Reverse Engineering to Achieve Your Goals

So you have a goal.  A big, hairy, scary goal.  When you think about it you get a little nervous.  Maybe even scared.  It paralyzes you to even think about accomplishing it.  So what do you do?  I want to give you some practical application on how to break a goal down into manageable chunks so that you can achieve it.  I want to teach you how to reverse engineer your goals.

We talk all the time about setting big goals.  If your goals aren't big enough that they scare you then they aren't big enough.  How do you get from the goal setting process to the achieving of your goal?  You need to reverse engineer it.  First you need to set a timeline to your goal.  When will you have it accomplished?  Write down a specific date.  It needs to be realistic but not too far in the future that you aren't motivated to act.  Once you have that then break that amount of time up into chunks.  If it's a year away then break it down into 3 month segments.  You can even break it down into one month segments.  What do you need to achieve each month to add up to achieving your goal in a year?  

I know this can sound a bit confusing so let me give you an example from my life.  Every year I set a goal to read a certain amount of books.  Two years ago I wanted to read 50.  I broke that down to find out how many I needed to read a month, which was 4 (December has a lot of free time so I figured I could make up an extra 2 then).  I ended up achieving that goal by November and read a few extra as gravy on top.  Last year my goal was 60, which translated to 5 a month.  Every month I made sure and finished at least 5 books.  Once again I achieved my goal by November and finished with 71.  This year I set a very aggressive goal of 100 books.  This scares me.  I'm not sure I can do it.  What I have done, though, is to break it down into weekly segments.  I know that I need to finish 2 books a week.  If it is the weekend and I haven't finished any books yet then I will focus all of my reading on the 2 that I am closest to finishing (I'm usually reading about 6 books at any given time).  I spend whatever free time I have reading those two books and try to have them finished by Sunday night.  There is also strategy to how I choose my books.  If I am reading a couple of long ones that I know will take a month to finish then I make sure and add a couple of short ones (stat padders I call them) to keep me progressing towards my goal during those times.  If I can continue to finish two books a week (I am on track right now) then by the end of the year I will have read over 100.  What seemed impossible is manageable by breaking it down into parts.

Let me give you a few other examples that might help you.  Say you want to lose 50 pounds this year.  That can completely change your life if they are able to do that.  It can seem incredibly daunting, but when you break that down it is only 1 pound a week.  Everyone wants to try to lose a ton of weight quickly, but that quick loss typically follows up with a quick gain (yo-yo diet).  A much better strategy is slow and sustainable loss.  1 pound a week is not hard.  Anyone can do it.  It is all about getting a game plan and sticking to it.  Let's talk about another example.  I have worked with my sister using this strategy on improving her gymnastics.  She wanted to get her handstand pushups from 35 to 50 in 6 months.  So what we did was break the increase (15) down into 2 three month segments.  Her goal was 45 in the first 3 months (an increase of 10) and 50 in six months (an increase of 5).  It is much more manageable if you break it down like that, and she was able to hit her first goal after 3 months.  It is amazing what can be accomplished over a long period of time if you break it down into small goals.

There is one key ingredient that I have not mentioned yet.  You have to put in the work!  All of this sounds great on paper but it doesn't add up to anything if you do not commit.  This is just a strategy to help you get to where you want to be.  You have to implement this strategy.  What you will find after going through this process is that the end result is not the most valuable thing that you get out of this.  Yes you will achieve your goal, but more importantly you will become a different person.  The changes you make in yourself will be much more valuable than any number on a scale or any achievement you have.  You will become the person who CAN do what you want to do.  That is where the most value will come!

Implement this strategy to one of your big, scary goals.  Break it down into pieces and work at it over time.  If you are having trouble then reach out to me and let me help you.  If you can implement this and have success then it will help you achieve whatever you want in life.  But more importantly it will help you become the person who can achieve whatever they want in life.