Joe’s Rules for Life #2

Think Big

Another thing everyone sucks at (see Rule #1) is setting goals. Here’s a story we’ve all seen a million times:

Norm sets a goal. Norm does or does not achieve the goal. In either case, Norm remains a loser.

Clearly, Norm should have chosen a better goal. The only thing worse than not having goals is having goals that suck.

I’m sure you’ve heard about SMART goals, the idea that your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. That’s a fine idea, for losers. If you want to achieve truly great things, you will need JOE goals.

A JOE goal should make you:

Jittery – Quite simply, your goal should make you nervous. If it doesn’t, you aren’t being ambitious enough, and you are wasting your time.

Obsessive – A lunatic level of obsession is necessary to achieve anything noteworthy. You may need a new goal if you aren’t thinking about it day and night.

Epic – Your goal must be so grand in scope, that stories will be told for generations.

Most people choose goals that are much too small. They usually call them “realistic” goals. Here’s the problem with having “realistic” goals. Small goals have small payoffs, and small payoffs don’t motivate you to work the extra hours. Ironically, you are more likely to finish a bigger goal, because you’ll actually have the drive to wake up early and get it done.

Oh and here’s a secret. Big goals aren’t much harder to accomplish than small goals. In my experience, the results to effort ratio is ten to one. For example, by doing 20% more work, you can achieve 200% more results.

Further tips:

  • Set your own goals. Don’t let anyone else set goals for you. Do I need to bring up Rule #1 again?
  • Don’t go too long term. Three months is the perfect time frame. Any longer and you lose the sense of urgency.
  • Reward yourself. Don’t forget to reward yourself after you achieve a goal, but don’t go overboard. Limit the celebration to one day, then get back to work.
  • Having trouble getting started? Take a normal goal for you. Now ask how can you get ten times the result? How can you get ten times the result in a tenth of the time? That should get you started in the right direction.

What are YOUR goals? Share in the comments.

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