As legendary coach Lou Holtz said, “If you are bored with life, if you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things — you don’t have enough goals.”
If you’re reading this site, you’re already in the small percentage of people actively trying to create a better life. But sometimes, balancing work, family, and your goals feel impossible.
If anyone knows how to set massive goals and achieve them, it’s Forbes 50 under 50, Ed Mylett. With a net worth of $400 million and rapidly growing personal brand, Ed shared his goal setting secrets on one of his past podcast episodes.
Ed has reached extraordinary levels of success by consistently setting and achieving goals in every area of his life. As he noted in the podcast, anyone can do it.
After following his podcast, YouTube channel, and blog for the past few months, I had the honor of attending the Thrive conference and hearing him speak in person.
Here are the lessons that I learned from Ed’s podcast and speech that you can use to max out your life and achieve your biggest goals!
1. Set Hyper-Specific Goals
How specific are your goals? Do you know exactly what you’re trying to achieve? Do you have a clear vision and roadmap for the next 5 years of your that pulls you forward and helps you wake up excited?
Or are you setting vague, ambiguous, and ultimately meaningless goals like 99% of the population?
As Ed said in the podcast, “People are walking generalities that usually set vague goals.”
And he’s right. Most people set goals like:
- “I want to lose weight.”
- “I want to earn more money.”
- “I’m going to read more books.”
The problem is your brain doesn’t understand broad, general goals. Your brain wants ultra-specific goals to make it clear what you’re trying to achieve. This idea isn’t just hearsay or some rehashed “success principle” either, it’s founded in science.
Have you ever purchased or considered purchasing a car only to find that suddenly the very car you bought is EVERYWHERE?
This is something known as the reticular activating system or RAS. Basically, your brain is taking in so much information that the conscious brain can only process a small fraction of it at a given time.
When you give your brain a direct command or cue, it begins to process that information differently and filter all of that information through the “lens” of your new command.
Which is why it’s important to set very detailed goals…
- “I want to lose 10 pounds in the next 60 days and drop 3% body fat.”
- “I’m going to earn $5,000 more in the next 45 days from a side business.”
- “I’m going to read six books in the next 12 weeks.”
The first step to finding success like Ed Mylett is getting ultra-specific about what you are trying to accomplish.
You have to spend the time up front clearly identifying what you want to achieve. If not, it’s easy to lose motivation when things inevitably get harder in the pursuit.
2. Connect Your Goals to Strong Emotional Reasons
In the podcast and at Thrive, Ed said the reason he gets up at 4 a.m. to workout every day isn’t just to stay fit… the reason is his daughter.
A decade earlier his doctor told him that if he didn’t change his diet and exercise habits IMMEDIATELY, another man would walk his little girl down the aisle and he would never get to watch her grow up.
But guess what? It worked. Today, Ed is notorious for his commitment to fitness and health and is, by far, one of the most athletic CEO’s in town.
The good Doctor clearly knew the power of getting emotional leverage. The doctor gave him a compelling reason to change his lifestyle.
The reasons that you want to succeed are usually tied to the other people in your life.
Goals that are solely centered around yourself rarely last. Make your goals mean something very personal to you. If possible, try to link them to your family, a charity you believe in or your kids to stay focused.
For example, setting a goal of “Making $1,000,000 in the next five years” is great.
But if you’re only doing it to feed your own importance and stroke your ego, I can promise you that you’ll give up the second things become challenging.
However, if you were to say to yourself, “I will achieve financial independence by earning $1,000,000 in the next 5 years so that I can guarantee my family will be provided for no matter what”, you begin to attach real and visceral reasons to your goal.
Go deep and figure out why you really want to achieve all of the goals you’ve set.
A compelling reason could be the difference between years of spinning your wheels in the mud and “overnight” success.
3. Get Some Accountability
Clear goals and strong reasons are a good start but they still aren’t enough to achieve all of your goals. You also need accountability from other people.
The most successful people in business and sports have accountability, why shouldn’t you?
Enroll one or two people to help you stay accountable for each goal you set.
Hire a coach or pay an accountability partner to help you succeed. Often times, seeing money leave your bank account each month is motivation enough for you to show up and put in the work.
If you think everyone in your life won’t understand your goals, look outside the people you know. Join challenges, Facebook groups, and forums of like-minded people. Find people who are enthusiastic about what you want to achieve.
Remember as the legendary author Stephen Covey said, “Accountability breeds response-ability.”
4. Create Process Goals to Achieve Any Outcome
Each step you’re getting closer and closer to setting systems that will make it easy to achieve your goals. The next step is setting outcome and process goals. Outcome goals are easy but you need a roadmap to achieve them.
As Craig Ballantyne said in the Perfect Day Formula,
“The key to achieving your goals is to have the right steps in place to move you towards them. Without these steps in place, a lot of people lose momentum and quit pursuing their big goals and dreams. That why you need to create several small process goals that will support the achievement of your outcome goals.”
If you want to earn more money, identify the habits it will take to achieve your specific goal.
Is it sending more emails, making more calls, calling at different times, partnering with someone in your industry?
How to Set Better Process Goals:
Start by identifying what actions you need to take to make your goals happen. Chunk them down so you can start taking action and building momentum immediately. It’s so crucial to create momentum and confidence early in your goal.
Start with process goals that you will do in 24 hours, 48 hours, 7 days, 14 days, 30 days, 45 days, 72 days and 90 days.
While it sounds like a ton of work, it’s crucial to have a game plan before you get started instead of trying to wing it as you have in the past.
Don’t rely on hope or positive thinking either. Make a clear plan with measurable steps so you can take massive and consistent action.
5. Set Firm Deadlines
As I’m sure you know on a personal level, New Year resolutions fail for a lot of reasons.
One of the biggest reasons is that the goals aren’t really motivating. “I want to lose some weight or make some more money” aren’t very inspiring to your mind.
But another reason they fail is that they lack deadlines entirely. Or the deadline is the following year. Let’s face it, 365 days away is too far away in the future for most goals.
Your goals need ultra-specific deadlines. They can be 21 days, 60, 90 or even 180 days.
The length isn’t that important, it’s that they are realistic and still short enough to push you to get it done.
Once you set a goal, Ed recommends that you also create built-in reminders as well.
Add reminders to your calendar on your phone, pop-up email messages or notes around your house. As you constantly see these reminders pop up, you’re much more likely to take daily action toward achieving them.
6. Celebrate Your Mini Victories
It’s easy to want to wait until the goal is met before celebrating. But you shouldn’t delay celebrating until you achieve your goal. It’s important to acknowledge the little wins along the way or your brain isn’t as motivated to keep going.
The reason is that you get a massive dopamine hit which your brain loves.
As Charles Duhigg said in the Power of Habit,
“Every small win gives you a spritz of dopamine, that feel-good brain chemical that is linked with motivation. Better still, a series of small wins “…guarantees a constant supply of dopamine, which is released during goal-oriented behavior and upon achieving a goal.”
If you keep hitting goals but don’t acknowledge yourself for making progress, it’s very demotivating to your brain.
It’s easy to want to delay gratification but it’s so necessary. Even if it’s a quick splurge on an item, a nice meal or even a positive affirmation to yourself.
Celebrating your wins is crucial to achieving your goals.
Plus, who doesn’t love to celebrate?
7. Review Your Goals Regularly
Yet another reason that so many New Year’s resolutions fail is that people review them once on January 1st and don’t think about it until they’ve fallen off the wagon.
Instead, it’s crucial to review your goals on a daily basis. As legendary motivational speaker, Les Brown said, “Review your goals twice every day in order to be focused on achieving them.”
This is especially important in the beginning when your goals are brand new. Review them regularly by:
- Writing them in your journal each morning and night
- Keeping them as the screensaver on your phone
- Reading them in your car on your way to work
- Posting somewhere in your house so you’ll see them often
After hearing Ed Mylett speak at an event, I took his advice and added them as the screensaver on my phone. A study by Asurion found that the average person struggles to go a little more than 10 minutes without checking their phone. And of the 2,000 people surveyed, one in 10 check their phones on average once every four minutes.
Imagine the power of seeing your goal 80 times per day? Adding your biggest goals to your screensaver will help ingrain your goals to your mind through repetition.
8. Expect to Achieve Every Goal
You can do all of the other steps and still fail if you don’t actually believe you can make your goals happen. Without having belief that you can achieve your goals, you’ll almost never succeed.
As Napoleon Hill said, “You can be anything you want to be, if only you believe with sufficient conviction and act in accordance with your faith; for whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”
Your inner beliefs control everything in your life, including your ability to complete your goals.
Make sure you actually believe that you can make them happen and your chances to succeed will increase exponentially. Even if your goal feels impossible, you have to know it can happen. Make
As Ed Mylett said at a recent event I attended, “You were put on this earth to do something great. You weren’t put here to be average and ordinary.”
And he’s right. Anyone can achieve massive goals once they have a system in place. Most people set broad goals with no accountability, no deadlines, and no plan. This almost always leads to not reaching the goal and eventually giving up entirely.
But this is a dangerous cycle that you can’t let enter your life.
Push yourself to finish 2018 with the most drive you’ve had all year and lay the groundwork for building a better life for 2019.
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