The Best and Simplest Advice for Reaching A Goal
Big goals are almost always intimidating. They’re complex, they’re multifaceted, and the checklist of hundreds of individual tasks can branch out like a mature oak. What do you do first, how do you get it done, and where do you even begin?
We’ve all been overwhelmed by these big hairy audacious goals, or BHAGs, a concept first described by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. I often get asked about tips for reaching a goal, but really, my advice is straightforward and to the point. Here’s what I do whenever I have a big task that I want to accomplish or a big goal that I want to reach:
DO TWO THINGS every day toward your goal.
That’s it! Just two things. By doing just two things every day, you’re keeping the ball moving in the right direction and taking baby steps toward the finish line.
The two things that you do every day don’t have to be big. They can be as simple as a quick phone call or email. The key is to just have your goal in mind every day.
For example, if your goal is to grow your professional network to 100 new contacts, you’re not going to get from 0 to 100 in a day. However, today you can connect with someone on LinkedIn and also send an introductory email to someone in your field you’d like to meet with. Tomorrow, you can do two more small things, and the next day you can do two more.
The best part of this advice is how quickly these two things add up. After one year, you will have accomplished 730 things toward your goal. That’s 730 calls, emails, phone calls, meetings, lessons, and more to get you closer to where you want to be. Anything is possible 730 things later!
It’s empowering! But more than that, this is typically how change happens in a manageable and focused way: not by grand gestures or giant exchanges, but by small, calculated actions. These are the real steps to reaching a goal.