you can apply it to month three, and you can aim to hit 100% of your goal. Aim for the finish line in that last 30 days. Maybe you’ll hit it. Maybe you’ll get close. Either way, you’ve pushed yourself. You’ve accomplished so much. You’ve learned a ton about yourself, and you are further along your journey than you were three months ago. So at this point, you’re going to stop and you’re going to review and say, “Okay. Here I am. It’s 90 days. What worked? What didn’t work? What am I most proud of? What challenges did I face? And what did I learn? What strengths did I gain as a result of pushing through and overcoming those challenges? And how can I apply that knowledge in those strengths to my life and my goals going forward? Do I want to reset and keep working toward a similar goal? Or do I completely abandon ship and move on to another area of my life?” I mean, the choice is yours.
What Success Looks Like
You did what you set out to do. You pushed toward a target. You shot for the moon and maybe you hit it or maybe you ended among the stars, but either way you did amazing. Which brings me to the idea of celebrating progress. We say that we’re going to do this we know how important it is but do you do it. Do you actually pause every single day reflect on your day and say, “Look what I did today. Look what I learned today, look at the challenges that I faced and overcame today, look at how I’m better than I was yesterday”?
Or do you focus on what didn’t work, what you didn’t get done? What was hard and stop there? Now, this is a habit of mind. It takes discipline to do this, especially if this is something that you’re not used to doing. Now, there’s two reasons why it’s so important to celebrate your progress.
Number one: Because the brain likes to be rewarded. Every time you change something, every time you reward yourself, you get a little bit of dopamine in your brain, your brain says, “Ooh, we like that. Likey, likey. Want more of that.” And what you’re doing is the more you celebrate the little tiny milestones, the more you’re training your brain to enjoy working towards little milestones. And the little things begin to get easier and easier and you are able to build momentum that way. So it’s kind of like a brain hack trick by stopping periodically on your journey of pursuing your goals to celebrate. So I would recommend doing this daily or multiple times a day. Really just focusing in on what is working and celebrating your growth.
Now number two: In addition to actually tricking your brain into loving the progress, it’s forcing you to slow down and bring your mind into the present. So when we are focused on goals we are future tripping. We’re looking into the future going, “I got to have this. I gotta do that. I gotta hit this goal.” When really we lose track of how good it feels to be in the present. How good it feels to grow and make progress and challenge ourselves and rise above the things that we may have thought were difficult or too difficult to be able to tackle. So by forcing yourself to slow down and celebrate the growth and the progress as you work towards your goals you are bringing yourself into the present. You’re training your mindset muscle to be more aware of your own thoughts, your own feelings and to be more self accepting and love yourself for who you are in this moment and the growth and progress and wonderful strength that you’re acquiring along the way so it becomes not about what you accomplish at the end of the day or at the end of nine months. It becomes who you’re becoming and who you are right now.
So as you reflect on your days and you’re celebrating your wins, remember to focus on what went right, how you overcame your challenges, how you’ve grown, what positive choices you made and why you’re proud of yourself. Remember to give yourself credit for being unique and amazing and awesome and for stepping outside of your comfort zone and working towards something that is valuable and important to you.
It doesn’t matter what’s going on out there. It doesn’t matter whether you hit that goal or not. All that matters is that you feel proud and good about who you are and what you’re doing every day. And that feeling will raise your vibe and will help you to create the momentum to achieve anything. That’s the kind of fuel you need to hit the moon. To accomplish those big crazy audacious dreams and continue to dream bigger and bigger and bigger every time you do this.
Now, if you loved this episode and this is the kind of high vibe awesomeness you want more of in your life, I invite you to join my tribe. Head on over to tonyarineer.com/tribe. Join my inner circle of tribers, where I will send you all kinds of exclusive information like cheat sheets and templates so that you can rock your goals, but also a ton of inspirational tips and mindset tools so that you can keep your vibe high, accomplish more and feel better about everything you do. These are tips and tools that I don’t share anywhere else.