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“Your goals should be just out of reach, but not out of site.” – Denis Waitley and Remi Witt

I think this is a novel idea and one that will definitely help you avoid the frustration caused by biting off more than you can chew. We’ve all done it right? We start out with a really cool goal that we are very motivated to complete only to find out that we lose steam or figure out we set our sights too high. Failing sucks right?

The suggestion here is to set a goal just out of reach. Let’s use reading for example. Assume you are pretty good at reading one book a month. That works out to 12 books a year. A reasonable goal would be to increase to 16 books a year because you would literally add one book to your reading schedule every 3 months. If we doubled our goal to 24 months it may be a bit too much. This is the difference between a stretch goal and one that is out of site. I’m not saying a person couldn’t stretch to 24 books a year, but it would definitely cause a pretty decent lifestyle change to double one’s reading capacity in one year.

Progression doesn’t have to be drastic. Like the example above, there’s no doubt a person couldn’t add 4 more books to their 12-book reading schedule in a year without causing too much stress. You would still read more than the year before but would meet this goal with some extra time spent in your library or den. This is what it means by stretching.

When setting goals, think small, incremental changes. These changes will build over time. They will continue to add value to your life, while not disrupting it.

One question you may have is how to set a goal for something you’ve never done before. This is a really good question and one you need to think about before setting your goal. The easiest way to get this answer is to seek out other people who have done the same thing. Find out from them what a realistic starting point would be. Then, set that goal and go for it. If you miss by a little bit, that’s ok. Adjust the goal downward or give it another go for the next 90 days. Whatever process you use is ok, as long as you can get to the finish line.

Start small, progress slowly, and celebrate your wins. This is truly the best way to set goals and achieve them and continue setting and achieving goals throughout your life. Simplicity is always the basis of truth. I’ve found this over and over again.

Until next time…

Dave