If you’re a regular gym-goer like me, you probably know that one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions out there is to get back in shape. How do you know? Because if it’s anything like mine, your gym has been crowded with new members – or members that haven’t been in so long that they might as well be new members – since January 1.
Don’t get me wrong: I think that’s great. I’m a huge advocate of making New Year’s resolutions and of the many benefits of physical fitness. But as I was watching some of these new people work out one day recently, I suddenly realized why many of them ultimately fail: because they are underachieving overachievers. What does that mean? It means they set huge goals for themselves but end up failing because they don’t have an actionable plan.
You all know what I mean. To continue with the gym example, I’m talking about the person that joins the gym with a goal of dropping 100 pounds. Admirable goal. The problem is that this person decides to go about it by working out for two hours every single day and cutting all carbs out of his diet. It’s too much, too soon, so he ends up giving up entirely. I’ve seen the same thing happen countless times in the business world. It’s the people that jump into a new venture with guns blazing but end up quickly fizzling out. Underachieving overachievers.
Now I’m not saying you should lower your goals. No way. I’m a big believer in dreaming big, in shooting for the stars. That’s the only way to have incredible, unheard of success. But I’m also a realist. What good does it do to have big goals if you set yourself up for failure?
Jordanism: Think big, but make it actionable.
You must have a plan in order to achieve any goal, no matter how big or how small. And that plan must be actionable. You need to set smaller goals along the way that help you reach the big goal, like stepping stones for success. You have to know yourself in order to know what’s reasonable for you – it’s different for everyone. If you can handle working 70-hour weeks in order to get your business off the ground, great, go for it. But maybe you know you can only handle 50-hour weeks. And that’s ok – it just might take you a little longer. But the bottom line is, there is much smaller chance you will fail if you outline a reasonable, attainable plan for yourself.
Think big, but make it actionable. If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
You Sleep When You Die – Resolutions, Part 1: It’s All About Today