The unexpected way to achieve more with less goals

If you figured out a way how to want it all, how to get it all and how to do it all… then, please, give us a call and tell us the secret!

Here we will share with you our own know-how – the “less is more” principle works perfectly well with our objectives too! The less you aim to achieve the more and better results you will have at the end.

You may find it difficult to choose these few particular goals that you need to focus on. But if you don’t do that the alternative is even harder. After this article you will know so much more.

Beginner’s mistakes

Let’s see what’s going on when you want it all and you want it now. Some mistakes are being made if you are in the thrills of enthusiasm. We were no exception, especially in the beginning.

For the sake of assumption – you’ve already formulated 10 visions about different aspects of your life. These are a professional career, personal finances, family, health, new projects, arts and culture, your appearances, hobbies, entertainment, friends.

If you follow the rules of “Goal Buddy” you would know what that means. Namely, it is ten 90-day goals which correspond to ten steps to go through each week. Well, if you had all day long to do just that, i.e. meeting these objectives, then you might have had a fighting chance.

Why is it that more goals don’t necessarily lead to greater success

Here is what will happen if you decide to pursue a handful of goals at the same time. Our own experience proved it quite probable that stress and exhaustion might be the only thing you get. That’s for sure, especially if you are trying to give your 100% to each one which most likely will turn out to be impossible.

No doubt, you will manage to do less of what you are capable of. Multiple failures, though, will eventually take their toll on you and your confidence in a way that you will find yourself on a downward spiral giving up one goal after another.

Managing the “Resources”

Take a look at yourself as a set of some distinct types of resources. Your time, energy, means too, if you wish, are not without their limits. The more things are there for you to work on the less of a given resource will be available to distribute among them.

The inevitable shortages will follow.

Time to act, time to reflect

Keep in mind that apart from working on the goals one should make the time to stop and give it some careful thought. So, instead of spinning your wheels or even getting too far in the wrong direction you should spend an hour or so in analyzing how things are going. It will be helpful to ask yourself these:  “what am I doing?”, “why am I doing it?”, “what did I learn?”, “What is accomplished so far?”, “Am I moving in the right direction?” and “Do I have to change anything?”.

The issue at hand is not just the time…

There is a limit to your energy

Regardless of how much coffee or energy drinks you pump into your daily diet this won’t be of much help in the end. Whatever you might try to change that the law of nature here is that there is an upper limit to your energy.

There are two possible outcomes if you are taking on a dozen goals while still meeting your other responsibilities in life. You could be overwhelmed at some point and end up dropping one or even a bunch of them. The other is to manage somehow to stay on top of them all but the price you pay for that is some mediocre and unsatisfactory performance.

One more pitfall:

Focus is gone

Try to recall some of those crazy busy days at work when everything was waiting for you to take care of. Just remember how you felt and how much time and effort you managed to allocate to each task. You either try to juggle all with the unavoidable end being that you drop one or more of them. Or you will be forced to focus on the most urgent and important ones.

It is the same story when there are too many goals on your plate. There is no way you can stay focused and effective for long. You will instinctively shut off some of them and will switch to the high priority ones. The alternative course of action is that your attention and actions will be all over the place – jumping back and forth, switching from one thing to another. At the end nothing gets done, not well at least, not the way it was supposed to.

Holding your attention

An interesting fact, attention span falls dramatically for those who spend too much time on social media. Theirs is only 8 seconds while that of a Gold Fish is… 9 seconds! What a good reason to change a bad habit!

Yes, you can sharpen your focus through practice. Sure enough, it is hard and it also requires some true effort.  Another way around is to prioritize.

Reduce the number of your goals

It’s a rule of thumb, “Greater focus plus fewer goals equals the best result”.

It applies to everything – visions, 90-day goals as well as the weekly steps.

We all know and agree that there are many things of value in life which fire up our aspirations and push our dreams high up. Still, put your trust in us and our system – then chose only a few objectives so that you can work on them consistently through each time period for the best possible outcome.

What is the optimal number?

According to a research study of positive people published by Franklin Covey Co. there is a correlation between the number of goals and the success rate: one or two mean almost a guaranteed success; between 3 and 5 – it’s likely that only one will be done and when the number is 5 or more then the chance for a good result is almost zero.

For us 5 is the maximum and 3 is the optimum.

The choice is personal and can vary. We experimented in the past with 9 goals for a three month period. There was zero success for 3 of them, not much progress when 2 goals and the rest were with somewhat satisfactory outcome. These days, however, things are quite different and when we do up to 5 goals it is remarkable how much distance can be covered. And by the way, if you write down your progress you will have the excellent opportunity not only to monitor it but also to do a detailed analysis later.

“Less is more” applies to the weekly steps as well

We’ve seen it manifests itself again and again in the course of years, the power of small but specific actions that bring you closer and closer to your dreams. With only one weekly step towards your goals you can easily achieve almost anything.

It is so easy in fact that most people make this common mistake. They feel so well-organized and effective that are willing to take in some extra load. I.e. are making more than one weekly step per given 90-day goal without completing the steps meant for the rest in this week.

The rule “One weekly step per goal” is the one that gets broken most often. It is best enforced when the number is reasonable, no more than 5. You will soon find out its far-reaching positive effect and you will do so with only few and seemingly minor actions.

So far so good but how you do all that?

It is easier said than done – have fewer goals and you will rock. How exactly to choose from dozens of opportunities!

It is a simple piece of wisdom that when you want everything you end up getting nothing. It isn’t possible to realize every single one of your ideas and, in reality, there is no need for that. Just make your mind which will be most helpful at the moment for you so that you develop and progress furthest.

The trick is not to say “Yes” to all great ideas but to be able to say “No” to those that even great will not take you where you want to be.

The strategy

If you have a vision let it be your guiding light. Follow it and assess what opportunities to take and which to pass. When your focus is always on the short term you will also be short on time. And when your vision is long term then the time horizon opens up for you.

So, start with this! Reduce the number of visions and 90-day goals. Do so for the number of weekly steps as well. There is no need to work non-stop on all of your visions at the same time. For every 90-day period you can choose some but not all of them. This doesn’t mean you are giving up on the rest, just that you are being smart about how to apply your resources.

The synergy effect

There is more help coming your way. You must remember how while working on one vision you may also be making progress in the direction of yet another vision. For example, if your career is on the right track then it is quite possible that this helps you your personal finances. Once you get down the road of success you will find out that there are some pivotal visions that are essential to your overall development.

The best part here is that one small step can trigger a positive domino effect going across.

The unexpected Trump Card

You might have 7 visions but this doesn’t mean that you must also be working all seven 90-day goals. And the key is?

The habit, of course! That’s the perfect way to “unload” some goals. When you are already doing something on autopilot then there is no need to formulate it as a 90-day goal, no need to monitor either. If you have been jogging every morning in the park for a full year then it is part of your daily routine and thus doesn’t need to be “scheduled” in your mind. In this way you free up some more resources, such as time and effort, to use towards some other of your visions, isn’t that so!

Let’s summarize

When you couple a vision with some 90-day goals you get the best from two worlds. You can choose what to focus on in the next 3 months but at the same time you can also dream long term about many other things.

Don’t limit yourself in terms of visions but try to have no more than five 90-day goals. In this way you will get done more because:

  • Resources, i.e. time, effort and focus, are allocated in fewer directions and this boosts your effectiveness;
  • The time that has been freed up can, in turn, be used to analyze your strategy and take corrective actions if needed.
  • You concentrate only on ideas that are not just great but also beneficial to your overall development;
  • There are fewer things that occupy your mind and these are all the right ones;
  • A small number of objectives brings better clarity of vision.

If you find these rules intriguing and useful there is a good chance you will also like our next article. It will discuss the most important laws of the “Goal Buddy” system. So, be ready! And see you soon!

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