The Only Two Ways To Achieve Your Goals (And Why You’re Probably Doing It Wrong)

Goal

Two Ways To Achieve Your Goals

If you’re consistently achieving your goals and doing what you want with your life, great. Keep doing what you’re doing. This article isn’t for you. If you’re struggling with making things happen, doing what you want to do, and we can change that.

In life, there’s two ways to achieve your goals.

You can either jump right in, and take it on all at once or you can do it little by little. Both work well, but they work at varying degrees of effectiveness for different people.

A quick summary of the two philosophies:

Jump Right In

Forgo the consequences, planning, and anything else you could ever think about. Embrace the chaos, take cold showers, go a little crazy and get after it.

Little by Little

Focus on step one. If you want to start a billion dollar company, get your first customer. If you want to go to every country in the world, get your passport first. Make the smallest step possible, then take the next one. Make the steps so small that you can’t possibly fail. Make each step a little bigger. Repeat.

Why You’re Doing It Wrong

If you’re finding yourself doing either of the above but not succeeding, there’s a reason – you’re doing it wrong.

Whatever method you’re doing, if it’s not working it’s probably because you’re drifting back into your comfort zone.

You’re doing what’s comfortable for you.

It’s normal, sure. People naturally gravitate to what’s comfortable. But just because something’s comfortable doesn’t mean it’s what you’re supposed to be doing.

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” – William Shedd

Never be comfortable. Comfort is antagonistic towards change. Comfort doesn’t help you grow and comfort doesn’t help you get better. All it does is help perpetuate your current situation while convincing you that you’re moving forward.

Comfort is actually much worse than doing nothing because comfort lies to you. Comfort tells you that things are okay, when really, if you’re not actively growing, you’re dying. Things naturally deteriorate if you don’t actively work to improve and change them. Ever got comfortable with your fitness level and take an (extended) break? 3 weeks later, you’re way out of shape. Ever learned a new language, got comfortable with it and 6 months later you can’t remember a word?

Comfort lulls you into a belief that things are okay when they’re really worsening more and more. In a very real way, comfort = death.

So if you want to start doing the things you really wan to do, the only thing you should be getting comfortable with is being uncomfortable.

The Simple Test to Know If You Need To Change  Something.

If you want to know if you need to change strategies, all you have to do is ask yourself one simple question:

Has it been working?

 

That’s it.

Has what you’ve been doing been working? Yes or No?

If yes, good. Keep doing what you’re doing. Boom.

If no, you should change something.

Simple.

If you’re a visual learner, this flowchart should help you visualize this decision making process.

Do Something

Do Something Different

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein

If it’s not working. Change something.

If you naturally like to jump into things and aren’t seeing progress, it’s probably becauce you get caught up in the big vision of what you want to do that you forget to do the basic, necessary things that are required for success (keeping your books, showing up on time, etc). Start small. Get the basics down. Then move on to the next thing. It might be tedious to you, but you probably need to do it.

If you naturally like to take things slow, step by step, and aren’t seeing results, it’s probably because you get so focused on the details that you forget the bigger purpose. You focus so much on the steps, that you forget about what you’re moving towards and you never bother making any forward progress. Change it up. Start taking cold showers and jump into your project, embrace the madness and move forward with a force. It might be chaotic, but sometimes that’s what a jumpstart feels like.

Whatever you do, it will probably be uncomfortable – that’s the point!

Question Time

Which one is more comfortable for you?

 

[your answer goes here]

 

Your challenge: Do the opposite. 

See what happens.

[photo credit: Corscri Daje Tutti! [Cristiano Corsini]

Comments

  1. Jarie Bolander says

    Love the flowchart — it speaks to the geek in me!

    I like your take on doing the small things. If you focus on the incremental, pretty soon lots of things get done.

    Pushing the boundaries of what’s comfortable is what inspired me to take a writing class, which scared the crap out of me (being critiqued is tough) but that pushed me to finish my book. Without that, it would have never gotten done.

  2. Justin MIller says

    Joel,

    Nail on the head my man. If it’s working for you… great! If not, time to switch it up. Just have to be honest with yourself and eliminate that fear of change.

    Stay up bud!

    J

  3. Joy says

    I like it Joel, simple, do-able, no excuses. If it’s not working, change it up. I’m a “jumper” by nature, so in the past few months I’ve been experimenting with creating step by step…very new for me, fun to learn, challenging to stretch into, and overall expanded my world of possibilities. Impossible truly is possible when I allow it to be :)

  4. Leo Tabibzadegan says

    SO SIMPLE! I love the flow chart, haha i’m going to print this and stick it on my xbox as a reminder.

    It’s funny how we over complicate everything hey? for some reason we try everything in life, except the thing that is staring us right in the face.

    If it works. Do it.
    If it doesn’t, don’t.

    lol

Trackbacks

  1. [...] The Only Two Ways To Achieve Your Goals (And Why You’re Probably Doing It Wrong) Never be comfortable. Comfort is antagonistic towards change. Comfort doesn’t help you grow and comfort doesn’t help you get better. All it does is help perpetuate your current situation while convincing you that you’re moving forward. [...]

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