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Last Updated on January 25, 2021

How to Actually Make Your Goals Happen

How to Actually Make Your Goals Happen

Flash back to the beginning of this year with me for a moment: You’re excited. You’re motivated. You’re optimistic about the year ahead. In the heat of your enthusiasm, you decide you want to be super-ambitious this year. And you set some big stretch goals[1] for yourself. “It’s going to be a great year,” you tell yourself. “This is the year I actually learn how to make goals happen.”

Now, let’s fast-forward to a handful of months (or more) into the year.

How are you doing with your yearly goals?

Have you broken them down? Have you created actionable plans and projects to help you accomplish your goals?

Have you actually even looked at your annual goals since you wrote them down at the outset of the year?

Have you taken those yearly goals and broken them down into monthly goals? Weekly goals? Daily goals?

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And as of right now, in this moment, are you doing the most important thing you can do to bring your greatest goals closer to completion?

If your answer to any of the above questions was no, then I would propose to you that reading this article—and following the actionable advice within it—is the single most important thing you can do right now. Here’s how to get started.

1. Take More Action

The greatest barrier folks face when they’re trying to figure out how to make goals happen is a lack of action.

Why do so many of us set big goals and fail to follow up with action?

The problem is not you. It’s not that you aren’t capable of achieving your goals…you are.

The problem is within the way the goal was set in the first place.

The reason people don’t achieve their goals—the reason people fail to take consistent action towards making their goals a reality—is because:

  1. They set goals once a year and don’t revisit them often enough.
  2. They don’t break big goals down into smaller goals to be achieved within a narrow timeline.

To make goals happen, take more action. To take more action, shrink your timeline.

2. Shrink Your Timeline

The simplest way to make your biggest goals happen is to break them up into several smaller goals, insert them into a narrow timeline, and plug away at achieving the small goals, which will eventually lead you to achieving the big one.

Here’s what I mean by that: it’s tough to wrap your head around achieving a big yearly goal within a day, But that’s what your mind thinks it needs to do when it sees a big goal by itself. It thinks it needs to take down a herculean—year-sized—goal with one fell swoop. But this would be nearly impossible, so it gives up.

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However, if you take that big yearly goal and create a timeline of tasks (beginning today) that progressively lead to you achieving your big yearly goal, now your brain sees a path to victory.

Your brain can’t achieve what your brain can’t see.

It’s like walking into a pitch black room. At first, you walk inside and you can’t see a single thing. But then you flip the light-switch and boom—now you can see. All of a sudden the room is flooded with light and everything is clear.

That’s what happens to your brain when it sees a clear plan of action[2] with a timeline.

The key, then, for making big goals happen is to:

  1. Define a big picture goal. This might be a yearly goal you’ve already set, like “read 50 books this year” or “make $1,000,000 this year.”
  2. Narrow the timeline by working backwards from the bigger picture goal, breaking it down into smaller monthly goals, followed by smaller weekly goals, followed by still smaller daily goals, all the way down to your single current goal in this very moment.

This process is called “Goal Setting to the Now,” and the simplicity and effectiveness of this system helped me become a millionaire by the age of 30.

But it’s not just for professional success. Goal Setting to the Now works to help you make your goals happen in every area of life: health and fitness, spirituality, personal development and education, relationships and more.

3. Use Goal Setting to the Now

In their book, The One Thing, authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan write:

“By thinking through the filter of Goal Setting to the Now, you set a future goal and then methodically drill down to what you should be doing right now. It can be a little like a Russian matryoshka doll in that your ONE Thing “right now” is nested inside your ONE Thing TODAY, which is nested inside your ONE Thing this WEEK, which is nested inside your ONE Thing this MONTH… it’s how a small thing can actually build up to a big one… You’re lining up your dominoes.”

Side note: I had one of the authors of The One Thing come onto my podcast to break this idea down, you can listen to it here.

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Goal Setting to the Now is all about lining up your dominoes and knocking them down, one by one, until you achieve your ultimate goal.

Let’s say, for example, that you have an ultimate goal of reading 50 books a year. Here’s how you would drill down the actions and narrow your timeline to make this something you’re likely to achieve.

Someday Goal:

What’s the ONE thing I want to do someday?

Develop the habit of reading 50 books per year for the rest of my life.

Five-Year Goal:

Based on my Someday Goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do in the next 5 years?

In order to achieve my goal of reading 50 books per year for the rest of my life, I must read 250 books within the next five years.

One-Year Goal:

Based on my Five-Year Goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do this year?

In order to achieve my five-year goal of reading 250 books, I must read 50 books within the next 12 months (one year).

Monthly Goal:

Based on my One-Year Goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do this month?

Since there are about 50-53 weeks in a typical year, in order to achieve my one-year goal, I must read four or five books a month. This month I will read the following four personal development books:

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  1. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  3. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  4. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss (In case I need something easy at the end of my first month!)

Weekly Goal:

Based on my Monthly Goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do this week?

In order to achieve my monthly goal, I must read one book each week. This week I will read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.

Daily Goal:

Based on my Weekly Goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do today?

Since the average book is about 250 pages in length, in order to achieve my weekly goal of reading a book a week, I must read approximately 36 pages per day.

In order to achieve my daily page-count, I will block off one hour of dedicated reading time at 8:00 AM each morning on my calendar.

Right Now:

Based on my Daily Goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do right now?

Give myself a pat on the back, because I completed my morning reading, and I’m on track to achieve my Someday Goal of reading 50 books per year for the rest of my life!

Now, all you need to do is knock down each domino until you’ve hit your Someday Goal. Should keep you pretty busy, right?

The Bottom Line

It might seem redundant, or even overly simple, but the real key to actually making your greatest goals happen in any area of your life is to break them down and narrow your timeline—collecting lots of small wins, which eventually build up to the achievement of the bigger goal.

  1. Start by defining a big picture goal for yourself, or use one that you’ve already defined but have yet to accomplish.
  2. Break that goal up into actionable steps.
  3. Insert those steps into a narrow timeline by using Goal Setting to the Now.

More Tips on How to Make Goals Happen

Featured photo credit: airfocus via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: The Stretch Goal Paradox
[2] Dean Bokhari: Action Leads to Motivation

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Dean Bokhari

Author, Entrepreneur, Podcast & TV Host

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

How to Find Your Passion and Live a More Fulfilling Life

How to Find Your Passion and Live a More Fulfilling Life

If you could do one thing to transform your life, I would highly recommend it be to find something you’re passionate about, and do it for a living. Learning how to find your passion may not be as easy as it sounds, but it’s well worth the effort.

If you dread going to your job, find yourself constantly lacking motivation, or find what you’re doing dull and repetitive, you need to start looking for a new job.

Staying in your current job will not only continue to leave you feeling stuck and make you unhappy, but you are not realizing your full potential in life.

Imagine this instead:

You get up early, jumping out of bed, excited to go to work. You might put in more hours than the average person, but it doesn’t seem difficult to you, because your work hours just zoom right by.

You are often in that state of mind, often referred to as “flow,” where you can lose track of the world and time, losing yourself in the task at hand. Work is not work as many people refer to it, but something that is fun and interesting and exciting. It’s not a “job” but a passion that leads to a fulfilling life.

If you’ve got a job you dislike, or even hate, this will sound like a pipe dream to you. And if you never put in the effort to find what you’re passionate about, such a thing will never be possible.

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However, if you dare to ask “how do I find my passion,” imagine the possibilities, and actually search for what you love, it is not only a possibility, but a probability.

How do you go about learning how to find your passion in life? Here are some suggestions:

1. Is There Something You Already Love Doing?

Do you have a hobby or something you loved doing as a child, but never considered it as a possibility for a job?

Whether it’s reading comic books, collecting something, or creating or building, there is probably a way you could do it for a living. Open a comic book shop, or create a comic book site online.

If there’s already something you love doing, you’re ahead of the game. Now you just need to research the possibilities of making money from it.

2. Find out What You Spend Hours Reading About

For myself, when I get passionate about something, I’ll read about it for hours on end. I’ll buy books and magazines. I’ll spend days on the Internet finding out more.

There may be a few possibilities here for you, and all of them are possible career paths. Don’t close your mind to these topics. Look into them until you feel your heart is content, and this will help you get started as you learn how to find your passion.

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3. Brainstorm

If nothing comes to mind right away as you’re asking how to find my passion, get out a sheet of paper and start writing down ideas[1]. This doesn’t need to be an organized list. It can simply be a paper full of random notes or even doodles. All of this will eventually come in handy later.

Look around your house, on your computer, or on your bookshelf for inspiration, and write down whatever comes to mind. There are no bad ideas at this stage.

4. Ask Around

There are likely people you admire in life, and there are things about them that you would like to replicate in yourself. Go to them if possible, and pick their brain. See how they landed where they currently are and whether they feel they’ve discovered their passion.

The more possibilities you find, the more likely your chances of learning how to find your passion in the long run. This may mean that you spend time talking to friends and family, coworkers, or even acquaintances in your free time.

5. Don’t Quit Your Job Just Yet

If you find your calling, your passion, don’t just turn in your resignation tomorrow. It’s best to stay in your job while you’re researching the possibilities.

If you can do your passion as a side job and build up the income for a few months or a year, that’s even better. It gives you a chance to build up some savings (and if you’re going into business for yourself, you’ll need that cash reserve), while practicing the skills you need.

6. Give It a Try First

It’s best to actually test your new idea before jumping into it as a career as you’re wondering how to find your passion. Do it as a hobby or side job at first, so that you can see if it’s really your true calling.

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You may be passionate about it for a few days, but where the rubber meets the road is whether you’re passionate about it for at least a few months.

If you pass this test, you have probably found it.

7. Do as Much Research as Possible

Know as much about your passion as possible. If this has been a passion for a while, you may have already been doing this. At any rate, do even more research. Read every website possible on the topic, and buy the best books available.

Find other people, either in your area or on the Internet, who do what you want to do for a living, and quiz them about the profession.

How much do they make, and what training and education did they need? What skills are necessary, and how did they get their start? What recommendations do they have?

Often, you’ll find that people are more than willing to give advice.

8. Practice, and Practice, and Practice Some More

If you’re getting close to learning how to find your passion, don’t go into it with amateur skill level. If you want to make money—to be a professional—you need to have professional skills.

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Get very good at your future career, and you will make money at it. Practice for hours on end and learn how to focus; if it’s something you love, the practice should be something you want to do.

9. Never Quit Trying

It’s possible that you won’t be able to find your passion at first. However, if you give up after a few days, you’re sure to fail. Keep trying, for months on end if necessary, and you’ll find it eventually.

Perhaps you thought you found your passion but discovered several months on that it wasn’t for you. Start over again and find a new passion. There may be more than one passion in your lifetime, so explore all the possibilities.

Have you found your passion but haven’t been successful making a living at it? Keep trying, and try again until you succeed. Success doesn’t come easy, so giving up early is a sure way to fail.

If you need a little help, the Make It Happen Handbook can provide you with a solid action plan to help you turn your passion in your career. Check out the handbook and start to live your passion!

The Bottom Line

Don’t forget that all of this will be a lot of work, but it will be the best investment you’ve ever made. Put in the time to learn how to find your passion, and you will find that your days are more fulfilling and produce more happiness and well-being in the long-term.

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Featured photo credit: Dewet Willemse via unsplash.com

Reference

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