Think of something you wish to improve in your life. Perhaps it’s a financial goal or becoming a better parent. Perhaps you want to travel more or overcome your anger. What do you want to achieve in your life right now?
Making Your Goal
Write down how you will know that you have achieved success. Will it be paying off your house in 5 years? How about making $10,000 more by next year? Will you be a better parent by spending an hour a day with your child playing games with them? How about taking a trip each year to someplace you have never been? Will you go for a walk when you feel angry? How will you know when you have achieved that goal?
Now I want you to add a zero to it!
Adding a zero will increase the power of your goals. Let me explain. Sean Stephenson, an American therapist, self-help author, and motivational speaker taught that goals should be SO unrealistic they are nearly impossible to achieve. Once you set that far-reaching goal, you work every day to hit that goal. Here’s why: when you set far-reaching, nearly-impossible goals you way overshoot what you would have originally achieved with a “realistic” goal.
The problem with setting a realistic goal is you achieve far less then you are capable. If you set a realistic goal you will work toward that goal, but not much further. You will land somewhere near it, or maybe even exceed it a little bit being surprised that you overshot your goal.
How to Add a Zero
If you set your goals high, you will achieve way more than if you set your goals low. It should be so high that you work crazy-hard achieving big things along the way. Once you have your goal clear in your mind, set achievable benchmarks along the way leading to that big goal.
Let’s look at an example. Say your original goal was to make $10,000 more next year. Imagine what it would take for you to achieve that goal. Think through the details of what you would have to do. A couple of ideas you may come up with could include getting a job delivering pizzas or working more hours at your current job.
Now add a zero to it. What would it take to increase your income by $100,000 next year? A job delivering pizzas or working more hours would not even get you close. No, there wouldn’t be enough hours in a day. When you add a zero to it, you have to be more creative. You have to think differently. You have to open your mind to the possibilities.
This is easy to illustrate with a financial goal, but the principle still works for non-financial goals as well. For example, let’s say you want to be a better parent and your original goal was to spend one hour a day playing with your child. Well, add a zero to one to make ten. You may think that’s absurd! How could you possibly find ten hours a day when you feel like one is a stretch? Remember, this is supposed to feel impossible. Stay with me here. What would it take to spend ten quality hours with your child every day? You would have to find ways to integrate them into your day more. Could they help you fold laundry, or do the dishes with you? Could you sing to your toddler while you fold laundry? Open your mind to all the possibilities and increase the power of your goals.
The Power of Adding a Zero
Here’s why this is beneficial. If you set benchmarks and work toward achieving that 10x goal, but you don’t achieve it, what DID you achieve along the way? It will surely be well beyond the original $10,000 you set. Let’s say you only reach 25% of $100,000. That is two and a half times your original goal! You will have achieved way more than you were originally setting yourself up to achieve. If you set unrealistic goals and develop a pathway to them, what you experience is achievement far beyond what your realistic goals would have allowed. This will increase the power of your goals.
So dream big! Achieving anything more than your original goal is success worthy of celebration.