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If there’s one thing I’m sure about, it’s that you can create success over and over. From training with the USA Olympic Soccer Team, to running a team of hundreds as a vice president at loanDepot, there’s one simple process I’ve used again and again to make my way to the top.
There are three phases to every goal I set for myself:
- Clarity: You have to know where you’re going
- Joy: Find the actions that bring you joy that can take you where you are aspiring to go
- Celebration: Celebrate along the way!
Step 1: Clarity — what is it that you want?
Whatever you are desiring can be boiled down to one thing you truly crave: change. So, let’s say you want tons of money. Clarity would be asking questions like:
- What are you going to buy?
- Are there trips you want to take?
- What charities will you donate to?
Begin with the end in mind when you are setting up clarity and align it with the current season of life you are in. For me, maybe I don’t want to miss any of my kid’s soccer games, and take one day off a week. Spending time with your family can be your change request for now.
Step 2: What are joyful actions you can take?
It’s interesting how the universe will reward the action that follows your change request. If you make the goal, and you don’t move your feet towards it, I wouldn’t expect it to just fall from the sky, right? We’ve got to take action, so why not make it enjoyable?
When you can create that alignment and congruence that what you say and do start to align up every day, the magnitude of the exponential growth is just absolutely significant.
If my goal is to spend time with my family, and my daughter is on the soccer field and I’m not out there coaching her. I’ve got to ask myself the tough questions to get back into congruence with my goal: Was I bettering myself? Listening to a podcast, returning text messages? Is this goal still of the utmost importance to me?
I’ve got to hold myself accountable to the actions that match the goals I set for myself. And, find joy in doing them at the same time.
Step 3: Celebrate along the way
I think this is where it’s going to be kind of fun.
When you’ve got clarity, you define what success looks like. Now you move forward and you’re starting to integrate your life. Then it’s time to actually celebrate the written goals. So if your goal was money and you made it, maybe you’re spending 10 percent on something fun for you! If your goal was more family time, maybe you and your daughter are grabbing a smoothie after soccer and you are taking the moment in.
I think most of us miss Step 3 (celebration) because we keep moving the goal target so we never live as success. But in order to integrate and live as the version of you that has already achieved what you identified in Step 1 (clarity), you need to reprogram your brain to crave the chemicals of success. It truly is as simple as celebrating when you take the action steps from Step 2 (joy), so you don’t deprive yourself of enjoyment along the way.
Here’s how I break down my three steps in day to day life
Each month I have big goals for the year that have been broken down into three main goals for me. There’s actual items that I do every week that I took off the list. So if they don’t get done, each goal moves to the next week. But I get them done and there’s big rewards at the end of the year. When this happens, I’ll be able to confidently reward myself. I believe there is power in celebrating the small wins, the medium-sized ones and the big ones along the way.
Things that trip up goal-setting
Another thing that can trip us up besides withholding celebration is that we set unrealistic standards on our timeframes for success. Because another thing I’m sure of is the reality that you will not achieve every day. It won’t be a magical day when you have any sense of perfection and everything clicks that you achieve your goal. It’ll be a day in, day out progress of perfection in your mind.
I go back to growing up as a kid with success and sports. Many times winning or losing was the only way to see things. But as you get older you realize those two things actually can cohabitate together. They can live together. The lessons are learned in both the wins and the losses. Defining success isn’t always just about the wins. Like I said, you won’t be successful every day.
When you do stumble upon failure, a winning mindset looks like asking yourself questions such as:
- Can I learn and grow whether I win or I lose?
- When things get thrown at you, how do you react to them?
In my days on the soccer field, some of the greatest stories for me and my greatest growth was actually when our team lost. Because when you don’t play your best game, you realize what you have to work on. Wins and losses are all just experiences.
Do the bite size goals, and then reward yourself for taking joyful action because that is a pattern your brain will become addicted to achieving over and over.