How to Easily Achieve Any Goal You Want
The trick is 4 simple questions and a weekly roadmap
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The internet does a really great job of over-complicating things. Goal-setting is one of those things.
You’ll find a vast ocean of paid products geared towards “how to set goals” which, to me, seems ridiculous. All of these products just make everything way more confusing (and more profitable) than it needs to be.
Goal-setting is actually super simple if you can ignore the noise.
I’ll be the first to admit that I used to suck at it, but then I cut the bullshit and started asking myself just four questions, and that’s when everything changed for me.
I use the answers to these questions to build a weekly roadmap that I can follow to achieve any goal I want. I find it’s much easier to execute when I’m not constantly changing strategies.
Please, steal the questions for yourself and skip the paid products:
1. What’s the specific goal I’m trying to achieve? The SMART method works great: the goal must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This year, I have a goal to run a 7-minute mile, which meets all of that criteria.
2. What’s my most important action? This is the one thing that drives the most progress toward the goal. For example, if I’m going to RUN a 7-minute mile, then I need to get better at RUNNING. Running is the one action that acts as the catalyst to improving the many critical aspects (muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, lung capacity, etc) needed to run a mile at pace.
When building my weekly plan, running is the core focus.
3. What are my secondary actions? These are all of the things, besides the main action, that move the needle. There are potentially an infinite number of actions to choose here. I just pick a handful and sprinkle them into my weekly protocol.
For my running goal, I chose weight training, stretching, biking, prioritizing sleep, and nutrition as my secondaries. These are all important activities that drive progress, but they’re secondary to running. That means, first I figure out when and how often I want to run, then I schedule these around that.
4. Lastly, what do I need to eliminate? These are the things that hinder progress. For running, I’m targeting alcohol, stress, competing priorities, and accessibility issues (I joined a gym down the street from work to eliminate this hurdle).
Don’t👏 skip👏 this👏 step👏. Most people are too busy planning WHAT to do that they overlook WHAT NOT to do. There’s a lot of value to be gained here.
After I have the answers to these 4 questions, I put my weekly plan on paper. The 80/20 rule is a good starting point for splitting time between the most important action and all others, but sometimes I deviate to 70/30, 60/40 or whatever works. I generally try to do what’s best for me and the specific goal.
Here’s an example of my latest weekly fitness protocol to achieve my running goal:
My latest fitness schedule
If you happened to read this post here, I’m also chasing a higher VO2 Max (which complements my 7-minute mile goal nicely), and this is what I’ve found works for me. I do 5-10 minutes of light stretching after each running workout, I “rest” from running on Wednesdays, and I don’t bother scheduling sleep or nutrition for obvious reasons. I just aim to do better.
When creating your plan, don’t overthink it or try to do too much research ahead of time. Use the answers from above to put a rough roadmap together and go.
I’ve achieved most of my goals simply by starting earlier, even if undereducated, and fine-tuning the plan along the way.
Credit: Disney (using meme-generating app)