Odds are good that at one time or another, you’ve overestimated what you can achieve in a year while simultaneously underestimating what you can achieve over an extended period of time—like ten years from now. It all comes down to setting goals and working toward those goals. But figuring out how to set expectations regarding that goal can be a little more confusing. Hope not only affects the goals set but also the general timeline for achieving them.
For example, you could have these audacious goals that you think you’re going to achieve by the end of next week, and in fact, it takes much, much longer. Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, you establish a minor goal and give yourself a few years to fulfill it. Well, that mindset breeds procrastination. Just like everything else in life, there needs to be a balance.
The Highwire Act
Some of the world’s highest achievers have found the right mix of big picture goals and more bite-sized aspirations. I’m in my late forties now, and if I look back at all the goals that I’ve set for myself, I’ve achieved them. Like, where I want to live and the nice, shiny assets I’ve acquired. The interesting thing is, that I never got them when I initially set the goal but rather much farther down the line.
It’s a highwire act to set manageable goals that both push you to achieve while not causing burnout or disappointment along the way. Let’s face it, our egos are fragile.
And so, I think it really resonates with me that we need to be mindful of, not only our goals, but the time in which we expect to accomplish them. Sure, at first you might be skeptical and thinking your goals can be realized in a snap. But as you get older, you start to recognize the time that it takes to put the wheels in motion. This is especially true for business dealings. It takes time to actually get things done, to become good at things, and to see financial results. At the same time, you don’t want to let yourself off the hook by ignoring the smaller successes. Hence, the tight rope. The key is to establish signposts along the way.
Put Them in Writing
Write them down. Things tend to carry more weight when they’re written down. So, it’s important to visualize your goals and then document them.
Tony Robbins, success coach to celebrities like Bill Clinton, Leonardo DiCaprio, Serena Williams, Nelson Mandela, and Hugh Jackman, wrote down his goals on a piece of old Russian map. In his book he explains, “I wrote continuously for three hours, brainstorming every possibility of what I could ever imagine doing, being, having, creating, experiencing, or contributing. The timeline I gave myself for achieving these goals was any time from tomorrow to the next twenty years. I never stopped to think whether I could actually achieve these goals or not. I simply captured any possibility that inspired me and wrote it down.”
Or, take Bruce Lee. Who doesn’t love the Hollywood martial arts star? When it came to setting his goals, Lee famously wrote a letter to himself. He wrote it in the form of a promise and set milestones for his life’s journey.
The point is, it’s important to record your goals with corresponding deadlines. Establishing these deadlines can help to light a fire under you and propel you that much closer to meeting your goals. And it’s nice to have something to look back and reflect on once your goal has been achieved.
Make Your Own Luck
By using goal-setting strategies, you don’t have to rely on luck to achieve success. Achievement becomes much less a guessing game and more a targeted campaign. Creating your own luck takes patience and hard work. It means being purposeful and making a plan, staying the course, being consistent, and just not giving up.
As you follow your roadmap, don’t be impatient but also don’t plan for things to take ten years because urgency gives you the desire and the push needed to get moving toward the goal. Just accept that it’s going to take longer than you initially thought. Don’t become despondent about it and remember that the journey is fun.
Also, keep in mind, there’s an endless supply of wants. It’s human nature to always want more. So, once your goals have been reached, set new goals, and enjoy the journey all over again.
I invite you to consider joining the Harbour Club and attending one of our virtual events where you’ll not only learn more about how to do all that I’ve discussed but also meet and work with other members who have successfully applied these strategies and techniques to achieve success. I look forward to having you as part of my community.
This article was originally published here: https://www.jeremyharbour.com/the-over-under-of-achievement/