We’re conditioned to think about big changes at certain times of the year. (New Year, New You.) Even around here we’re big proponents of the mid-year RESET. And while it can be advantageous to think about connecting your goals to larger cultural milestones, it can also give you a moving goalpost. If this is your approach, then you may have found yourself indefinitely postponing (“I’ll start the new diet on Monday,” is a common refrain from this writer, only to forget and then say “Whelp, it’s Tuesday and I didn’t watch my calories last night, so I’ll have to start next week!”). The problem is that by restricting yourself to a “perfect” start time—you’re saying “no” to a lot of perfectly good opportunities.
When it comes to your goals, there’s no perfect timing. You can get lucky and start at the “perfect time,” but the reality is perfect doesn’t exist. So, you just have to start now. Luckily, we’ve got a process for that!
Reach Future Goals by Goal Setting to the Now
Before we can build a habit or a goal, we have to know which one we need to build. That depends on the goal at hand. The secret to achieving big things is goal setting to the now.
Goal setting to the now is the concept of taking your long-term goals and breaking them down to understand what needs to be done at different stages. It’s a form of reverse engineering that gets you from the distant future to today.
- Step One: Identify your long-term goals – Where do you want to be in 10, 15, 20 years?
- Step Two: Bring it closer to the present – Where do you need to be in five years to reach your long-term goals?
- Step Three: Break it down to an annual goal – To get to where you need to be in five years, what goals do you need to reach within the next year?
- Step Four: Identify monthly and weekly steppingstone goals – What do you need to achieve each week to hit monthly milestones that will bring you to your yearly goal?
This strategy will help you move from a long-term goal that’s a decade or more away and determine what needs to be done this week to get you there. No matter how far away your long-term goal is, you can begin the journey today by using our goal-setting-to-the-now process.
Start Your 66-Day Challenge Today
Once you’ve identified what actions you can take today to get you on the path to achieving your goals, why wait? We know that it takes 66 days to establish or change a habit. That means 66 days from today you could be at the first of your finish lines.
If you decide to take on a 66-Day Challenge, you’ll make a game of keeping track of your daily progress as you work toward transforming your habits. Each day that you are able to cross off will be another day defeated. You’ll see it and the calendar will prove it: you’ll be building momentum. From day 1, you’ll be on the path to success. From the moment you start, you’ll be changing. Because success is sequential, starting the sequence is the hardest step—but it starts a life-changing process.
And you know what?
We’re here for you. There’s a community of people who are waiting to cheer you on. To help offer advice and accountability. You can find them in the ONE Thing Facebook Community.