Achieving Your Goals: A Roadmap to Success

Sep 25, 2023

The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun, in the short run. It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow and who make an impact… those people have goals.” ~ Seth Godin

When I was in college, my friend and I took a couple of girls on a date. That’s something we used to do back in the early 2000s. We lived right near the mountains, so that night we planned to build a fire up the canyon and roast some marshmallows for S’mores.

Driving up the canyon, I couldn't see much past the headlights because there was no moon, and it was past 10 PM so only the occasional car passed in the opposite direction. I'd driven this road over a hundred times before, though, so I felt comfortable and was doing around 60 MPH.

About halfway to our destination, I caught a flash of movement just beyond the range of my headlights. Within a moment, my lights revealed a herd of at least ten deer crossing the road at a slow trot. The girls in the car screamed and covered their eyes, expecting to hit one of the deer broadside. At that moment, time seemed to slow down, and surprisingly, I felt calm. I let off the gas just a little and made a small adjustment to the steering wheel so we could cruise through a gap that opened between the herd. All of us breathed a sigh of relief as we passed through the deer unscathed and without any dramatic squealing of the wheels. Thankfully, the rest of the night went on without incident.

Though I felt like a superhero at that moment, in hindsight, I think I just got lucky.

I believe our goals are a lot like driving down a dark road. If they’re not, then we probably need better goals.

My mentor, Richie Norton, likes to say that “Goals inside experience are tasks. Goals outside experience are growth.”

Setting goals can be scary. There’s no guarantee of success. A goal is really a test of faith because, just like driving up a dark road, you can only ever see a little way in front of you. You never know when some unexpected obstacle is going to pop up. That’s why most people tend to stick with what they know, even if they don’t like it. It’s the option that feels safe and comfortable. More often than not, we sacrifice freedom and impact when we choose the "safe" option. I imagine if you’re reading this email, you’re not one of those people who choose to play it safe. You understand that for things to change, you must change; for things to get better, you must get better.

Every goal is a bet—a bet on yourself. And that’s a bet I think you should take.

What goal is worth sacrificing the familiar path for you? 

I ask this because all great men and women of history were people who took a chance on something more, on something different. They took courageous action in the face of enormous obstacles. They took the proverbial leap of faith.

If we don’t set a new goal for something different, for something better, then we end up repeating the same process over and over again. It’s like running on a hamster wheel—working hard but never really getting anywhere.

In short, if you want something different in your life, you'll have to take a new road.

If you’re nervous about taking a new road, you’re not alone. So was every other person in history who followed a new path. Like I said before, it’s a lot like driving in the dark. So let’s talk about a few ways to light your path. All you need to drive effectively in the dark is to shine a little light on the road ahead. All progress requires us to walk by faith, not by sight.

Six Ways to Light the Dark Road and Design The Life You Want:

Take Responsibility

The first step in changing your life is taking responsibility for all of it. Consider where you have been blaming people, time, or events for your outcomes in life. Now decide you’re going to stop playing the victim and start playing the hero of your story. Before you can change, you must believe you have the power to change—nothing was ever accomplished without belief.

Visualize the End

Where are you headed? What is so inspiring to you that it's worth the blood, sweat, and tears? What’s worth being mocked and looking stupid? If you haven't decided where you want to go, there's no chance you’ll get there. As Jim Rohn loved to say, “It’s not the blowing of the wind that determines the destination, but the set of the sail—the same wind blows on us all.”

Be a Great Student

Whatever goal you choose to set, become a great student of that topic. Study it daily! Find out everything you need to know to make a go of it. You wouldn’t set off to a new place without a map or GPS. Becoming a student is essential to light the path ahead and prepare yourself for some of the obstacles. A word of caution: don’t get stuck in study mode. Once you have a feasible action step, DO IT.

Apply What You Learn

Apply what you're learning immediately and consistently. Knowledge is not actually power; it’s only potential power. Knowledge in action is the only way to turn potential into energy and momentum. Do the work and ship the work. Whatever you're learning, test it out. The number one rule of life design is effective testing. That means create, ship, and collect feedback.

Make Adjustments

Review feedback and results on a regular basis and make adjustments. Build feedback into your process. This takes some humility, but it's absolutely essential if you want to create change that lasts. Look for mentors and accountability partners/groups to help you refine and improve your efforts and reach your goals.

Measure Your Progress

The middle part of every goal is the hardest, and that's why 92% of people quit on goals before they actually accomplish them. When we forget to measure our progress along the way, it’s easy to feel like we’re going backward and decide we were better off on the “safe” path. By measuring our progress, we can stay in the gain about our goals and enjoy the journey along the way.

As we journey down this dark road together, remember that every new path offers a chance for growth, transformation, and yes, a bit of uncertainty. But like any good driver knows, it's not about illuminating the whole journey; it's about casting enough light to take the next step. So jump in the driver’s seat of your life and grab on with both hands!

Thank you for letting us be a part of your journey! We love and believe in you.

It’s time to start living your best life!

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