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Tucked away at The Factory at Franklin sitting at the table farthest from the door, there I sat listening to Cliff talk about goals and limiting beliefs. After teaching on these topics for a while he instructed us to turn to a blank page in our workbook and number it 1 through 25 down the left hand side of the page. He then gave us 10 or 15 minutes to fill out all 25 places with things that we wanted in our life 5-10 years from now.

Last week I asked you to perform this exercise, except I only asked you to come up with 20 things. How did it go? If you were like me, you came charging out of the gate like a racehorse at the Kentucky derby, only to run out of steam when I came to the back stretch. In this exercise, I only came up with 11 things. Here they are:

  1. No mortgage
  2. Travel to Europe
  3. Own an MGB GT
  4. Revenue of over $1 million per year with Pro Podcast Solutions
  5. Own multiple businesses
  6. Have a mentorship program
  7. Take 1 big vacation per year
  8. Have over $50k in savings
  9. Take an annual mission trip
  10. Support 5 charities at $10k each annually
  11. Own 3 rental properties

Maybe you filled out the full list with 20 items. Maybe you added more than 20 items. Maybe you’re like me and fell well short of 20 items. To be honest, it doesn’t matter. What matters is doing the exercise and then taking action. I hope you’re ready to take action today.

I must admit that when I first completed this task and only had 11 items listed, I felt a bit like a failure. After all, he’d asked us to come up with 25, and I’d not even managed to write down half that many. I learned two things from this. First, I learned that I had trouble coming up with more things because I don’t think about 5-10 year goals nearly as much as I think about 1-3 year goals. When I think of 5-10 year goals, it’s something that may be out of reach of where I am currently. That is, I’m at least 2-3 of steps away from achieving it. Whereas a 1-3 year goal is something I’m likely 1-2 steps away from reaching. I spend most of my goal planning looking at what is the next best step for me, so naturally I had difficulty here. So doing this exercise taught me that I needed to spend more time also looking at longer term goals.

The second thing I learned from this exercise is it becomes easier the more often you do it. For example, the next year at the Free the Dream conference, Cliff had us do this exercise again. However, this time, he had us list 50 (FIFTY!!) things we wanted to achieve. Despite being challenged with 50 vs the previous year’s 25, I filled up more than half the list and came up with 33 items. That’s exactly three times the number of things I came up with just a year before. The primary reason for being able to identify more items was that I’d been thinking about it more often.

Back to that first Free the Dream conference. One day Cliff led a session called, “Ten Steps to Achieve Any Goal.” Those steps are:

  1. Know what you want.
  2. Know why you want it. Use this as your fuel. This is your motivation.
  3. Believe it’s possible.
  4. Decide right now that you MUST achieve this goal. At this point Cliff went into this whole thing about what the word decide means and where the word originated from. It turns out that “decision” and “incision” come from the same root word. An incision is making a cut into something, right? So what does decision mean in this context? It means to cut something off. That is, you are cutting off, eliminating, other options. You are DECIDING this goal MUST be met, and chopping off other options.
  5. Write it down. I’ve always been a big, big fan of writing things down, especially goals, so this one was natural for me.
  6. Place your goals where you can see them. What we focus on consistently, we tend to manifest in our lives. I know some of you don’t like the word manifest and might think it’s a little woo woo or something like that, but if you think about this statement, it’s absolutely true.
  7. Tell others. This is really important. Find people you trust, and tell them your goals.
  8. Take massive action NOW.
  9. Evaluate your results.
  10. Change your approach if needed.

So those were the ten steps that he gave us to help us achieve goals. And I loved this. This was just like candy for me because, you know, I love goals.

Back to your list. Take out your list and give it a look over. Let’s start narrowing it down. Take your list and narrow it to a top 10 list. Now take the list and narrow it to 5. Don’t mark anything off the list. We’re not eliminating goals here, we’re prioritizing goals. Now take that list of 5 and identify one item you can take massive action on NOW. Got it? What is the massive action you are going to take right now to begin achieving this goal? Say it out loud. Seriously. Say it out loud.

Man, I wish I could hear you right now. Ping me on Twitter at @mardarrell or hit me up in the Stuff I Learned Yesterday Facebook group to tell me what your goal is, and what you just said out loud. I want to cheer you on! Also, this will satisfy step 7 of telling others.

As I sat there at the first Free the Dream conference, I identified the third item on my list as something I could take immediate action on. To refresh your memory, item 3 was “Own an MGB GT.” Some of you probably have no idea what that goal means. Please allow me to elaborate.

MG is a British car manufacturer. Most people are familiar with their little convertibles called the B, or MGB. The MGB was manufactured from 1963 – 1980. For you fans of Friends, it’s the little red car Ross bought in “The One Where They All Turn Thirty.” The car gets wedged between two cars while parked, and they spend the entire episode trying to get it free. At the end of the episode, an older bald guy drives up in a car just like it, and Ross suddenly loses his enthusiasm for the car. So that’s the MGB.

However, I said I wanted an MGB GT. The GT is a hard top coupe version of the B. The GT was made from 1965 – 1980. There are a few variations that were made during the 15 year run, but they largely look the same regardless of the year they were made. However, I was partial to the late 60’s models that had chrome bumpers and grills. To me, cars from the 60s have the best style, and owning a car from that era was a dream.

Cliff asked each of us the same question that I just asked you. That is, “What action can you take right now to start achieving your dream.” What action COULD I take? I supposed I could pull out my phone and start looking on eBay Motors or Auto Trader, but I knew I wasn’t ready to buy just yet, and I also knew I needed to do research to know when I found a good deal. So I decided the action I could take right then and there while sitting inside the conference room at The Factory at Franklin was to go on Amazon and buy a toy replica of an MGB GT.

I expected to find a Hot Wheels or Matchbox car for around five dollars. However, all I could find was an Oxford Diecast for fifteen dollars. I looked over on eBay as well, but only found the same car for the same price. So I put it in my Amazon cart and made the purchase. It wasn’t available with Prime shipping so it wouldn’t be waiting on me when I got home, but still, I’d taken immediate action on reaching my goal. I would take the diecast MGB GT and put it in front of my computer monitor so that it would sit in front of me every day reminding me and motivating me to reach my goal of owning one that would occupy my garage. This would satisfy step 6 which is placing your goal where you can see them.

I was really excited about my purchase. The diecast car seemed to be a high quality detailed model, and I envisioned myself rolling it around my desk while making engine noises just like I was a kid again. I knew that it would be just what I needed to keep the goal in front of my mind keeping me motivated. My only concern is that it might take up too much room on my desk. Afterall at $15 and very detailed, the 1:78 scale model was not a Matchbox car.

About a week after I returned home from my trip, I received a package from Amazon. I must have looked a big like Ralphie from A Christmas Story the day his decoder ring finally arrived. I excitedly scurried from the mailbox back inside my house where I could free my treasure from its prison of cardboard and bubble wrap. A few slices from my knife quickly loosed its bindings and I retrieved the toy package from the shipping box. What I saw before me was not at all what I expected. It was immediately clear to me that I had no idea what 1:78 scale really looks like. I expected a car that was 4, maybe even 6 inches from bumper to bumper. Instead, the car was barely 2 inches from bumper to bumper. It was larger than a micro machine car, but smaller than a Matchbox car.

But what a beauty!!! The detail was magnificent! Equipped with rubber tires and silver trim all around, the toy filled my heart with inspiration. Despite its size, it had detailed MG badging on the hood and lift gate, and it also had a detail painted license plate. Even each fin in the front grill was detailed. I thought to myself, “Just imagine what a full size one will look like parked in your garage!”

I still have the car sitting right here in front of my on my desk, and it still brings a smile to my face when I see it. And in case you’re wondering, I do indeed drive it around on my desk and make engine noises.

As we begin to wrap up today, let’s recap those 10 steps Cliff gave us.

  1. Know what you want.
  2. Know why you want it.
  3. Believe it’s possible.
  4. Decide right now that you MUST achieve this goal.
  5. Write it down.
  6. Place your goals where you can see them.
  7. Tell others.
  8. Take massive action NOW.
  9. Evaluate your results.
  10. Change your approach if needed.

Now let’s go back to that list and that one goal you selected that you would work toward. Do you remember what you said out loud that you would do to take immediate action? This exercise is important. Taking that first step is the most important one. Take action right now before you talk yourself out of it or let doubt take over.

And it’s important to point out that the scale of this first step does not matter. I no doubt got the same motivation from the 2 inch car that I would have received from the 6 inch car. You may wish you could take a bigger step, but that’s just not an option right now. Don’t let that discourage you. Take that first step, and make it as massive as you can. But no matter how big it is, begin your journey RIGHT NOW that will lead you down the path to reaching this goal.

I’m Darrell Darnell, and this has been Stuff I Learned Yesterday episode 575, “Objects Not to Scale.” Join me next week as we take that goal and start making it scale to full size.
Stuff I Learned Yesterday is part of the Golden Spiral Media podcast network. Join me on Twitter at GSMPodcasts, Facebook, or our feedback page.

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