Realizing Big Life Goals

Big Life Goals. Everyone sets them. Everyone knows they are important, everyone wants to achieve them, yet only a few succeed.

For each of us, there once lived a big dream we desired to manifest - travel the world, run a marathon, create financial independence...

Whatever the big goal was, somewhere along the road we lost sight of it and let it slip away. We convinced ourselves that it was too hard, too overwhelming, too big… we gave up the dream to quiet the mind but deep down, it's still trapped inside, wanting to come out, waiting to be freed…

Can you relate to any of the above?

Is one of those big dreams of yours still waiting to burst out?

I made it my life's mission to realize big dreams. I've spent the last decade pursuing big audacious goals. Sometimes I failed, sometimes I succeed, but always, I learned.

This post outlines 4 key principles I've learned over the years about realizing big life goals.

I live by these principles. I mentor others with these same principles. I even created my own software tool based on these principles.

But first, let's dispel one common myth about goal setting:

Most goal setting doesn't work.

Most Goal Setting… Fails.

A lot has been written about goals and goal setting over the years. Any success program that I've ever went through - whether it's a personal development book, a seminar, an online course - almost every single one of them talks about the power of setting your goals.

Interestingly enough, though, evidence suggests that most of the goals people set are simply not achieved.

A recent study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that around half of the study's participants were confident of success at the beginning.

88% failure rate - now, that's an insanely high figure!

And this figure is even higher when big life goals are set. By their very nature, life goals, are more complicated - they are goals that take months and often years to achieve.

You probably already know that, but just in case I'll say it anyways:

Setting Goals is not enough.

It is not enough, even when our goals set the "SMART" way, even when we say them with full heart, even when they are stated in the positive, and… even when they are recorded on paper, only to be forgotten down the road.

Don't get me wrong, these are fundamentals and, as you know, fundamentals have to be practiced regularly, but this post is not about discussing the obvious.

This post is about discussing the more elusive aspects of setting and realizing goals.

So, without further ado, here are my key most important principles for achieving BIG life goals.


1. Don't just set a deadline, set INCREMENTAL deadlines.

Napoleon Hill, one of the pioneers of self-realization, once said "a goal is a dream with a deadline". Very true… however, big goals often need more than a deadline.

They need multiple deadlines.

Think of it like this. When you set a big goal, you are usually setting yourself for a long journey with a far away deadline. And, if your end date is too far in the future you may find yourself losing motivation and end up quitting.

Has that ever happened to you?

It has to me and I've seen it happen to others.

The key is to set smaller checkpoints along the way. Want to write a full-length book in one year? Then consider setting a monthly goal for each chapter. Want to run a half marathon race in a couple of months? Then consider setting a 10K race goal next month.

It's just that important to have ongoing wins to stay on track.

But wait, there's more.

Multiple incremental deadlines can also create real urgency, especially if you make yourself aware of it on regular basis.

I can't stress how effective it is. The day counter provides a visual representation which acts as a reminder of how many days have left to hit the target. It keeps your goals fresh in your mind and creates a sense of urgency to keep the momentum going.

So, if you have a big goal you want to realize but in the past have lacked motivation and drive to make it a reality, set multiple deadlines and feel the excitement that reaching those smaller intermediate goals creates!

Before you know it, you'll be on a roll.

2. Don't just take action - take PRIORITIZED action, and do it DAILY.

I've written at length before about the importance of habits. There's one pivotal habit you absolutely need to adopt in order to realize big dreams: Taking daily prioritized action toward your goal.

I'm not talking about having yet another long “to-do list” that never ends. I'm talking about having a concise daily action list of the 3-5 most important activities to take that will get you closer to your goals.

So, rather than a long “To-Do” list have a short “Will-Do” list.

Every morning, without fail, write down 3 mission-critical tasks you must do that day, and do them. Everything else is secondary.

And, if you are stuck trying to choose between several tasks that all seem critical, look at each one and simply ask yourself, "If this is the only task I complete today, will I be happy with my day?"

Purposefully make it short. Short is achievable. Short is more.

I usually have only two short lists. One contains my 3-5 key habits, the other contains my top 3-5 tasks which I review and update on daily basis.

I suggest you do the same - focus on small, consistent effort in one direction.

Remember, write one page a day for a year and you’ve written a book....

3. Don't just set measurable goals. Measure YOURSELF.

If you have already read some of my writings, you know that I'm a big fan of setting measurable goals and tracking their progress.

I've seen the power of ongoing tracking during my Ironman triathlon journey - every workout was listed, every training hour was logged, and every milestone was checked.

Keeping track of my daily training helped me not only to see steady gains in my performance but also to motivate me during tough times. And, there were plenty of those.

I've been tracking other areas of my life ever since then.

During my financial freedom journey, for example, I tracked every penny that came in and went out. This was a key ingredient in achieving this big goal - It helped me change my spending habits and made me feel like I was taking charge of my finances.

I can go on and on with examples, but hopefully you get my point - setting measurable goals and keeping track of their progress is key.

Seeing progress in changing numbers creates a motivating feedback loop which in turn creates momentum. You have an immediate sign of every accomplishment and a visible record of your weekly progress. This allows you to compare performance and as a result of it, gain insight into your overall growth trends.

In some ways, it's like making it into a fun game, and once you get into it, the whole goal attainment process becomes a bit more enjoyable...

Try it yourself. You'll be surprised at the meaningful difference it makes.

4. Don't just share your goals. Share them with REAL CONSEQUENCES

You probably already know that holding yourself accountable by sharing your goals with others is essential for achieving goals - it requires you to have to answer to someone which can be a very effective motivator.

There's another level, though.

Sharing your goals with REAL consequences.

By establishing binding consequences you set an emotional attachment to your goals. The potential immediate loss is even bigger motivator than just the tangible risk of public failure.

How easy, for example, would it be to quit smoking if you committed to pay $500 for every cigarette you smoked? Or for every workout you missed? If you actually put a contract out on yourself...

Mastermind_Email_2-300x283_5For the last year, I've been experimenting with different penalty amounts for each of my primary monthly goals - I put REAL money on the line and committed them to a friend I greatly respect.

The results were nothing but stellar. So far, I have not missed even one of my monthly targets.

The formula is simple: Real consequences = Real results.

Now, What about YOU?

What big dream of yours is waiting to burst out?

Are you just setting goals, or are you setting plans based on core principles that will make those goals a reality?

As Tyler Durden said in Fight Club, "This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time. "

Stop treating your dreams too casually. Your "one day" is now, the "perfect moment" is today, the stars are aligned...

Now go and take some action.

Your partner in crime,
Tal Gur

P.S If you found this article helpful, please forward it to someone you love and click the sharing buttons below. The world is a better place when people actively follow their dreams.


Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.


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Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.

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