Big Goals and Little Chunks

Often, when we hear the super-successful speak, we hear them speak of setting big, harry, audacious goals (B-HAGs). Dr. Norman Vincent Peale is credited with a quote we all know:

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

It gives us the picture of aiming for greatness and we land among the greats.  Big goals, big impact, big legacy.

This is an amazing thing, but it’s rare that we tune into how those men and women went about taking their shot.  After spending the past several years of studying those people, here’s what I have learned.

Big Goals

Many, if not most of the high achievers I follow have all read books like The Magic of Thinking Big.  It’s about setting big goals, chasing bigger things than you think you can accomplish.  Shoot for the moon kind of stuff.

For example, let’s say you want to make $100,000 a year.  They would say shoot for $1 million a year.  Want to lose 50-lbs?  Shoot for 70.  Want to back squat 400-lbs?  Shoot for 500!

Goal setting is NOT the place to play it safe. It IS the place to dream and go big!

Little Chunks

Now that the goal is set, this is where you lower the bar.  Not on your goal…on what you will do to get there.

If I set my goal to squat 500-lbs, and I’ve never really done a back squat, I don’t go to the gym and try to get there next week or even the week after.  I set a plan and set little chunks.  Get 5-lbs more next week than I did this week.  if I started at zero it would take almost 2 years.  Sounds like a long time right?  But if I want to achieve a goal I have to stay with it until it’s done regardless of time.

Little chucks over a long time get way more accomplished that trying for big chunks, getting discouraged, and quitting because you get frustrated.

Whatever your goal, break it into the smallest feasible chunks possible.  Now commit to doing that work, day and day out, until it’s done.  This allows you to build momentum and confidence as you win each day.  It also means you can reassess along the way.

Still on course?  Great!  Keep going!  Don’t speed up, stay the course.  Speeding up might kill your forward momentum and now you’ll end up back at frustrated.

Fall off course or pace a bit?  Good.  Reassess and stay on the pedal.  Keep moving forward, now with a new more achievable plan.

Little Chunks and Excellence

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Will Durant (I thought it was Aristotle too, check out this article on the origin of the quote)

This is precisely what I’m talking about.  By breaking a BHAG into small, attainable chunks you build a habit of excellence.  You become the kind of person who commits to the habit of excellence in your daily life.

Because these habits you are building are not just moving you toward your goal, they are building you into a new kind of person.  A person of excellence in all you do.  The idea of becoming that person is an idea we’ll have to flush out another day.

But, suffice it to say, setting a BHAG and actually seeing it thru to completion will move you toward excellence.  The question is, are you willing to commit to the amount of time it might take to make the pursuit?

Until next week; God bless, work hard, and be Excellent!
-Coach B