How can a "goal" stand in the way of your success

If you're reading this blog, this means that you're already someone focused on achieving success in your life. In fact, you're more than likely already successful in many areas of your life, and you're looking to elevate that same level of performance to other areas as well.

If you're read my blog and watched my videos, you're probably aware of the emphasis I often put on "goals".

I've done a ton of research and delved into various fields surrounding the "science of success", including psychology, neuroscience, motivational sciences, behavioral sciences, goal-setting, productivity and much more.

One thing that quickly became apparent to me is that no two people are the same

Every individual is psychologically different: what "makes them tick" is different, their "buttons" are different, what "drives them" to pursue a certain path is different.

For some, having a MASSIVE goal is motivating. They LOVE standing at the foot of a 100m high climbing wall: they begin climbing DESPITE the uncertainty whether they will even be able to reach the top or not.

Think Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, etc. These people took MASSIVE risks. There was no way for them to know FOR SURE that they will be successful, but they ventured down that road anyway!

This approach works for some entrepreneurs, but fails for many.

In fact, throughout my research, I came to the conclusion that this "gung ho" approach FAILS FOR MOST people!

The majority of human beings require frequent "successes" to be used as "fuel" to get to the next success.

We have to accept the fact that "ALL OR NOTHING" type of goals often lead to failure, discouragement, disappointment, and a lack of willingness to try again.

So there are TWO THINGS you can do when designing your goals to get around this problem and help you become more successful:

  • Reject that "ALL OR NOTHING" mindset: don't be that person who wanted to lose 5kg in a month, lost only 1kg, and decided to abandon the whole diet & exercise plan. Goals are never "all or nothing" affairs, nothing in life is.


  • Break down goals in "tasks": tasks are "mini wins" and they act as fuel to keep pushing forward. Make sure your "tasks" are small. As a general rule of thumb, I tell people that a "task" is by definition something which takes 30min or less to complete. If it takes longer, it's no longer a task, it's a "project", and should be broken down further into smaller tasks.

So go out there, set your goals, work towards them, and remember that progress, no matter how slow, is still progress. 

A common piece of advice we give triathletes facing their first Ironman triathlon: when you're 10 hours into the race and still have a marathon to run, remember: "one foot in front of the other will get you closer to the finish line".